Visitors will soon be able to soar down zip lines, clamber through tree tops and race family members down a new water slide, the first slide built in a decade, at Deep River Water Park in Hobart.
A South Carolina-based company is going to build the Deep River Aerial Adventure Park in the woods at the Lake County park at 9001 E. Lincoln Highway. The new tourist attraction, expected to draw up to 20,000 people per year, will have zip lines, bridges, tunnels, and ladders in the tree-top canopy.
Edge Adventure Parks runs similar attractions in South Bend and Noblesville in central Indiana, and is eyeing two more zip line parks near Chicago and Milwaukee.
“It’s the first of its kind in Northwest Indiana,” Owner Steven Doniger said. “You’ll have a bird’s eye view. It will be extraordinary.”
The company will invest $600,000 to $800,000 in the aerial park, which will feature a kid’s area for ages 3 through 6, an obstacle course and a zip line course.
It will have seven to 10 zip lines between about 300- and 900-feet-long. Visitors will be able to zoom along the zip lines 40 to 60 feet in the air while clipped onto full-body safety harnesses the whole time.
The Deep River Aerial Adventure Park is expected to be another major attraction near Instate 65 and U.S. 30, like the Albanese Confectionery Co. and South Lake Mall.
“You’ve got a shopping experience up the road,” Doniger said. “It’s a booming market with growth and positive energy.”
The zip line park will employ up to 30 people, and hiring for seasonal jobs that pay $12 to $15 an hour should start in February.
After taking out $12 million in bonds for various projects, the Lake County Parks Department also will make the first major addition to the Deep River Water Park since 2005, communications director Emily Trisler said. The $2.7 million Kraken slide will stand 40 feet tall and has six lanes for braided mat slide racing.
“We wanted something that’s family-friendly and would also get utilized,” she said. “You line up at the top, and see who gets down first.”
The new slide and aerial park will both be open in summer 2017, and are expected to boost attendance.