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Water park near Summerlin selling tickets as construction under way

Splash Canyon

Courtesy Splash Canyon

A cartoon map depicting the Splash Canyon water park.

Updated Monday, Nov. 14, 2011 | 7:34 p.m.

Las Vegas plans for new swim park

KSNV coverage of the swim park developing in the Summerlin area, Nov. 14, 2011.

Splash Canyon Waterpark

Steve Mayer, Harvest Family Entertainment vice president and general manager of Splash Canyon, announces on Monday, Nov. 14, 2011, that a 25-acre park called Splash Canyon will open near Fort Apache and Warm Springs roads by Memorial Day 2012. Launch slideshow »

The developers of a water park on the west side of the Las Vegas Valley started selling advance season tickets today for Splash Canyon, 25 acres of slides and pools expected to draw 5,000 people a day.

The park is under construction and is targeted to open Memorial Day 2012.

“As third-generation natives, we really wanted to build something that was for the community, for families,” said Roger Bulloch, co-founder and managing principal of SPB Partners, the developer and owner. “As we started this process, we said, ‘What can we do to rebuild a sense of community in this valley?’”

Their answer: a family-friendly, alcohol-free water play zone featuring 20 slides, a wave pool, lazy river, water playground and toddler pool, among other amenities.

Daily admission to Splash Canyon Waterpark will range from $22 to $30, with season passes available for as little as $99 on special.

Since the old Wet ’n Wild water park on the Las Vegas Strip closed in 2004, some people have been clamoring for a new park.

In the last week, major developments have been announced on two parks.

Another developer is now proposing a 22-acre park in Henderson, near Galleria Drive and Gibson Road. Financing for that project has not been secured, but the Henderson Planning Commission on Thursday granted a conditional use permit.

And if all goes well, SPB envisions opening other water parks across the valley, Bulloch said. It has already looked at potential sites in Henderson and North Las Vegas, he said.

The $18-million Splash Canyon at Fort Apache and Warm Springs roads is fully financed and will employ about 500 seasonal workers.

In addition to the plethora of thrill options — seven-story speed slides or the head-first mat racer — the park will feature private cabanas, a large picnic area, more than 1,000 lounge chairs and misters to keep customers cool.

The project is a partnership with The Howard Hughes Corp., the developers of Summerlin who own the land originally designated for a community park. SPB Partners signed a long-term lease with Hughes, which, in turn, will build an adjacent community park and indoor aquatics center as part of the project master plan.

Design and engineering, meanwhile, is under way for an eventual 15-acre expansion of the water park, bringing the total size to 40 acres, Bulloch said.

SPB Partners began working on the project more than two years ago, enlisting the help of other water park developers, conducting feasibility studies and making site views.

Harvest Family Entertainment, a Dallas-based company that oversees other water parks, invested in the project and will manage Splash Canyon.

Developers see the attraction as a “sanctuary for moms with young kids,” while providing a venue for community groups all year, Bulloch said.

“We want this to be a locals water park,” he said. “We want the entire valley to come here. That’s why we put it here. We’re 20 minutes from everywhere in the valley.”

Despite the recession, attendance has increased at other water parks operated by Harvest Family Entertainment, said Steve Mayer, vice president of Harvest Family Entertainment and general manager of Splash Canyon.

“In the end, people still want to have good fun with (their) family,” Mayer said. “Also, it’s a way to stay close to home.”

Mayer said he expects Splash Canyon to attract about 5,000 visitors a day, resulting in upwards of 400,000 customers each season. Splash Canyon will be open daily from Memorial Day to Labor Day weekend.

Season tickets went on sale today with a special $99 rate for a limited time. Regular season passes will cost $139 per person, with daily admission of $29.99 for those over 4 feet tall. Admission for children under 4 feet tall, seniors (55+) and military members will be $21.99.

Tickets can be purchased through the Splash Canyon Waterpark website.

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