ALBUQUERQUE (KRQE) – Its water slides once towered above the cars speeding by on I-25. Its wave pool drew in thousands of kids each summer. Its lazy river was a prime spot to relax.
The Beach water park was once a major part of Albuquerque but now lives on only in memory and old pictures.
Opened in 1987, the park shut down in 2004 following a failed health inspection.
The gates never opened to visitors again. Two years later the park was auctioned off piece by piece.
The land has sat vacant ever since and has morphed into an eyesore off I-25. Graffiti and trash litter much of the property, left behind by people breaking in.
Despite its prime spot at the intersection of I-25 and Montano, there hasn’t been anything built that replaces the Beach on the 23 acre site in the years since the water park closed.
“You know what they’ve been saying, it’s the economy,” said Lisa Allen-Urrea with developer Sedberry and Associates. “I have to go on that same line. It’s the economy.”
Allen-Urrea says the steep slopes that once proved perfect for slides are a tricky challenge for building something new out there.
But now there’s a plan in place and some signs that development could happen on the site. Just don’t expect a water park.
“We see this as retail restaurants,” Allen-Urrea. “Pad sites to accommodate this area and the traffic that goes by it every day.”
The plan is to build those restaurants along the I-25 frontage on higher ground and develop the lower part for industrial uses.
Allen-Urrea couldn’t get into specifics about future plans but says more details could come in the next few months.
As for a new outdoor water park in Albuquerque? No word on that happening anytime soon.