Bloomington Considers Building Massive Water Park Next to MOA

March 08, 2018 01:32 PM

The group that owns the Mall of America is proposing the city of Bloomington build a massive water park that would cost an estimated $200 million to develop.

The proposed 225,000-square-foot water park would be located in a portion of land surrounding the Mall of America that the city has been looking to develop for years.


When the World's Fair swiftly decided not to take the Bloomington bid, city officials started looking for another use for land.

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The idea was proposed by 555 Group, who would operate and manage the water park. 555 Group also owns the Mall of America and the land on which the water park would be built. The city of Bloomington would own the possible water park.

Questions raised by city leaders at Tuesday's joint Port Authority and City Council meeting included concerns like what happens if MOA ever changes ownership and what would happen if the project were to fail because visitors would rather visit Valley Fair or the Wisconsin Dells.

"This has been something that's been brought to our attention, it's something we will look at and analyze and see if it's the best way to go," said Bloomington Mayor Gene Winstead.

City staff will now begin exploring what type of revenue the city could see by developing an attraction like this, as well as the risks and drawbacks that could be associated with a project of this size.

City leaders just want to make sure, no matter what, that taxpayers aren't on the hook before they move forward with any specific proposal.

"We would be looking into it and analyzing it and I'm sure we'll bring on a consulting group to verify the things that we observe and see," said

Winstead. "You want to do your due diligence to see if this is a strong and good proposal so we can get better answers and make better decisions."

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This possible water park would be open to the public, unlike the nearby Great Wolf Water Park that is only available to those who stay in the hotel.


Katherine Johnson

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