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Tsawwassen's Big Splash Water Park adding huge 'Boomerango' slide this summer

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Kenneth Chan Jun 02, 2018 10:11 am 13,587

Big Splash Water Park will see a massive new slide addition later this summer, and it is being billed as the first of its kind in Western Canada.

Harold Frederiks, the general manager for Big Splash, told Daily Hive that sliders enter an enclosed slide from the top of a 45-ft-tall deck, and as soon as they hit daylight there is a steep drop.

This leads straight towards a near vertical halfpipe-like wall several storeys high, followed by a reversal motion into the ‘rundown’ lane for the exit.

Two people can go down the slide at the same time as the Big Splash model of the design uses double-capacity inner tubes.

While the water park is set to open for the season on Monday, June 4, water slide enthusiasts will have to wait a few more weeks to go down the slide as it is still being built.

With gravity providing the boomerang motion experience, the slide is aptly named the ‘Boomerango’ by Richmond-based White Water West, which is one of the world’s largest slide designers and manufacturers.

“Not a lot of people know Richmond has the largest slide building companies on the planet,” said Frederiks. “We’re absolutely excited about this addition, and you can count on me being one of the first people going down the slide when we’re ready to give it a test.”

There are about 20 Boomerango slides in existence at water parks and attractions around the world, and most recently it became an added feature to Royal Caribbean’s Liberty of the Seas cruise ship.

Boomerango Slide

The Boomerango slide in Atlantis The Palm in Dubai. (White Water West)

Formerly known as Splashdown Park, the major water park near the Tsawassen Ferry Terminal was set to close after the 2016 season, but it remained open after Executive Group Development acquired the attraction.

When the company acquired the 1984-built, seven-acre water park, it had a 242,000 gallon main pool, universal hot tub, a 320-ft-long leisure river, and 13 slides, including three 425-ft-long high-speed slides.

Frederiks says Executive Group has made major investments into the water park’s facilities ever since taking over the property. Last year, just in time for its inaugural season under new ownership, the water park resurfaced all of its slides, added an adults-only hot tub, installed a new sound system, improved its food concessions, opened a VIP cabana area, opened a new ice cream shop, and renovated its clubhouse.

“Last year we did a major makeover, and this year we did even more,” he said.

It is all part of a multi-year phased plan to provide the entire water park with a complete makeover, and he notes that there will be “new surprises” for the coming years.

A previously announced new hotel for the water park as part of the Executive Hotels & Resorts chain is still planned.

Big Splash Water Park

View of Big Splash Water Park from the sports bar patio. (Big Splash)

In addition to new and improved facilities, Big Splash is revamping its programming for the coming summer. Sliders can expect an event schedule consisting of everything from days with reggae, rock and roll, hip hop, and Hawaiian themes to Aquafit lessons. There will be a DJ in the house on Saturdays, and special celebrations are planned for the FIFA World Cup final weekend and Canada Day.

According to Frederiks, the opening of the Tsawwassen Mills mega-mall next door has provided the Tsawwassen area with significantly more “exposure.”

“A lot of people come to the mall, during the summer months especially, and are seeing a lot of new and exciting things to do at the water park,” he said.

In addition to the indoor mall, a large strip mall called Tsawwassen Commons with dozens of restaurants and shops also recently opened in the area, with anchor tenants such as Canadian Tire, HomeSense, Rona, Staples, and Walmart.

Residential developments in the area are providing Tsawwassen with more activity as well. Over 3,000 new homes by various developers, including Executive Group, are currently being built immediately north and south of Big Splash.

Big Splash Water Park

Residential construction next to Big Splash Water Park. (Big Splash)

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Kenneth Chan
National Features Editor at Daily Hive, the evolution of Vancity Buzz. He covers local architecture, urban issues, politics, business, retail, economic development, transportation and infrastructure, and the travel industry. Kenneth is also a Co-Founder of New Year's Eve Vancouver. Connect with him at kenneth[at]dailyhive.com

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