Darien Lake looks to become regional destination

September 27, 2013 Updated Jun 23, 2010 at 7:19 AM EDT

September 27, 2013 Updated Jun 23, 2010 at 7:19 AM EDT

You have to spend money to make money and it looks the owners of Darien Lake Theme Park are doing just that. Parc Management has invested $10 million in Darien Lake this season. Visitors will find a new water park called SplashTown, new attractions like Sea Lion Splash and new overnight accommodations.

The changes may be of interest to consumers, but more importantly they show that Parc Management sees Darien Lake as a worthwhile investment. Randy Drew, president and CEO of Parc Management, says the financial commitment will help return Darien Lake to its heyday. "We expect attendance to increase this summer, back to the old days when Darien Lake put in the Ride of Steel and made some other attractions," Drew said. "This is the first really large capital in ten years that has gone into Darien Lake."

Drew says the changes are aimed to please local customers by creating treasured family memories, but also to bring in new visitors from outlying areas. Darien Lake General Manager Chris Thorpe says new cabins will make the theme park an "outer market regional destination" for out of town visitors. "New this year, we have 24 lakeside cabins. They offer all the amenities of a hotel stay, but with the rustic experience of camping," Thorpe said. "You can roast marshmallows and have a campfire, but also have internet and watch cable TV."

Will the $10 million investment pay off? Stay tuned. But both Drew and Thorpe say they're looking forward to a solid year and to future expansions. "Parc absolutely believes in Darien Lake and we will continue, as we have in the years that we've owned the park to make continual investments in Darien Lake," Drew said. "We have additional plans to expand the park in the future and we will be expanding Darien Lake."