AUSTELL — Six Flags Over Georgia unveiled its newest, wettest attraction in a poolside ceremony in May. Hurricane Harbor, a seven-acre water park built to look like a beach town, had been under construction for more than eight months before opening its doors to the public.
Tucked in the back of Six Flags’ sprawling grounds, Hurricane Harbor’s collection of new attractions wraps around an 800,000 gallon wave pool called Calypso Bay.
Other features include a multi-slide complex called the Bonzai Pipelines and Tsunami Surge, the “world’s first hybrid zero-gravity slide.”
Riders of Tsunami Surge will drop 54 feet into a whirlpool bowl, where they will face a 45-foot-high wave wall.
Dale Kaetzel, president of Six Flags Over Georgia, cited delays in the completion of Tsunami Surge as a reason why the water park did not debut on Memorial Day weekend as previously scheduled.
“We wanted to hold off and do it the right way,” Kaetzel said, adding some guests were still given a sneak preview of Hurricane Harbor on Saturday.
The entire water park is now open for business.
While the rest of Six Flags will remain in operation until the beginning of January, Kaetzel said Hurricane Harbor will close its doors on Labor Day weekend.
Park officials feted the attraction’s opening with live music, balloons and bowls of live goldfish set out on tables.
“We feel (Hurricane Harbor) is the best complement to our 11 world-class coasters, this beautiful park and making this an all-day experience,” Kaetzel said to the audience of invited guests, most of whom spent the morning testing the attraction’s waters.
Hurricane Harbor is expected to add 200 to 300 seasonal jobs, according to park officials. Six Flags had an estimated economic impact of $175 million during the 2012 season, according to Cobb Travel and Tourism.
“There is no better place to do business than the state of Georgia and Cobb County,” Kaetzel said during the ceremony.
Cobb Commissioner Lisa Cupid, whose district includes Six Flags, was among the ceremony’s attendees. She said she enjoyed the new water park and planned to bring her children back later in the season.
“It’s gone great,” Kaetzel said of the construction process, which began last September. “There is nothing more beautiful than the sight of people having a great time, and it’s something that we all hoped and dreamed for, and it came true. So we’re very excited.”