• Image

    Credit: KALAHARI RESORTS

    Like Kalahari Resorts (pictured) developers of a new waterpark in Washington will tap into authentic local art and culture to enhance theming

When ground breaks for a new Caribbean-themed waterpark project this spring, project director Jim Hale will already have a good sense of how he’s going to bring a tropical escape to the Pacific Northwest.

Bahama Bay is to be set on 28 acres in Pasco, Wash., but it will be designed to authentically encompass the feel of the islands.

The goal is to create something similar to the scale of what the Walt Disney Co. does, says Hale, president of Dynamic Waters, based in Pasco.

Sure, it takes a Disney-sized budget to theme on that magnitude, but Hale and his team plan to give their guests a real sense of place, keying into as much of the genuine Caribbean culture and environment as possible.

For example, the live vegetation will be exactly what’s found locally on the islands. And everything from the architectural design of the building to the style of signage will reflect the true island atmosphere.

Appealing to other senses, music and food also will reflect what’s common in Caribbean nations.

To bring guests this level of authenticity, Hale has spent a significant amount of time researching the culture of the islands. He also spent several months in the Caribbean studying as a college student.

“We wanted to make it an experience. A real escape from it all,” he says.