UPDATE: Lost Island given special permit to expand

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UPDATE: Waterloo Planning and Zoning Commission has approved the special permit for Lost Island’s expansion.

The vote came after the owners explained their plans to cut down on noise as well as light pollution. They intend to place roller coasters further away from the nearest homes. Plans to prevent future flooding near those homes were also presented.

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WATERLOO, Iowa (KWWL) — Becky and Gary Bertch, owners of the wildly popular Lost Island Waterpark, say they are going to expand their current entertainment venue by building a $100-million Theme Park on East Shaulis Road, just south of the current Lost Island location in Waterloo.

It will be known as the Lost Island Themepark.

In a press release, the family says the proposed Lost Island Themepark will open in 2022. They expect construction to begin soon, perhaps within a few weeks.

Financing will be a combination of State Rise funding, City Assistance, private investment and other financing.

The theme park project will include a variety of rides and attractions designed to immerse guests in the stories of magical lands that can only be found at the Lost Island Themepark.

The press release says the new attraction is expected to enhance the Cedar Valley as a great place for family entertainment.

Lost Island Waterpark was just named second best Waterpark in the United States in the annual Reader’s Choice survey in USA Today.  Lost Island Waterpark has been open since 2001.


UPDATE: Waterloo may soon continue to grow as an entertainment hub for families looking for summer or weekend fun.

The land is only a cornfield now but by this time in 2022 the Bertch’s expect thousands of families to be traveling to the area for the Lost Island Themepark. It’s expected to take up 90 acres of the land with a 30-acre lake next door.

With temperatures hitting the upper 80’s families were pouring into the Lost Island Waterpark and very soon they’ll have another option when it comes to family fun.

“We will have a couple of roller coasters and a variety of other attractions that you’d find at an amusement park,” said Eric Bertch, general manager of Lost Island.

The Lost Island Theme-park will take guests deeper into the story behind it in a new immersive way.

“That will encourage guests to discover through play, whether its scavenger hunts or interactive elements throughout the facility that you don’t necessarily see at an amusement park,” said Bertch.

Bertch estimates it’ll bring in twice the number of people as the waterpark. Which has the potential to boost business in the city said Mayor Quentin Hart, “Lost island Waterpark is ranked number two in the nation, it’s ranked internationally. You have the casino there, the shopping mall, golf center, and college so this will make us even more of a destination for the entire state and entire midwest as well.”

The new theme park will bring in more than 200 seasonal jobs and that’s not accounting for hotels and restaurants that may follow said Executive Director of Experience Waterloo, Tavis Hall, “32 million dollars of economic impact in the Cedar Valley from this singular attraction. It’s about 360 million dollars is our overall economic impact of tourism throughout the Cedar Valley.”

The rezoning of the land still needs to be approved by the Waterloo City Council.

However, the financing behind the project has been secured with both state, city, and private assistance.

Bertch said they hope to break ground by the fall in order to stay on their timeline.

The current Lost Island Waterpark sits on 27 acres. The new theme park will sit on land more than twice the size, making it the second-largest theme park in the state.

Ron Steele

Ron Steele

KWWL Evening Anchor
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