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Salt Lake City tearing down abandoned Seven Peaks water park. What’s next?

Park once known as Raging Waters was one of Utah’s most popular

Workers tear down the old Raging Waters/Seven Peaks water park in Salt Lake City on Friday, Oct. 15, 2021.
Workers tear down the old Raging Waters/Seven Peaks water park in Salt Lake City on Friday, Oct. 15, 2021.
Jeffrey D. Allred, Deseret News

It used to be one of the most popular water parks in the state. But now, it’s being torn down. Crews have started the demolition of the old Raging Waters/Seven Peaks water park, and city officials want community input on what should take its place.

Water park holds lots of memories

Even though the facility closed its gates in 2018, the abandoned water park still holds a lot of memories for people living near it. One woman said she used to visit the park all the time when she was a kid, and it always seemed to be packed on hot summer days.

“As long as I can remember, it has been open,” she said.

Salt Lake City officials say the land can’t be used for anything other than recreation or green space, so no commercial or residential developments will go there. Some Glendale residents say they would rather see the space be dedicated for people living nearby instead of seeing another large attraction that would bring in people from all over the Wasatch Front.

“I think, finally, it could be some place for us,” one woman said.

Even though there are two parks next to what originally was Raging Waters and later became Seven Peaks, some nearby residents say they still don’t have enough open space for what the community needs.

One woman says the park across the street fills up when soccer or football games are played there. And the current Glendale Park doesn’t have a lot of room for kids to play. She would like to see meeting places, pavilions and more playgrounds in the future park.

“For how big our neighborhood is, I would definitely want them to expand it a little bit more because parking is kind of small, the park is low-key small and we have a lot of children, now,” she said.

Workers tear down the old Raging Waters/Seven Peaks water park in Salt Lake City on Friday, Oct. 15, 2021.
Workers tear down the old Raging Waters/Seven Peaks water park in Salt Lake City on Friday, Oct. 15, 2021.
Jeffrey D. Allred, Deseret News

Asking the public to weigh in

Several people have said they would like to see a splash pad where the water park used to stand. Others have suggested the city make something similar to Liberty Park. Salt Lake City Public Lands Director Kristin Riker said there isn’t enough room to make another Liberty Park. However, the city wants the community to help form the “identity” of the new open space.

“It’s 17 acres of green space that’s dedicated to be a park,” Riker said.

City officials have already opened discussion with community leaders in Glendale, but they still want more public input. Riker said they’ll have discussions with youth groups about the park in November. More public comment periods are planned in early 2022.

The city hopes to present a final idea in the summer. For now, Riker says officials want people to know they’re cleaning up the graffiti and broken down facilities at Seven Peaks.

“We want neighbors to know that they can expect to see some changes in the park. We are working on clearing out some of those features that have been an attractive nuisance,” she said.

Some of the slides may be stored for future use. Crews will also crush the concrete to be used as road base.

Workers tear down the old Raging Waters/Seven Peaks water park in Salt Lake City on Friday, Oct. 15, 2021.
Workers tear down the old Raging Waters/Seven Peaks water park in Salt Lake City on Friday, Oct. 15, 2021.
Jeffrey D. Allred, Deseret News