Koch Family Buys Alabama’s Splash Adventure
Members of the Koch Family (of Holiday World fame) unexpectedly announced today their purchase of Alabama’s Splash Adventure Waterpark with plans to reopen it and the dry park for the 2014 season.
The news release states: “The Koch family has acquired Alabama’s Splash Adventure Waterpark and will re-open the park for the 2014 summer season. Dan Koch, who led the acquisition, is bringing his family’s seven decades of experience in the amusement and water park industry to his new home in Alabama.”
The change in ownership is front-and-center on the waterpark’s (and former amusement park) website.
“I am thrilled to be living and working in this community,” said Dan Koch. “Our family wants Alabama’s Splash Adventure Waterpark to be the number one choice for family fun and family memories for generations to come.”
Koch Parks, Inc. purchased the 89-acre water park, with much of that space available for future expansion. Interestingly, “General Attractions, LLC, the park’s previous owner, will retain 150 acres surrounding the park for future development.”
Kent Lemasters, President of General Attractions, LLC said, “We are pleased that the Koch family are the new owners of Splash Adventure. We feel very confident that because of their very high reputation and experience of over 75 years in the amusement park industry, that they will continue to take the park forward to new, high levels of achievement for the benefit of the entire area including those who visit the park and the surrounding communities and we wish them every success.”
The waterpark originally opened as the Visionland amusement park in 1998. The amusement park was a roller coaster ride in itself, suffering from financial problems throughout its years of operation. General Attractions purchased the park (which was renamed Alabama Adventure in 2003) in January 2012 and closed the dry side of the park, renaming the waterpark-only operation Alabama’s Splash Adventure.
The Koch family is investing in both the dry and waterpark components of the park. The park will reopen with five new rides for kids including:
- a standard Wacky Worm coaster
- Rio Grande Train
- Junior Bumper Boats
- Mini Helicopters
- Vintage Boats.
In addition, a new Laser Maze Challenge will open in 2014. In true Koch-family fashion: “All guests will enjoy free parking, free sunscreen, free access to inner tubes and free in-park WiFi.”
The family is already planning additional expansion plans for 2015 and beyond. In an interview with a local TV station, new owner Dan Koch alludes to the continued rebirth of the amusement park.
This purchase may represent a new chapter for some members of the Koch family, who battled one another in court over Holiday World ownership following the death of former park president Will Koch. The court ruling gave Will’s widow, Lori, ownership of 60 percent of the park and Dan only 40 percent.
Alabama’s Splash Adventure will reopen for weekend operations beginning May 17th. Visit the park’s website for more details.
What are your thoughts about the future of Alabama’s Splash Adventure with the Koch family in control? Discuss in the comments section below.