Lake Winnepesaukah Breaks Ground On SoakYa Waterpark Expansion

Amusement Park Plans Memorial Day weekend Opening For 5-Acre Waterpark

Wednesday, January 9, 2013
- photo by Wes Schultz

Lake Winnepesaukah officials on Wednesday broke ground on SoakYa, a five-acre water entertainment complex scheduled to open during the summer 2013 season. The waterpark is the first major expansion of the 88-year-old amusement park since the 1960s, when the park doubled in size and added two signature attractions: the antique wooden carrousel and the world-famous wooden Cannon Ball Roller Coaster.

"Lake Winnepesaukah has a hard to say and even harder to spell name,” said Talley Green, public relations director, “but through the years that name has become synonymous with family fun in our region. That’s why we chose SoakYa, a spirited play on our name, for the waterpark that is a perfect complement to our amusement complex.

Wednesday’s groundbreaking signals the start of an aggressive five-month construction schedule that calls for completion of the waterpark attraction in time for a Memorial Day weekend debut, two months after the amusement park opens for the 2013 season. Aquatic Builders Ltd., a division of master plan design and engineering firm Aquatic Development Group, will lead the park’s construction along with locally-based contractors. The development will create 100 temporary construction jobs and up to 60 new seasonal positions upon completion.

The multi-million-dollar waterpark will feature a lazy river and wave lagoon. Clusters of flume body slides and enclosed tubes – some for single riders, some for multiple riders – will dot the landscape. A multi-lane racer slide will send dueling riders on a refreshing plunge into a pool while toddlers will be entertained in a shallow splash park with pint-sized slides and water play equipment. Covered and uncovered lounge seating, retail shops, concessions and a changing facility with lockers will allow families to enjoy a day-long stay at the park.

“The beginning of the year also marks a new beginning for Lake Winnie,” said Chris Jones, architect. “The owners have committed themselves to building a first-class waterpark and ‘doing it right’. With the start of construction, a dream is on its way to reality. A former parking lot will soon be transformed into a colorful array of exciting water rides, water features, man-made hills and lush landscaping creating an oasis of fun and laughter. Did I mention water? Lots of water.”

The first phase of the waterpark will be developed on the west side of the amusement park between the Cannon Ball Roller Coaster and the lake. The five-acre vacant tract of land has recently served as overflow parking for concerts and other major events. Subsequent waterpark expansions could triple the water entertainment complex’s size in years to come.

Lake Winnepesaukah will open the 2013 season with a $26 general admission rate ($10 for children two and under and senior citizens), which is consistent with 2012 ticket prices. During the summer months, guests will enjoy two parks for one admission price. From Memorial Day weekend through Labor Day weekend, general admission will be $31.95 ($15.95 for children two and under and senior citizens). General admission will revert back to the $26 rate for the remainder of the 2013 season when SoakYa closes for the season in early fall. SoakYa will be accessible through the main park entrance only.

The facility was designed by architect Christopher M. Jones of North Palm Beach, Fla., and Aquatic Development Group of Cahoes, N.Y., both of which have extensive waterpark development experience. The park will feature “Made in the USA” slides and other water play equipment designed, engineered and manufactured by North Carolina-based AquaBlue International. Chattanooga-based CapitalMark Bank & Trust will finance the expansion.


Howard Band Director Returns To Job After Serving 7-Day Unpaid Suspension

The Howard School band director has been reinstated after serving a seven-day suspension without pay. County school officials said Dexter Bell admitted that he refused to meet with principal Zacery Brown as he was directed. He said he would not refuse to cooperate with the principal in the future. Some students and parents had protested after the band director was ... (click for more)

Motorcyclist From Fort Oglethorpe Crash Taken Off Life Support

A motorcyclist who had been in critical condition since a crash with an SUV on Sunday has died. Jesse Campbell had been on life support since the wreck on LaFayette Road  in Fort Oglethorpe. Authorities said the driver of the SUV, Janet Marie Brock, would be charged with failure to yield the right of way and vehicular homicide. (click for more)

The Truth About The Rising Costs To East Ridge On The Fire Hall Property - And Response

Re:East Ridge Has To Pay Unexpected $428,000 On Bass Pro Shop Deal   H ere is the truth about this article.    One section of the article says: " Unknown to anybody on the council today, the agreement limited use of the land to a fire hall."     In a letter dated Dec. 15, 2010, Mayor Lambert asked TDOT officials to ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: I Know About Dowries

There is a lawyer in Kenya who wants to meet President Barack Obama very badly. He knows the President will visit Kenya in July and the noble, young lawyer, Felix Kiprono, is very sincere when he says he wants to marry the oldest of the Obama daughters, 16-year-old Malia. He became interested in Malia in 2008 and can proudly say he has dated no other women since then, it has just ... (click for more)

Coppinger, Dinger Earn 6-A Softball Superlatives

Whitwell's Alyssa Coppinger and Lookout Valley's David Dinger captured the top honors in District 6-A softball for the 2015 season. Coppinger was voted the 6-A Player of the Year while Dinger was honored as the Coach of the Year. Listed  below are the players who earned all district honors with Lookout Valley, Marion County, Sale Creek and Whitwell having four players ... (click for more)

Randy Smith: Giving With A Cheerful Heart

Recently a program was started called, "Dining Out For Life," benefitting people who are affected by HIV. Tonight  several local restaurants will be partnering with Chattanooga Cares to raise money to support the organization's nutrition assistance program. There is a big need for fresh fruit and vegetables and the funds raised this evening will go to support that need. ... (click for more)