By Dominique-Clay Brown, Daniel Romero, and Melissa Sommers
Splash Canyon rendering by Perdue Marion; Photos from shutterstock.com
If you have never been to a water park, then you are missing a real treat. Las Vegas’ last water park, Wet ‘N Wild, was on Las Vegas Boulevard, south of Sahara Avenue. You could see it right away if you were driving on the Strip or when flying from an airplane, it was an awesome sight!
People who came for their vacations with their children found it ideal for recreation and entertainment. The water slides were adventurous for the 8-15 year olds. The water flashing in your face and the speed coming down the slide were an experience you would not soon forget.
Wet ‘N Wild had 30 rides to challenge your skills as a swimmer. Just climbing up to the top of the all-enclosed tube slide, lying on your stomach, and pushing off was an accomplishment in itself. On the way down, the water carried you in and around sharp turns, up and down, and was enough to get your heart beating fast. Your body followed each turn until you splashed down at the exit into a large pool of water. It was over in a flash and you wanted to do it all over again; like a roller coaster ride!
The Lazy River ride was also a lot of fun. An easy ride in a boat with your family or with others, you could see all the rides and activities going on in the park and decide the ones you would like to have fun on.
The smell of fragrant hot dogs, hamburgers, popcorn, and cotton candy filled the air all day long. Visitors rented private cabanas to do their own grilling and set up their picnics for the day. Ice cream carts galore with all your favorite flavors lined the walkways. The laughing and screaming of little tykes running through the sprinklers let you know they were having fun!
Wet ‘N Wild Water Park closed in 2004 after giving 19 years of fun and excitement to visitors and our local residents. The owners decided the strip property was too valuable not to sell to hotel and casino developers. We hated to say good-bye.
Around & Around; Up & Down
Since 2004, plans for a new water park have been growing. A recent news release has announced an opening on Memorial Day in May of 2012. The new park will be called “Splash Canyon”. The water park is located at 7055 Fort Apache at west Warm Springs Road and is part of an ongoing Community Park and Aquatic Center the Howard Hughes Corporation is building for the Las Vegas community residents and visitors.
Splash Canyon promises to have all the exciting rides every one enjoyed at the Wet N Wild park including the Multi Rider Slide , a six lane head first Mat Racer Ride, a winding Lazy River, and a new four story Rain Fortress play ground with a variety of slides. One of the slides dumps 500 gallons of water over the structure. Residents we talked to are anxious to see the parks completion. It has been too long since our dry desert population has been able to enjoy the feel of cool, wet water on our hot summer days.
Investors, SPD Partners, are teaming up with Harvest Family Entertainment to operate the facility. The Harvest Family group has operated more water parks than anyone else in the world. Together these companies have a strong sense of family and community ties and want to create a place where families come together.
Splash Canyon plans to be open 10:30 am to 6:00 pm daily with extended hours for special events like concerts and private parties. Prices are are estimated at $139.00 per person for a season pass, or daily admission of$29.99 for adults, $21.99 for children over 2 years and seniors over 55 years. Children under 2 years will not need to pay admission. There will be special rates for group events and parties. For Non-Profit groups seeking a fundraising opportunity, information is available online at www. splashlv.com
The City of Henderson will see a water park soon at Hwy 515 and the Galleria Mall. The developers, Dream Park International, are hoping to open sometime in 2012. It’s exciting that the community will be seeing water parks finally rejoining our valley. Now is a great time to start planning your family reunions, birthday parties and get-togethers! Go onto the Splash Canyon website to get your earlybird yearly pass at a discount before prices go up. See you Memorial Day 2012!