#240. The Wildebeest!

Posted on | The Agurban

The Wildebeest!

The talk in our office the past two weeks, other than the dread of getting children ready to return to school, was those last minute vacations and fun activities. One place that popped up a number of times was Holiday World in Santa Claus, IN. You may remember Santa Claus, IN, from my book, Boomtown USA. Santa Claus (pop. 2,000) was named an agurb primarily because of the work of one family, the Koch family, to not only establish Holiday World and Splashin’ Safari, but to also build their town into a model community, which they have done by developing a housing subdivision, bringing a bank into town, recruiting a manufacturing plant, starting a shopping center. I could go on and on.

But the reason for mentioning Holiday World in this week’s Agurban is due to their latest announcement. For a week leading up to last Thursday, August 13th, tweets were flying and blogs were active with hints about what the next new attraction would be.

Finally the time arrived. Will Koch, President of Holiday World, announced the second-largest ride addition in Holiday World’s history, with the building of The Wildebeest, The World’s Longest Water Coaster. Scheduled to open next May, The Wildebeest “is one-third of a mile long and it will thrill riders for two-and-a-half splashing minutes of hills, drops, twists and turns.” I can already feel my stomach in my throat!

When we first visited with Will Koch in 2002, Holiday World employed 1,000 seasonal workers for the park. In 2009, that number had risen to 2,000 workers. There are as many workers at Holiday World as there are residents in Santa Claus!

If you’ve never been to Holiday World, or if it’s been awhile since you were there, you should plan a trip next summer. And check out The Wildebeest!