By Melissa Larsen | Arizona Foothills Magazine
Gilbert already has a reputation for being one of the most family-friendly places to call home in the country, and the East Valley town is adding another notch to its belt—and it’s a biggie. Come Summer 2021, Gilbert Regional Park is partnering with The Strand @ Gilbert to bring the Valley a $60-million state-of-the-art recreational water park attraction near Higley and Queen Creek Roads. It is the first of its kind in the area and will offer 25 acres of water fun as well as provide significant new revenue to the Gilbert Parks and Recreation annual budget.
“When I chose to locate my home in the Town of Gilbert a few years ago, I believed that the metropolitan Phoenix area was ideally suited for an innovative state-of-the-art water park resort,” says John McLaughlin, CEO and founder of Strand Resorts. “As I searched, I discovered the Town’s plan for a regional park and began discussions with Town staff and learned of the opportunity for a public/private partnership on a portion of the park site for development of a water-based facility. When the town issued a request for proposals, I put together a small team to investigate opportunities for the site and proposed my vision to the Town. The synergy of the park combined with the spirit of the Town’s staff, mayor and council convinced me that I had found a perfect site for his project.”