Finally, the Rockford Coco Key Waterpark building is gone.

I remember many years ago when they announced the addition of Coco Key Waterpark to the Clock Tower Resort. I thought it was a great idea. My daughter was the perfect age at the time for a place like that. It was an attraction that I believed was a win-win for the city because it would bring in tourist dollars plus the residents could use it too.

Back then, my wife was working for the construction company that had the contract to build the waterpark. That year, the company holiday party was held at the Clocktower. Everyone got a tour of the facility and it was very exciting.

Soon after the grand opening, one of our cousins held a birthday party there for her son. We were invited and could not turn down the chance to check the place out. We had a great time.

My wife and I took our daughter and nephew there a couple of times and even stayed overnight. It was so convenient to take my daughter and her friends for a few hours on a weekend. It gave them something fun to do. Especially, in the winter.

Unfortunately, the resort changed owners a few times. The upkeep was starting to suffer. They ended up having several issues and eventually got shut down. Coco Key was unable to overcome the obstacles and it never re-opened. I recall being there for an event and families showed up all excited for a fun weekend to only be disappointed because the waterpark was closed.

The whole resort would soon follow and close its doors for good. A local group purchased the property and tore down the community's eye sore. It is in the process of becoming a Hard Rock Casino.

For a long time, the lone buildings remaining on the land were the former Forest City Tennis Club and CoCo Key, both out of business. The tennis club building recently burned down. The waterpark was the survivor. There were rumors that it would be included in the new casino's plan. That was not the case. The owners announced last spring that it would be knocked down. Well, it finally happened.

I had not driven by that area in quite a while. On Easter, I just happened to go that way and noticed it was finally gone. I stopped and took a couple of pictures. Check them out for yourself.

Coco Key Waterpark Rockford, Illinois

Finally, everything is gone. It is the end of an era. Now, let's get that casino built.

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