Big Splash bosses pulling the plug

Although Big Splash's flumes and water park were demolished a decade ago, the attraction kept its name and still pulls in 300,000 visitors a month with its dining and recreation amenities.
Although Big Splash's flumes and water park were demolished a decade ago, the attraction kept its name and still pulls in 300,000 visitors a month with its dining and recreation amenities. ST PHOTO: CHEW SENG KIM

40-year-old attraction closes on Oct 21; site to make way for new development

In its heyday, Big Splash was known for having the tallest water slides in Singapore.

Though the flumes and water park were demolished a decade ago, the attraction has retained its name and still pulls in 300,000 visitors a month with its dining and recreation amenities.

But after 40 years in operation, the establishment is going out, not so much with a big splash, but a small drip.

Bosses have revealed it will close its doors on Oct 21, when its lease with the National Parks Board (NParks) expires.

It will make way for a new development on the 2.83ha plot, details of which are yet to be revealed.

Fans of the park, including those who remember its original format, are sad to see it go.

Data entry clerk Florence Lim, 39, said: "One of my favourite memories with my late father is when he took us to play at the colourful slides. Back then there was no Wild Wild Wet, so Big Splash was very adventurous and exciting. I also took my two sons there a few years ago and had a nice time."

Madam Lim plans to have a family outing there before it closes. "We will definitely take photos this time to remember it," she added.

Student Ang Wan Qi, 20, said: "I used to go there after visiting my grandparents. I have fond memories of playing mini-golf at Lilliputt with my family where I was very competitive with my brother. I am devastated to find out it is closing."

Tenants are also disappointed, though some have managed to secure two-and-a-half-month extensions to their leases.

Mr Walter Goh, director of Fish@Big Splash - a fishing and prawning attraction, said: "We have extended with NParks for now, but we are looking for somewhere with a more long-term lease."

Others among the 21 tenants have already found a new site. Outdoor gear store Hornest has rented space at Oxley Business Park and plans to move there in September.

Owner Tay Choon Mong said: "After the opening of Parkland Green nearby, retail here is quite bad and we are struggling. The crowd here has become limited."

Alpha Gymnastics will move to Chai Chee Technopark, a 10- minute drive from Big Splash. Head coach Howard Cheng said: "It will be more convenient for our current customers as we understand that most of them stay in the east."

Seafood International Market and Restaurant will shut on Sept 15, according to a post on Big Splash's Facebook page. It has been at the park for 33 years. Director Justin Tan said: "We have been trying to find something similar in terms of location for the past year after being actively in talks with NParks for the past 18 months.

"There are several options such as waiting after NParks redevelops the area. They have welcomed us to re-tender then."

While smaller tenants were offered lease extensions, Seafood International was not given the option. Mr Tan added: "It's very difficult to give up a place we've been at so long, but we've come to terms with it and we've had a good run."

Redevelopment of Big Splash is expected to begin early next year.


Correction note: An earlier version of this story said that Seafood International Market and Restaurant will shut on Oct 15. It should be Sept 15. We are sorry for the error.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on July 16, 2016, with the headline 'Big Splash bosses pulling the plug'. Print Edition | Subscribe