Fun Spot America will invest up to $5 million this year in the first phase of its latest expansion plan, with water attractions to be built within its 15.29-acre amusement park near International Drive.
Further park expansion onto another 9.8 acres the company owns have been confirmed for the next decade, but an additional 34 acres of land for sale nearby could change the size and scope of the project.
Orlando-based Falcon's Creative Group has been working with Fun Spot for about seven months, and released a statement Monday confirming it has developed a new, long-range master plan for the amusement park on Grand National Drive, which lies off the northern end of I-Drive.
That expansion plan includes six themed areas that will fall under a new "Americana" theme for the park. The first phase of expansion will be the water attractions, which should open in Spring 2017 and will be located near the park's Gator Spot animal exhibit that opened last year.
These would be the first water attractions at Fun Spot, and should include a wading pool, water slides and lazy river, David Hummer, the company's director of marketing, told GrowthSpotter on Monday.
"This first phase will be $4 million to $5 million in investment, and as we build out the water element we'll likely shift some of our parking to the (northern undeveloped) parcel," he said.
After water attractions open in 2017, a second phase incorporating the "Americana" theme will be developed over the next five to 10 years on the 9.8-acre parcel directly north, which the company acquired in 2012 for $1.5 million. Hummer said he couldn't forecast the total investment in expansion over that time.
That footprint could increase, however, if Fun Spot purchases any of the nine land parcels totaling 34-plus acres immediately around its park that are undeveloped, or currently being marketed for sale and redevelopment.
Four undeveloped parcels totaling 16.6 acres that are owned by four different parties lie directly north and east of Fun Spot's 9.8-acre virgin parcel. Hummer declined to comment on future land acquisition by the company.
Another five parcels lie east and southeast of Fun Spot's current park which are owned by a group of mostly local investors acting as Group Kirkman LLC. Those include 8 acres of vacant land and 18 acres overall that are being passively marketed for sale and redevelopment, based at the northeast corner of International Drive and S. Kirkman Road.
Other than a Sweet Tomatoes restaurant parcel on that corner, this investment group can package that land for re-development as a small entertainment complex, or a convention-level hotel and resort. The group told GrowthSpotter last week it is waiting for demand to heat up after the iSquare Mall + Hotel project breaks ground directly across the street.
Fun Spot invested $20 million back in 2013 to add two large rollercoasters and expand its I-Drive-area park. The company operates a Fun Spot park in Kissimmee as well.
In illustrations by Falcon's Creative that forecast a future look to the park, a few new thrill rides appear, including a sky ride resembling a gondola. This appears to connect the current park with the expansion to the north, flying over Fun Spot Way road.
Hummer declined to confirm what kind of thrill rides would come in the park's second phase of expansion. He said a parking garage would be implemented near the end of the second phase, within 10 years, and would improve upon the park's current surface parking of 442 spaces.
The company has acquired financing from Regions Bank to support the expansion plans, and will work with H.J. High Construction as general contractor, which also served as GC on the 2013 expansion.