In the hospitality industry, three-story water slides aren't nearly as common as continental breakfasts. But Arthur Cooper, director of sales and marketing at the newly completed Radisson Hotel & Water Park, says it's a growing trend among hotels.
The water park—open weekends and attached to the Radisson Hotel on Carlisle—is the only indoor water park within 500 miles of Albuquerque, according to Cooper. The 30,000 square-foot, 174,607-gallon oasis debuted on March 12, bringing in more than 10,000 guests so far.
You don’t have to be from out of town to take the plunge—but due to commercial zoning codes, overnight reservations are required to use the water park. The hotel-park combination isn't necessarily a bad thing, says Cooper, because it “has turned into the classic staycation. There is someone to cook for you and clean for you, so that families can concentrate on having a splashtastic time.” One night, which runs about $189 plus tax, includes four water park passes and $10 worth of arcade tokens.
The most exhilarating attractions at the new water park are two indoor/outdoor water slides. The 298-foot-long raft slide and 237-foot-long tube slide are both three stories high—as tall as the building itself. Two-seater rafts allow you to share the long descent with a friend on the Raft Slide, but in the Enclosed Tube Slide, you’re on your own. If a combination of adrenaline and claustrophobia isn’t your idea of a good time, you can always waste away the day on the Lazy River. Or, if you’re feeling adventurous, you might try your hand at the FlowRider Double Interactive Wave Rider. This two-person surfing machine pumps a shocking 32,000 gallons of water per minute when it is running. And though getting soaked at any water park is inevitable, the Super Splash Bucket will see to it that 55 gallons of water gets dumped on you all at once. On top of the water rides themselves, there are three basketball hoops, a number of waterfalls, spray features and inner tubes. A suspended 12-foot "water screen" displays movies, TV shows and music videos, and music and lights are controlled by a state-of-the-art, DJ-controlled sound and light system.
So what are parents supposed to do? “We skew older than most water parks," Cooper says. "It’s not just kids—it’s moms and dads.” If parents don’t want to get in on the action, they can relax in an indoor/outdoor adult spa/whirlpool hot tub. For kids too young to surf and slide down three stories' worth of slides, they get their own activity pool and wading pool.
On dry land, there's an Italian-style deli and the Splash Gift Shop. The Radisson also boasts a large, 50-station arcade. Arcadia has classics like Ms. Pac-Man and Galaga, as well as modern games like Dance Dance Revolution and Guitar Hero. The Art! Attack studio lets visitors paint and glaze their own pottery. They can even tap out their own souvenirs at Tinterto Tin Workshop & Studio, owned by Jason Younnis y Delgado, a fifth-generation tinsmith. Nonwatery activities such as these are priced around $5. “Prices are very reasonable. We’ve tried to price it to be family-friendly,” Cooper explains.
There's an almost overwhelming number of diversions at the park, but Cooper takes no time singling out his favorite. “My favorite part of the park is to see the absolute wonder and joy on the faces of the children as they walk into the park ... it is such a precious sight.”