Looking for a tropical getaway this winter? Look no further than Erie, Pennsylvania. Yes, that’s right, the same Erie known for its harsh winters is now home to a piece of paradise year-round – the 200,000 gallon Wild Waters Indoor Wave Pool, now open at Splash Lagoon Indoor Water Park.
With 81,000 gallons of water pumped every minute, the Wild Waters Wave Pool has 11,000-SF of water surface that can accommodate up to 3,000 people. Visitors can experience seven different wave patterns which create up to 6-foot waves, and a spacious, open-air environment thanks to the six-and-a-half stories of space between water and ceiling. The pool features a Pennsylvania first for an indoor wave pool, a tasteless, odor-free salt generation system. Add in a gently sloping beach, a glass-roof that allows visitors to tan through the winter, panoramic ocean mural featuring a puffy-cloud sky and a Polynesian-themed mural with toucans, colorful jungle plants and trees, and visitors will forget about ever being in the heart of the snow belt.
Urban Engineers, Inc (Urban), which has provided engineering support to Splash Lagoon since 2000, provided structural engineering services for the Wave Pool addition. According to Urban Vice President Dave Steele, PE, LEED AP, the project required increased attention to detail since the structure of the entire park is exposed and expressed as an architectural element, including the 120-foot clearspan wood roof system, “the structure is one of the unique theming elements in the park and something that everybody remembers after leaving.” Urban has provided structural engineering design services for the original 75,000-SF water park resort, along with several other additions at Splash Lagoon, including Frog Pond, 5-story host hotel, Resort Party Room and Restaurant, office space and a new addition to be announced in 2012.
With the addition of the wave pool, Splash Lagoon Indoor Water Park now boasts 102,000 SF, making it the largest indoor water park in the Eastern United States and third largest in the country. The wave pool is expected to attract more tourists to the region and its hotels and restaurants. Nick Scott Jr., vice president of the resort’s parent company Scott Enterprises, recently stated on the website GoErie.com, “People will choose Erie before they choose another location,” he said. “They can get a suntan in February.”