Wild Rivers is a long time local water park located in Irvine. It was announced four years ago that the plot of land that the water park occupies would make for better use toward the community and better benefit towards its economic health.
Although Irvine Co. ended the lease agreement with Wild Rivers, it allowed the park to stay open for an extra four years. On October 2, 2011, the lease agreement officially ended, forcing the water park to pack its bags and relocate to another location.
Wild Rivers was known in Orange County for not just its rides, but as well as its employment of youth. Wild Rivers is the largest youth employer in the entire Orange County and out of the 1,200 employees, 50% of them were youth. With the park now closing down, all of the employees would now have to find a job elsewhere, losing one of their best chances of getting a job.
But if Wild Rivers manages to relocate to another area in time, then those employees would be offered jobs again. The water park was also one of the places that locals in Orange County could enjoy whilst cooling down from the summer heat.
Mike Riedel, the president of Wild Rivers, is hoping to relocate in time before the deadline as he and staff makes negotiations with Great Park near Irvine. Currently, the park is still unable to come to an agreement with Great Park and it is not sure whether or not Wild Rivers would be allowed to remain in business or not. Even when Wild Rivers is able to secure property for the park and manage an agreement, people may have to wait at least two years before the park actually re-opens elsewhere. During these years, the negotiations will need to be complete before construction occurs, which would add another nine months to finish.
According to the LA Times, the plot of land that Wild Rivers occupied is going to be used to build 1,700 apartments. These apartments would be constructed immediately after they finish moving Wild Rivers.
Riedel is hoping that Great Park will give Wild Rivers the permission it needs to secure a plot of land and to begin construction. With the close of Wild Rivers, people will turn to alternative water parks such as Raging Waters, which is now the biggest water park in Orange County.
People must now patiently await the answer to come and see if Wild Rivers will open its doors again.