Archived

This topic is now archived and is closed to further replies.

Neo

Water park resort to be built

78 posts in this topic

In the Charlotte Observer this morning was an announcement of a new water park resort that will start construction later this year but the location is still being decided. The two options the company is exploring is Fort Mill and between LMS and Concord Mills. I'm new to the idea of water park resorts and knew nothing about their existance before today's announcement and I'm not sure how I stand on it. You apparently can only go to the water park if you are staying at the resort which would in essence lock out Charlotte area residents from this amenity.

I'm not sure what the draw would be for putting this in Fort Mill considering it would not draw much from local area residents and instead of others traveling here and choosing to stay at the resort. There seem to be quite a few of this type of resort around the country so it wouldn't exactly be a one of a kind attraction that pulls people from all over. The only way I could see this really succeeding is to put it near LMS and attract visitors to the races and other attractions around that immediate area.

Has anyone here ever stayed at a water park resort? Does anyone know how successful these things are in cities of comparable size to ours?

Link to article

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites


Hmmm...well, Fort Mill is already serviced by Carowinds in terms of having a water park. Is there a water park in the Concord area? Fort Mill is less congested but won't have the tourist element of Concord.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Hmmm...well, Fort Mill is already serviced by Carowinds in terms of having a water park. Is there a water park in the Concord area? Fort Mill is less congested but won't have the tourist element of Concord.

The only water park I'm aware of in the area since Heritage closed is Carowinds. Am I missing something about their potential placement in Fort Mill?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

This does look like a fun place, especially the Howlin Tornado ride. As a local resident it does suck that you have to stay at the hotel to enjoy the waterpark though :(

Something I am wondering is how Concord's "water wars" will affect this resort. Does Concord have the water capacity for this place...and what happens in a drought?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
This does look like a fun place, especially the Howlin Tornado ride. As a local resident it does suck that you have to stay at the hotel to enjoy the waterpark though :(

Something I am wondering is how Concord's "water wars" will affect this resort. Does Concord have the water capacity for this place...and what happens in a drought?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Something I am wondering is how Concord's "water wars" will affect this resort. Does Concord have the water capacity for this place...and what happens in a drought?

That is a great question and one I'm sure they have gone over before selecting this to be one of the potential sites for the resort. I guess in the greater scheme of things it doesn't really take away much from the supply of water to the county, what is going to hurt the county is future developments that are inevitably coming. What happens in a drought I have no idea because it has and will happen. This could be where Fort Mill has an edge, but I would think with the water park expansion recently at Carowinds that it would be competing where there would be no competition on the north side of town.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Just to add to what Larryfla has already said, our company has an office that's close to "the Dells" and we've had our people stay at the Great Wolf Lodge there since its one of the nicest full service hotels in that area. They don't use the water park (at least that's what they say), but they do request to stay there whenever they're visiting the Dells.

Here's a link to the site for the closest Great Wolf lodge in Williamsburg:

http://www.greatwolflodge.com/Locations/Wi...rg/explore.aspx

They have services to appeal to the entire family (kid-themed stuff, spa services for the parents, multiple on-site restaurants).

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Well it could be that since its indoors, it could open in the winter. They would just make the water warm making it a year round attraction unlike the waterpark at Carowinds and Wet'n Wild in Greensboro. But this would be the second resort hotel in the Charlotte area.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites


I'm just not sure about an indoor water park.

In the South.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I think it would have a greater draw of crowds by being placed in the area of Concord. But this seems like it's a bad choice no matter what. Wet 'n Wild in Greensboro and Carowinds' water park in Charlotte, then another park in either Concord or Fort Mill? Isn't that "flooding" the market a little too much?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
I think it would have a greater draw of crowds by being placed in the area of Concord. But this seems like it's a bad choice no matter what. Wet 'n Wild in Greensboro and Carowinds' water park in Charlotte, then another park in either Concord or Fort Mill? Isn't that "flooding" the market a little too much?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

^I don't really think it is overkill. Great Wolfs (Wolves?) tend to be destinations unto themselves. I'm not saying that the other two parks aren't, just that they'll appeal to different markets. Since Great Wolf's amenities are available only to hotel guests, it's doubtful that it'll affect the day-tripper family's visit to Carowinds. Not many parents are likely to offer their kids the choice of a day at Carowinds vs. a $300/nt stay at Great Wolf. Not that I care either way, but it does speak volumes about our consumer-driven society that Concord Mills is the largest tourist attraction in the state. Surely there's a market for families all over NC/SC that will be attracted to Great Wolf if they're driving too far to Concord to want to do a same-day turnaround. I mean, you've got the Mills for the adults, and a hugely attractive water park for the kids that they can wear themselves out at and then walk to their room in their bathing suits. Not sure that same dynamic will hold up if they put it in Ft Mill, but my money's on Concord.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Haha, flooding, I like that. I don't think that having three water parks in two metros will hurt anything. This particular one I can't see taking anything at all away from Carowinds or Wet n Wild. I think it will be built in Concord either along the Weddington Road Extension or somewhere in the vicinity of the convention center/embassy suites, and golf course. That road still has a lot to build on and that part seems to be becoming more and more destination oriented.

