Tuesday, September 23, 2003

Water park's theme: Australia

By Erica Solvig
The Cincinnati Enquirer

MASON - Paramount's Kings Island's new Australian-themed water park resort will feature 30 waterslides, including one that sends a raft of riders down a 269-foot-long tube before twisting through a large funnel.

Boomerang Bay, inspired by the Gold Coast, will also include surfable waves, a family water fortress and the 54-foot high Coolangatta Racer, where riders slide face-first down four competition slides.

The resort will also emphasize relaxation, with chair-side waiter service, shaded seating lagoons, and conveyer lifts that carry the water tubes to the top of the slides. Current plans do not include a hotel.

Park officials had earlier announced plans for the resort, but waited until today to release details to the public.

The new water park, expected to open in May 2004, replaces the 15-acre WaterWorks, which closed after this season.

"Even if you went to our old water park every year, you'll feel like you're in a whole new world," spokesman Jeffrey Siebert said. "It's as much about the rides as it is about that feel."

The multimillion-dollarresort is the main focus of the park's new attractions for 2004.

Boomerang Bay will feature eight new slides that were not part of the old water park.

Most of the construction will take place during fall and winter.

Cedar Point in Sandusky is looking into building a year-round, indoor water park.

Water parks are becoming increasingly popular nationwide in part because they draw large crowds, according to Bill Robinson, president of William H. Robinson Inc., a Hamilton marketing company specializing in the amusement and water park industries.

"They have a big draw," Robinson said. "Nothing brings in the bodies like a roller coaster does. ... But everybody doesn't ride roller coasters. Amusement parks have to have diversity to them."


E-mail esolvig@enquirer.com

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