A part of the Oka Gemchugina (also known as Okskaya Zhemcuzhina) Family Entertainment Resort, Gorki Waterpark covers 7,200 square meters (77,500 square feet). Set up on two levels, the resort-which includes an adjoining hotel-offers recreation for all ages in a complex designed and supplied byPolin Waterparks and Pool Systems.
On the upper level, families with small children can lounge in an artificial lake with mini slides, fountains and showers. Below, the main level caters to adults with extreme waterslides, two pools, a solarium, a leisure river, a whirlpool and a variety of other amusement rides.
Days before the waterpark’s official opening, thermometers in the local region were registering highs that were below normal by 18 degrees Celsius. Pipes throughout the region were bursting, schools were closed and flights had been disrupted due to the extreme weather. But inside the gleaming new facility, local officials basked in balmy temperatures as warm water lapped at the edges of the leisure river and rolled in from the wave pool.
Elena Tsareva, vice president of the regional government, attended the ceremony on behalf of Governor Oleg Kovalev. She offered congratulations on the inaugural event, as did other officials in attendance, including Galina Sokolova, the deputy minister of culture and tourism of the Ryazan region.
The new waterpark-which can accommodate as many as 1,000 guests each day- is part of a federal program designed to encourage increased domestic tourism. Tsareva cited the project as “a good example of public-private partnership.”
Besides the waterpark and hotel, the Oka Gemchugina complex includes several restaurants and a modern spa. The spa features a Finnish sauna, a Turkish hammam and a Russian bathhouse. In the next few months, the spa will offer treatments such as wraps, peels and massages using natural essential oils.
In addition, a family entertainment center is under construction and is expected to open before the end of the year.
As this final section of the Oka Gemchugina complex is finished, other new attractions will begin to open nearby-additional projects that are also part of the federal program’s regional tourism and recreation area. These new attractions will include a fishing village, yacht club, a complex of guest houses and another hotel. Officials expect the last of these projects to be completed in 2015.
Polin-which now operates a satellite office in Krasnador, Russia-installed a variety of slides at the
<align=”left”>Gorki Waterpark to ensure that all guests could find a ride they enjoyed. Selim Doguoglu, head of Polin’s Russian office, says that to accommodate as many attractions as possible, the company tried to use the building’s footprint to its greatest advantage.
For example, he said, “Our engineers developed an ingenious design that placed the majority of the slides’ pathways outside the building.” Guests enter the slides from inside the facility, then zip through tunnels on the building’s exterior. They twist and turn through adrenalin-pumping passages before looping back into the building for a splash down inside. “By extending the slides outside, we had more room on the interior to include a wider variety of attractions. No matter what their mood, I know guests at Gorki Waterpark will find a slide that fits their interests,” Doguoglu said.
Polin included some of its most popular attractions in the facility’s development. They include:
- A Kamikaze. This slide’s configuration is the most extreme in the park at 30 meters (98.4 feet) long. While not all those who climb to the top of the slide’s platform accept the challenge of its thrilling ride (a “chicken” exit is available), those who do experience a series of jaw-dropping falls that make them true devotees of the attraction.
- A Space Hole/Black Hole Combination. Guests who traverse the maze-like trip of this slide travel through enclosed tunnels that shoot them through unpredictable turns and sudden drops. (Some guests have come close to setting records for the longest squeal for the duration of this ride!)
- A Magic Hole. With its unique elliptical shape and flat bottom, this enclosed slide promises an unforgettable ride with multiple twists, turns and drops. Double tubes allow those who are a bit less courageous to pair up with a braver companion for the trip.
- An Aquatube. Guests speed along this enclosed slide in complete darkness, creating a thrilling experience that is unmatched by the park’s other slides.
- A Tunnel Body Slide. A less intense ride beckons guests who experience this smooth, somewhat slower slide.
- Wave Pool. Probably the most popular pool for both children and adults, the rocking waves in this attraction allow guests of all ages to imagine they have been transported to a relaxing beach.
- Leisure River. Guestsfloat on tubes along a river that winds through dark, magical caves and mysterious fairy tunnels.
- Whirlpool. Bubbles immerse guests’ bodies in this calming pool, allowing them to drift amid its relaxing and enveloping warmth and soothing their cares away.
- Kids’ Attractions. Among the many aquatic options for children are smaller versions of Polin’s classic Body Slides, Tunnel Sides and Wide Slides. Other themed slides for kids include octopus, frog, cobra, turtle, rabbit and rainbow slides, as well as elephant, mushroom and dolphin fountains and a clown shower. From the bravest to the most tentative, younger guests will no doubt find a slide or other fun water feature that suits their level of speed and ability.