Improvements spark interest in Minden wakeboard facility
The owner of a wakeboarding and water ski facility in Minden hopes that recent investments, such as installing a cable-towing system and adding an additional lake, draw international recognition for the facility.
Doug Lippincott, owner of Western Oasis Wakeplace, says that in five years WOW could be the premier wakeboarding destination not only in the U.S. but throughout the world.
“Right now the place to go is the Philippines, and I want to change that to this facility in Nevada,” Lippincott says.
Lippincott recently completed installation of a cable-towing system that maximizes rider water time at Western Oasis Wakeplace, and also added a third lake. A fourth ski lake is under construction, but that marks the end of expansion plans for Western Oasis because Lippincott says the facility will have used up its water rights.
Lippincott does plan to add a larger cable-towing system that can carry up to eight people at a time and runs in a continuous circle. Capital improvements at the facility so far have exceeded $3.5 million, he says. The wakeboarding and waterskiing facility is a self-funded venture.
Western Oasis Wakeplace is scrambling to make up for a late start to the water sports season things really didn’t heat up in northern Nevada until July, and the installation of the cable-tow system was delayed as well.
“We’ve had a very short season this year with the weather; hopefully we’ll get a long ending of the season,” Lippincott says. “Ridership is at what was expected because of the cable systems being late. We advertised we would be open, and we weren’t able to open on that date. We blew a lot of money on advertising that didn’t do anything for us. Now we are having to regroup and advertise to reach those people.”
The addition of the cable-tow system has helped draw riders from wakeboard and ski enthusiasts outside of Nevada, Lippincott says. As word of the facility spreads, Lippincott hopes it proves attractive to vacationers who want to ski and forgo crowded public lakes and the expense of gassing up their boats.
The cables also help get more riders on the water. Instead of a single rider behind a boat, Western Oasis Wakeplace now can tow five riders at any given time on a single lake.
Western Oasis Wakeplace doesn’t expect to make a profit this year, but Lippincott says in three years the facility should be in the black.
“We will be closer next year and the following year,” he says.
Western Oasis Wakeplace draws revenue through sale of daily, weekly and monthly ski/wakeboard passes, as well as holding wakeboarding and ski camps.
With the improvements to the ski facility, Lippincott hopes one day to host a pro wakeboard event such as the one currently held at Sparks Marina.
“Finishing it off with the full-size cable, we very likely could take away the Nationals from the Marina because we have the facility,” he says.
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