Indoor waterpark in Columbus?

Friday, November 12, 2004 5:23 PM
I just heard a rumor that someone wants to convert a Holiday Inn on Columbus' east side (near Eastland Mall) into an indoor waterpark.

If it's true, it's a bad idea... UNLESS they're going to let non-guests enter the waterpark. Even so, I can think of many better places in town to build one.

Friday, November 12, 2004 8:10 PM

Who would want to visit Columbus in the winter?

Heck, who would want to visit Columbus at all? (just kidding)

Remember, the "original plans" for Easton supposedly included a indoor/outdoor coaster. Anytime there seems to be a bit of "amusement news" in Columbus, it usually is false. I honestly wish that wasn't the case.

-Sean(see what Great Wolf started?)

Saturday, November 13, 2004 11:44 AM
Agreed. Who would want to visit Columbus at all?
Saturday, November 13, 2004 12:01 PM
I went to columbus a few years ago on business. that's one crowded city. the pop is like 2 to 3 times cleveland... it might work. I mean, they've got families with whinny kids like sandusky and cleveland. it might work...
It wouldn't be anymore risky than opening a third or forth waterpark in sandusky. let's face it, besides cedar point, what else does sandusky have?
Saturday, November 13, 2004 3:25 PM
I have family in Columbus and have been there three times... quite often enough! :)
Saturday, November 13, 2004 8:21 PM
The population of the city of Columbus is higher than that of Cleveland, but the metropolitain area of Cleveland is clearly a lot bigger and has a much higher population.
Sunday, November 14, 2004 2:52 PM
I think it could work IF:

1) they allow non-hotel guests into the park

Columbus is not a touristy city, so us locals would be essential to making this idea thrive. This would basically be an indoor Wyandot Lake without the dry rides or the Six Flags management.

2) they picked a different location

That part of town is full of empty retail storefronts and long-abandoned parking lots. I can't see anything like this working out over there - there's got to be other things nearby that would attract people to the area. The plus side to this part of town is that land is cheap!

3) they make sure the arcade has plenty of pinball machines :)

There was an interesting review today in the Columbus Dispatch about Castaway Bay (Who would want to visit SANDUSKY in the winter???). While the review is positive, the author does seem to lament about the hordes of screaming kids and the lack of pinball and classic games in the arcade.

Sunday, November 14, 2004 3:25 PM
So basically it would be nothing like Wyandot Lake?
Sunday, November 14, 2004 5:56 PM
Wyandot Lake(how can i put this?) a total bore. Thier is nothing to do. The park has plenty of land to expand and could be a total cash hog if it was used to its potential. Columbus has a ton of people and all we do here is shop, buy cars and spend money. If Wyandot Lake would add a hurricane mountain type slide tower and a family raft slide and a new longer lazy river and some new small flat rides, then it could be a huge attraction. It would bring so many people.

As far as the indoor water park, I don't think the location is a good idea. If any place to put an indoor water park I would choose either Easton or Polaris. They draw the biggest crowds in columbus and Easton usually gets the most people. But the only thing to do in these places is shop and see movies.

If I was the manager of WL I would add new slides, new rides, some new shops, and arcades. This is by far the most negelected park in the SF chain, but has the most potential for just adding extra money to the chain without adding a lot of money to the park. A total of $10 million at the most.

Sunday, November 14, 2004 6:28 PM
Well said Alizabeth, I'd have to agree with you. The Sea Dragon (although fun!) just doesn't cut it.
Sunday, November 14, 2004 7:05 PM
Some interesting points about Wyandot... I started a thread a while ago about the zoo's hopes to expand the waterpark area:


Sunday, November 14, 2004 9:57 PM

Wyandot Lake really is not more than when it used to be the Columbus Zoo amusement park. I don't go to the park very often as, like you said, there really isn't much to do.

Without sounding greedy, Columbus really is in need of a large amusement park. At one point, Busch did consider putting in a Busch Gardens in the late 70's, but it never happened, as the story goes.

As Patrick can also verify, Easton was NUTS on Saturday night. I could also see some sort of amusement center being put in there in the future, and I am not talking about Vertical Reality at Game Works, as fun as that is to play.


Sunday, November 14, 2004 11:39 PM

Sean Flaharty said:

Wyandot Lake really is not more than when it used to be the Columbus Zoo amusement park...

...except for the all of the water slides, the wave pool, Canoochee Creek, Christopher's Island, and of course, the Hi-Striker Deluxe.

