Business

Former owner of Wild Waves Theme Park takes over as manager

Wild Waves Theme Park, 36201 Enchanted Parkway S. in Federal Way, will open for the 2011 season in May. - Courtesy photo
Wild Waves Theme Park, 36201 Enchanted Parkway S. in Federal Way, will open for the 2011 season in May.
— image credit: Courtesy photo

Wild Waves Theme Park in Federal Way will return to local management under a former owner.

CNL Lifestyle Properties Inc. announced Jan. 25 that it has reached an agreement with NorPoint Entertainment to manage the theme park, located off Interstate 5. Former pro soccer player Jeff Stock, a Browns Point resident, formed NorPoint Entertainment specifically for this venture and is assembling a management team. Stock owned and operated Wild Waves from 1992 to 2000 before selling the park to Six Flags for $19.2 million.

Stock was first approached by CNL Lifestyle Properties in June 2010 to manage the property. He praised CNL's willingness to invest money into the park, such as building the first new rides since 2005.

"I'm almost as excited as when I bought it," said Stock, who had purchased Wild Waves and Enchanted Village for about $8 million in 1992. "I'm doing it with CNL because they are a class company. I feel very comfortable having them as a partner."

Stock wants to reinvigorate the park as well as its presence in the community, noting that Wild Waves was ignored for too many years under previous management.

"The potential now is greater than when I took it over. It's got the infrastructure in place," said Stock, who plans to meet with homeowners in the surrounding area off Enchanted Parkway South. "I also want to be a good neighbor."

Background

Wild Waves Theme Park opened in 1977 as the Enchanted Village, and owner Byron Betts built the adjacent Wild Waves Waterpark in 1984. In 1992, Betts sold the parks to Jeff Stock, who merged them into one park. Stock then sold it in 2000 to Six Flags, which sold the park to CNL Lifestyle Properties in 2007. CNL is a real estate investment trust (REIT) based in Orlando, Fla., and had been leasing Wild Waves to PARC Management.

On Jan. 25, 2011, CNL announced new management for eight of the company's amusement parks, including Wild Waves Theme Park. “These new managers are committed to creating positive, memorable experiences for our guests and fostering strong relationships with the communities our parks serve,” said Byron Carlock, president and CEO of CNL Lifestyle Properties, in a news release.

The news release said Stock's "deep roots in the Pacific Northwest and knowledge of the market are expected to solidify the park’s position as a quality family entertainment destination in the community."

Stock is a retired professional soccer defender who played for the Seattle Sounders, Golden Bay Earthquakes, Vancouver Whitecaps, Tacoma Stars and Seattle Storm.

Check it out

• Wild Waves Theme Park, 36201 Enchanted Parkway S., will open for the 2011 season in May. The 70-acre park features dozens of rides, including four roller coasters and 14 water rides. The park also employs nearly 1,000 people between its summer and Halloween FrightFest seasons. To learn more, visit www.wildwaves.com.

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