New Wild Rivers water park is finally a go

After securing $60 million in financing, Wild Rivers waterpark in Irvine, California is set to make its comeback some time in 2022. Congrats to our client, Mike Riedel of Wild Rivers on this exciting development! H&LA was pleased to work with Mike and his team and complete the feasibility study for the waterpark. We wish everyone continued success with the project!


Published by: The Orange County Register/Alicia Robinson
Published date: July, 2021

Financing in Place, new Wild Rivers Waterpark is finally a go

It won’t come in time to quench this summer’s heat, but a new Wild Rivers water park in Irvine could be ready to open its gates for swimming, sliding and splashing by summer 2022.

Developer Mike Riedel said Thursday, July 1, he now has financing all lined up for the $60 million park and he could start to break ground as soon as the middle of next week.

The original Wild Rivers was a summertime fixture for 25 years before it closed in 2011 after the Irvine Co., which owned the land leased for the park, moved ahead with plans to build apartments there. Now Riedel has a long-term lease with the city of Irvine for a site at the corner of Great Park Boulevard and Skyhawk, near the Orange County Great Park’s baseball fields.

Riedel said he expects to have a grading permit in hand next week and, after the struggle to line up funding, he’s “looking forward to doing the stuff that I’m good at.”

The new park – featuring water slides, raft rides and a lazy river – could be done by next May. Riedel said the work should go quickly because multiple features can be under construction at the same time.

“It’s a relief, it’s a dream come true, really,” he said. “It’s what I’ve worked really hard for, for over a decade, to bring Wild Rivers back.”

Kuo, who remembers trying to conquer the original park’s wave pool while growing up in Irvine, said he expects the new Wild Rivers to be “an amenity really in our community that so many have been wanting to return since their closure.”