Splashdown Comes in 2013

Backyard pools serve their summertime purpose, but nothing beats the communal experience of a well-conceived water park. From floating lazily on a raft to hurtling down steep slides to a splash landing, the magic of Wet ’n Wild—once the nation’s seventh most popular water park—shaped the summer memories of a Las Vegas generation. Then the water was drained in 2004 to make room for an apparently invisible megaresort, and rec centers have had to suffice ever since. By 2013, though, the good times could be back in two new parks.

The $20 million Splash Canyon (7055 S. Fort Apache Road, near Interstate 215 and Sunset Road), which hosted a groundbreaking ceremony in November and has already sold season passes for this year, is scheduled to open Memorial Day weekend 2013. Look for 20 waterslides, a 17,000-square-foot wave pool, a 1,000-foot-long lazy river, a large water play structure, a toddler pool and a group picnic area. The park (pictured in an early rendering) is being developed by Roger Bulloch, a third-generation Las Vegan and managing partner of SPB Partners.

A second park on a 22-acre site near Galleria Drive and Gibson Road in Henderson is the brainchild of Shawn Hassett, a Henderson resident. The park, set to open next spring, will feature a lazy river, a wave pool, thrill rides, family waterslides and a family play area.

“My partner Ben Howell and I were in real estate development prior to the crash, and we have been looking for projects that work in our current economy,” Hassett says. “In addition, we have young children and there are limited things for kids to do during the hot summer months.”

Not a bad little summer-break gift for the Hassett kids!