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Kissimmee, Florida, Sports Complex to Include… Snow Sports?

1 Mar, 2015

By: Tracey Schelmetic
Proposed $300M Facility to Include Other Extreme Sports

A snow park in Florida. Yes, you read that correctly.

While Florida has traditionally had plenty to offer the sports community – youth, amateur and professional – winter sports has traditionally not been among the state’s offerings. Geographic and meteorological limitations are hard to overcome, after all. Well, up until now, at any rate.

Florida may be about to make an important step toward winter sports thanks to an expensive new investment. A new action sports resort proposed for the Kissimmee area, the Xero Gravity Action Sports and Entertainment Resort, may make it possible for cold weather state transplants to get a little skiing or snowboarding action in. The proposed park, which would occupy a 75-acre site near the intersection of U.S. Route 192 and State Road 535, would include a 14-story outdoor ski and snowboard slope that would use artificial snow, a 25,000-square-foot indoor and outdoor skateboard park, a USA-BMX-sanctioned racetrack, two "sky-diving pods,” two 14-story water slides, an indoor dodge ball trampoline arena, a 140-foot-tall rock climbing wall, a white-water rapid river and zip lines crisscrossing the entire property, according to Orlando Weekly.  The plans include a 250-room Hyatt hotel and an International Action Sports Hall of Fame to attract longer stays by visitors.

While the price tag for the complex may be high – planners predict it could cost about $309 million to build – it’s hoped that the complex will reap far more in revenue from visitors. One report prepared by economic consulting firm Impact Data Source estimated that the resort could generate nearly $2 billion in taxable sales over a 10-year period. The complex would include a concert arena, childcare facilities that feature an indoor snow play area, restaurants and bars, retail space and more.

“This action sports park has been in the works since at least 2012, and its planned opening is scheduled for 2018,” wrote the Orlando Weekly’s Ken Story. “In November 2012 the Jacksonville-based Genesis Group announced that it had been tapped for most of the engineering services for the new park.”

The resort is far from a done deal – other similar planned resorts, including an indoor ski park with real snow that was announced for Cypress Gardens but was ultimately scrapped in favor of Legoland Florida, have not come to fruition in the state in the past – the article notes that a $50,000 deposit has already been made on the site, and a second deposit that will secure the location is due on April 20.

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