Bolstered by a 40-per-cent increase in its head count, industry accolades and more products sold annually than ever before, the head of water slide company ProSlide Technology Inc. still has plans for a water park in Ottawa called Alottawata Water Park.
Guests ride a ProSlide water slide called the "Tornado" at Dreamworld Waterpark in Australia. A similar structure could be featured at the Allotawata Water Park upon its projected completion in 2014.
“It’s imminent,” said ProSlide president and CEO Rick Hunter. “We continue to make sure we’re advancing the planning of Alottawata, that is absolutely in the cards.”
The already-pushed back target opening date of 2014 might be postponed to 2015, he said, adding that it’s a matter of making sure the economy is ready for it.
The park will be constructed at a site off Highway 416 south of Barrhaven.
ProSlide now has 91 employees – a 40 per cent increase from 18 months ago – and was recently honoured with two awards from the International Association of Amusement Parks & Attractions. One was for best water park slide, and the other was the IAAPA Impact Award which recognizes the best new product or service out of the 17 total award recipients.
ProSlide is the only company to have won the Impact Award more than once, taking it home in 2003, 2004 and again in 2012.
“It’s like winning a world cup at any sporting event,” Mr. Hunter said. “We’re on the top of our game.”
The winning slide is its HydroMagnetic Mammoth, a “watercoaster” that emulates the high speeds and hill climbs of a roller coaster. It’s the longest watercoaster in the world at more than half a kilometre in length.
Despite a struggling economy, ProSlide sells about 70 products per year to areas including North America, China and the Middle East. Leisure markets are somewhat “recession proof,” Mr. Hunter said, with regional water parks doing well because of staycations.
“People need to have a good day,” he said. “They need to get away from the ‘woe is me,’ and get the family together.”
Ongoing high-profile projects include water slides for Six Flags and Great Wolf Resorts at locations across the U.S. as well as slides and "watercoasters" in Australia, Switzerland and Kuala Lumpur.
In 2010, ProSlide water rides were installed in the iconic Beijing Water Cube from the 2008 Olympics, in a deal worth almost $3 million.
Founded in 1986, ProSlide has won 27 industry awards in the last two decades.