Master Blaster Coming To Gulfport

The 50 foot high master blaster will be the star of Gulfport's new Gulf Islands Water Park. Construction on it and the other 12 attractions, for adults and kids, began with the groundbreaking on property behind the sportsplex.

"When we're talking about the waterpark this next year, we're talking about bringing between 200 and 3,000 people in here just to the waterpark," George DeCoux, the city's Department of Leisure Services Director says.

The president of the Lousiana company building the park says it will be a destination for the whole family.

"You have a destination for the adults but there's nothing for the children and the families, so this, we think, will add to not only the children of Gulfport but also the tourists that's coming now to all the various casinos," Ron Haggerty of Coastal Entertainment Operations says.

The waterpark is in Councilman Billy Hewes's ward. He says it will be just the financial boost the city needs.

"It's going to be great for Gulfport and we're going to generate a lot of activity off this... a lot of folks coming and it's going to generate hundreds of thousands of dollars for the city which we need very badly."

The company estimates the park will generate about ten million dollars a year for the city.

The park will employ 178 people during peak season. Eleven of those will be full time. The water fun begins when the gates open on Memorial Day weekend.