Weatherford Democrat

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November 20, 2012

Waterpark to open as scheduled

WEATHERFORD — HUDSON OAKS — Despite some delays, Hudson Oaks and Splash Kingdom officials are confident the proposed Splash Kingdom waterpark scheduled to open here May 28 will open on schedule.

Assistant City Administrator Patrick Lawler said he had spoken with Splash Kingdom officials last week and said the problems the project had are no longer an issue and construction is set to begin on or before Dec. 10. Depending on final paperwork for the project being approved, it could be even earlier when water and sewer improvements on the project begin, he added.

“We’re going to be working on top of each other,” Lawler said. “We’re now looking at an extremely tight timeframe but (Splash Mountain officials) are still confident we will make the May 28 opening date.”

Lawler said what helps fuel the optimism is that the company is planning on using much of the greenspace and landscaping around the 10-acre waterpark, to be built to the west of the City Lights Theatre complex. Using the greenspace, which first attracted Splash Kingdom president Johnny Blevins to the area, and not moving so much dirt could potentially speed the process along.

The waterpark, which will have a Wild West theme, is scheduled to use much of the hilly, rocky terrain around the complex.

Lawler said that nearly all the preliminary work has been done on the waterpark, including design.

“Once we get rolling with our water and sewer improvements, they’re going to come in and start moving dirt,” Lawler said. “We will be able to work on different segments of the park at the same time.”

The city believes the waterpark could fuel development in the area.

Blevins said he expects to have 100,000 visitors in the first summer of operation.

“There’s a lot of development around depending on this going in,” Lawler said. “It would not be a huge deal if opening was delayed until the first or second week in June. Splash Kingdom is aggressive, however, and says they will make their May 28 deadline.”

The park, which could grow to 15 acres over time, will share parking with the theater complex. The movie theater is also scheduled to expand to 14 screens in the near future.

Along with the waterpark, a small amphitheatre is expected to be constructed for school band concerts, plays and other entertainment.

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