Storm Lake is a modest lakeshore community with a population of 10,076 people located in northern Iowa. The dream for a new community pool began with a study of the existing facility, which was a 1968 Chester aluminum pool. The study sparked the development of a concept plan and a big dream.
Now, most big dreams are too big to come true. And
once details of construction costs were developed for Storm Lake,
its dream seemed out of reach as well. But then there was the
Storm Lake, the city’s namesake, was
experiencing an erosion problem causing shallow-water areas from
silt buildup on the lake bottom. A representative of the Iowa
Department of Natural Resources visited Storm Lake and toured the
water by boat to observe the erosion problem. Discussions about
funding and methods of resolving the problem resulted in an even
bigger dream for Storm Lake. Why not create a destination location
and put Storm Lake on the map?
And so Project AWAYSIS was born.
A partnership between the city and the Iowa
Department of Economic Development applied for a grant to fund the
creation of a plan. After several years of planning by state and
city officials from all arenas, community efforts from citizens
throughout the town, funding and development efforts from private
sector and public officials, the dream became a reality. A plan
illustrating their dream featured a 100-room lodge resort with an
open beachfront, golf course, playground, picnic facilities and two
waterparks (outdoor and indoor).
City officials aspired to create a first-class
waterpark facility that would have the look and feel of the most
popular waterparks around the United States, and reward the
community with its own aquatics center. King’s Pointe
Waterpark Resort is a far cry from a traditional municipal pool,
The waterparks’ designs consist of three separate bodies of
water and offer year-round water recreation for all age groups.
The outdoor waterpark is uniquely situated on the
shore of Storm Lake with a front-row view of all the lake activity
and the beautiful surrounding shoreline. The family-friendly pool
has an uncommon theme with rockscape dividing shallow areas from
the deep-water areas. The shallow areas feature interactive play
features such as tumble buckets and the deck-mounted spray jets
— a spraypark within the pool. That area is enhanced by a
water-spray gun and a dump play feature, which looks like a
basketball goal structure with an attached dumping bucket.
Opponents square off to see who can fill each other’s bucket
first — and the loser gets a quick shower.
The deeper-water areas include a six-lane, 25-yard
competition swim area for hosting the Storm Lake White Caps swim
meets and practices. It also is useful for programming needs such
as Red Cross swim lessons, water aerobics and lifeguard training.
Additional recreational features include a multicolored water walk
and water basketball goal.
The mammoth water-slide complex boasts the longest
enclosed raft water slide in the state of Iowa with a 420-foot
descent. Not only is it the longest, but this slide is equipped
with state-of-the-art technology that allows thrill seekers a
choice of themes for their rides. The rider is greeted at the slide
entry by a touch-screen panel of eight theme choices. Choose your
theme, enter the ride and immediately you’ll experience
flashing lights, loud sounds, water sprays and foggy paths, along
with holograms of fearful or pleasant images as you race to the
plunge pool. Choices of sharks, dinosaurs, clowns or butterflies
are sure to keep riders returning for more.
The themes are easily managed through Web-based
software that keeps track of which ones are most popular and how
many riders the slide had for the day. The waterpark operator can
change the water slide themes as easily as the click of a mouse and
add themes for special occasions or holidays such as the 4th of
July. The slide complex has a total of five large water slides. The
lazy river completes the outdoor pool area as it winds around the
base of the water-slide complex.
The indoor waterpark offers a trio of large water
slides, the most popular being the enclosed raft slide that winds
its way outside and back inside using the same theme-ride
technology as the outdoor slide complex. The indoor facility
features a rock-climbing wall, relaxation pool with spray jets, and
water basketball along with its own lazy river.
Unique operating systems include an ultraviolet
light disinfection system
for clean pool water and a heating/air conditioning system designed
incorporate outside air at an even mixture with the inside air to
eliminate poor air quality.
Aquatics facilities are a quality-of-life addition
to any community, with possible economic benefits depending on
their location. King’s Pointe Waterpark Resort serves as the
community’s aquatics center, but it’s also changed the
economic picture of the region. Between June 1, 2007, and Labor
Day, the outdoor waterpark experienced 50,000+ visitors, more
90 percent of whom are from out of town.
Besides being a tourist destination, the
resort has brought much attention
to local development. “There has been so much commercial and
development interest that Storm Lake has not seen the economic
slump and housing slowdown other communities have
experienced,” says Justin Yarosevich, assistant city
administrator of Storm Lake.
King’s Pointe Waterpark Resort took more
than seven years to complete, and it’s proof that commitment
and determination can make dreams come true.