The company with a majority stake in the new Wet 'n' Wild water park being built in Las Vegas has Australian roots and corporate interests in water parks, theme parks and well-recognized movie titles such as "Get Smart" and "Gran Torino."
Village Roadshow Limited, which has taken a 51 percent stake in the $50 million water park, is Australian. According to press statements, the company was founded in 1954 by the late Roc Kirby in Melbourne, Australia. Its first project was a drive-in movie theater.
The company has been listed on the Australian Securities Exchange since 1988. For 2011, it recorded net consolidated income of $28 million on sales and revenues of $889 million, according to MarketWatch.
The company's flagship water park, Wet 'n' Wild Water World on Australia's Gold Coast, entertains more than 1 million visitors each year. It is also currently developing the $115 million Wet 'n' Wild super park in Sydney that will open in December 2013.
In the United States, Village Roadshow Theme Parks operates two Wet 'n' Wild water parks in Kapolei, Hawaii, and Phoenix.
Village Roadshow Theme Parks , which employs more than 1,300 people, is also Australia's biggest theme-park player and operates Warner Bros. Movie World, Sea World and Australian Outback Spectacular.
The company also has a presence in film. Village Roadshow Pictures coproduces and cofinances major motion pictures, and holds rights to 68 Hollywood films, including such titles as "The Matrix," "Charlie and the Chocolate Factory," "Happy Feet" and "Sherlock Holmes." The company statement noted that it has a long-standing working relationship with Warner Bros.
Last Wednesday, the company announced a deal to expand its theme park business into China through a deal with Guangzhou R&F Properties to build a $550 million version of a Sea World theme park on Hainan Island.
While Village Roadshow holds the majority stake in the Las Vegas water park, its local investors include a roster of widely known locals, Andre Agassi and Steffi Graf; Dr. Steven and Karen Thomas of the Thomas and Mack family; Roger and Scott Bulloch of SPB Capital Partners; and Steve Miller.
Agassi called an investment in the park a "no-brainer."
"Having grown up in the city and blessed with raising two children and seen it from all angles, we deserve to have a place for families to go, keep cool and have fun," Agassi said.
He also said Village Roadshow Limited is interested in doing more projects in Las Vegas and talking about further investment in the city.
MORE THAN 25 SLIDES, ATTRACTIONS
The 41-acre project at 7055 S. Fort Apache Road near the Las Vegas Beltway and Sunset Road, will feature more than 25 slides and attractions when it opens about Memorial Day.
It's expected to bring several hundred jobs to the local economy.
Takuya Ohki, general manager of Wet 'n' Wild Las Vegas, said in a statement that construction jobs are being filled through general contractor Ledcor.
Ohki said Wet 'n' Wild Las Vegas will begin hiring for more than 300 seasonal jobs during the early part of next year. Positions will be posted and applications will be available on the park's website, www.wetnwildlasvegas.com.
Agassi said the park would be one of Las Vegas' "largest employers of teenagers."
Full-time positions for the water park in food and beverage management, finance, and marketing and sales will be filled soon. Resumes can be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Can you expect to see the former tennis great going for a swim at Wet 'n' Wild?
"We will definitely take advantage of it," he said.
Contact Assistant Business Editor Daniel Behringer at email@example.com or 702-383-0296. Follow him on Twitter at @DanBehringer221.