You’d think that Phuket, with its beautiful warm weather and its reliance on tourism, would be a natural place for a water park. You wouldn’t be the first to think so; at least two consortia have tried to establish water parks in the island’s tourism epicentre, Patong. Neither got very far.
Then there were the posters that went up all over the island announcing the imminent arrival of a water park on the roof of a building in Phuket Town. But when the Observer tried to find out more, we were told, “No comment just now.” Since then, the posters have disappeared.
Now at last, however, the island is to get a water park, on 14,000 square metres of the partly completed West Sands property and resort development, the private plaything of Sir Terry Leahy, boss of international supermarket chain Tesco.
West Sands Water World will open to the public in November. It is designed by Canadian company Whitewater Industries, one of the world’s leading water equipment makers and water park designers, with 3,000 installations under its belt over the past 25 years, including parks at Disneyland and SeaWorld in Orlando, Florida and another, appropriately, at Niagara Falls.
The interactive water play structure will include a 335-metre “Lazy River”, a wave pool, an “Aqua Play Pool”, Super Bowl and Boomerango rides (the latter won an industry award last year for best new ride), a spa area and numerous waterslides of varying heights and speeds.
Claude Baltes, Resort Director, is clearly looking forward to testing the rides. He remarked, “We are highly confident that West Sands Water World will take little time to become the new major attraction and must-do activity for travelers who have landed in Phuket.”
The Water Park, which is costing 500 million Baht (US$14 million) to build, will have a capacity of 2,500 people. Phuket’s first water park at West Sands will open at the end of January, 2010