Sunday, April 15, 2012

Winnipeg might get a WATER PARK!

Let's review this exciting development.

While some folks figure this is a GREAT idea, including the location, I'm not so sure.

Apparently the proposed facility will be "state of the art" (aka "world class") and will serve Winnipeg (pop. 684,000+) for many years to come. Once we have this stellar new building, families will flock to Winnipeg. Water park in the morning, and then walk over the the CMHR for an afternoon of fun!

Not so fast.

How many of you have any idea how "big" 50,000 square feet is? Yes... you... in the red.

"Not very"

Correct! Good for you. Those video clips on the news of the World Water Park in West Edmonton Mall (pop. 812,000+) show a "world class" waterpark that is more than four times the size of the one proposed. No matter! If we build it people will come from everywhere!

Really? Do Winnipeggers flock to Steinbach (pop. 13,500) to enjoy their water park which is half the size of the one proposed?

No. We do go to Grand Forks, to enjoy the water Park Leo built there , but really, who thinks we go there JUST because they have a pool with some splash pad fun? We go there to SHOP and get away from Winnipeg, not to stay here. While we're talking about the "Splashers of the South Seas" facilities, you may be interested in knowing that it's 40,000 square feet. Imagine, a "water park"  of 40,000 square feet serving a city with a population of  51,000+ people.

Winnipeg wants a $700,000 yearly allowance for "free admission". Ouch. Is this why Leo took his cash and built his water park somewhere else? Was this always part of the "deal"? We never were told who or what went wrong back on '09 when Canad Inns were awarded the proposal, and then it all went wrong.

In Grand Forks, admission is $16. That's the equivilant of  43,750 paid admissions, or if we used Steinbach's fee of $6.50, a whopping  107,692 freebies! Why even bother comparing World Water Parks admission ($22.95)? It's pretty clear we're NOT getting a "world class" facility. Does Winnipeg offer "free swimming" at Sherbrook, Sargent Park, or Centennial Pools?  Yes they do, which is great, but they are limited hours. Will the water park have two hours daily to accomodate the 43,750 freebies? that'd be 120 free kids a day for a few hours. I heard the facilites anticipated patron number, but Barry Burns stuttered through the clip and the numbers made no sense.  In looking through news paper reports, I don't see any occupant/patron load projections. Oye.

I've been to Canad Inns facility in GF, and it's noise level is unbearable with a few hundred plus screaming kids in there. World Waterpark can squeeze in 40,000 guests, so 10,000 people would be a comparable occupant load. We get that many people at Grand Beach on a hot day...(20,000 on a really hot day on the weekend). Can you imagine that many sardines in a can?

To give those of us who are stuck here on this desert island with no way to get off a little perspective, there is nothing "world class" about any proposed 50,000 square foot water park. If you REALLY want world class, I've been to one.

West Edmonton Mall, World Waterpark (aptly named)

Now scale that down to something less ostentatious, and you might take a look at the "Water Park of America", sized at 70,000 square feet. That extra 20,000 square feet is a HUGE difference. Consider that Pan Am pool's area (of the pool) is a little more than 12,000 square feet.

Suddenly, at 70,000 square feet, you have room for all kinds of things, like a wave pool, a swimming pool, now I'd think that 70,000- 100,000 square feet might get you to world class, but 50,000 when Grand Forks has 40,000 square feet? Any one in the crowd think the GF Canad Inns has a "world class" facility there?

You in the green.

"Yes, that is a world class facility"

"Where have you been in this world other than Winnipeg?"

"Other than Winnipeg? Grand Forks."

"That explains it."

This location is BAD, and the facility, WHATEVER it may look like (since we're not worthy of knowing) is BAD.

This proposed facility is akin to our ring road (pock marked with lights and no overpasses) and our freeway. Lame and sub par.

It will be no bigger than the former Grand Rios indoor Water Park in Brooklyn Park (North Minneapolis), that was an ok place to go for a weekend, but "world class" wouldn't have been a way I'd have described it.

Welcome to Winnipeg, the city that almost had a world class waterpark, but instead we have one twice the size of Steinbach's.

No, thanks. I don't want to look like I live somewhere trying to "one up" Steinbach. A water park should be "worth the trip".

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