Business

New ride is coming to Wild Waves Theme Park in 2011

It's official: A new water ride is coming to the Pacific Northwest's largest theme park.

Wild Waves Theme Park in Federal Way will return to local management under former owner Jeff Stock and his company NorPoint Entertainment.

CNL Lifestyle Properties, which owns the park, has announced plans to build a new water ride in 2011. It will be the theme park’s first new attraction since 2005, when the Zooma Falls water slide opened.

Todd Suchan, a former general manager for Wild Waves and most recently for Seattle’s Space Needle, will return as the park’s general manager.

“The fact he’s coming from the Space Needle, that’s a big coup for us,” Stock said.

Stock and crew are reviewing designs for the new ride and also plan to meet with homeowners near the 70-acre theme park, located off I-5 and Enchanted Parkway. More details will be announced.

The park employs about 1,000 people from May to October.

“It’s great for the kids to have a place locally where they can get a good job with good training,” Stock said. “A lot of times we’re their first job.”

The park, with more than 60 rides, opens for the season in May. Ticket specials will be announced. Visit www.wildwaves.com.

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.

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