In his own words: Water park GM Scott Carothers |

In his own words: Water park GM Scott Carothers

Northern Nevada Business Weekly: Tell us about Wild Island and the duties of your position.

Scott Carothers: As the waterpark general manager, I am responsible for the daily overall operation of the water park. My counterpart, Craig Buster, the general manager of Coconut Bowl, is responsible for the daily operations there. Together we coordinate all the advertising for the facility, manage staff development and work closely with the vice president and owner, Gary Nelson. We also work on current and future capital projects.

NNBW: How did you get into this profession?

Carothers: I started at Wild Island 25 years ago as a 19-year-old lifeguard.

NNBW: What’s the most important thing you have learned in that time?

Carothers: No. 1: Working to maintain relationships both professionally and personally should always be your top priority; No. 2: Always challenge yourself and your peers to do better; No. 3: Success should always be shared.

NNBW: Summer can be super busy at Wild Island — how do you handle the hordes of children?

Carothers: I always tell people, “At Wild Island we do busy!” We have worked extremely hard on expanding Wild Island so that we can handle larger crowds. Our goal even on our busiest day is to provide guests with a clean, safe and most importantly fun place to enjoy.

NNBW: What was your first job?

Carothers: I worked at Shakey’s Pizza. I look back now at that job and realize how much it helped me build a strong work ethic and career skill set.

NNBW: Tell us about your dream job. Why aren’t you working it?

Carothers: Honestly I would say that I have my dream job! We have a fantastic company, I work with amazing people and we get to provide our guests with memories, laughs and smiles.

NNBW: What’s the most fun you have had on the job?

Carothers: Watching my young daughter experience her first “big” ride ranks right up there. Test riding a new ride is always a kick in the pants.

NNBW: What’s the best advice anyone ever gave you?

Carothers: “You should marry that girl!”

NNBW: What are your favorite hobbies or pastimes? How do you spend your time away from work?

Carothers: My family and I love to travel. Also, I am a complete bike nut. I ride and race (cross, MTB and sometimes road) for a local team sponsored via The Hub Coffee Shop and Tahoe Carson Radiology.

NNBW: If you could live your life over again, what one thing would you change?

Carothers: Give me another 45 years and I will answer that one.

NNBW: What has been your biggest professional accomplishment?

Carothers: Having our vice president and owner say to me, “I believe you are ready to become the general manager.”

NNBW: What did you dream of becoming when you were a kid?

Carothers: I wanted to be a sideline reporter.

NNBW: What can you do that someone else can’t?

Carothers: I have the best chance to get you a comp wave pool cabana at the water park on a Saturday in July!

NNBW: If you had enough money to retire right now, would you? Why or why not?

Carothers: Oh no … I would drive my family crazy!

NNBW: What’s the last concert or sporting event you attended?

Carothers: Reno Aces game.

NNBW: What would people say if they say you on the dance floor?

Carothers: “Well, at least it looks like he is having fun!”

NNBW: What are five things you can’t live without?

Carothers: Family, friends, Graeagle, bike(s), ESPN.

NNBW: Where’s your perfect vacation spot?

Carothers: Cabo San Lucas or Hyatt in Incline.

NNBW: Why did you choose a career in northern Nevada? What do you like most about working/living here?

Carothers: My wife and I love the community, the four seasons, and proximity to our extended families.

Know someone whose perspective you would like to share? Email reporter Rob Sabo at or call 775-850-2146.