To dream an impossible dream.
For six long years, Joey Lawrence has had a dream. A dream to bring world-class waves to the middle of Washington state. A dream to have surfers drive east instead of Westport. A dream that shakas would replace apples as the local signifier and days ago that dream forced itself into reality.
The Blossom alum and partner Mike Roy received final approval to begin digging Barreled Surf Park on an 80-acre site in Moxee, near… nothing. It will cost an estimated $30 million and utilize Wavegarden’s wonderfully accessible technology. The official plans include, “a 5.5-acre wave pool, 21 RV spaces, 21 campsites and 23 lodging units, with food service to include a restaurant/food truck. Other amenities include a fitness studio, skate park, dog park, fire pit and beach volleyball area, with surfboard and wetsuit rentals available.”
Lawrence took to Facebook and declared, “Today, a milestone was achieved. We’ve just been given the Hearing Examiner’s decision approving our Conditional Land Use Permit and our proposal to bring surfing to the Yakima Valley. Proudly, we are now the second @wavegarden_official (wavegarden technology) project to achieve this approval in the United States.”
Not everyone is so thrilled, though. Local residents, especially elderly ones, fear their cherished way of life is about to be shattered.
Laurie Huber has owned a home in the area for 27-years and told the local NBC affiliate, “I have dreams too, but I would make sure I wouldn’t take someone else’s dream away to accomplish that dream. [The surf park will] take everything I loved about this area away from us, our house is paid for, we’re remodeling, we planned on retiring in this house.”
She may also worries that fans of early 90s television programing will flock, along with surfers, to hear Lawrence’s iconic catch phrase “Whoa.”