WAVELAND, MS (WLOX) - Thursday, South Mississippians will have a new place for summer fun. That's when Buccaneer State Park in Waveland will reopen Buccaneer Bay Water Park.
As you may remember, the water park was destroyed by Hurricane Katrina and it has been an eight year process to rebuild. Before the storm, the water park was one of the state's largest tourists attractions. Now, after a $5 million restoration project, officials are hoping it regains that status.
"It was what we called one of our million dollar revenue parks. I can't recall exactly the total profit, but it was generating well over a million dollars a year. Of course, we're looking for even better than that now almost eight years later," said Ramie Ford , Director Mississippi State Parks.
The park is now ready to reclaim the half million visitors it attracted before the summer of 2005.
"We draw from Louisiana, Alabama, the entire state of Mississippi," said Waveland Mayor David Garcia.
"So having that kind of visitation come through this particular park, it's got to be good for the area," explained Ford.
Shops and restaurants on the way to Buccaneer, like Dee's Discount Variety Store, have already seen the benefits from Buccaneer's camp grounds.
Store Owner Roger Estopinal Jr. said, "They'll pick-up fresh cold cut meats. They'll pick-up fresh boiled crawfish. They'll pick-up hardware for their campers that they need, butane tanks. I do see them coming in more to get more of their picnic supplies, things for their family outing."
And business owners expect even more business from the water park visitors.
Buccaneer Bay Water Park is located on the beach in Waveland. The park opens to the public Thursday morning at 10 am.