Lost Island theme park one step closer

The Waterloo City Council has taken a step toward development of a $100 million theme park on the south side of the city.

Lost Island Water Park in Waterloo, Iowa. (KCRG)

The council granted a rezoning request Monday for what will become Lost Island Theme Park on nearly 160 acres (64.8 hectares) adjacent to Lost Island Water Park.

The 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 Theme Park," Gary Bertch said last month when he announced the plans. "This attraction is expected to enhance the Cedar Valley as a great place for family entertainment." Bertch's family opened the water park in 2001.

He hopes to begin grading this fall and open the theme park in summer 2022. The project is still pending approval of a development agreement with the city, Bertch said Monday.

The Waterloo-Cedar Falls Courier reported that the city is seeking a state grant for park access road improvements. City officials also expect to sell an estimated $14 million in bonds to assist in the park development. They expect to recoup the investment through park property taxes and hotel-motel tax revenue.