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See the Raging Waters slides come down in Salt Lake City

The old water park will become a new “community asset,” says the mayor.

(Chris Samuels | The Salt Lake Tribune) Contractors begin the work of disassembling Raging Waters water park in Salt Lake City, Wednesday, Oct. 20, 2021. The park has been closed since 2018, and the city plans to renovate the area into a public asset.

The bright green, yellow and blue water slides are coming down in Salt Lake City’s Glendale neighborhood — slowly.

The old Raging Waters, or Seven Peaks for the younger folks, used to be packed with families. Kids lined up with their tubes and hiked up steep wooden stairs for their chance at a wild ride, with the brave going headfirst. The goal was to stay on the tube; many didn’t succeed.

Since 2018, the park has been shuttered. The city, which has long owned the 17 acres at 1700 South and 1200 West, has decided it would be too costly to revive the watery playground, which included one of the nation’s first wave pools.

(Chris Samuels | The Salt Lake Tribune) Contractors begin the work of disassembling Raging Waters water park in Salt Lake City, Wednesday, Oct. 20, 2021. The park has been closed since 2018, and the city plans to renovate the area into a public asset.

A small crew started dismantling the iconic slides Tuesday, a big step in the long process to clear that land. The process could take a month. The old concrete underneath will become road base. The trees will stay.

What will take the water park’s place is unclear. But the property will remain in city ownership, and the land will be for a public purpose, likely a park of some sort.

“We want this land to become a valued community asset once again,” Salt Lake City Mayor Erin Mendenhall said recently. “The water park is an important part of our city’s history and its future. We are looking forward to learning from the Glendale community and other Salt Lake residents about what this site means to them and how it could be transformed.”

The mayor’s office said it will start a public engagement process in November, with the goal of having a plan in the spring.

But for those who yearn for the old days of the water park, there is a glimmer of hope. The city is dismantling some of the old slides and storing them for potential future use.

— Photographer Chris Samuels contributed to this report.

Correction: Oct. 22, 10:30 a.m. • An earlier version of this story indicated when parts of the new plan would be in place. That has yet to be decided.

(Chris Samuels | The Salt Lake Tribune) Contractors begin the work of disassembling Raging Waters water park in Salt Lake City, Wednesday, Oct. 20, 2021. The park has been closed since 2018, and the city plans to renovate the area into a public asset.


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