Camelback Resort in Poconos Debuts Aquatopia Indoor Waterpark
PHOTO: Camelback Lodge now features Aquatopia, a massive indoor waterpark, to complement its ski slopes. (Courtesy of Camelback Resort)
Camelback Resort in the Pocono Mountains in Pennsylvania officially opened the Aquatopia Indoor Waterpark last month, the largest indoor waterpark in the Northeast. The $163 million, eight-story, 453-room Camelback Lodge, located at the base of Camelback Mountain, has now been transformed into a year-round family and adventure destination, including the waterpark, ski slopes and other activities.
The new waterpark is designed to complement Camelback Resort’s existing seasonal outdoor recreation, including Camelbeach outdoor waterpark, skiing, snowboarding, snowtubing, ziplining, a treetops obstacle course and mountain coaster. Camelback Lodge will serve as the largest ski in/ski out indoor waterpark resort in the U.S.
Grand opening specials tied to the new waterpark include a $200 amenity savings booklet with deep discounts in the spa, restaurants, gift shops and more to overnight guests that make a reservation by May 15 for any date in 2015. Camelback Lodge also is offering limited-time day passes from May 11 to June 14 to the normally exclusive Aquatopia Indoor Waterpark.
Beginning June 15, Aquatopia will only be accessible as part of a hotel reservation, and day passes will only be available for Camelback Resort guests when they show proof of purchase from the outdoor Camelbeach Waterpark, Camelback Mountain Adventures, or winter lift pass to purchase a day pass. The special rate for guests 48 inches and over is $39.99 while guests under 37 inches is $29.99.
Aquatopia Indoor Waterpark offers 125,000 square feet of themed entertainment for guests, including seven pools, 13 waterslides and a multitude of thrilling water attractions. It is designed to be unlike any other indoor waterpark in the U.S., and is home to several never-before-seen attractions and slides including: Storm Chaser, the longest gravity-defying uphill water coaster to exist in any indoor waterpark in the U.S.; Venus SlydeTrap, a world-premiere attraction that combines three exhilarating waterslide experiences in one; the Lost River, an immersive, theatrical and dark adventure river experience featuring amusement park level theming; and Kartrite’s Quest, the world’s first fully themed and immersive multi-level exploration AquaPlay structure.
Other waterpark features include the Great Ka-Na-Gawa Wavepool, Bombora FlowRider surfing simulator, Mystic Springs indoor/outdoor family hot tub and several waterslides. Located under 1.5 acres of Texlon transparent roof, Aquatopia has an innovative design that allows guests to soak up the sun indoors at a comfortable 84-degree temperature year-round. More than 120 lifeguards trained and certified through Ellis & Associates, the industry leader in aquatic safety, oversee the safety operations and regulations for the waterpark. Coast Guard-certified lifejackets are available for use and lockers are available for rental.
Elsewhere in the resort, the 45,000-square-foot Arcadia Family Adventure Center offers two levels of themed activities, including more than 100 video, interactive and ticket redemption games; the Ascent, a vertical rock climbing wall and K2 Klimb overhead ropes courses for adults and kids; Meh-Tah’s (Not So) Mini Golf; Lazer Runner, black light laser tag; Polka Dot Pots children’s arts and crafts; Oasis Kids Spa offering manicures and pedicures to the youngest of guests; and Kartrite’s Kids Quest, a themed soft play area for the littlest of adventurers. Adults can take advantage of the Serenity Spa and Fitness Centre.
Camelback Lodge features 453 guest rooms and suites, including 16 different suite styles with loft fireplace suites, balcony suites, family suites with bunk beds, and one- and two-bedroom suites, some with full kitchens. All guest suites are equipped with TVs, microwaves, mini-refrigerators, ironing boards and safes.
There are also three sit-down restaurants and multiple bars and eateries. Trails End Pub & Grille features an extensive burger selection, cast iron mac and cheese, steak dinners and more. The restaurant also serves specialty drinks and craft beer. Hemispheres offers a buffet-style family atmosphere that includes live action-cooking stations and many choices for both adults and children. Neptunes is a sushi bar with small plates, seafood selections, craft beer and wine, and specialty cocktails with a glass panel panoramic view of the waterpark. World Bazaar & Coffee Shop offers specialty coffee drinks pastries and snacks.
Within the waterpark, guests can dine on burgers, sandwiches and pizza at Hungry Camel and Colonial Columns, and have dessert at Sweet Discovery with homemade yogurt, assorted candies and fudge cookies. Adult beverages are available in and out of the pool inside Aquatopia at Moroccan Nights and Flyboys, the adults-only swim-up bar.
Camelback Lodge also features 20,000 square feet of flexible meeting and entertainment space, in addition to the 18,000 square feet of existing space in the base ski lodges.
The Camelback Lodge & Aquatopia Indoor Waterpark ownership group is a partnership comprised of Camelback Resort and Camelbeach Waterpark co-owners Arthur Berry III and Ken Ellis, and Stand Rock Hospitality partners Pete Helland Jr., Pat Helland, Tim Lucke and Tim Gantz.
Berry and Ellis first met on the Saratoga, N.Y. campus of Skidmore College in 1982. Through their friendship and common vision to bring fun to their family and friends, they purchased Camelback Resort in June 2005 with the goal of building an indoor waterpark resort. The resort has seen substantial growth in nine years of ownership with capital improvement to Camelback’s winter operations, snowtubing park, Camelbeach Waterpark and the opening of Camelback Mountain Adventures.
More by James Shillinglaw
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