CRYSTAL LAKE – Wakeboarders from all over the country will slide into Crystal Lake this summer.
Quarry Cable Park at Three Oaks Recreation Area will host the 2018 World Wake Association Wake Park National Championships from Aug. 2 to Aug. 5.
Quarry Cable Park co-owner Pat McGinnis said the World Wake Association contacted him about a month ago with an interest in holding the event at the park.
“I was taken aback,” he said. “It’s a big deal.”
Quarry Cable Park has a full-size course that is almost a half-mile long with jumps and features. The park has the longest continuous wakeboarding cable run in the U.S., according to city of Crystal Lake documents.
Now entering its third year of operations, it’s one of only a handful of full-size courses in the Midwest.
McGinnis appeared before the Crystal Lake City Council on Tuesday to talk about the event and its logistics.
“You really knocked it out of the park,” council member Haig Haleblian said to McGinnis. “This is like the World Series [for wakeboarding].”
Council member Ralph Dawson said that when he read the background information about the event, he was concerned about the large crowd it would bring in. But after thinking it over, he decided it’s not that different than other situations where the city has embarked on the unknown.
“We have to try it,” Dawson said. “I look forward to it, and I’ll be there – not on a board, though.”
Last year, the event was held in Waco, Texas. Nine wakeboarders who ride at Quarry Cable Park made the trip.
But not only is it the riders who travel to the host cities, it’s their families and maybe some friends who join them. That means more hotel and sales tax for the city – in this case, Crystal Lake.
Quarry Cable Park will work with city staff and police to come up with a parking plan.
McGinnis and his team expect up to 700 guests a day. City and park staff will coordinate a shuttle service for wakeboarders to park at an offsite location and get bused into the park.
That would greatly reduce the amount of parking spaces used for the event and allow non-event patrons access to the park, according to city documents.
Quarry Cable Park also has to get approval from other property owners who agree to allow parking on their lots by June 1.
“It’s a great opportunity for the city to show the world what we got,” McGinnis said.