Water, Surf Park Coming to Rapid City
Rippin’ Rapids Resort & Adventure Sports to Open in Spring 2014
Written by Shad Olson
In Rapid City today comes an announcement those in the tourism industry believe will mean more visitors and more dollars to the Black Hills, and at least 150 new jobs.
Developers announce plans for the largest water park and indoor surf center in the five state region, with features perfectly suited for what is increasingly a rubber tire vacation economy of consumers seeking more affordable options for family vacations.
By Spring of next year, it will be 'Surf's Up,' at Rippin’ Rapids Resort & Adventure Sports, the only simulated surf wave machine in South Dakota, and just one of the attractions inside a 93-thousand square foot indoor water park to be built on a vacant lot at the corner of Lacrosse and East Mall Drive; a family entertainment option planners say will become a main attraction in the vacation mecca of the Black Hills.
Monte Hartl, Development Oversight Director for Capitol Management Company says Rippin’ Rapids’, will join Mount. Rushmore, Crazy Horse and Devil’s Tower among the top attractions in the region.
"It's a resort that is very diversified in drawing many folks from different areas of the country for different reasons," Hartl said.
“This type of center really appeals to active families,” said Monte Hartl of Capitol Management. “We look forward to making this the most talked-about family attraction in the Black Hills for many years to come.”
At an announcement ceremony today, plans are unveiled for a facility that can house 800 people at a time, on water slides, wet climbing walls, and the Body Glove, SurfStream simulated wave machine, one of only two it's kind in the United States.
In addition to the exciting family activities, Rippin’ Rapids will feature health-club amenities such as racquetball courts and exercise equipment that will appeal to adult travelers, Hartl said. The resort will be themed around many Black Hills attractions. There will also be an outdoor area with pools, water slides, a sun deck and other features.
And with other affordable vacation destinations suffering damaging headlines such as the violent murders, kidnappings and robberies in Mexico and recent disease outbreaks and mechanical breakdowns to cruise ships, Rippin’ Rapids planners believe timing is ideal to augment the Black Hills as a rubber tire, car vacation destination.
"We have the Mount Rushmores, the Crazy Horses, the Devils Tower, but this is a new destination that's creating a lot of excitement." Hartl said.
The facility will also add 100 new hotel rooms, 150 local jobs and added business to restaurants and motels in a service industry economy, all under a one-roof package that prime customers of a certain age group can't wait to see.
12-year old Morgan Gorman is excited for the water park’s debut.
"I think it's going to be really cool with the slides and zip lines and stuff, cause theres just like it's huge so there's always something to do." Gorman said.
Rapid City developer Robert Akers is spearheading the project. Groundbreaking is in two weeks, with completion by Spring of 2014.