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City in Talks with Developer to Build Water Park

April 11, 2012 2:52 PM | News

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The City of Winnipeg confirmed publicly Wednesday that it’s in talks with Canalta Development and WaterFun Products to build an indoor water park at The Forks.

The city is reviewing a proposal, which would see a $75 million water park and hotel complex developed on land co-owned by the city just south of Shaw Park off Waterfront Drive. The piece of land is currently used as a pay parking lot.

“An indoor water park is missing on Winnipeg’s growing list of attractions,” Mayor Sam Katz said in a statement. “By investing in a top-notch water park, we’ll be able to offer new year-round recreation opportunities to Winnipeggers and visitors alike.”

The City set aside $7 million for an indoor water park in 2008. The current proposal is in response to the city’s public expression of interest to build the year-round recreation complex.

The first phase of the park would be 50,000-square-feet, plus a 125-room hotel. The second phase would add an additional 125 rooms, plus a 450-stall parkade. For comparison sake, Canad Inns water park in Grand Forks, North Dakota is 40,000-square-feet.

The developer has agreed to a long-term public access agreement worth $700,000 annually, allowing for free public admission to the water park.

WaterFun Products has built facilities at Mandalay Bay in Las Vegas and the water park at West Edmonton Mall. Canalta operates 34 hotels in Alberta and Saskatchewan.

The report will go to the Executive Policy Committee on April 18.