Empire State Development announces expansion of NY’s largest water theme park

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Water Safari Resort will grow, add new attractions at its Enchanted Forest Water Safari Water Theme Park with $500,000 from Upstate Revitalization Initiative funds 

Empire State Development announced that Water Safari Resort, located in Old Forge in Herkimer County, will expand and enhance its globally ranked Enchanted Forest Water Safari water theme park by adding three new water slides and replacing two older slides, Killermanjaro and Serengeti Surf Hill, among other improvements. Empire State Development has awarded $500,000 in funding from the Upstate Revitalization Initiative towards this project that, when completed, is expected to increase traffic significantly in the region.   

Empire State Development President, CEO and Commissioner Howard Zemsky said, “Tourism stimulates economic growth and job creation, and the expansion of Enchanted Forest Water Safari will help boost tourism at attractions throughout the Mohawk Valley.” 

Enchanted Forest Water Safari Vice President and Director of Marketing Katie Wojdyla said, “We are thrilled to have the support of New York’s Empire State Development for this exciting new expansion project. It’s a win-win for everyone, most of all for our guests and for the region. Killermanjaro and Serengeti Surf Hill have provided millions of rides and memories to guests since 1988, and we look forward to continuing that tradition with our new rides. 

Construction is slated to begin in September and to be completed for the start of the 2020 summer season next June. The three new state-of-the-art water slides will include: a four-lane, 300-foot mat slide with loops to replace the current mat slide; Serengeti Surf Hill, a 200-foot speed slide, with a drop launch pad to replace the current Killermanjaro, and a brand new 295-foot speed slide with loops and a drop launchpad The expansion project includes demolition of the current slides, re-engineering and construction of the new slides, as well as the re-engineering of the water pumps and filtration equipment.  Enchanted Forest Water Safari is also inviting guests to visit before the end of the summer for a last chance to ride Killermanjaro and Serengeti Surf Hill.

“Senator James Tedisco said, “Enchanted Forest Water Safari is a true gem in the 49th Senate District and throughout the region and I am glad that the state could support their expansion and continued positive growth for generations to come.” 

Assemblymember Robert J. Smullen said, “Enchanted Forest Water Safari is a regional draw that enhances the economy of the area and the state. I am proud to support this project that provides jobs and tourism dollars to the Town of Webb in Herkimer County and I look forward to the park’s completion.”

Bernard Peplinski, Sr., Chairman of the Herkimer County Legislature said, “We are thrilled to have such a world-renowned tourist destination right in our back yard and are equally thrilled by their success. I would like to thank Governor Cuomo and Empire State Development for supporting the attractions that truly make Herkimer County unique and great.”

Enchanted Forest Water Safari, located in Old Forge, in the Mohawk Valley, is New York’s largest water theme park with more than 50 rides and attractions, including 32 water rides. The park also features classic amusement rides for all ages, fun food, exciting games storybook characters, a family circus show and more. The Water Park is part of Water Safari Resort, which includes Water’s Edge Inn, Old Forge Camping Resort and Calypso’s Cove Family Fun Park.  Enchanted Forest Water Safari attracts over 200,000 visitors annually from all over the United States and Canada, as well as other countries.

The Park is ranked 4th in the U.S. and 17th in the world in TripAdvisor’s 2019 “Traveler’s Choice” for Best Water Parks 

About Empire State Development

Empire State Development (ESD) is New York’s chief economic development agency. The mission of ESD is to promote a vigorous and growing economy, encourage the creation of new job and economic opportunities, increase revenues to the State and its municipalities, and achieve stable and diversified local economies. Through the use of loans, grants, tax credits and other forms of financial assistance, ESD strives to enhance private business investment and growth to spur job creation and support prosperous communities across New York State. ESD is also the primary administrative agency overseeing Governor Cuomo’s Regional Economic Development Councils and the marketing of “I LOVE NY” the State’s iconic tourism brand. For more information on Regional Councils and Empire State Development, visit www.regionalcouncils.ny.gov and www.esd.ny.gov.

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