GM: Henderson water park will open this year


The Cowabunga Bay Waterpark in Draper, Utah.

Cowabunga Bay Water Park Site

A view of the Cowabunga Bay water park on Galleria Road in Henderson Thursday, June 27, 2013. Launch slideshow »

Cowabunga Water Park

Two girls float on their tubes in one of the pools at a Utah Cowabunga park. (Courtesy Photos) Launch slideshow »

A Henderson water park will miss its planned Memorial Day opening, but operators say the attraction is only a few weeks behind schedule.

Shane Huish, the general manager of Cowabunga Bay Water Park, said management would set an opening date when they know for sure the 23-acre park is a few weeks from being ready. The park was supposed to open in 2013 under previous ownership, but was delayed until this spring and then sold at a steep discount to the current owners.

Huish said management has made plans to allow season-pass holders to access the attraction for some extra days this fall while also choosing from one of several options when they pick up their passes: a 10 percent refund off their purchase price, $10 in “Cowabunga Cash” to buy food at the park, a free bring-a-friend pass or a full refund.

Huish attributed the delay to the project’s size, saying there are “always things that come up.” He said strong winds have also slowed construction.

“Every day that we’re not open, it really affects us,” he said.

The 1960s beach-themed water park at Gibson Road and Galleria Drive was supposed to open by Memorial Day weekend 2013, but Huish said last April that Cowabunga Bay was only half built and would open in spring 2014 instead.

He said work crews ran into caliche — a concrete-like mix of hardened calcium carbonate, gravel, sand, clay and silt — 15 feet below the ground. He also cited a delay in importing a custom-made water slide from Europe.

In August, Huish sold the site for $2.3 million to Tom Welch, of Utah. Huish’s group had acquired the property for $4.6 million less than a year earlier.

As of last year, the park was expected to include a 33,000-square-foot wave pool, several clusters of slides, a lazy river and a multi-lane racing slide that would send riders on a 55-foot head-first plunge into a pool.