The Sandusky area's newest waterpark opens next week.
Maui Sands, on U.S. 250 near Ohio 2, will have a "soft opening" Wednesday and will be fully booked Memorial Day weekend, said Scott Emerson, president of the Maui Sands Resort Company.
When it opens, Maui Sands will be Erie County's fifth indoor waterpark, joining Great Wolf, Kalahari, Castaway Bay and Rain.
Maui Sands' 55,000-square-foot indoor waterpark will be complemented by 70 cabanas, a 6,000-square-foot game arcade, a salon and spa, and the SurfRider, which Maui Sands describes as "the country's first and only deep-water surf machine that drops its riders in the middle of a full-throttle pipeline." The new waterpark is billed as "a slice of Hawaii on the shores of Lake Erie."
While Maui Sands is aiming at the same family market as other local waterparks, it's set apart because it offers three different hotels, Emerson said. Holiday Inn Express offers value, Cabana Village offers the SurfRider, and the Family Suites will be the "most upscale hotel in the market," he said.
Meanwhile, work is continuing to revamp an intersection at U.S. 250 providing access to Maui Sands, making the crossroads safer for drivers.
Emerson said the tax increment financing deal reached with the county will finance $1.5 million of the $1.7 million intersection project.
Once the work is complete, the signal light that provides access to Wal-Mart and Applebee's restaurant will be moved a bit south, and the Wal-Mart road and the road to Baywinds will be realigned so that most traffic going into businesses on either side of U.S. 250 will be directed by the traffic light, said Tim Lloyd, senior project engineer for the Erie County Engineer's office.
"We're going to make the Baywinds intersection our main entrance. It's a safer in and out," Emerson said.
The plans for the safer intersection were discussed Monday at the County Services Center.
Assistant prosecutor Gary Lickfelt, who attended the meeting and reported on it at Thursday's meeting of the Erie County Commissioners, estimated construction on the revamped intersection could begin in 2009.