London Bridge waterslide opens to resort's guests

Lake Havasu, AZ — About a year ago, London Bridge Resort representatives sat down to discuss new ideas on how to expand their horizons in bringing in guests to the hotel.

Now the resort has a 500-gallon-a-minute and 22-foot- drop answer.

The city’s first entirely outdoor tube waterslide opened to guests at the London Bridge Resort this week. The waterslide is part of a million-dollar project set to revitalize the guest experience at the resort and designed to bring in more families, General Manager Cal Sheehy said Thursday. A new fitness center, business center and arcade opened earlier this year, while the slide and revamped restaurant, called The Splash Grill, opened this week.

“Seeing it now, it’s better than we originally anticipated when we went into our strategic planning,” Sheehy said. “A really big piece of what we do is about guest services and this does so much to enhance that.”

The recent changes are also making a splash on bookings at the resort. Sheehy said records indicate bookings are up around 15 percent from 2010.

“From a booking standpoint, it’s appearing that it’s going to have a very positive effect,” Sheehy said. “But we just opened it, so it’s going to be awhile before we see its full impact.”

The slide is also scheduled to open up to residents and the general public for a free slide day on Aug. 4, Sheehy said. Further information on the free slide day should be available in the coming weeks.

Project Architect Jerry Clark said, after months of design and construction work, he was excited to see the first people to use the slide Wednesday.

“There was a birthday party and I just lit up because those kids couldn’t do it enough,” Clark said. “That meant a lot to me to finally see it in use and doing what we were hoping it would do.”

While both agreed it was ‘worth the wait,’ Clark and Sheehy were hoping to see the slide finished in mid-April. The project experienced several delays and Sheehy said they were largely attributable to the lengths various agencies needed to go through to approve the new project.

“This was a unique project and it really was something people here hadn’t dealt with before,” Sheehy said. “The delays definitely led to some potential loss of revenue. But a number is hard to equate at this point in the game. … Seeing it now, we’re happy it’s up and people are using it.”

From Today's News-Herald | Written by NATHAN BRUTTELL

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