TEMPE, Ariz. — Large empty plastic tubes now litter the ground where multiple-story twin turquoise water slides once stood.
It's the end of an era for the water park that has called Tempe home for five decades.
Phil Dexter created Big Surf water park in October of 1969 and brought the ocean to the desert. The hallmark of the park was the first surfable artificial wave pool in the country. The pool was Phil's own invention.
More than 50 years later, the wave pool evolved into a massive water park. But at the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, Big Surf closed down and would never reopen.
The 35.5-acre property received more than 30 offers, according to Velocity Retail Group, which partnered with CBRE and Ross Brown Partners to list and broker the sale.
The seller of the water park, located on McClintock Road north of the Loop 202 freeway, was Inland Oceans, Inc.
Ultimately, Overton Moore Properties, a California-based company, purchased the property for $49 million.
It's unclear what the company's plans are for the land.
Earlier this year, pieces of equipment and parts of the park were auctioned off. Keith and his family were able to hold onto many of the nostalgic items, ensuring their family's memories will last a lifetime.
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