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Archon Plans Water Park, Casino Resort

8 December 2003

LAS VEGAS -- Officials at a Las Vegas Strip waterpark declined to comment today on what their next step will be should a resort be built on the 27-acre site.

The owner of the land, Archon Corp., said Friday it plans to build a hotel-casino anchored by a 600-foot ferris wheel at the Wet 'n Wild waterpark just south of the Sahara hotel-casino.

The announcement was short on details and only said the resort would include restaurants, entertainment venues, convention space and retail.

Archon, which also owns the Pioneer casino in Laughlin, did not discuss the potential resort in its latest quarterly financial statement filed in August.

Archon officials could not be reached for comment.

The Clark County Commission in February approved Archon's plans for a 50-story hotel and timeshare development with a total of 3,250 rooms and 78 suites. The suites would be located on 20 yachts permanently moored on a man-made lake.

Wet 'n Wild Marketing Manager Hannah Johnston said the park "still has a lease agreement" to operate the site but declined to say whether the park has had any discussions about the resort project with Archon. Johnston referred further questions to General Manager Curtis Parks, who declined comment.

As of February, Archon had signed a letter of intent with Voyager Entertainment International Inc. to develop the resort and ferris wheel concept.

Las Vegas-based Voyager is no longer working with Archon and is pursuing another giant ferris wheel project at a more-appealing site in Las Vegas, company President Richard Hannigan said today. Voyager is a penny stock company that went public last year to raise money to build the project. The company aims to develop three giant ferris wheels in Las Vegas, Dallas and Shanghai, China.

The waterpark opened in 1977 and has operated under several owners. Amusement park operator Irvine, Calif.-based Palace Entertainment now leases the land for the park. The waterpark, which has 20 full-time employees and between 300 and 350 seasonal workers, operates annually between April and September. Parks said the company has planned to put a new attraction into the park in summer 2004.

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