A Water Park in Superior…Really?
One of the key pieces of the Better City Superior (BCS) proposed development for downtown Superior is the construction of a 150 room hotel/convention center attached to a large indoor water park. These two components of the plan are the anchors from which other development could branch out.
The rationale is that the water park customers would bring guests to the hotel, and the hotel/convention center would bring a variety of people to Superior. The convention center would also provide local residents a venue where they can hold weddings, reunions, and business conferences.
Some have questioned the logic of building a water park in downtown Superior, asserting that the Edgewater Hotel & Waterpark in Duluth already fills that need. Bruce Thompson of BCS doesn’t see that as an issue. In fact, he asserts that the plan is to build a bigger, better water park along the lines of those seen in Wisconsin Dells.
Where Do You Find Water Park Expertise?
One of the companies that BCS has had conversations with is ProSlide Technology, Inc. of Ottawa, Canada. According to their website, ProSlide has designed dozens of parks across America, including Great Wolf Lodge’s, Kalahari Resorts, and others in locations such as Wisconsin Dell’s, Boyne Falls, MI, Erie, PA, Sandusky, OH, Fitchburg, MA, Centralia, WA, and Niagara Cananda.
A global leader in water slide manufacturing and water park design, rides designed by ProSlide power some of the best, successful and recognized parks in the world. They have been building indoor waterparks for decades, with the goal of creating high-thrill, big-ride venues.
Examples of Some ProSlide Parks
Local Theme Planned
ProSlide specializes in customizing each ride in a park to fit its unique spaces, and offers a huge variety of rides and options that work within the space constraints of a development. Their goal is to make the parks they design stand out from the crowd, and generate a lot of marketing buzz.
“ProSlide helped us create one of the most unique indoor facilities in Europe.”
According to Thompson, ProSlide is able to customize the park to fit a theme consistent with Superior’s local economy and lifestyle. Thompson has pointed out the impact of shipping, logging, hunting and fishing on our area, and how those could well play into the theme as well.
For example, Thompson believes that the Edward L. Ryerson ore boat currently docked in Superior might be a great starting point in designing a water park for Superior. The Ryerson, which can be seen head-on as one drives north on Tower Avenue, has a graceful design with a flared bow and a streamlined pilot house. A park following this theme would make a lot of sense for Superior, and would certainly make a big impression on visitors.
One can imagine how rides could be designed with these themes in mind, creating a water park that has a northern feel to it, perhaps much like a weekend at the family cabin on a nearby lake…but accessible year ‘round.
A Variety of Rides & Experiences
ProSlide customized parks combine a mix of rides that matches the unique footprint, of each development. Their designs feature rafting and tubing rides, body slides, and play areas on multiple levels. ProSlide’s goal is for everyone to find their favorite ride!
Each ProSlide water park features what they call an “iconic water ride.” If you’ve been to Wisconsin Dells, these are those gigantic tube rides that begin atop a high tower and often feature large multi-person rafts that allow one to take a thrill ride with your friends and family. These rides have descriptive names like the Tornado, the Mammoth, and the CanonBOWL.
The park could also offer a lazy river, a splash pad, a spa, and a leisure pool for those of fainter heart and younger children. A little something for everyone as they say.
With the rides and attractions considered for the Superior water park, the plan could have an instant capacity of over 500 people who could enjoy as many as 4000 rides/experiences per hour. To put that into understandable terms, imagine a dozen school buses pulling up to the door at one time, and dropping off full loads of kids all at once!
View some of the videos included in this article to get an idea of what I’m talking about.
A Bold & Daring Move for Superior
Of course there are naysayers who claim this will never work in downtown Superior. They will base their hastily drawn conclusion on the conventional wisdom that Superior is a dying town that doesn’t have enough population to support such a large development. After all, look at that big empty mall on 28th street…
This is clearly a matter of thinking big or going home. “Build it and they will come,” the cliché from the movie Field of Dreams, may have special import in this case. Superior has blocks of vacant and underdeveloped space in its downtown. One might say that our downtown is a blank canvas, waiting for the right artist.
Some residents have the right idea already. Twin Ports Stage has signed a lease for a building at 11th and Tower with hopes of building a multi-faceted theater. A developer has purchased the old Lurye Furniture Building at 12th and Tower, with plans to historically renovate the entire building, including providing 15 market rate housing units on the upper floors, and retail space on the mainfloor and lower lever.
New businesses such as 7 West Taphouse on 13th and Tower, and the Blue Arrow Boutique on 14th and Tower have opened downtown in the past couple of years. The Superior Evening Telegram occupies a store front on Tower now too.
Steps like this further encourages new development and will inspire other business people to consider investing in downtown Superior. This along with adding housing downtown will serve to increase traffic along Tower, whether it be by car, bike, or foot.
The Better City Superior initiative will serve as a magnet that will attract more people to our downtown, and will not only benefit those businesses already there, but result in other new businesses opening. More people and activity in our downtown will make it more welcoming, busy, and friendly.
Additonal Video Examples of Indoor Water Parks