Who is the nasty Ohio indoor water park?

Thursday, September 21, 2017 10:28 PM
Jeff's avatar

https://www.theverge.com/2017/9/21/16345862/ohio-water-park-cdc-pee...ation-mmwr

There really aren't that many, so it can't be a huge mystery. I've spent a ton of time in the Great Wolf Lodge locations in Sandusky and Mason, and both have always been excellent for me, so I doubt it's one of those. (Ethics disclaimer: My wife served on the GWL mom's panel years ago.) I've had one stay in Castaway Bay, and while the ride collection isn't as good, it too was very clean.


Jeff - Webmaster/Editor - CoasterBuzz.com - My Blog - Twitter - Video

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Thursday, September 21, 2017 10:35 PM

The paper acknowledges Columbus Public Health, so CoCo Key maybe?

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Thursday, September 21, 2017 10:41 PM
Tommytheduck's avatar

My one and only visit to any of these type of parks was Kalahari Sandusky over a 3-day weekend in Feb. It was so crowded, hot, stale, and smelly that it was difficult to enjoy.

Didn't get sick though.

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Friday, September 22, 2017 6:26 AM

Maui Sands?

Has their episode of Hotel Impossible aired yet?

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Friday, September 22, 2017 9:43 AM
Raven-Phile's avatar

I used to love Maui Sands when it first opened. It was cheap, not usually too crowded, and had cheap drinks at the bar. You could get a drink, and go up 2 flights of stairs to the outdoor balcony hot tub and just hang out while it snowed around you - but that all changed. We went back 2 years ago, and it's gotten pretty bad. The hot tub sits empty, dull of debris with the door locked and a sign that says "closed for repairs", bar service is slow to nonexistent, the floor is rough but slippery (almost slimy) I even cut my hand on a rusted, broken railing.

If that's not the place referenced in this article, it should be.


R.I.P LeRoi Moore 9/7/61 - 8/19/2008
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Friday, September 22, 2017 10:31 AM

I get out of the shower to pee, so it wasn't me.
My vote would've been for Ft Rapids waterpark on the east side of Columbus, but they've been closed a while after failing health department tests consistently. Even rats up in there...

I turn the corner at Maui Sands every time I leave Sandusky, and I always peer through the windshield at that awful looking place wondering what kind of hell must be waiting inside. So offhand I'd say it's a likely candidate.

I'm not an extreme germaphobe, but for me waterparks in general fall in the same group as cheap buffets. There's just a certain ick factor or something. If I go I just try to not think about it.

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Friday, September 22, 2017 11:07 AM

Based on this report it appears to be Ft. Rapids:

https://stacks.cdc.gov/view/cdc/44580/cdc_44580_DS1.pdf

Timeframes are consistent with that noted in article in OP. Also mentions Kiddie Korral and Cowboy Creek which appear to have been attractions at Ft. Rapids.

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Friday, September 22, 2017 11:54 AM

It was a tower-style hotel for a long time. I'm gonna say a Hilton or something, maybe a Marriot. Anyway, the neighborhood changed and the hotel closed. It was picked up by someone who had the vision of changing it into a resort hotel and built the waterpark. It was a big deal.
The restaurant advertised as one of those enormous Asian/seafood buffets and struggled amidst bad reviews. Eventually the hotel took a dive, students from somewhere were housed there, and it was nothing to drive by and see curtains flapping out of the windows, stuff like that.
The waterpark was subject to a number of complaints and it eventually came under scrutiny due to horrible neglect. Now it's an eyesore along I-70 with faded slides and rides poking in and out of the derelict building.

That was a number of years ago now...

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Friday, September 22, 2017 12:55 PM

I saw an online Dispatch article from April 2017 which indicated that Ft. Rapids had been sold at auction for about $3 million (prior owner had invested $40 million in the conversion/water park project). Possible plans included re-opening the hotel and water park. Article indicated that formal plans and an announcement were expected within 90 days (which time period has past with no announcement that I found).

In some ways, that project sounds similar to Maui Sands. It was an existing hotel (Holiday Inn I believe) that added a waterpark. Ran into financial problems and was auctioned off in an insolvency proceeding. Opened back up from what I hear but from this thread it sounds like it may not be doing well.

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Friday, September 22, 2017 3:21 PM
jkpark's avatar

RCMAC said:
It was a tower-style hotel for a long time. I'm gonna say a Hilton or something, maybe a Marriot. Anyway, the neighborhood changed and the hotel closed. It was picked up by someone who had the vision of changing it into a resort hotel and built the waterpark.

That was the old Holiday Inn. I stayed there a few times for work when sent down there on projects for our Columbus office, which was in a business park nearby.

The last time I stayed there (about 10-12 years ago) it must have just converted to the indoor water park resort.

Our Columbus office then moved to one of the northern suburbs, and I wasn't sure why. Based on your description of the current conditions of that area, I know the reason for the move now.

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Friday, September 22, 2017 4:22 PM

I stayed at the GWL in Mason and it was very clean. It was a great experience and loads of fun. I wanna try out Cedar Point Shores next summer.

