Fun Spot America is reorganizing its expansion priorities this year, focusing first on an estimated $2 million investment to double its paved parking space before moving on next year to adding new park attractions, the company's marketing director told GrowthSpotter.
Fun Spot America has filed a master plan request with City of Orlando to develop the company's 9.8-acre parcel directly north of the park's entrance, across Fun Spot Way.
It will replace a temporary gravel parking lot there with a fully paved lot that adds 831 spaces to the property, nearly double its current 443 spaces. The company will also reconfigure its southern parking lot at its entrance to add 13 handicapped parking spaces.
Fun Spot previously told GrowthSpotter in mid-January it planned to invest up to $5 million this year in the first phase of a multi-year latest expansion plan, with water attractions to be built within its 15.29-acre amusement park near N. International Drive.
The company worked with Orlando-based Falcon's Creative Group to make a long-range master plan for the amusement park on Grand National Drive, which lies off the northern end of I-Drive.
"We pushed this parking expansion forward in our planning, because after this past Christmas and Spring Break we realized we were running out of parking capacity faster than expected," said David Hummer on Thursday. "So we bumped this phase up instead of waiting until after 2017. We hope to start permittings applications soon, then pause and get through the summer season. After Labor Day we'll pick it back up and begin (site work)."
H.J. High Construction is general contractor on the project, and will coordinate subcontractor hires for the roughly $2 million project.
The company's request will be heard by Orlando's Municipal Planning Board on June 21.
By moving the parking expansion up to this year from 2017, Fun Spot is delaying the flashier phases of its expansion, i.e. adding new attractions and expanding the park's footprint onto new land.
"We're still looking at moving forward with the big plans, but won't take action on those until next year at the earliest," Hummer said.
That expansion plan includes six themed areas that will fall under a new "Americana" theme for the park. The first phase of expansion was previously going to be the park's first water attractions, which would have gone under construction this year and opened in Spring 2017.