Wild Water West says roller coaster project in “very preliminary stage”

Local News

A roller coaster could be in Wild Water West’s future, but park management says don’t fast track the project just yet. The Minnehaha County Planning Commission approved a conditional use permit. This essentially clears a hurdle for Wild Water West to build a roller coaster. The project, however, is still in its early stages.

“Really, it’s just in a very preliminary stage, because we didn’t want to get too far down the road and have something stop us,” Brian Rehnke, Wild Water West director of operations, said.

Rehnke says, with a conditional use permit, Wild Water West will start looking at whether it’s feasible to install a roller coaster on the southwest end, back behind a set of water slides.

“This thing could change or maybe not even happen at all,” Rehnke said.

Before approving the permit, the County Planning Commission looked at how a roller coaster would affect the overall wellbeing of this area.

“They consider things like the effect upon the use of enjoyment of the land and the surrounding areas and as well as looking at things like noise, vibration, and lighting,” David Heinold, county planner, said.

There is a design online. It’s called a Raptor, and even has roller coaster-lovers buzzing about it on an online message board. Rehnke says this was just an idea the park submitted to the county during the conditional use permit process, and isn’t the final project.

“We’re very much hoping we could get over that top hill and start going down, but no. Right now, I don’t really have a time table. I don’t really have a timeline. We just did the first step in hopes we can continue taking other steps,” Rehnke said.

After any feasibility studies, Wild Water West would need county approval on engineering drawings, blueprints, and building permits. There is a five-day appeal process for the conditional use permit. People have until March 2nd to voice any concerns, before the permit is finalized.

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