[Featured image source: oasisthemepark.com]
Second spot of the Mojave grand urbex tour saw me standing in the middle of an abandoned water park. In a desert. You do the math!
Built in the 1950/60s by a local business man, the park started by the construction of a 273 acre man made lake, which was fed from underground springs. Over the next decade, camping grounds and a water park was constructed, fed by traffic from the nearby Interstate I15. The parks popularity peaked in the early 1970s and again in the mid 1980s, before the park closed in the late 1980s. At the time of its closure, the park housed four 150 feet long waterslides, a jet ski race track, lazy river and a Zip-cord ride.
In August 1990, the park was sold to a consortium who removed some of the water slides to make way for new rides, and in 1998, the park reopened as “Rock-a-Hoola”, the park now rebranded in 1950s style. Some what contradictory to that style was that the Electric Daisy Festival, an all night rave party, was held annually on the site until 2000, where the park was closed due to bankruptcy. The site was then returned to the original owner, who then sold it to another consortium in 2001.
In 2002, the park reopened after a $400,000 renovation as Discovery Water park. The park was only open on weekends in 2002/3 and somewhat ad-hoc in 2004 before once again the park closed its doors, this time for the final time.
In 2008, MTV filmed a skateboarding documentary on the site, using the waterslides and park to perform skateboarding stunts. Shortly after this, the slides were removed by the owners (probably to prevent future lawsuits) and one of the slides, “The Big Bopper”, now resides at a water park in Canada. Since then, the park has been used as a concert venue, a Top Gear America test track, an Airsoft tournament location, for a Mini ad, and various rock band music video locations. Several attempts have been made to renovate and re-open the site, but due to its current vandalised state this is highly unlikely.
[Para-phrased from Wikipedia and local sources]
Somewhat annoyingly, the Daily Fail had posted an article about this location just 2 weeks before I was due to fly out so I was a bit annoyed that the site was public knowledge. That said, in the US urbex sites aren’t as religiously protected as they are in Europe, so I wasn’t expecting a pristine location either. Rolling up just after day break, I was surprised to see another car there and what appeared to be five other people wandering around the ruins. Taking a chance, I wandered onto the site only to bump into two others, one with a spray can in hand and appeared to be “chroming” – that’s one way to start the day! I bumped into the first set of explorers, who was a family with a few of kids wandering about on holiday – apparently the mother visited the waterpark as a child and wanted to reminisce. A short stroll around the site, I’d gotten my photos so left for the next location. And it was only 7.30am!