FRANKENMUTH (WJRT) -
(08/26/14) - It's creating quite a buzz on Facebook and Twitter - Zehnder's $20 million expansion of Splash Village is inching closer to completion.
"This is 30,000 square feet of excitement. We are really, really looking forward to opening in October," said John Shelton, Zehnder's marketing director.
Last winter's frigid temperatures slowed down construction and bumped back initial plans for a July grand opening. The project manager, Ron Ross, doesn't anticipate any more delays.
"We'll get it done. We're one day closer, that's what I keep telling everybody," Ross said.
The expansion is being partially funded by a $5 million loan from the Michigan Economic Development Corporation. There are thirty-two new hotel rooms, along with cabanas, concessions, a bar area, slides, hot tubs, an action river and outdoor pool.
"We are the only retractable roof water park in Michigan, if not in the Midwest. Also, we're distinct because we have two distinctive water parks. One is our current water park that is really geared for the toddler to the 13 year old. The addition we're building is geared for that teenager and above," Shelton said.
The show-stopper in the expansion project is a 99 step monstrosity, six stories high. It's the Tower, the highest point that anyone can access in all of Frankenmuth.
"You have our Tantrum Twist ride. It's a four person raft ride. It's going to be awesome. Imagine being flushed down the toilet bowl twice and that's what you're going to experience as you come down, and we feel it's going to be a great addition to the water park. To my right, on the north side of the tower, is the Super Loop, which is a big capsule, like a telephone booth. You get inside and you'll hear a voice go 3-2-1, and the floor will drop," Shelton said.
It won't end there. Over the next five years, several more rides and amenities will be added - ones that Zehnder's believes will help bring even more tourists to Frankenmuth.
"As we facetiously say, it's a marketing bonanza, and I can't even screw this up," Shelton said.
The Splash Village expansion is also bringing jobs to Mid-Michigan. Zehnder's is currently hiring for a variety of positions.