Developers hope to close on land for Henderson water park in July

With the weather starting to hit triple digits, developer Shawn Hassett and many other Las Vegas residents are looking for some type of relief.

Hassett and partner Ben Howell are in the process of developing a form of relief as they move forward with their plans to open a water park in Henderson.

“We are extremely excited,” Hassett said. “When the weather heats up, I am always like, ‘We need a water park.’ “

Hassett and Howell lived in Las Vegas when the former water park, Wet ‘n Wild, was operational on the Strip. It closed in 2004.

Hassett said there are limited things for families to do in the summer, which is why he and Howell dreamed up this idea.

The developers announced their plans to build a 22-acre water park near Gibson Road and Galleria Drive, near the proposed Union Village site, in 2011.

Hassett said they are not disclosing the name of the park yet. Last year, the Henderson Planning Commission approved a conditional use permit and a height variance.

Originally, the developers hoped to open the park this summer . However, it took them longer to find investors for the project, which delayed it.

Hassett said he hopes to close on the land in July and break ground in August.

“For the most part, everything is falling in line,” Hassett said. “We have investors stepping up to the table. We have lenders.”

The park is slated to have a grand opening Memorial Day weekend 2013.

“But we anticipate having a soft opening before that,” Hassett said.

Even the announcement of a rival water park hasn’t shaken Hassett’s faith in the development. Developer SPB Partners announced on Nov. 14, 2011, that it plans to open Splash Canyon in 2012. The 25-acre park is slated to be built in southwest Las Vegas .

The organizers of Splash Canyon, which was tentatively scheduled to open Memorial Day 2012, also have pushed back their construction and hope to open in 2013.

“In this market, it makes sense to have more than one water park,” Hassett said. “I’m very comfortable with them on the other side of town. I think this market can easily support both businesses.”

Because of the competition , Hassett was hesitant to identify some of the exact details of the water park.

“We want to keep the details fairly general,” Hassett said.

Hassett said the park is supposed to have a wave pool, lazy river and at least 20 slides.

Hassett said the developers have been working with the city of Henderson to ensure everything goes smoothly.

“We have met with the mayor several times,” Hassett said. “In our most recent meeting, he said everywhere he goes, people ask him when the water park is opening. The public is excited. The mayor is excited. It is nice to have the support of the city.”

Contact Henderson/Anthem View reporter Michael Lyle at or 387-5201.

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