In 1986 five people got together and decided to build their dream lake. A few man-made water ski lakes had been developed throughout the west, and they wanted to build a lake to their own specifications.
A suitable piece of land was the first obstacle. It needed to be approximately ½ mile long, ¼ mile wide, and fairly flat. A north-south orientation to the property was also necessary. A nearby water source was a bonus.
Mike Charles, Scott Vanderflute, Merle Anderson and Greg & Mary Horn formed a partnership to accomplish the task at hand.
Dan Lloyd from Lloyd Enterprises was the primary contractor to handle the excavation. Getting all the necessary permits was a nine month process. Digging commenced in April, 1987.
In all, over 300,000 yards of dirt was removed in the excavation process, some of it more than once. (That is 30,000 normal ten yard dump trucks.)
There were unexpected benefits and unexpected setbacks during construction. On the positive side about 100,000 yards of prime Orting Valley topsoil helped pay the excavation cost. Another plus was that we hit an almost endless supply of groundwater at exactly the perfect elevation. A drawback was that the endless supply of groundwater continually filled in where we were digging. We got an overnight education in controlling said groundwater.
Another drawback was that a partially petrified forest of trees, probably buried around the year 1500 B.C. was discovered. A big bonus was that it had scared off a previous person who had surveyed the property with the intent of building a water ski lake there.
In September, 1988 the excavation was completed and all it took to fill the lake was turning off the four Honda pumps that had been running 24 hours a day to keep it pumped dry. Six weeks later our lake was filled, and on November 13th, 1988 we began skiing on our new treasure. Interestingly, all the partners can claim that they held the course record at Ski Park. Merle went first, then Mary, then Greg, then Scott and Mike.
During the two years spent digging the lake there was only one color that stood out at Ski Park: Brown. Dirt brown. It took four years to sell all the topsoil and turn the place green. As the topsoil was removed the area which is now the golf course was contoured to shape and hydroseeded. Over the years six golf holes have been added. One must drive over the lake twice to play a round of golf at Ski Park.
An idea we had from the beginning was that time is extremely valuable. When you come out to ski, we never wanted to make our customers wait like some other lakes do. Greg came up with the idea of time slots which could be purchased by the season. That way, a group of skiers would know that they could come out and practice and not have to wait for the group in front of them to finish. Their time would be exclusively theirs.
For over 23 years the original partners have remained the same. The 3 single guys have married, and Ski Park continues on its original quest: To provide the ultimate experience both on and off the water in a setting that is unsurpassed.