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Roaring Springs, Wahooz are spending $6 million to make these improvements

Take a ride Roaring Springs' Corkscrew Cavern

Sheila Iverson tested the Corkscrew Cavern ride at Meridian's Roaring Springs water park when it debuted in May 2014.
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Sheila Iverson tested the Corkscrew Cavern ride at Meridian's Roaring Springs water park when it debuted in May 2014.

Roaring Springs, Meridian’s popular water park, will get three new slides and more than 20 animal-themed toys, Meridian Mayor Tammy de Weerd said Wednesday.

The $1.6 million expansion area, named Bearfoot Bay, is scheduled to be done in time for Roaring Springs’ May 13 opening day, according to a statement the water park released Wednesday.

Additionally, Wahooz, the family recreation center next to Roaring Springs and operated by the same people, will expand its event space to 10,000 square feet and add a catering kitchen. The new Galaxy Event Center will seat up to 600 people for receptions, meetings, trade shows and other gatherings. That expansion, costing $4.5 million, is scheduled to open in November.

The Wahooz and Roaring Springs announcements were two highlights of de Weerd’s annual State of the City address. Economic growth was another.

De Weerd said Meridian’s employment grew by 2,800 jobs in 2017, and its unemployment rate shrank to 2.7 percent.

The mayor credited businesses like The Village at Meridian and AmeriBen, a medical insurance administrator, for the city’s economic health.

The Meridian Chamber of Commerce hopes to foster this trend by forming an auditorium district, de Weerd said. Voters would have to approve the district’s establishment. State law allows such districts to tax hotel room stays or property and use that money to build or operate venues such as public auditoriums, exhibition halls, convention centers and sports arenas. A similar district in Boise levies a 5 percent tax on hotel rooms.

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