Construction starts on new Waveland water park - - The News for South Mississippi

Construction starts on new Waveland water park

Bill Lady shows off the plans for Barnacle Bill's. Bill Lady shows off the plans for Barnacle Bill's.

By Trang Pham-Bui – bio | email

WAVELAND, MS (WLOX) – Crews have torn up the parking lot in front of the Coast Inn in Waveland. They are making room on the 1.5 acre property for a new family attraction.

Bill Lady and his brother Steve own the hotel at the corner of Highways 90 and 603. They decided to build a water park to help drum up revenue.

"We're at kind of a stagnant point and we felt like we needed to do something pretty radical to pick up the business, and this is the concept we came up with," said Bill Lady.

The concept is called Barnacle Bill's, and will feature a children's pool, with a pirate ship and slides. There's also a 390-foot long lazy river, two 25-foot slides, and an 18-hole miniature golf course.

"These are the little pagodas that are covered that can be leased for private parties," Lady said as he showed the plans Monday.

Other amenities include a snack bar, lockers, first aid station and offices. The park will be open to hotel guests and the public.  Lady said the  $1.3 million attraction is very unusual for this region.

"This will be the first I'm sure in Mississippi, and if not Alabama, Mississippi and Louisiana. I really don't know. I haven't found any that are affiliated with a hotel or developed on a hotel property," said Lady.

While he's hoping the water park will help fill up his hotel rooms, especially during the summer, Lady said another goal is to help spark development and revive tourism.

"After Katrina, these kids in the summer months, they just have very little to do," said Lady. "I'm hoping this will not only give locals something to do, but be a new draw for tourists. I hope we bring back not only the population we lost, but to increase it. See if we can't have a good summer season, keep the hotel full, and have a new source of revenue."

Construction should wrap up in early April. The golf course will be open year-round, while the water park will be seasonal. The Mississippi Development  Authority is providing a $50,000 grant to help fund the project.  

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