Potential land sale could lead to water park

St. George City Council, St. George, Utah, January 2014 | Photo by Mori Kessler, St. George New

ST. GEORGE – City officials discussed the potential sale of a 13-acre parcel of land behind the Dixie Center St. George for $6.1 million which could be developed into a water park or other entertainment-centered ventures.

Island Trading Company may buy a 13-acre parcel of land (highlighted above) for the creation of a water park or a similarly entertainment-based venture for $6 million | Graphic courtesy of the City of St. George, GIS department, St. George News
Island Trading Company may buy a 13-acre parcel of land (highlighted above) for the creation of a water park or a similarly entertainment-based venture for $6.1 million | Graphic courtesy of the City of St. George, GIS department, St. George News

The St. George City Council discussed terms and conditions of a possible purchase agreement between the city and Island Trading Company Thursday. The agreement would allow the group to put a 10 percent down payment on the property with a 4 percent interest rate over the next 25 years.

The property is zoned for commercial development with “pages and pages” of allowable uses, City Manager Gary Esplin said. However, the purchase agreement may remove some of the permitted uses in order to make sure whatever is built on the property benefits the nearby convention center and the surrounding area.

The 13-acre parcel is located east of the Dixie Center St. George and is situated along 270 East coming off the east side of the Dixie Drive Interstate 15 interchange. Located to the north of the property across 1670 South is an additional 2.7-acre parcel that Island Training Company has also expressed interest in purchasing.

The agreement gives Island Trading Company 90 days to study out the best use of the property and to determine if their plans for the plot are viable.

Shayne Barney, a real estate broker representing the group, said it may not take his clients long to agree to the deal and get something rolling.

“The people I represent have put a lot of time and effort into this,” Barney said.

Among the possible uses for the property proposed by Island Trading Company is a potential water park, or restaurants and other hospitality-related businesses.

Island Trading Company recently formed and consists of people with a strong development background, Barney said. Money for the project is coming from outside the area, he said, though it is hoped that the project will gain local backers as well.

Barney said there are potential risks in creating a water park and Island Trading Company will consider how feasible the idea is before committing to it.

“No one’s done a water park (in St. George) yet,” he said.

If the water park idea doesn’t work, Barney said the group would still likely move ahead with a project relating to family entertainment.

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  • Randy October 10, 2014 at 7:26 am

    Our family has wondered for years why no one has built a cool, refreshing water park in hot St. George! We think this would be an outstanding addition to the community and hope it happens!

  • jimmyJamm October 10, 2014 at 7:50 am

    That is not big enough for a water park!

  • CALI GIRL October 10, 2014 at 8:01 am


  • Mary October 10, 2014 at 8:34 am

    A Water park ?
    At last . . . now we can do something with all that surplus water .
    We must not need that pipeline to Lake Powell now ( which is 1/2 full ).

  • Renee October 10, 2014 at 8:55 am

    I would love it if my kids had another fun place to spend time with their friends. A water park would be great!

  • Steph October 10, 2014 at 9:22 am

    Right. Because a water park in a fragile desert ecosystem during the West’s worst drought in a decades sounds like a great idea.

  • Local Driver October 10, 2014 at 9:25 am

    Why couldn’t the City of St. George instead use some of that money to repair a lot of their streets?? Have they driven on the road from Costco to Mall Dr. lately?? That road is in some serious repairs…..and I’m sure there are others that are just as bad, if not worse. Who in the Streets Dept. decided that manhole covers should be located 2-4 inches BELOW the street level, AND in the middle of a lane as opposed to the sides of the street?? They have some engineering wonders employed in the Streets Dept….. But I guess a water park is needed to bring in the resources to (maybe) use to repair the streets. One can only hope.

  • Linn October 10, 2014 at 10:28 am

    Oh boy, my out of state grand kids will be so happy! Thank you St George.

  • My Evil Twin October 10, 2014 at 11:15 am

    Seems to me like water parks are an “iffy” (at best) financial proposition. Haven’t we seen quite a few of these go in, and then fail, in other desert cities? I may be wrong, but it seems like Las Vegas put in a good size water park many years ago, and then it closed after just a few years. If Vegas can’t support one, can St. George?

