Editor’s note: Scott Myrick, president and chief financial officer for Thunder Falls Enterprises, is a partner with Chisholm Trail LLC, which owns the Yukon Review and Mustang News.
Plans for an indoor water park resort in Yukon are rapidly moving forward, officials say.
Bryce Johnson said the Thunder Falls indoor waterpark resort is to be located at Frisco Road and State Highway 66 and is expected to break ground early this summer with completion projected to be summer of 2020.
Details on the size and design of the project have not been announced.
The project, which is being developed by local businessman Scott Myrick, president and CEO of Thunder Falls Enterprises, was announced in 2015 and will be unlike any other attraction in Oklahoma, said Johnson, director of Development and Construction for Thunder Falls Enterprises.
Johnson said the project is on target to be completed at about the same time as an interchange that is planned for Interstate 40 at Frisco Road.
Groundbreaking for the resort project was expected last fall, but was delayed as the city of Yukon finalized plans for the realignment of Vandament Avenue and the expansion of Frisco Road.
The city, last week, awarded the contract for the Vandament realignment project to Oklahoma City-based Bishop Paving, and is expected begin advertising for bids on the Frisco Road project during its Jan. 16 meeting.
Johnson said that Manhattan Construction Group has been selected as the design-build contractor for the project. Designs and the budget for the project are in progress.
“We are in the process of working with Manhattan Construction to establish our overall design and programming for our resort as well as working on pre-construction budgets, once these initial phases are complete, we will be able to start the process of scheduling the groundbreaking ceremonies.”
Groundbreaking is expected to happen within the next 90 days, Johnson said.
The project is expected to take about 24 months to complete.
Myrick originally announced the plans for the park more than a year ago. It was intended to operate in conjunction with a sports complex planned by the city.
However, those plans fell through when a sales tax proposal to fund the sports complex was rejected last year by voters.
That, however, did not change Myrick’s plans for his water park and hotel complex.
Johnson said although there are waterparks nearby, Thunder Falls will be a totally different concept.
“Thunder Falls Resort will have a completely different concept than anything that you would find in the state of Oklahoma. We are so excited to be able to announce all of the wonderful details to our state and community in the near future.” Johnson said.
“Thunder Falls Resorts has hired the best waterpark resort management firm in the country. We wanted to make sure that if we were going to build the best, we had to hire the best, so not only have we hired the best construction management firm, we have hired Richard Coleman of American Resort Management to operate and manage our indoor waterpark and hotel resort.” Johnson said. “The Thunder Falls team has been working diligently with Mr. Coleman to design this truly one of a kind resort here in the heart of Oklahoma.”
Yukon City Manager Jim Crosby said that while the water park will be built on property that is in the Oklahoma City city limits, in proximity to Yukon will have a great benefit to the community.
“If it opens before the I-40 interchange is completed, it will help with people coming through Yukon and getting goods and services. It will draw thousands to the city,” Crosby said.
He also pointed out that once the interchange is completed, Yukon will likely see significant commercial and residential development in the area.
“I feel it will impact us an awful lot. … We will see a lot of development in Yukon proper,” he said. “It’s going to be a wonderful thing for this area.”
Johnson said the plan has been to build a “legacy” project in Yukon.
“Why a water park? A water park is a family environment. Scott is a family man. He shares the same vision our whole team does. All four of us (Thunder Falls Enterprises management team) have families, and that is the most important thing to us. It’s all about sharing time with family, and there is no better place than a water park,” Johnson said.
Other members of the Thunder Falls Enterprises group include Chief Financial Officer Philip Cove and Chief Operating Officer Christopher Finn.