Lido gets $2 million waterslide package
Palmerston North's Lido Aquatic Centre will be home to two new thrillseekers' rides and a water playground by Christmas.
QEII Hydroslides director Grant Brenton has placed orders for equipment for the $2 million package that will make the Lido the biggest waterslide attraction in the North Island.
The city council approved the deal at the end of March in the public-excluded part of its meeting.
QEII will own the 14-metre high Superbowl ride and speed slide and the AquaPlay area, Lido operators CLM will manage it, and the total cost to ratepayers will be $300,000 over three years.
The public-private deal, including White Water NZ Ltd, was first put to the council in a submission on the draft annual plan last year.
QEII, which had New Zealand's largest indoor waterslides running at the QEII complex in Christchurch before it was destroyed by the February 2011 earthquake, was looking for a new venture partner.
Benton said the Lido makeover would create a visitor attraction as well as providing a more exciting outing for Palmerston North families.
The Superbowl was the same as a ride at Hanmer Springs - riders on tubes are thrust into a large bowl which they spin around until losing momentum and disappearing down a plughole.
From the same tower, there is the option taking a speed slide reaching 17 metres a second.
The AquaPlay area includes 51 different water-play features, such as tipping buckets, sprays and jets, which are safe for younger children.
Extra picnic tables and umbrellas are part of the associated landscaping work.
Benton said resource consent applications had been lodged, and preparations for installation would begin soon.
Activity on site was likely to start in June, with a target of having all of the new gear in place for the Christmas holidays.
Palmerston North Mayor Jono Naylor said the project was an exciting one.
"It's going to provide the city with a wow factor attraction."
Casual entry to the Lido will rise by $1 for the first time since 2010, and an all-day pass to the slide will be $12.