East Park: City getting a ‘critical mass’ of family amusement attractions, Tourism London chief says

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A wave of excitement will wash over London’s East Park next season.

The east-end amusement park is breaking ground next Thursday on a massive wave pool that’s scheduled to open in June.

The water attraction — only the third of its kind in Southwestern Ontario — will help cement East London’s place as summer tourist hot spot in the region, says the head of Tourism London.

“This is state-of-the-art. It’s about as good as it gets,” tourism London general manager John Winston said of the new wave pool.

The feature will attract wave-riders from as far away as the Toronto area and the Great Lakes states, Winston predicted.

“It’s a wonderful investment in the city,” he said.

Alon Shatil, a partner and general manager at East Park, pegged the cost of the wave pool at $2 million to $3 million.

“It’s definitely the biggest project that we’ve ever done at East Park,” he said.

The Hamilton Road park features a water park, batting cages, go-carts, bumper cars, rock climbing, golf course and driving range.

The 881-cubic-metre wave pool will be able to hold up to 550 swimmers at a time.

“This is a big pool.” Shatil said, adding a computer system will control the waves. “You can design the waves.”

At nearly 70 metres long, the wave pool will be bigger than London’s last one at the now-shuttered Wally World, the south-end water park that closed in 2005.

East Park bought the Wonderland Road attraction’s seven slides, including the bullet, a 16-metre high slide that’s become a legend among thrill-seekers.

Officials at East Park were torn between building a lazy river or a wave pool, Shatil said, but the latter won out after polling indicated guests favoured it.

Use of the wave pool will be included in the water park day pass.

Hollandia Pools and Spa, a London-based company with a store on Wharncliffe Road, is building the pool.

The wave-pool announcement, which will be made publicly Wednesday, comes on the heels of news that a portion of the former Kellogg cereal plant will be reborn as an indoor adventure park called the Factory that will feature an indoor ropes course, a trampoline park, electric go-karts, mini-golf, escape rooms, axe-throwing, an arcade and a toddler soft play area.

Winston said the new attractions together are “creating a critical mass of family attractions” in the city.

“It encourages the staycation concept,” he said.



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