New waterpark resort for Illinois
Keylime Cove, a new indoor water resort in Gurnee, Illinois, opened its doors to the public on February 29. Offering a “cruise-ship-on-land” experience, the project is the brainchild of Dave Anderson, founder of Famous Dave’s Legendary Pit Bar-B-Que and Rainforest Cafe restaurant chains.
Entering the park is a journey into an enchanted aquatic paradise filled with lush palm trees, tropical vegetation and water that stretches to the artificial skyline painted with painted clouds.
The $135 million facility features waterpark equipment from Whitewater West including an AquaPlay RainFortress play structure known as Toukie’s Big Delug. The obligatory tipping bucket is themed as a giant pineapple drink bucket.
The slide complex chosen for the indoor park provides a full range of custom designed tube and body slides, many of which escape outside the main complex. The feature ride here is Whitewater’s SuperBowl, which appears as Hurricane’s Vortex, a 1-2 person inner tube bowl that flows out into the lazy river below. Two fully enclosed 1-2 person inner tube slides extend off the 40ft elevation into a landing pool below. Next to these are two serpentine body slides that extend off the same height but at a far more thrilling configuration.
The aforementioned lazy river offers the ability to explore this island paradise at guests’ leisure and push through the simulated surf of the wave pool to the beach beyond. Additional attractions include a family wave pool, numerous children’s slides and various AquaSpray products.
In addition to the 65,000-square-foot waterpark, KeyLime Cove also features more than 400 family-friendly resort-style suites and staterooms as well the Paradise Mist Spa, RipTide Reef Arcade and various destination restaurants including The Crazy Toucan Margarita Grill and DW Anderson’s Old-Fashioned Ice Cream Parlor and Eatery.
Keylime Cove is also America’s first waterpark, indoor or outdoor, to become completely cashless by utilising state-of-the-art Smart Band RFID (radio frequency identification) wristband technology.
“Our guests don’t have to worry about carrying room keys or keeping track of their money,” says managing director Andrew Bateman. “Parents will be able to pre-fund their children’s wristbands, so they can monitor purchases.”
Additionally, guests who board some of KeyLime Cove’s water rides will receive a unique opportunity to capture a memory. While on the ride, the wristband will be scanned to link the guest with a digital photograph taken of them. Guests can then view their photographs on monitors at the ride’s exit.