Why Doesn’t Lake Charles Have More Entertainment Options?
One confusing thing about Lake Charles is why an area with so much growth potential doesn't seem to grow. Lake Charles and its surrounding cities and towns combined are a cultural gold mine. There is so much here whether it be the unique cuisine, beautiful landscape, or our distinct music. When people want to visit Louisiana, SWLA should be among the top destinations.
In some aspects, that would be accurate. SWLA does pretty well as a tourist destination for casinos and festivals. Folks flock to the area to enjoy Mardi Gras, Chuck Fest, or the Crawfish Festival just to name a few. Casinos offer plenty of adult entertainment with gaming, nightclubs, and concerts. However, the only thing families or underage groups can do at the casinos is eat and swim.
As a mother of a tween, I don't think the Lake Charles area offers enough for our family to do together or to engage her age group (12-14.) To go a step further, there is really not much to do for teens (15-17) or young adult (18-25) age groups either. Yes, we have a few recreation centers to play ball or work out, we have nice parks with splash pads, two movie theaters, and one mall. The question is, is this enough? If there's one thing we do have a lot of is vacant lots and unutilized space. So, why don't we capitalize on our assets?
SWLA has a large amount of land that is just waiting to be developed. I would love to see things like a Grand Prix go-cart course, a zip-line adventure course, or indoor entertainment complexes with party areas, laser tag, arcade games, and skating rinks, similar to what Lafayette has with Epic Entertainment and Surge Entertainment Center.
We also have a gorgeous lakefront that has nothing but space to house everything from boardwalk shopping centers, amusement carnival rides, and restaurants even Kemah would envy. Heaven knows a big water park, right off I-10, would bring a lot of entertainment for all age groups, not to mention a ton of revenue to the area.
I wondered if anyone else felt the same way. So, I took to Facebook and did a post on a giant water park that never opened to see how folks felt about that. Then I asked the question: "What Kind of Entertainment Should Lake Charles Offer For Families, Tweens, and Teens?"
Resident Facebook responses:
"A family fun center..... with bumper boats, go-carts, skating, arcade all in one type center."
"☝️☝️like Main Event in Houston
"Fun plex that can include but not be limited to: go-carts, zip line, arcade, bowling, skating and it could be under one roof. They can bring Main Event in the city or Surge. Develop something similar to Pleasure Pier or Kemah Boardwalk, Laser tag, paintball facilities."
"A Dave and Busters, a laser tag facility, skating rink, an actual drive-in theater. I believe nostalgia has its fans."
Residents sound off about the post I did on The Water Park The Never Opened - Pirate Cove
Resident Facebook responses:
"So sad so much potential this could have been for the area"
"So sickening for the state to make it so hard for someone to bring good to our little town! I can only imagine how the owner feels. So much money lost!"
"My kids used to get so excited when this process started. Now their kids pass by and ask when can we go there. Lol"
"Would have been a huge hit"
"We do have SPAR WATERPARK in Sulphur and they have a very nice facility with 4 big slides, a very nice Children's area, and a lazy river. They have food and drink and it's cheap to get in! I still wish Pirate's Cove would have made it and opened though! I lived next to it for a couple of years and I kept wishing every day that finally it would open, but then the hurricanes came and that really doomed the whole thing, although I'm surprised those slides are still in as good a shape as they are!"