After several years of planning and controversy, Fort Smith and Sebastian County leaders met Monday night (Jan.6) and finalized the attractions for a multi-million dollar water park.
The features were passed unanimously.
“It`s a tremendous boom for the local economy,” said project engineer Andy Smith.
The price tag for the park is $10.9 million, with 1,300 patrons per day expected.
Those customers will soon be coming to Ben Geren Park in Fort Smith for a 5,000-square-feet wave pool, a lazy river stretching as long as 500 feet and water slides towering over the River Valley as high as 40 feet.
”Three-hundred-plus people in a wave pool,” city directory Kevin Settle said. “It doesn’t matter which water park you go to—that`s the most popular attraction. The straight drop will be something that will make thrill seekers and kids very happy.”
Fort Smith city directors and the Sebastian County Quorum Court originally voted for a plan that was $8 million. But officials increased the cost of the project after agreeing to add more features they thought would attract more customers.
In December 2013, additional funding for the project from a parks tax was approved.
It’s not just slides and pools that will be coming to Fort Smith.
“This will create jobs inside the park,” Settle said.
The park is scheduled to open on Memorial Day of 2015.