On Friday, June 14, the Mandan, Hidatsa, and Arikara (MHA) Nation held the 4 Bears Water Park Phase II Grand Opening. Phase I was completed last summer, and Phase III is already in development. MHA Nation Chairman Mark N. Fox, who has spearheaded the project, cut the ribbon to officially open the water park for the summer.
Chairman Fox, in collaboration with Wendi Wells, project coordinator for the water park, has dedicated his administration to economic development that benefits members of the MHA Nation. Chairman Fox has worked to increase amenities that provide fun and fitness opportunities for tribal members, while also turning 4 Bears Casino into a destination resort.
“It’s options for recreation. Our children, give them something positive. Come here and call this their own and just have a blast,” said Chairman Fox. “It’s a destination resort. We want people in Wisconsin, people in New York City, or foreign countries to see and to say, ‘I want to go there. I want to see their great culture. I want to see their history, but have a lot of fun as well’”
Chairman Fox opened the ceremony with acknowledging the hard work that went into developing the water park, and thanked 4 Bears Casino for their help with the project.
“This doesn’t happen overnight. I have to thank everyone who helped out on this,” said Chairman Fox.
Phase II of the project added a splash pad for toddlers, additions to the lazy river feature, and a new water slide. Lifeguards are always on duty to ensure safe swimming. Weather permitting, the 4 Bears Casino Water Park will be open daily until the end of August.
“It’s kind of crucial for us to be able to identify an area that’s designated specifically for the [toddlers] and their needs, so they’re not getting ran over or hurt in any way,” said Wells.
Chairman Fox and Wells plan to develop more recreational opportunities on the Fort Berthold Indian Reservation. Phase III of the water park project will include a lap pool and swim-up concession bar. Wells has also led a recreation project further south on the Four Bears peninsula. The Point is now home to a concession stand and changing area, and will have an improved beach for children and adults to enjoy.
“I want to thank our tribal government, the Tribal Business Council,” said Chairman Fox. “They’ve been supportive last year and this year. They continue to invest this investment in our children and families.”