Thank you for sharing!

Your article was successfully shared with the contacts you provided.

LAS VEGAS-The group of former Disney and Universal Studio executives, designers, architects and engineers have found the site they want for a $1.1-billion destination resort anchored by an indoor snow park and a massive indoor-outdoor water park. The group, Las Vegas Wet LLC, is currently negotiating for the property, a 200-plus-acre site along Las Vegas Boulevard, south of Interstate 215, well south of the famed Strip.

The group isn’t being more specific about the seller of the location, citing confidentiality agreements, but the result will be significant. The proposed site is slightly larger than all of the Disneyland Resort in Anaheim, including both theme parks, all the hotels, retail and parking combined.

“We have exchanged a few counter offers over the past few weeks and we are certain that we’re very close to a workable agreement,” says Las Vegas Wet co-founder Kelly Jo Horton, also co-founder of Proteus Creative, an entertainment development company. “We had originally planned to build on a completely different piece of property, but we had to look elsewhere when it became clear that the property we originally wanted was not big enough to allow for expansion.”

In addition to the ski and water park components, plans include two hotels, a casino, an events arena, a spa, a multiplex theater and several nationally recognized restaurants and retailers. “We have named the park, and will announce the name after all trademark and copyright searches and registrations have been completed,” says Horton. More details will be revealed on the new website, which is slated to come online in the next few weeks.

The previously eyed site, which GlobeSt.com reported on in February, was said to be more than 100 acres. The new site would allow the development to include larger versions of the already announced attractions as well as new ones not yet announced. The indoor portion of the water park is now slated to total 350,000 sf or eight acres, making it one of the largest indoor water parks in North America.

The team had planned to break ground this spring and open in late 2008 or early 2009, but that general timeline now slides back until it can close on the property and obtain the necessary development approvals. “This little hiccup is definitely going to delay our break-ground-date by a few months,” Horton says.

The other co-founder of Las Vegas WET is Steve Dooner, who spent 30 years in development and operations with the likes of Disney, Universal, Paramount Parks, Raging Waters and other theme parks around the world. His work includes brands like Chuck E. Cheese and Discovery Zone, Club Disney, DisneyQuest, ESPNZone, and Universal Studios Japan. Like Horton, Dooner also is a principal with Proteus Creative.

Dooner told GlobeSt.com in February that his group had $1.1 billion lined up from a consortium of banks and joint-venture partners from New York, Connecticut and the UK. The cost to construct the resort will range from $800 to $850 million, with most of the remainder used to acquire the property, Dooner said.

“When Wet-N-Wild closed in 2004, Vegas became one of the only major cities in the US without some sort of water park somewhere nearby,” Dooner told GlobeSt.com in February. “So my plan started life as a water park, but the land costs were too prohibitive, so I got a bunch of gurus together–old buddies from Universal and Disney–and said ‘what should we do and how much should it cost.’”

The most unique part of the project is the indoor ski park. There are approximately 55 “snow domes” worldwide, mostly in Europe and Asia, and no such facility in the US, though one is under construction as part of Mills Corp.’s Meadowlands Xanadu development in New Jersey. Dooner said the one in Vegas likely will be in partnership with X-Leisure, a UK-based company run by a former Disney alum that has developed Xscape-branded facilities in Milton Keynes; Castleford, Leeds; and Braehead, Glascow.

The resort’s atmosphere will be Disney-like, with characters, musical bands and other entertainers roaming the grounds. Retail and restaurants will be spread throughout the park. The arena will seat 5,000 for concerts and sporting events. The casino will have a tropical theme. The water park and the “Snow Dome” each will have its own themed, 600-room hotel.

Want to continue reading?
Become a Free ALM Digital Reader.

Once you are an ALM digital member, you’ll receive:

  • Unlimited access to GlobeSt and other free ALM publications
  • Access to 15 years of GlobeSt archives
  • Your choice of GlobeSt digital newsletters and over 70 others from popular sister publications
  • 1 free article* every 30 days across the ALM subscription network
  • Exclusive discounts on ALM events and publications

*May exclude premium content
Already have an account?

GlobeSt. NET LEASE Fall 2021Event

This conference brings together the industry's most influential & knowledgeable real estate executives from the net lease sector.

Get More Information


Join GlobeSt

Don't miss crucial news and insights you need to make informed commercial real estate decisions. Join GlobeSt.com now!

  • Free unlimited access to GlobeSt.com's trusted and independent team of experts who provide commercial real estate owners, investors, developers, brokers and finance professionals with comprehensive coverage, analysis and best practices necessary to innovate and build business.
  • Exclusive discounts on ALM and GlobeSt events.
  • Access to other award-winning ALM websites including ThinkAdvisor.com and Law.com.

Already have an account? Sign In Now
Join GlobeSt

Copyright © 2021 ALM Media Properties, LLC. All Rights Reserved.