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New Fort Lauderdale waterpark receives initial approval

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“Wet ‘n Wild Fort Lauderdale”

A water slide at Wet ‘n Wild Sydney
via Creative Commons

A Wet ‘n Wild waterpark could be headed to Fort Lauderdale.

The City Commission approved Premier Parks LLC as “the successful bidder in a request for proposals to lease and develop 64 acres” near Fort Lauderdale’s Executive Airport, with the area including Lockhart Stadium, per SFBJ.

A lease agreement requiring City Commission approval still needs to be drafted and negotiated with the company, which operates Wet'n'Wilds all over the world in addition to South Florida’s longstanding Rapids Waterpark in West Palm Beach.

The projected cost is $60 million and the economic impact would be $50 million, according to the bid package, which also outlines the creation of 75 to 100 full-time jobs while supporting up to 1,000 seasonal employees.

The sparingly used Lockhart Stadium would be renovated in an attempt to attract more events.

Plans for a $110 million Schlitterbahn water park in the same area were halted in March by a federal judge, which ruled the city’s contract with the developer was “invalid” after not seeking competitive bids. Premier Parks LLC had filed the suit in October 2015.

Meanwhile, Wet 'n Wild Orlando, which was owned by NBC Universal, closed this year. Some details of the planned Wet'n Wild Fort Lauderdale:

  • A tidal river/wave pool combination.
  • An adventure river with a fast-paced ride through waterfalls and geysers
  • The Bear Foot Lagoon with seven waterslides, 11 climbing pods, 103 play features and a giant tipping bucket with 1,000 gallons dumping water every 90 seconds
  • Wet ‘n’ Wild junior for guests seven and under to enjoy mini wave pools and slides
  • The Giant Mammoth River twin slides with 400-foot-long slides for six-person rafts plus 600-foot-long slides
  • A Super Loop with two 70-foot-tall slides where the floor drops out from under riders.
  • The Octopus Racer with multiple slides featuring of head-first mat racing
  • Neptune’s Revenge with four themed slides, such as flying saucers and tornadoes