Albuquerque could be losing its huge indoor water park, and soon.
It’s not making money — now the owner of the hotel off Carlisle and I-40 wants to close it down.
People connected to the project say the hotel and water park aren’t drawing enough people. Now they want to start from scratch.
ABQ Surf n’ Slide is closed for the season. However, that closure could soon become a permanent one.
“It’s a good thing to have for kids to play around but the locals were just not going,” said Mario Roiz.
“Part of the thinking was that the water park would create a destination that would draw people to the hotel. That was true for the summertime months,” said architect Kent Beierle.
The Wyndham operates the city’s only indoor water park. People who work near the hotel say business has dried up.
“I feel like a lot of people didn’t go to the water park in the first place. It was interesting for a while but they didn’t have enough attraction to keep going,” Roiz said.
The architect on a proposed renovation going before the city says the current owner has already tried re-branding the hotel — even a makeover — but could never seem to fill it.
Right now, plans are in the works to get rid of the water park completely — possibly turning it into a new fitness center.
“Pretty much all the other time it was a failing economic venture and it was one more thing that was causing the hotel to just fail,” Beierle said.
There is also a plan to convert the hotel’s southeast building into an apartment complex with more than 300 units.
“I’ve seen a hotel transform from a hotel to an apartment and that seems to be doing well,” Roiz said.
The owner of the hotel hopes changing up the use of the buildings on the 11-acre site will breathe new life into the area.
“The owner is exploring all kinds of options. What is most important about this project is what he wants to do is create an asset for the community,” Beierle said.
The project is still in its early stages. Next week, the city’s Development Review Board will decide if the owner can move forward with the overhaul.
If the project is approved, the owner of the hotel would like to have all the work done by 2021.