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October 16, 2017

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Cowabunga Bay to open with a splash July 4 in Henderson


Steve Marcus

A crane operator lowers the final piece of the “Breaker 1-9” water slide at the Cowabunga Bay water park in Henderson Thursday, June 5, 2014. Developers announced that the water park will open July 4. The park includes a 32,000-square-foot wave pool, water slides and a 1,200-foot-long lazy river.

Updated Thursday, June 5, 2014 | 1:32 p.m.

Cowabunga Bay to Open July 4

Workers prepare to install the final piece of the Launch slideshow »

After missing its planned Memorial Day opening, Cowabunga Bay Water Park is set to open July 4.

The 23-acre Henderson attraction is still under construction but is coming together. Developers are finishing building the slides and need to lay concrete sidewalks, finish the landscaping and set up shade structures and cabanas.

The 1,200-foot lazy river is almost done, and work crews are assembling the children’s play area.

“We’re in the home stretch,” General Manager Shane Huish said today.

The $25 million, 1960s beach-themed park at Gibson Road and Galleria Drive will have about 25 water slides and features, including a giant wave pool and VIP areas with a private pool.

General admission for an all-day pass is $36, and season passes generally start at $90. Prices vary for kids, military and seniors.

Management has hired some 420 employees, including roughly 170 lifeguards and 60 ride attendants, Huish said.

Under a previous ownership group, the park was supposed to open by Memorial Day weekend last year, but the developers stopped construction in April 2013 and delayed the opening to this spring.

At the time, Huish said work crews ran into caliche — a concrete-like mix of hardened calcium carbonate, gravel, sand, clay and silt — 15 feet below the ground, and he also cited a delay in importing a custom-made water slide from Europe.

In an interview today, Huish did not dispute that the owners also had a funding shortfall. He would not give details but said some local investors “weren’t able to come up with their portion of the financing, so we had to go out and seek new investors.”

Huish sold the site last August at a steep discount to a Utah investor. The park’s current ownership, which still includes the Huish Entertainment Group, resumed construction in January and wanted to open by Memorial Day. But Huish said in April that developers were running a few weeks late and would miss that goal.

The July 4 opening would come about 14 months after the Wet ‘n’ Wild water park opened in southwest Las Vegas.

“It’s been worth the wait,” Henderson Mayor Andy Hafen said today. “I know there’s been some hiccups along the way, but we’re excited.”

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