Saturday, April 20, 2024

Camelback Lodge Opens Northeast USA’s Largest Indoor Waterpark

Tannersville, PA, USA — On Friday, May 1, owners of the $163 million Camelback Lodge & Aquatopia Indoor Waterpark opened the doors to the largest indoor waterpark in the Northeast and the largest hotel and most innovative waterpark ever constructed in the U.S. in a single phase.

The 125,000 square-foot Aquatopia Indoor Waterpark, part of the 170,000 square-foot indoor family adventure center, features seven pools, 13 waterslides and a multitude of thrilling water attractions. Combining waterpark fan favorites with several never-before-seen attractions and slides in an immersive world exploration and discovery theme, Aquatopia premieres as the most innovative and educational indoor water and adventure park ever created. At the helm is fictitious legendary explorer, Kartrite Van Der Berris, who has filled the waterpark with wonders from his worldly expeditions.


The Great Kanagawa Wavepool features a snowcap-topped mountain, complete with a real Sno-Cat that uses thousands of LED light and sound effects to create the illusion of an avalanche plummeting into the pool. The Australian-surfing themed Bombora FlowRider lets guests ride the waves alone or with a partner. Aquatopia’s The Lost River is a vast departure from a typical lazy river, enthralling guests with a dark adventure river ride through the jungle into a mysterious temple to find clues before emerging into daylight and a 60-foot waterfall. Perched on its launching pad high above Flyboys, the adults-only swim up bar, is Kartrite’s DHC-2 Beaver Float Plane, affectionately named, “Spirit of Tannersville.”

As its name implies, the Venus SlydeTrap devours riders on a three- to six-person family rafting tube. The only combination family raft ride of its kind in the world, the Venus SlydeTrap fuses three thrilling waterslide experiences into one slide. The 600-foot long, fully enclosed family rafting experience has a record-breaking sphere and open ‘manta’ wall ride. Starting with a heart-pounding drop, riders speed down an enclosed serpentine flume before they are injected into a 16-foot sphere where they bank around 90-degree turns, and finally are plunged back into darkness. Next, riders are propelled back into the rushing waters where they experience wall crawling Zero-G oscillations before being swallowed and spit back out into a plunge pool below.


Kartrite’s Quest is the World’s First ‘Next Generation’ fully themed and immersive multi-level AquaPlay structure. Like a traditional interactive play structure, Kartrite’s Quest features a 1,000-gallon, themed giant dumping bucket perched more than 52 feet overhead and 84 interactive water effects, including bubbler and geyser jets, rotating dumping troughs, hose jets, pull ropes, tipping cones, water guns, plunger jets, water wheels and water cannons. From that point on, a new wave of technology was incorporated into the design to make Kartrite’s Quest the world’s first attraction of its magnitude. Kartrite’s Quest was created not only to be interactive, but educational as well. Children are able to take hold of their own exploration as they encounter dozens of highly themed elements including: “The Flags of the World” navigation symbols, constellations, Kartrite’s Library, high flying hang glider, giant carved tree, huge sail, zodiac expedition boat, periscope, Atlantis-themed kids-zone and giant logbook with ink blotter and quill.

The Storm Chaser, a gravity-defying water-based coaster, is North America’s longest indoor uphill water coaster, measuring an adrenaline-charged 756 feet. Coaster enthusiasts can chase the storm on a one- or two-person tube slide that travels uphill on jetted water. Shortly after riders take their seats, they maneuver between open and fully enclosed dark and translucent sections of the slide. Five drops and four breathtaking curves give riders a feeling of weightlessness, providing thrills to the very end.


Situated under 1.5 acres of Texlon transparent roof – the largest install in North America – Aquatopia’s innovative design allows guests to soak up the sun indoors at a comfortable 84-degrees year-round. More than 120 lifeguards trained and certified through Ellis & Associates oversee the safety operations and regulations for Aquatopia Indoor Waterpark.

Aquatic Development Group (ADG), a leading designer and builder of waterparks and recreational water and mountainside attractions across the U.S., was the lead designer and builder of Aquatopia. Drawing on decades of experience, ADG’s team designed the park to include exceptional attention to detail with distinctive features that guests of all ages and interests will enjoy. From the one-of-a-kind “dark” river adventure to the amazing roofing system, ADG’s product innovations and designs continue to find new avenues for delivering exciting recreational attractions that appeal to visitors and enhance the park’s profitability. WhiteWater West served as the lead waterslide supplier and installer, including the world premiere of the ‘Next Generation’ AquaPlay structure.


“This has been an extraordinary project because of my own personal involvement and vested interest in Camelback,” said Ken Ellis, an owner of Camelback Lodge & Aquatopia Indoor Waterpark, co-owner of Camelback Resort and Camelbeach Waterpark, and owner, president and CEO of Aquatic Development Group. “I’m extremely proud of the talented and diligent team at ADG, the innovative slide attractions by WhiteWater West, the incredibly executed details by Weber Group, and the work put forth by so many others who brought our vision to life. Aquatopia is incredibly innovative because we had the full force of the industry’s best people behind it.”

WhiteWater West president and CEO Geoff Chutter noted, “The efforts put into the development of Aquatopia were extremely collaborative. As we brought innovative and exciting products to the table, ADG introduced theming and narrative to further elevate the play experience. The unique colors, theming and the intricate story of Kartrite’s Expeditions will blow guests away.”

Camelback Lodge & Aquatopia Indoor Waterpark was developed by a unique group of owners, each bringing distinct and noteworthy experience to the project. Camelback Resort and Camelbeach Waterpark co-owners Arthur Berry III and Aquatic Development Group CEO Ken Ellis, partnered with Pete Helland Jr., Pat Helland, Tim Lucke and Tim Gantz of Stand Rock Hospitality, who each have a long legacy in indoor and outdoor waterpark development and management.

Nestled in the heart of the Pocono Mountains at the base of Camelback Resort in Tannersville, Pennsylvania, the new Camelback Lodge features 453 luxury guest suites, three restaurants including a ski-in/ski-out, multiple bars and eateries, adult and kid spas, indoor adventure center and the colossal, 125,000 square-foot Aquatopia Indoor Waterpark. Transforming Camelback Resort into a four-season adventure destination, Camelback Lodge complements the existing seasonal outdoor waterpark, skiing, snowboarding, snowtubing, ziplining, treetops obstacle course, mountain coaster and more.

The heart of the Pocono Mountains draws visitors from New York, New Jersey and Philadelphia with 28 million people living within 180 miles of this historic recreation vacation destination.


Joe Kleiman
Joe Kleiman
Raised in San Diego on theme parks, zoos, and IMAX films, InPark's Senior Correspondent Joe Kleiman would expand his childhood loves into two decades as a projectionist and theater director within the giant screen industry. In addition to his work in commercial and museum operations, Joe has volunteered his time to animal husbandry at leading facilities in California and Texas and has played a leading management role for a number of performing arts companies. Joe previously served as News Editor and has remained a contributing author to InPark Magazine since 2011. HIs writing has also appeared in Sound & Communications, LF Examiner, Jim Hill Media, The Planetarian, Behind the Thrills, and MiceChat His blog, takes an unconventional look at the attractions industry. Follow on twitter @ThemesRenewed Joe lives in Sacramento, California with his wife, dog, and a ghost.

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