Statement by Wet ‘n’ Wild Waterworld with respect to the City’s RFP for a Water/Aquatic Adventure

In October of 2012, our company, Volcanic Gardens Management d/b/a Wet ‘N’ Wild Waterworld,
signed personal loan guarantees for the purchase of an additional 26 acres of land next to our existing park with the intention of expanding. With a total of 60 acres, we could once again make major expansions to the waterpark and we were very excited about the new attractions we could bring to the region. Only a week later, the City Manager, Joyce Wilson, announced plans to have an outside company build a waterpark at the now abandoned Cohen Stadium site. After obtaining the outside company’s proposal through the Freedom of Information Act, it appeared that the City was taking the proposal seriously.

We put our plans on hold to make a competing proposal that would have been much better economically for the City, and met with City staff, members of City Council, and Mayor Leeser to guage the interest level and financial commitment of all the parties involved. City Council members, City staff, and the Mayor’s primary concerns were about Cohen Stadium itself and how it could best be put to use in the future. Building a new waterpark did not seem to be high on anyone’s list of priorities for the site. From meeting with them and from statements given by them to the media, it was clear that the possibility of a waterpark was still years off into the future.

We determined in early 2014 to move ahead with our original expansion plans, visiting ride vendors, contracting with local surveyors, and meeting with local potential architects. At the start of the summer, we put up a billboard at Wet ‘n’ Wild announcing our plans.

To our surprise, the City issued an RFP for a “Water/Aquatic Adventure Park” this past July 1st. We sent letters to City Council members and Mayor Leeser expressing our surprise and informing them of the potential impact on our expansion plans. We also asked each City Council member and Mayor Leeser for their opinions on the RFP, and are awaiting their responses.