New owner wants to reopen Splash Down Dunes
By john Robbins Post-Tribune correspondent May 11, 2012 2:34PM
Michael McArdle/Post-Tribune Tall grass in the empty Splash Down Dunes Water Park Tuesday May 25, 2010. ptmet
Updated: June 14, 2012 8:23AM
PORTER — Splash Down Dunes may have a new lease on life. Seven Peaks Waterpark Porter LC, has stepped forward to buy the water park.
Seven Peaks operates similarly sized water parks in Provo and Salt Lake City, Utah. Seven Peaks tried to acquire the property last year but faced opposition from the previous Town Council, Porter Town Council member Elka Nelson said.
The change in ownership isn’t finalized yet. “The property is under contract pending zoning approval,” said Bruce Law, vice president of marketing for Seven Peaks. Sale documents uncovered a snag in the current zoning.
“The parcels in the corridor of Waverly and U.S. 20, all four corners of the intersection, are zoned planned urban development (PUD) under code. The PUD needed to be filed within one year. They were not, hence they revert to prior zoning, which is a category that no longer exists,” said council president Greg Stinson at the Porter Town Council meeting on Thursday.
The council took steps to correct the problem and approved a motion to send a rezoning recommendation to the Porter Plan Commission. The Plan Commission will meet on May 16 to consider the issue, the same day the Board of Zoning Appeals will hear a request from Seven Peaks for a special use variance. Public hearings will be scheduled at later dates for both requests.
Once the zoning problems are resolved the big question is whether the park can be refurbished quickly enough to open later this season. “Honestly, we’re looking at all of the angles of how to pull it off and think it would be a very difficult task for opening this year,” Law said. “Our goal is to move very, very quickly.”
“Things are in remarkably good shape, with the exception of landscaping and grounds. It’s a cleanup job, not a tear down,” he said.
Even if the park doesn’t open this year, a number of jobs will still be created. “Jobs in landscaping, electrical, plumbing and carpentry. These jobs are valuable to the community, and restoring an eyesore is valuable to the community,” Nelson said.