The Wet ’n’ Wild water park returns nearly a decade after the original one on the Strip was left high and dry by an unrealized resort dream. The sprawling $50 million sequel, to open May 25 at 7055 S. Fort Apache Road, was spearheaded by an investment team that includes some legendary Las Vegas families and inspired by a sustained outcry from locals. For example, a Facebook page titled “Bring Back Wet ’n’ Wild” drew more than 58,000 supporters. As the site now declares, “The wait is over!” So, without further adieu, here are the details on our new family-friendly, off-Strip summer escape:
The thrills: The 25 attractions include the Rattler, a chute that rattles as your four-person craft descends 360 feet amid twists and turns; the Constrictor, a snake-like slide that hits speeds of up to 18 mph and whose Phoenix version was named the fourth-best slide in the world by the Travel Channel; and several calmer activities, such as the Colorado Cooler, a 1,000-foot-long winding lazy river that surrounds the Splash Island playground.
The amenities: Seven concession stands (including beer and wine—and, no, you can’t bring your own coolers), 32 cabanas for rent, 1,070 slide tubes and mats available for use, and 500 free life jackets.
The cost: Season passes start at $75 (after May 31, they go up to $85) and single-day tickets are $40 for adults and $30 for kids less than 42 inches tall. Parking is $5. Visit WetNWildLasVegas.com or call 979-1600 for more info.
The group effort: The majority owner is Village Roadshow Theme Parks, which operates Wet ’n’ Wild Water World on Australia’s Gold Coast. Shareholders of note include Andre Agassi and his wife, Steffi Graf; Dr. Steven and Karen Thomas of Thomas & Mack Center fame; and former Las Vegas councilman Steve Miller.
The competition: After construction delays, Cowabunga Bay, a proposed $23 million waterpark in Henderson (U.S. 95 and Galleria Drive), is now expected to open next spring. Like the one run by the same company near Salt Lake City, Cowabunga will feature “fun and whimsical surf and beach scenes of the 1950s and ’60s.”