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Wet N Wild Or High N Dry

By Chuckmonster on Wednesday, 28th May 2008 3:27am
  » filed under Las Vegas  comments: 3


After a couple of years in varying states of planning including the floating of two different concepts for the former Wet N Wild theme park, it's just about crunch time for the developer to pony up a $475M option on the property, or lose $70M of payments to the current owner.

Currently, the site of the kiboshed Crown Las Vegas property is a staging ground for the continued construction of the Fontainebleau Resort & Casino as it enters its final phases. Directly to the north of the WnW site, the Sahara is about to begin demolition of its parking garage and construction of a brand new hotel tower right on the property line.

But the question remains... what's going to happen to the Wet N Wild Site.

According to a report on GlobeSt.com, developer Christopher Milam has 30 days to pay up, or lose not only his options on the property, but all of the payments he and his equity partners have made. Not good.

If Milam defaults on his payments, the property will go back on the market, presumably at a much higher price point than earlier (due to its proximity to Fontainebleau as well as other projects in the area that are on the drawing board.)

Assuming Milam screws the pooch - he's already been late on many payments - who's going to snap up one of the few remaining large parcels of open land on the Strip?

The plot thickens.



Comments & Discussion:

I'd wager that Turnberry ends up with the parcel for either yet another Turnberry condo tower or perhaps used for an expansion of Fontainebleu.

SBE Entertainment (owners of the Sahara) could possibly be in play for the parcel as well if it goes on the market. Use part of it to expand the Sahara, maybe build a new parking facility and build a new tower and convention space where the current parking structure is located. I could see them building a Las Vegas outpost of their SLS Hotel at Beverly Hills (The former Le Meridien) or Ritz Plaza (Why not another LV outpost of a Miami Beach hotel?) on the site.

I remember going to the wet and wild in 1984. It was cool water sliding on the strip. Maybe they should do that again.

Wet 'N Wild was supposed to build a new park in Henderson, but nothing ever came of it. The last few years it was open, they averaged 500,000 visitors a year, which for a water park is damn good numbers. It beat the attendance at water parks in larger cities.

I'm guessing the land values coupled with the water issues killed any chance of Wet 'N Wild building a new park in Las Vegas. Putting it in Henderson probably would have cut their attendance numbers as folks staying on the Strip would probably have been less likely to schlep over to Henderson.

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