  • sagemoon October 10, 2014 at 11:29 am

    I like the water park idea. Also, a water park does not need to be or entirely need to be outdoors. In this modern age, are there not ways to cover an outdoor venue to assist with reducing water evaporation? I think a water park would be a huge tourist draw for the southern Utah region. I would also like to see a decent concert venue in St. George. We’re a tourist town, let’s bring in the tourists!

  • Koolaid October 10, 2014 at 2:58 pm

    Nothing like your socialist government spending more money for its pet projects to insure some people keep getting voted into office

    • Duemas October 10, 2014 at 9:19 pm

      Again you prove to be a grade A dumbass! Learn to read moron!

      • Koolaid October 25, 2014 at 9:10 pm

        Like I said, the council surely wouldn’t do something to benefit a capitalist venture without some benefit to their boyz in the hood. What company did the landscaping there on River Road by Maverick? Shoot, by gosh! Isn’t there some affiliation with some council guy?

  • JAR October 10, 2014 at 4:18 pm

    IDEA! LEASE the plot of land to the developer for a whatever agreed upon reason per a normal lease agreement — use the yearly lease proceeds to supplement the general fund/ fix the roads/ Electric theater upgrades/ adding a few more beds for the homeless shelter/ a lock box for the new pipeline to Lake Powell/ upgrade that dusty rodeo hole in the ground, etc.. The Real Estate agent who’s banking on a commission? Let the buyer foot the bill. Yes, I’m your Scottish neighbor. Want to get rid of the old airport property for a profit? Give me a call.

  • ducman748 October 10, 2014 at 5:39 pm

    the government isn’t spending the money, read the article. It’s a private group. Vegas has 2 water parks. The Wet and Wild that closed down, closed because it was on the strip and the property was worth a fortune. Lets not forget, that technically Salt Lake is a desert too and it supports multiple water parks with a very short season. With water recycling technology they won’t use nearly as much water as you think. If we are going to whine about water, lets talk about golf courses and all the lush landscaping in this city…

  • Arne1967 October 10, 2014 at 8:06 pm

    How about condensing all the Larry Miller theatres around town and building a true movieplex/imax theatre similar to the ones up North? Having one nice theatre would be more economical than having 4.

  • EKMullins October 10, 2014 at 10:41 pm

    I think an ice skating rink would be great over there! They could start a hockey league for the kids & adults, along with the skating for the families 🙂 Cool off during the summer & fun in the winter as well…..

  • water park is great idea October 25, 2014 at 8:08 pm

    a. the water is reusable. b. it would be cool and refreshing. c. it would attract even more people to the area bringing more taxes to repair roads and take care of the area. d. i moved here from central florida years ago, and watched many parks flourish there, the towns become beautiful as the park owners were amended to care for certain areas of the town, which relieved the town of those pressures, and monies.. for instance, the entrance ways into the area were gardened and maintained by them.. they also put in local parks for the employees, and it was a great service.. including christmas presents for the areas poor etc etc.. don’t look a gift horse in the mouth people??? jobs, entertainment (family entertainment our area badly needs) this place is great for 4 wheeling, horse backing and tennis etc.. but you know what.. a little change of pace isn’t so bad. GO FOR IT!

  • water park is great idea October 25, 2014 at 8:12 pm

    also, a delicate eco system?…. studies have proven, areas in the desert (towns) where there are lots of man made swimming pools and manmade lakes, caused the eco system to change for the better… within 10 years of major subdivisions, rains came to the area that never came before.. people have got to stop trying to govern everything, they are stopping the natural progression in the circle of life.. its one thing to change the world, but its another thing to stop it.

  • Meow Mix October 25, 2014 at 9:08 pm

    What senior citizen is going to enjoy the water park? What diaper wearing toddler is going to enjoy it? We know the city does not cater to the young to middle age adult crowd. Oh my heck no!

  • Natalie March 13, 2016 at 9:22 am

    You don’t need to be so negative people, I’m just saying! Water park would be amazing it gets so hot here in the summer I would go all the time. Something that would be even better would be a theme park cause we have pretty nice weather in the spring, fall, and winter (not too cold). With the rate that St george is growing I think it would do well. I think as of now its #6 on the fastest growing cities in the US. Plus there are so many families and teenagers here that would enjoy it. Hey toddlers like theme parks too and when I am a senior citizen I will still enjoy it. It would defineitly attract more tourists also. DO IT!!!

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