While it is tiny and doesn't offer a lot, it is a cheap local alternative for the families, and certainly offers a lot more than the old Zoo Amusement Park days. It's got a cute little roller coaster too! :)

It will be interesting to see how the whole zoo expansion plays out. It will also be interesting if they will relocate some of the picnic grove or just lose a huge chunk of it altogether when the relocation of Powell Road happens. It would be nice for us to have a large park, but with Cedar Point and King's Island within 2 hours drive time, I'm not sure the market would support it.

As for the indoor park... a lot of land just north of Polaris (along Fashion Mall Drive) is suddenly going to have a lot of traffic when the new interchange is built at I-71. If the land is not cost-prohibitive, I think that could be a very viable location.

Excuse me while I call up a few of my investor friends... ;)

Friday, November 19, 2004 12:58 AM
I can think of elevendy twelve cities that could better benefit from a large amusement park than Columbus. It would take a LOT of money to keep people from driving to Sandusky or Cinci. Perhaps there are "tons of people in Columbus. . . spending money", but they are doing it 2 hours north or south when they are going to amusement parks.
Friday, November 19, 2004 10:56 AM

Yes, I forgot to mention the slides, however, if I remember correctly, the actual size of the park has not really expanded since the days of it being the zoo park.

There was a strong rumor years ago that Wyandot was going to get Geagua Lake's old Corkscrew coaster. So much for that idea. I think it would have done well.


I do agree that there are other locations that would benefit from a amusment park. If a large park was built in Columbus, it wouldn't stop me from going to CP and PKI.

One of the biggest complaints I hear from people in this area when I ask if they have ever gone to PKI or CP is, "It's two hours away. Are you kidding?" or "Why go to those parks when we have the Fair?"

I never hear anyone mention Wyandot Lake at all. Wyandot is very popular in the summer because of the water park. That is the main draw. There is no doubt in my mind that if they were to expand and add a few more non-water rides, the place would be more popular with locals.


Friday, November 19, 2004 11:26 AM
Little known fact:

The largest indoor waterpark in Ohio prior to the Great Bear Lodge being built was actually one near Columbus.

The City of Westerville (near Polaris) has a large community center which, among other things, features an indoor pool and "waterpark" with a lazy river and a couple of waterslides.

Friday, November 19, 2004 11:49 AM
I just confirmed today that the Holiday Inn East (south of I-70 near Hamilton Road) has submitted plans to the city to build an indoor waterpark at that location.

I actually think that's not too bad of a location. Look at Eastland Mall: It's thriving and even expanding with new anchor stores. Meanwhile Northland Mall's been gone for three years and Westland Mall is slowly dying. It just shows that part of town has a lot of people who are willing to get out and spend money.

Of course I'd prefer it near Easton because I live up there :), but being realistic... I'll probably never go anyway. I've lived in Columbus for 10 years and I've never even gone to Wyandot Lake!

EDIT: Wahoo, Westerville's community center is indeed awesome. Another suburb that has an incredible rec center is Groveport (also on Hamilton Road). They have a lazy river and at least two big waterslides (although they're outside).
*** Edited 11/19/2004 4:51:04 PM UTC by Den***

Friday, November 19, 2004 5:34 PM
I lived in Columbus for a couple of years and also never visited Wyandot Lake. They really don't have a single thing that attracts me enough to pay the money to enter.

I'm not enough of a credit whore to go solely for Sea Dragon. And the rest of the flats and the waterpark are nothing special.

That said, it could be so much more. While I did drive the several hours to visit CP, PKI, IB, KW and whatever you want to call the park outside Cleveland, I also spent many more weekends wishing there was a cheap alternative closer to home.

Lesourdesville Lake was definately cheaper, but also a bit of a drive. Now if you could build WL into a LL+ kind of park with a better waterpark, it would definately do well in Columbus.

I'm not saying that Columbus needs a huge park, but something a little bigger and a lot better would suffice. Let's say a 4-5 coaster park. You already have the Sea Dragon. Add a kiddie coaster, a mouse, a moderately sized woodie like Screachin' Eagle or Cornball Express and an old Arrow Corkscrew or a Boomerang. That would be a nice little collection to keep the locals busy. Add an S&S double shot and a few more modern flats and you have a quality park that's not too expensive to build or to visit.

I'll let the waterpark junkies decide what would be best for that part of the park.

Why couldn't a park like that succeed in Columbus? I don't see why it couldn't.

Saturday, November 20, 2004 1:20 AM
I live in Westerville! Yes our rec center is nice!
Saturday, November 27, 2004 11:54 AM
For you Columbus residents...

Check out the business section in the Columbus Dispatch today. The top story is about the new water park and even shows a rendering of it.

Den, you were right on the money!=:^)



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