CORAL SPRINGS, FL – If built, a new surf park in Coral Springs would attract more than 100,000 visitors a year from across the region, bringing with them millions in tourism dollars to local hotels, restaurants, and other businesses.
The park would also feature surfing competitions from local schools, regional colleges, and eventually a competitive surfing league.
And it would offer aquatics training for lifeguards, firefighters, police officers, and other rescuers – and therapy for those suffering from trauma.
That’s the vision of Anthony Brown, chairman of Margate-based Ocean Sports Development, which is proposing the park next door to the Coral Springs Aquatic Complex on Royal Palm Boulevard.
“It would change the identify of Coral Springs forever,” said Brown in an interview on Thursday.
This week, Coral Springs City Commission gave the go-ahead for city staff to begin formal discussions on the project with Brown and his team.
The $20 million facility would be the first of many Brown’s company hopes to build across the nation.
Built just east of the Sawgrass Expressway, the Coral Springs park would be open to the public, allowing residents to surf during open hours and encourage first responders and others to use the waves for training and therapy, Brown said.
“We want this to serve as a community asset,” said Brown, who was raised in Coral Springs.
The pool’s other purpose would be to serve as a surfing training center and host of major televised surfing tournaments, he said.
Surfing is a fast-growing sport, now featured in the Olympics, and Coral Springs could be the destination for a lot of the sport’s activities in Florida, said Dev Pathik, founding partner of Sports Facilities Companies, which is a part of the project.
The park would be a draw not only for surfers but also for businesses connected to the surfing industry, he said.
“This would put Coral Springs on the map in Florida in a way that’s extraordinary,” Pathik said.
The park would feature a surfing pool surrounded by sand, a splash pad, and retail shops including a three-story building with a restaurant and deck to see the distant Everglades.
The price to Coral Springs: there’s no direct cost to the city, Brown said.
Coral Springs stands to earn revenue from the park but those details haven’t been worked out yet, he said.
Using an exclusive licensing and patented design called Webber Wave Pool, the pool would be able to create “perfect waves” for all levels of training and competition, Brown said. It would feature two zones of waves that would allow surfers to ride at different wave heights and shape variations.
The project is still in the conception phase but, if approved, Brown said his company could start building as early as 2021 and the project could be completed within eight months to a year.
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