MGM planning Strip water park at Circus Circus
MGM Resorts International is considering building a water park at Circus Circus, according to a proposal unanimously approved by the Winchester Town Advisory Board on Tuesday.
If the company follows through with the plan — and that's a big if — the Strip attraction would be the third new water park planned for Las Vegas.
MGM is asking the county for permission to reclassify almost 23 acres of land near the KOA Campground at Circus Circus from RV, commercial and hotel zoning to zoning for a recreational facility. MGM hopes to build a 5.5-acre water park there, on the north side of Circus Circus Drive, east of Industrial Road.
Moreno and Associates planning consultant Greg Borgel presented a blueprint for the park at the board meeting. Borgel is representing MGM during the plan’s approval process. He said the water park would likely be built if the board and County Commission approve it, but he did not have a cost estimate for the project.
“This is real,” Borgel said. “It’s something (MGM) wants to do to upgrade the property.”
Plans filed with the board call for a children's pool, a river channel that likely will become a lazy river and two water slides surrounded by more than 200 trees. Cabanas, two snack bars and a retail center also are outlined in the proposal.
The facility would be located between the Circus Circus Manor motel and the Skyrise Hotel Tower, north of the Adventuredome and near the campground. No changes are proposed for those buildings.
Plans say the slides will be 65 and 90 feet tall. A 21-foot play structure is proposed for the children's pool. MGM's plans did not outline a proposed time table for the Circus Circus water park, but Borgel said similar projects take about 18 months to complete.
“This is a very exciting project,” board member Judith Perez said during the presentation. “It’s something that needs to happen.”
Although the plans filed with the town board describe the recreational facility as a water park, an MGM spokeswoman described it more as a series of pools.
"We are conducting our due diligence by pursuing tentative approvals for a zoning change for recreational purposes," MGM Spokeswoman Yvette Monet said. "However, to use the term ‘water park’ at this point to describe any developments on that acreage would be premature, as the evaluative process itself is still in very preliminary stages. We are always researching new ideas to enhance resort amenities for our guests. At such time as we have details to share, we will announce them in an appropriate manner."
The plan will next be presented to the Clark County Commission on Jan. 9 for approval. Borgel felt confident it would be passed.
“(I don’t foresee) any issues,” Borgel said. “It’s an amenity the community should like, so I don’t predict any complications.”
It has been eight years since Las Vegans slid down water slides on the Strip. The Wet ‘n Wild Water Park on Las Vegas Boulevard closed in 2004.
But developers this year announced plans to build two different water parks on opposite sides of town.
A Wet ‘n’ Wild, planned by an Australian entertainment company, is headed to the southern end of Summerlin, while Cowabunga Bay Las Vegas is coming to Henderson near the Galleria at Sunset mall. Developers hope to open both by Memorial Day.
Sun reporter Brian Nordli contributed reporting to this story.