FROM: The Orlando Business Journal
Breaking: $309M extreme sports resort planned for C. Fla.
Feb 11, 2015, 11:50am EST Updated: Feb 11, 2015, 4:55pm EST
Reporter- Orlando Business Journal
Are you ready, X-Games? Central Florida will be home for snowboarders, surfers and fans of all sorts of extreme sports if Xero Gravity Action Sports LLC’s turns its plans to build a $309 million sports facility into a reality.
The Atlantic Beach-based company announced Feb. 10 it plans to build a sports resort in Osceola County that will offer myriad sports-related facilities and activities, as well as hotel and restaurant accommodations that could result in drawing more than 1 million annual visitors and generating millions of dollars in economic impact for the region.
According to a release, here’s a list of what the proposed resort would contain — sit back ’cause it’s quite the project:
“The resort will include a 14-story ski and snowboard mountain with nine snow tubing lanes; 5 acres of real surfing with up to 10-foot waves and a boogie boarding area; a 25,000-square-foot indoor/outdoor skateboard park; a USA-BMX sanctioned race track; two skydiving pods; a 20,000-square-foot indoor dodge-ball trampoline arena; a rapid river; rock climbing up to 140 feet; zip-lining throughout the park; two 14-story competition waterslides by WhiteWater; 20-foot to 120-foot free fall jump zones; an interactive four-story climbing/zipline/ropes challenge course; and snowball fight arena.”
In addition, the project is expected to have a 250-room Hyatt-flag hotel with a rooftop pool and bar, a 2,000-seat amphitheater, swim-up bars and grottos, swimming pools, cabanas, day spa, retail and training facilities, restaurants and sports bars and the International Action Sports Hall of Fame, said the release. Also, more than 1,000 new jobs will be needed to operate the facility.
Executives with the company said they are in talks with Osceola County officials regarding the project, as well as undergoing the “due diligence” needed to secure the property. If approved, the resort is expected to open by 2018.
The facility is expected to sit on 75 acres of land owned by Central Florida Investments Inc., the parent company of Westgate Resorts, near the intersection of U.S. Highway 192 and State Road 535.
“Our company is creating the next step in the tourism sports industry,” said Larry Walshaw, CEO and founder of the company, in a prepared statement. “We are developing a one-of-a-kind sports and entertainment resort which provides unique hands-on experiences. We will be hosting televised pro and amateur competitions, think X-games, with sports shows and clinics, and we will have daily competitions at all venues for visitors who like to compete.”
Central Florida has seen many proposed extreme sports parks come and go, but there’s no doubt the region has the land and tourist draw to make the right project successful. It’s just a matter of if Xero Gravity can make the project a reality and make it work.
Check back as this is a developing story. More to come later.