World Waterpark Association's Leading Edge Award Goes To Splashtacular | Sports Destination Management

World Waterpark Association's Leading Edge Award Goes To Splashtacular

Jan 28, 2019

Splashtacular®, the largest U.S.-based manufacturer of waterslides and waterpark attractions, earned industry recognition for its role in creating an immersive experience at The Center of Recreational Excellence (CORE) waterpark located in Hobbs, New Mexico. The World Waterpark Association (WWA) presented Splashtacular with its coveted Leading Edge award at the Opening General Session of its annual show on October 24, 2018 in Las Vegas, Nevada. Leading Edge awards go to individuals and attractions that represent the cutting edge for creativity in developing new themes, facilities, programs, services or operational concepts in the water attractions industry.

“Our team, alongside aquatic designers, pool builders, architects and electrical engineers, poured every ounce of creativity and problem-solving skills into making Hobbs city officials’ and community donors’ vision a reality. Together, we developed unique solutions, such as custom LED lights not found anywhere else in the world, says Splashtacular’s vice president of design Kodi Theilgaard. “Collectively, we created a mesmerizing resemblance of the local arid terrain for an immersive experience that attracts guests of all ages.” 
The CORE features a lazy river, body slides, beach-entry pool, rain-simulating water feature, raft slide and water falls. From floor to the ceiling, a combination of lighting, sound, ride mix, interactive features and show sequences create an immersive environment that tells the story of New Mexico from anywhere in the waterpark.

The ground level features a custom designed eroded sandstone island with rockscapes, several stylized ocotillo cacti art sculptures and multiple waterfalls. A long row of high-flow fountain jets with embedded LED lights sits in the middle of the island. Mirroring the center landscape, a lazy river anchors the island.

Much of the immersive magic takes place at the ceiling level. Three clusters of hanging stylized rings represent the eroded sandstone found throughout caves and canyons in Hobbs. Clusters of translucent dodecahedrons with custom diffusers resemble geo clouds. No other waterpark in the world has this type of LED lighting. These innovative features combine with a rain-simulating water feature that hangs 20 feet above the pool’s surface, plunging users into an experience of a gentle storm rolling through the airid New Mexico landscape.

Splashtacular president, Alex Weidman, explains, “The CORE waterpark serves as inspiration for everyone involved in the waterpark industry, offering a vision of what’s possible when unique approaches to using light, sound and immersive effects are taken. Guest satisfaction and ticket sales are dependent on the experience a waterpark provides. One of the best ways to enhance guests’ experience is to offer attractions that are exciting and unique for all age ranges.”

While the overhead features and island work in tandem for a sensory experience, waterslides and aquatic play features make the CORE thrilling and exciting fun for all ages. Waterslide supports are inverted and hang from the ceiling to preserve the open view that serves as guests’ first impression. Younger guests enjoy depth charges with push buttons in the pool, plus highly interactive ground bubblers and playful water features in the beach entry. For older guests, there is a body slide with a top-five timing system, a raft waterslide with an additional 2000 watts of sound, LED light show, translucent effects and a laminar waterfall that cascades onto riders.

Theilgaard says, “We set out to design an environment so close to the real thing that guests can suspend their disbelief and lose themselves in the natural beauty of the Hobbs wilderness that is recreated in the CORE’s waterpark. In the end, immersive experiences are what makes any waterpark a splashing success.”

To learn more about the CORE waterpark, view the video and case study.

About Splashtacular: Splashtacular® is the largest producer of waterslides and waterpark attractions manufactured in the U.S. and a winner of the World Waterpark Association’s Industry Innovation Award for Suppliers and Leading Edge Award. Since 1994, the company has built thousands of waterpark attractions around the world. The company designs, engineers and manufactures unforgettable waterpark experiences for families, such as 360Rush, Double BowlsEye, and the innovative standing waterslide, Slipstream. All of Splashtacular’s designs are created and manufactured in the United States with durable U.S.-sourced materials, resulting in less maintenance and a better long-term investment for waterpark owners. For more information on how the company turns waterparks into splashing successes, visit

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