$10.9 Million Fort Smith Water Park Finalizes Features

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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.


  • Dennis

    How does simple math escape the notice of intelligent people?
    Every dollar spent by government is a dollar taken out of the private economy. And then someone has to pay for it. . . .

  • JR Gibbs

    Well said Dennis. Ft. Smith seems to have it all backward? They spend on parks and the convention center and cut back on emergency services. I guess if the good folks of the Fort don’t care what their elected officials do, why should I. Sad though, Ft. Smith could be such a wonderful place for business and could be an economic boom.

  • 8track

    Whatever happened to the Marshall Museum project? It’s been put on the back burner till who knows when? Splish Splash Fort Smith.

  • Chad Miller (@FakeChadMiller)

    Where did all of you get your business degrees? You don’t realize that this will bring in out of town visitors who in turn will spend money at local businesses? You armchair business analysts need to wisen up. This type of thinking is why Fort Smith is playing second fiddle to NW Arkansas.

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