-Photo Credit Marcella Hadden
The Saginaw Chippewa Indian Tribe of Michigan formed the Migizi Economic Development Company to explore non-gaming revenue opportunities to secure the tribe’s financial well-being. The Mt. Pleasant-based company has since developed several properties including the new Soaring Eagle Waterpark and Hotel, which opened in May 2012. The property includes 243 guest rooms and a 45,000 sq. ft. indoor waterpark that accommodates up to 850 visitors.
The waterpark celebrates nature and the Saginaw Chippewa tribal heritage and symbology. Makwa’s Mountain is a natural, harness-free, helmet-free rock climbing wall that begins and ends in a 7 ft. deep plunge pool. Two 36 ft. tall waterslides include the Otter’s Run body slide which twists riders through four stories of curves outside the waterpark and winds them back in again. The Loon’s Loop waterslide is an aggressive inner-tube bowl slide for the family daredevils. The FlowRider, which creates a simulated surfing wave allowing aspiring surfers a chance to tame the waves, develops board skills either by body boarding or surfing.
Young guests keep active in Biish Falls, which in addition to interactive features and small slides, provides a 300-gallon splash on adventuras little ones multiple times an hour. The activity pool includes Gizi’s Splash and Dunk, a beaver-themed basketball hoop area for competition, a vortex area, underwater benches, and an acorn and log-themed water walk crossing. Guests of all ages enjoy the elevated, 28 person hot tub which gives a good vantage point over the waterpark. Last, but not least, is Little Beavers Bend which is a 4,600 sq. ft. lazy river that runs the length of the waterpark. Guests looking to unwind outside the waterpark have an outdoor sun deck or a separate hotel pool and spa area in which to relax.