Agreement nearing on Splash Kingdom

Aug 9, 2013

It is looking more likely that local residents and folks from out of town will be swimming at a water park in Greenville next summer.

Greenville Board of Development President and CEO Greg Sims said the negotiations are getting closer to wrapping up concerning a Splash Kingdom water park as part of the Greenville Towne Center development.

“I would say by the end of September, maybe,” Sims said of when a final agreement could be reached on the project, which has been the works since last fall.

“We are in the final stages of the negotiations,” Sims said of the talks, which have included the City of Greenville, Splash Kingdom and III:I Emerging Market Partners, which is developing the Towne Center along the Interstate 30 service road. “I am supposed to brief the City Council on that Tuesday night.”

In March, the Council voted to approve a change in zoning for the Greenville Towne Center.

Developer Scott Steenson told the Council at that time the initial work will involve the installation of infrastructure at the site; including entryways, pad sites and plumbing for the water park.

The Greenville Towne Center would cover almost 63 acres along the interstate, bounded by Center Point Lane and the Roy Warren Parkway and is also expected to include retail and commercial businesses, private event/meeting halls and even multi-family tracts.

Officials with Splash Kingdom have indicated they want to be open for the 2014 season.

Splash Kingdom is wanting to build their fourth water park, to go along with their existing facilities in Canton and Shreveport, La. and a park which recently opened in Hudson Oaks, Texas.

Sims said the Hudson Oaks location, “Splash Kingdom Wild West” is the company’s most elaborate park yet.

“They’ve said they want to do something similar here,” Sims said. “We’re going to be really pleased, I think.”

The Council voted in October to instruct Sims to pursue a memorandum of understanding agreement with Splash Kingdom, rather than Hawaiian Falls, which had also indicated it wanted to build in Greenville. At that time, Mayor Steve Reid said while the offers from both parks were welcome, the Council chose the to follow-up on the proposal from Splash Kingdom, as the company would contribute more toward the establishment of the park.

Splash Kingdom’s business model involves privately owned entertainment facilities in the $8 to $10 million value range that require some public incentive and/or infrastructure assistance in the short term; which could include land, public infrastructure, tax abatements and/or grants. Splash Kingdom would provide approximately five full time positions and 125 seasonal part time positions.

A Splash Kingdom water park would be included on the property tax rolls, generating property and sales taxes as well as water/sewer city revenue and GEUS electric revenue.