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Friday, September 22, 2017 7:28 PM
D_vo's avatar

Raven-Phile said:

We went back 2 years ago, and it's gotten pretty bad. The hot tub sits empty, dull of debris with the door locked and a sign that says "closed for repairs", bar service is slow to nonexistent, the floor is rough but slippery (almost slimy) I even cut my hand on a rusted, broken railing.

I don't think I've been back there since the first time we went. I'm sad to hear that it's on the path that it's on, but at the same time, I'm also not surprised. It was pretty cool when it first opened, but it didn't seem like the kind of place that would do well at keeping things tidy.


I call Cedar Point my home park even though I live in the Chicago Suburbs.

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Saturday, September 23, 2017 12:14 PM
kpjb's avatar

Weird. I drove past Fort Rapids on my way to a baseball tournament in Cincy a few months ago. It was late and obviously all of the lights were off there, and I didn't see any signage, so I thought it was new construction. I meant to look it up when I got home for a potential visit, but I totally forgot about it until now. Googled this place when it came up here and voila, that's the place I was looking for. Guess we're gonna stick with the one in Erie.


Hi

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Monday, September 25, 2017 10:17 AM

Raven-Phile said:

I used to love Maui Sands when it first opened. It was cheap, not usually too crowded, and had cheap drinks at the bar. You could get a drink, and go up 2 flights of stairs to the outdoor balcony hot tub and just hang out while it snowed around you - but that all changed. We went back 2 years ago, and it's gotten pretty bad. The hot tub sits empty, dull of debris with the door locked and a sign that says "closed for repairs", bar service is slow to nonexistent, the floor is rough but slippery (almost slimy) I even cut my hand on a rusted, broken railing.

If that's not the place referenced in this article, it should be.

I believe that is where Robin Innes, former longtime CP public relations and media guy, is working now.

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Tuesday, October 10, 2017 1:02 AM

Given the name of the road Fort Rapids is located on, I'm pretty sure the hotel was originally a Hilton.

Since it was built the entire industry has moved upscale a few notches so the hotel that was built as a Hilton isn't nice enough to be a Holiday Inn anymore. Just something I got to thinking about a week ago when I spent the night in a high-rise Howard Johnson hotel in Williamsburg that clearly used to be something a lot higher on the hotel ladder.

Fort Rapids was a pretty rapid death spiral. It started as a lousy place for a waterpark hotel (Columbus is a great place to live, but I wouldn't want to visit here...) and the poor business conditions led to neglect, which led to poor reviews, which led to more neglect, which led to health code violations, which led to poorer business conditions, which led to more neglect...and now it sits empty.

--Dave Althoff, Jr. (Yeah, I'm still around...)


    /X\        _      *** Respect rides. They do not respect you. ***
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Tuesday, November 14, 2017 7:31 PM
TheMillenniumRider's avatar

So did anyone see Maui Sands on travel channel this past weekend?

Anthony was there with Hotel Impossible, place was a dump and full of bedbugs. I saw the synopsis of the show and it said something to the effect of a waterpark hotel in Ohio with bugs. Sure enough I flipped it on and there it was in all its glory!

Last edited by TheMillenniumRider, Tuesday, November 14, 2017 7:31 PM
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Tuesday, November 14, 2017 10:54 PM
Lord Gonchar's avatar

Just watched it this evening. Crazy stuff. That place was utter ****.

As an aside, I did feel like they tied it to Cedar Point a little too much and possibly too vaguely for anyone that...well, is probably of average interest to such things. I think the average schmoe could have walked away thinking Maui Sands was in some way affiliated with the park...maybe.

https://www.dailymotion.com/video/x693zwd

The recurring theme to Hotel Impossible is people with more money than sense combined with the odd idea that running a hotel is somehow easy..."You just rent rooms!"


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Wednesday, November 15, 2017 1:18 PM

Thanks for the link Gonch. I've never watched that show and the guy is brutal, but has to be and honestly, should be. Glad we've never stayed there. I didn't get the feeling that they tied CP to it that much. They mentioned it a couple times, but not everytime they came back from commercial. Who only has 50K set aside on a 10M property? That's not even 1%!

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Friday, November 17, 2017 1:00 AM

As someone else commented it was built as a holiday inn and it didn't close down, holiday inn and platinum lodging went in so to speak on building ft rapids. Directly adjacent to the building in the empty lot they were going to build timeshares like Kalahari however after the waterpark fad died a year later and the recession hit they scrapped the plans.

Platinum operated it so poorly that holiday inn took their branding away.

It went into bankruptcy several times and changed ownership until closing last year.

It has since been purchased however the new owner is suing the city and the realtor cbre as he planned on building an indoor soccer complex on the lot next door and connecting it however the realtor never disclosed it was sold already to a health system that is currently building a rehab facility.

The place had horrible management, never renovated like they should've and literally lowered the rates so low that homeless people would rent rooms. Not to mention the black mold in the tower.

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Friday, November 17, 2017 1:04 AM

It was a holiday inn originally, the road was named hilton because that was the name of the buisness park built there prior to it opening.

Hell you can barely see the entrance and it looks like your getting back on the freeway.

I love my city but that area is dead.. Not to mention Eastland mall that now has zero anchor stores in it.

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