(PremierGuideMiami) – At a press conference at 3:00 p.m. Thursday, Dolphins owner and real estate developer Steve Ross’s plan to build a multimillion dollar water park across the street from Sun Life Stadium will be unveiled. The park will become a regional entertainment destination and provide a significant boost to South Florida’s all-important tourism based economy.
The water park will be developed on a 39.9 acre parking lot across the street from Sun Life Stadium and will have direct access to Florida’s Turnpike. The land is co-owned by Ross and the team’s limited partners and H. Wayne Huizenga. Ross is working with the Neuman Group, a world renowned aquatic destination planning and construction firm specializing in multi-generational, family-oriented parks, and the Rockwell Group, an internationally acclaimed architecture and design firm specializing in hospitality, cultural, healthcare, educational, product, theater and film design. Palace Entertainment, the largest operator of water parks and family entertainment centers in the nation, is also working on the exciting project. With 19.9 acres of activation space and up to 16 attractions, the park will take approximately two years to design, permit and construct. The park is planned to open in 2012 around the time the Florida Marlins move to their new ballpark.
â€œSteve Ross is committed to making the stadium and the adjacent area a year round South Florida destination that attracts tourists and visitors to this region,â€ says Dolphins CEO Mike Dee. â€œWith baseball departing at the end of the 2011 season, we have a great opportunity to create another family-friendly amenity that will also create jobs and economic growth for the region.â€
â€œFor more than a year, we have had a healthy dialogue with the Miami Dolphins organization to explore how their facility can work with Miami Gardens, and I’m very happy that we will be at the table,â€ said Mayor Shirley Gibson. â€œSince the roadways and other heavy infrastructure already exist, we are now focusing our energy to see that other impacts do not burden nearby residents. We see great opportunity for jobs at all levels and for wholesome entertainment for our families.â€
The water park plans call for a surf zone, a children’s area, beach and board walk with double wave pools more than 20,000 in square feet, a lazy river island, snorkel pool, tube slides, uphill coaster slide and a leisure lagoon with a swim-out bar. Patrons will also enjoy a zip line 630 feet long, family raft ride, interactive play area and a speed slide.
Preliminary economic studies indicate that the park will create over 600 direct and indirect construction jobs along with an additional 400 direct and indirect jobs from the water park operation and longer tourism stays. The project is also expected to contribute nearly $7 million paid to local, state and county in additional local tax revenues. The Dolphins expect the park to not only serve the residents throughout South Florida but also the more than 10 million tourists who visit the region. In addition, the park will help draw some of those who visit Orlando’s attractions for a side trip to the Miami-Fort Lauderdale area. Early estimates predict nearly 700,000 visitors will attend the water park in year one and grow to 800,000 by the third year of operation.
The design of the park will also include water and energy conservation through the reuse of water and state-of-the-art eco-friendly engineering.