June 23, 2017
H2OBX makes a splash on opening dayWhat
is being billed as "the Outer Banks' wettest, coolest, wildest,
splashiest and craziest new attraction" opened Thursday, June 22 to
rave reviews from the visitors.
The much-anticipated H2OBX
Waterpark attracted a "good size crowd" for its opening day, said
Marketing Supervisor Leah Cribb, who said exact opening day numbers
would be available soon.
Located on an 80-acre parcel on
U.S. Highway 158 in Powells Point, not quite three miles north of the
Wright Memorial Bridge, the $46 million waterpark covers about 26 acres
of the site, leaving plenty of room for expansion, according to
co-owners Ken Ellis and Art Berry III.
include, among many other things, three main multiple water slide
complexes, a Million-Gallon Wave Pool, 90-foot tall Aqua Drop launch
capsule free fall slide, a 500-foot long Boomerango family raft ride
with drops, weightless wall and zero gravity hump and a 540-foot long
family raft ride.
The nearly three-acre children’s adventure
area, expected to open within the next few days, features a
pirate-themed aqua play structure with more than 70 interactive
features and seven slides.
The park also has four food
concessions, including a Wright brothers-themed bar, along with 50
private, wait-serviced cabanas and the Wright Stuff retail store.
Banks themes are reflected throughout the park, starting with the
lighthouse next to the park entrance and continuing with Blackbeard,
Wright brothers and wild Corolla Spanish Mustangs references — along
with the Outer Banks' legendary rip currents, pounding surf and
"It's a scant eight months since our
groundbreaking ceremony," owner Ken Ellis told the Sentinel, "and we've
done a lot in those eight months. We were going to do a ribbon cutting
today, but we decided to tell folks, 'Just come on in and enjoy the
The owners agreed that their actual "drop dead date" for
opening was "always the second or third week in June." The park was
slated to open on June 21, but inclement weather pushed it back one
day. June 22 was sunny, with a gentle breeze and temperatures
reaching the low 90s. "Perfect," the owners agreed.
music performed by the Norfolk-based One Love Caribbean Steel Drum Band
added a nice touch to floating comfortably along the Teach's Tides
Adventure River as it flowed through the heart of the park. The band
members said they were booked just to play on opening day, but were
very open to coming back "whenever they want us."
their son had been "counting down the days" for the park to open, the
Hook family from Manteo said they were very pleased to see the park
open. "We've seen a lot of smiles today. Everybody loves it."
O'Neill family from Avon agreed: "We were concerned about them having
more delays, but we're so glad it opened today. The staff is friendly
and so helpful. And everything is lots of fun."
The Strayer family from Kitty Hawk had high praise for the Paradise Plunge, featuring a nine-story free-fall slide.
door drops open and you fall straight down into the slide, screaming
all the way," said Mrs. Strayer. Searching for the exact word to
describe it, she thanked her daughter for providing it: "Terrifying!"
of the O'Neill family praised the park for providing employment and a
great new attraction to bring tourists to the area: "We really hope
they do well. This is just so good for the Outer Banks!"