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Soaky Mountain Prepares to Make Sevierville, TN Wetter in 2020
New waterpark development to come to the Gatlinburg tourist destination
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Sevierville, Tenn. is about to get soaked. A new large-scale 50-acre outdoor waterpark from Wilderness Resorts and Waterparks is coming to town. The group also owns another waterpark attraction in Sevierville, Wilderness at the Smokies Resort, which was voted among the Top 10 Indoor Waterparks by USA Today.

Soaky Mountain will be located close to the resort, which the company hopes to open in 2020, according to Wilderness at the Smokes Resort publicist Heidi Fendos. Fendos says the opening date depends on this year’s weather. The groundbreaking for the new waterpark will be held August 6th.

The park will feature a variety of attractions including a 35,000-square-foot wave pool that can create waves up to 6-feet in height, created with a Double FlowRider surf simulator.

The FlowRider is well known for the diversity of rides it offers, and is described the by company as more of thrilling sport than a waterpark attraction, one at which riders’ skills improve with repeat visits.

If that thrill doesn’t appeal, guests will find family-friendly activities such as a 24,000-square-foot winding wave river, kids activity pool, kids play-and-spray area with multiple slides, and a family-oriented tower ride featuring two, five-person raft rides.

The park will also include what it calls an “adventure pool” with a WIBIT inflatable water obstacle course, as well as a flat-water cabana pool for guests who choose to simply lie back and relax.

WIBIT describes the inflatable waterpark elements it provides as “the evolution of waterplay.” The German company was inspired by its founders, Robert Cirjak and Romann Rademacher, to embrace the concept of water sports. Bouncers and balance bridges are parts of the company’s obstacle course offerings.

The facility will have four large slide complexes in all, what it bills as a “one of a kind” water coaster, and a tubing tower with five flumes offering two-person tubing experiences. Other excitement-geared attractions include two high-intensity body slides, and a four-lane, head-first mat racing slide.

According to Joe Eck, COO of Wilderness Resorts and Waterparks, the water park will open daily mid-May through August with additional days through mid-September. He adds that there’s a strong likelihood that Wilderness at the Smokies Resort guests will get preferred pricing on Soaky Mountain Waterpark admission.

Eck says “We are excited to be bringing another quality attraction to the popular Smoky Mountain tourist region. Soaky Mountain Waterpark is going to be an amazing destination for families with children of all ages to enjoy.” Eck notes “It will feature some of the most popular, thrilling and unique water attractions available, and it will all be outdoors in a beautiful mountain-modern park setting.”

Along with Wilderness at the Smokies Resort and the upcoming Soaky Mountain Waterpark, Wilderness Resorts and Waterparks also owns and operates Wilderness Resort, Glacier Canyon Lodge and Wilderness on the Lake in Wisconsin Dells.

The ground-breaking event August 6th will be an opportunity for VIPs and media representatives to view park renderings. Site work has already started at the park’s future location. This will be the fourth waterpark from the Wilderness company in the immediate area.

Beyond the wide variety of its attractions, this park will have one major difference from the other Wilderness company parks, which are only open to resort guests. Eck reveals the big news that Soaky Mountain will be “open to the community. Obviously, our resort guests are going to have privileges,” he added.

So far, Eck is not revealing the project cost or projected number of employees; but the project’s scope and scale is one sure thing. “Everything in the park is going to be the latest and greatest in slides and technology that is out there,” Eck reveals.

While the size of the park itself is large, the smallest waterpark guests have not been forgotten with a children’s slide area that is conceived as being a miniature versions of the park’s biggest rides.

“We’re going to have a really cool kid’s slide area that mimics the slides that a lot of kids aren’t tall enough to ride,” Eck attests, describing them as “miniature versions, including a funnel ride just for little kids so they can get a chance to ride it.”

Along with cool and cooling rides, the park will feature plenty of relaxing shady areas, which Eck describes as being a focus for the park’s design. “Shade is going to be tremendously important.” Overall, Eck says of the park “This will be a completely different entity unto itself.”

Wilderness Resorts and Waterparks director of sales Nikki Harrel notes “It’ll be one of the newest attractions that has come to Sevierville in a very long time.”

The cutting-edge park attractions will encompass activities that are both daring and relaxing, as well as providing waterpark fun for all ages.

“It's a great new attraction. It's something the need. We have a lot of waterparks here at Wilderness at the Smokies but we cannot house everyone and Soaky Mountain Water Park will be open to the public,” Harrel adds.

Pricing for waterpark admission has not been determined.

Regardless, the city of Sevierville believes the waterpark will bring in more tax dollars to the community. “It's within our tourist development zone which will give us actually an added tax bonus,” says Sevierville public information officer Bob Stahlke. Stahlke relates that city is excited by the waterpark’s plans.
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