Water parks may come to outskirts of Fort Collins

Zane Watson

Two water parks may make a splash in the outskirts of Fort Collins.

Approval of Go NoCO’s Regional Tourism Act application could bring indoor and outdoor water parks to Northern Colorado.

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Go NoCO is a public and private partnership backed by the City of Loveland, the Town of Windsor, Larimer County and several private partners. Their plans consist of five large facilities throughout Northern Colorado, two of which would be the Indoor Resort of the Rockies and the outdoor Whitewater Adventure Park, which would be located north of the Budweiser Event Center.

According to the RTA, projects must be extraordinary and unique in nature, result in substantial out-of-state tourism and generate a significant portion of sales tax revenue from nonresidents. The final decision on project approval will be November 2015.

Nicole Yost, Go NoCO’s public relations spokesperson, said the requirements are clear for the application process but covering the criteria involves a lot of time and analysis. Go NoCO hired a team of consultants which structured projects for intense feasibility and economic analysis.

“Tourism is a great economic driver,” Yost said. “Tourists spend money which in turn, help communities.”

Go NoCO’s plan not only takes full analysis into economics but also resource conservation. Water parks require a large amount of water to run. Colorado’s arid environment would require water conservation techniques.

“Our first and foremost priority was to make the design environmentally friendly,” Yost said.

Economic Development Director for the City of Loveland Betsy Hale said the water supplied to each facility will be by rights acquired for potable tap water. The facilities water will be used as a pool recycles water. Whatever water comes from the tap will be recirculated and reused efficiently.

“No water is coming from a river and any loss will be from people splashing the water and evaporation,” Hale said.

According to Hale, a substantial amount of construction jobs will be created with Go NoCO’s proposal of these large facilities. After completion of the facilities, many permanent jobs from entry level to higher management positions will be available to the surrounding community.

“There will be many jobs young people can have during their experience at CSU,” Hale said.

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Samantha Chrisman, a sophomore studying communications, has hopes of what the new facilities could bring to Colorado communities.

“If it can generate revenue to the help support the 12.7 percent of poverty stricken Colorado, I’m all for it,” Chrisman said.

Chrisman said she thinks the funds for the initial start-up can be used in a different manner. She believes a large community greenhouse that acts as a food-bank could be a potential use of the wealth.

“I’m not sure it’s the right use of resources, but if it can bring jobs and economic benefit to the underprivileged I think it wouldn’t be such a stupid idea,” Chrisman said.

Collegian Green Beat Reporter Zane Watson can be reached at news@collegian.com or on Twitter @zanerwatson.