Wild Rapids Waterslide Park general manager Charlie Everest says the Sylvan Lake attraction will close for good after this season.

Wild Rapids Waterslide Park general manager Charlie Everest says the Sylvan Lake attraction will close for good after this season.

Sylvan Lake water park slip slidin’ away

A much-loved main attraction on Lakeshore Drive for 34 years is closing for good.

A much-loved main attraction on Lakeshore Drive for 34 years is closing for good.

Wild Rapids Waterslide Park in Sylvan Lake will open for its final season today.

Charlie Everest, general manager, said the water park has been the cornerstone of the community for three-and-a-half decades.

But he said everything boils down to economics.

“The pre-season and upkeep is rising every year,” said Everest. “You can see in the future those costs are going to keep rising. The only way to absorb those costs are through the ticket price, which would keep on rising. You can look into a crystal ball and it is no longer viable to keep the water park running.”

The park is operated by Bear Development Corp. It will shut down on Sept. 5.

Everest wanted to dispel the rumor that the park is closing because of safety concerns. He said the water park passed all its inspections and safety is always a priority.

The Town of Sylvan Lake stepped in to buy the 3.5-acre parcel of land for $4.9 million and will apply for a transfer of an additional 1.5 acres from the province.

Sylvan Lake Mayor Sean McIntyre said public access to the water is a priority for residents and added public space along the lake is needed.

“Our plan is to return it to the people,” said McIntyre. “This opportunity, with this size of parcel of land in such a sensitive area, comes once in a lifetime. We know Lakeshore Drive means so much to our residents. It is important for us to secure the land and plan for that use of the land together. That way we ensure it serves our community’s best interest. We really see it as an exciting opportunity.”

McIntyre said the town will conduct planning exercises or public consultation with the community to develop a space for the community. He said he is happy to see the land developed in a way that reflects the public interest.

“There are so many opportunities,” he said. “So many people have great memories of the waterslide. It has reached its lifespan now. It’s time for new life on that parcel of land and we’re going to plan for it together.”

The property includes a private parking lot, an outdoor waterslide, and a number of buildings. The property also homes a number of businesses that lease space. Public consultation is expected to start sometime this year.


Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

The union representing workers at the Olymel meat processing plant in Red Deer confirmed the death of a worker on Wednesday. (Advocate file photo)
Union confirms death of worker from Olymel plant

An investigation by the UFCW 401 local has confirmed a fourth death… Continue reading

Sunterra Market is preparing to open at Bower Place. (Photo from Facebook)
Sunterra Market to open in Red Deer in March

Bower Place to welcome grocery shoppers

Weather brief (Photo by LANA MICHELIN/Advocate staff).
Red Deer experiences driest winter in 99 years

The city only had 9.6 millimeters of precipitation between December and February

The number of positive cases of COVID-19 has been climbing up since Jan. 20 at Red Deer's Olymel meat processing plant. (File photo by Advocate Staff)
Some Olymel workers return for training, plant reopening date not set

Union calls for delay of opening as workers fear for safety

Conservative leader Erin O’Toole holds a press conference on Parliament Hill in Ottawa, Tuesday, March 2, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick
Conservative MP David Sweet joins chorus calling for end to COVID-19 restrictions

OTTAWA — A Conservative MP has joined the chorus of voices calling… Continue reading

The Onslow Belmont Fire Brigade is seen in Lower Onslow, N.S., Wednesday, April 22, 2020. The RCMP says two officers who fired towards a civilian and another RCMP officer during last year’s mass shooting will remain on administrative duties until internal inquiries are completed .THE CANADIAN PRESS/Andrew Vaughan
N.S. RCMP who shot at firehall on administrative duty during internal reviews of case

HALIFAX — The RCMP says two officers who fired towards a civilian… Continue reading

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau rises during question period in the House of Commons on Parliament Hill in Ottawa, Wednesday, Feb. 24, 2021. Efforts to increase Canada's ability to produce vaccines is among over 100 projects receiving new federal money. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick
Over 100 new projects to get $518 million in federal research funding

OTTAWA — Efforts to boost Canada’s ability to produce vaccines are among… Continue reading

Hassan Diab, whose allegations of involvement in a 1980 synagogue bombing were dismissed by French judges for lack of evidence, listens during a press release on the release of an external review on his extradition by the Justice Department on Parliament Hill, in Ottawa, Friday, July 26, 2019. Prime Minister Justin Trudeau is signalling that Canada will stand up for Diab, an Ottawa sociology professor facing trial in France, following calls from human-rights advocates to intervene. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Justin Tang
Trudeau signals support for Hassan Diab as Ottawa professor appeals case in France

OTTAWA — Prime Minister Justin Trudeau is signalling Canada will stand up… Continue reading

NDP MP Niki Ashton stands during question period in the House of Commons on Parliament Hill in Ottawa, Thursday, April 26, 2018. Two prominent Jewish advocacy groups are voicing anti-Semitism concerns ahead of a public conversation between NDP MP Niki Ashton and former U.K. Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick
Jewish groups raise anti-Semitism concerns ahead of NDP MP’s chat with Corbyn

OTTAWA — Two prominent Jewish advocacy groups are voicing concerns about anti-Semitism… Continue reading

Major-General Dany Fortin, left, looks on as Minister of Public Services and Procurement Anita Anand provides an update on the COVID-19 pandemic, in Ottawa, Tuesday, Dec. 15, 2020. The Public Health Agency of Canada has set aside up to $5 billion to pay for COVID-19 vaccines. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick
Public Health Agency of Canada budgets $5B for COVID-19 vaccines, treatments

OTTAWA — The Public Health Agency of Canada expects to spend up… Continue reading

A vial of Oxford-AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine is pictured at a family doctor office, Thursday, Feb. 25, 2021 in Paris. THE CANADIAN PRESS/AP -Christophe Ena
Trudeau ‘optimistic’ that timeline for rollout of COVID vaccines can be accelerated

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau expressed optimism Wednesday that his government’s timeline for… Continue reading

UCP MLA for Lacombe-Ponoka Ron Orr. (File photo)
MLA Ron Orr: Benchmarks were achieved but goalposts were moved

Orr responds to concerns, calls on province to fully open Step 2

Most Read