FROM: The Orlando Business Journal
Exclusive: Xero Gravity’s sports resort developer shares new details
Feb 17, 2015, 2:33pm EST Updated: Feb 17, 2015, 3:19pm EST
Richard Bilbao – Orlando Business Journal
Larry Walshaw may be a name Orlando remembers for a long time if he can pull off building the $309 million sports resort complex in Osceola County.
His development has created quite the buzz as it includes a 14-story skiing and snowboarding mountain, a surf wave pool, skydiving pods, a resort hotel and multiple other athletic facilities. The resort is planned just behind the intersection of U.S. Highway 192 and State Road 535.
However, the negotiations on that land — which is owned by Central Florida Investments Inc. — have yet to result in a sale, said owner David Siegel of Westgate Resorts, in a previous story.
So we checked back with Walshaw of Xero Gravity Action Sports to get some more details on the project. Here’s what he has to say:
Whats your source for financing? Due to the size of this project, the financing has to be broken into multiple capital sources such as bonds secured by incentives from the county, private equity, mezzanine financing and long-term debt.
Has that funding been secured? No. Until we’re able to secure the land and obtain certain soft commitments from the county, capital cannot be obtained. Now that we have a comfort level that the county and community are behind this project, we can comfortably go out to the capital and private equity markets for funding. We are just getting started here. If we are to make this project a reality and provide a long-lasting benefit for the county and the region, it will take a concentrated effort of all interested parties to bring this home.
What still has to happen for your project to become a reality? Complete the capital raise, full design and construction drawings, obtain county approval, and bond approval.
Central Florida’s seen projects like this come and go — why should locals believe yours is a reality? They shouldn’t until we give them more than just pretty drawings showing a great idea for the community.
If 2018 is the opening date, when will construction begin? We hope to break ground by the end of this year or early 2016.
How long should it take to build? Two years
What future expansion/growth opportunities do you still have in mind? At the Osceola location, we have adjacent land that is available to take us over 100 acres. Nationally, we are in discussions with Houston and Los Angeles, and globally with entities in China, Dubai and Australia.