As was said before, the only thing I think of with Fort Mill is Carowinds and, honestly, with the water park already being there, that would take away any appeal this indoor park might have except during the winter. Hey kids, you want to go to a huge water park outdoors and we can stay at a $130/night hotel and pay $90 to get in (one adult, two kids) OR pay $300/night to stay at the hotel that has a built in indoor water park. I see the appeal being the full service hotel in this situation, not the water park. Plus, Carowinds isn't entirely the kind of theme park you go to two days in a row unless you just happened to be spending a week in town and need something to do with the kids.

The one thing I think gives Concord the edge is that the hotel will be full at least three weekends and most of SpeedWeek each year. That's a given just because of the speedway. Then, you have to consider that Concord Mills (including child and adult oriented NASCAR Speedpark, Dave & Busters, etc,) Rocky River Golf Club, and the Convention Center are all basically side by side to this location. I can't see Rock Hill having guaranteed sell-outs at any point during the year around Carowinds. I have nothing against RH but there is nothing there that would cause this annual pattern and that level tourists likely to spend the night.

Thus, in light of that, I feel that Concord will win this vote unless Rock Hill and/or SC offer some kind of major incentive package that needy Concord isn't willing to beat (which I doubt given Concord's incentive trend this past decade.) With just 300 rooms, this would not really add many cars on Speedway Blvd, which is why I'd be happy to see it near Concord Mills; it would occupy plenty of land that would otherwise be occupied later by something that generates a lot of traffic like a shopping strip or big box. While I'm not sure Charlotte can support one of these facilities, Concord is the most likely place it would succeed.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites


Meh, as a fan of waterparks I'd rather it be a big just dedicated waterpark as it takes about 2 hours to get to greensburro to get to wet-n-wild, and Carowind's waterpark is sort of a half-assed attempt.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Ok, so I Great Wolf is projecting this resort would use 28,000 gallons of water per day so that answers our water usage question. Also, Great Wolf says these resorts typically draw 500,000 people per year which could be a great economic benefit for the area.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

How can it draw 500,000 if it costs $300 a night to hang out there? I don't see myself ever going there unless you can buy a day pass for the family.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

This area would be fine supporting more amusements such as an indoor water park. Concord would seem to be a good place to put it. More incentive to get mass transit out there one day.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Ok, so I Great Wolf is projecting this resort would use 28,000 gallons of water per day so that answers our water usage question. Also, Great Wolf says these resorts typically draw 500,000 people per year which could be a great economic benefit for the area.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
The Observer says that the Cabarrus County Economic Development Comittee is proposing a five-year deal for Great Wolf, with a rebate of 85 percent of their county property taxes where the would collect an estimated $3.15 million in taxes over that period.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
The Observer says that the Cabarrus County Economic Development Comittee is proposing a five-year deal for Great Wolf, with a rebate of 85 percent of their county property taxes where the would collect an estimated $3.15 million in taxes over that period.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The Great Wolfe Lodge in Williamsburg is awesome! There's a waterpark close by there too but like someone said earlier, this place draws a crowd of it's own. The hotel caters to families. The rooms in Williamsburg are nicely decorated with log bunk beds for the kids in a seperate themed play area of the hotel room. The waterpark itself is amazing and there's nothing quite like it.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I've had a few experience with waterpark resorts having 3 kids, and talks of getting one in the Grand Rapids area:

1) The Great Wolf Lodges (one in the Dells we've stayed near and one in Traverse City) are HUGE attractions for families, even at $250+/night. The one in Traverse City Michigan is always booked solid on weekends months in advance, and it's mainly people from lower Michigan driving 2+ hours to get there.

2) Hotel operators like them, because they provide a much better revenue stream than a standard hotel. In pretty much every climate, the waterpark keeps the hotel's occupancy much higher than a stand-alone hotel. The big trend too is to add a waterpark to an existing hotel to boost occupancy.

3) Some are only open to people staying in the hotel, others are open with different pricing for waterpark only access.

4) They're building a lot of them alongside major tourist areas, like you might see a new mega-suburban development with a Cabela's or Bass Pro Shops, and one or two indoor waterpark resorts. But they are not always in tourist areas.

5) Some of the ones in the Dells are indoor/outdoor (there are over 50 or 60 indoor waterparks in Wisconsin Dells, which is a tourist area much like Gatlinburg TN).

6) Minneapolis and several Chicago suburbs are slated to get a few new ones this year and next.

A related article

It'd be nice if they built more of them in brownfield areas instead of plowing over trees and fields, but the amount of parking needed is prohibitive to urban settings.

Hope that helps. :)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.