Dueling water park plans in the Tri-Cities - NBC Right Now/KNDO/KNDU Tri-Cities, Yakima, WA |

Dueling water park plans in the Tri-Cities

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KENNEWICK, Wash. -- Days after a Pasco man announced he wants to build a water park near Road 100 in Pasco, the owners of Columbia Basin Satellite say they have significant funding to build a water park of their own near Southridge.

Mike Hillman and Dave Schlotthauer, co-owner of Columbia Basin Satellite, says he has raised about $5 million; enough to build phase one of a water park he's calling "Shark Reef".

Hillman met with Jim Hale, project director for the Pasco water park, last night. They discussed a possible merger of their ideas, but decided to continue to develop their own individual plans.

Hale says he has significantly less funding, but has most of the necessary permits to build. He says the money will come.

"A lot of lenders and lot of investors really need to see that you're legally able to do this before they're ready to let go of money." Hale also adds both projects are at around the same point in development.

Hillman said, "When we realized they [Hale] didn't have any money backing them we realized that it's easy to come up with a good idea but to have the money to back it is about 90 percent of the effort in a project like this."

Now the question is: Can Hale raise the $8 million he says he needs? And can Hillman and his partner get the state and local permits they need and curb any outcry from the residents in nearby Canyon Lakes. Hillman says he is working on getting permits this week and hopes to complete his water park by summer 2011. Hale says he is on target to be complete in 2012.

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