Okoboji resort plans big improvements

Sept. 16, 2019

It was only about two weeks into summer when Jon Broek knew Bridges Bay Resort at Okoboji in northwest Iowa had to get bigger.

As a new hotel opened at the property, the outdoor pool area became crowded enough that the expansion tentatively slated for the 2021 season got moved up.

“I knew it was time to go,” said Broek of Sioux Falls-based Equity Homes, the builder and designer of Bridges Bay.

Construction has started on a project that will add more than four times the water volume to the outdoor pool area, along with several new attractions.

“We’re utilizing every inch,” Broek said.

Here’s a look at what’s coming:

Bigger hot tub

A year-round hot tub is being built, extending out the existing door of the indoor water park.

“It will be really big – twice the size of the indoor jacuzzi – so you can sit outside in the winter.”

Bigger bar

The popular swim-up bar is expanding, with a more open layout that Broek said will make it easier to order beverages.

“And there are water benches all around the swim-up bar, and that wraps all around the bar area.”

Racing slides and sport courts

Competitive fun inspired much of the outdoor addition, including two new high-speed racing slides.

“They sling you down and you skip across the water a long way, so they’re really fast,” Broek said.

There also will be two lily pad ropes designed for racing.

“We’ve also got a full-court basketball court and a full-court volleyball court (in the pool) so that will be a big plus,” Broek said. “Everything we did in the outdoor pool was competitive. We tried to double it up or do a game.”

More kids’ activities

The outdoors kids’ area will be considerably bigger, with a kids’ slide and other features that aren’t shown on the project’s renderings, Broek said.

“The kids’ area is double, maybe triple the size we had before, with a bunch of features: dumping buckets, mushrooms and other things that aren’t shown on the picture.”

More seating

The outdoor pool area will add more seating inside and outside the water, including five wood pergolas that can be rented for the day.

“We’ve also got a little island with a stone waterfall that’s two-sided, so you can sit under it like a miniature cave,” Broek added.

Indoor improvements

Bridges Bay will be making improvements inside too. Construction is starting on a mezzanine level above the indoor water park to add seating and party rooms.

The whole indoor water park will receive a fresh coat of paint.

And there’s an addition coming to the front of the hotel to add a bigger arcade. A custom-designed, 2,000-square-foot space will offer a lot more activities.

“The current one we had was tiny, and now we can get state-of-the-art games, and we’ll have a kiosk where you can win prizes based on a point system,” Broek said.

The current game room will become expanded space for the fitness center.

While the goal is to have the outdoor improvements done by Memorial Day weekend of 2020, the indoor projects are set to be finished by winter.

Okoboji lakes area overflows with changes

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Okoboji resort plans big improvements

Construction has started on a project that will add more than four times the water volume to the outdoor pool area at Bridges Bay Resort, along with several new attractions.

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