Hotels & Hospitality Development News in Central Florida

Xero Gravity Action Sports adds new partner to help pursue private equity

Xero Gravity Action Sports, developer of an extreme sports-themed resort on 75 acres in Osceola County, has added a veteran international banking executive to its list of partners and is vetting private equity investors to get the project moving, the company's CEO told GrowthSpotter.

Jim Hulihan, a 30-year executive of retail banking with Wells Fargo and Bank of America who spent the last 10 years of his career with BofA in Asia, is the newest minority partner in Xero Gravity's project, CEO Larry Walshaw said Monday.


"His financial banking experience will be key for us in identifying investment capital sources," he said. "We are vetting offers for large private equity sources. Funding sources are coming together, we expect to be ready with a project update in the next 90 days."

With a project budget of $309 million, Walshaw said the private equity portion of the ownership's capital stack will be around $62 million. The remainder will come from individual investments by the partners, mezzanine funding, construction debt and foreign-sourced EB-5 loans.


"The project is in a fairly critical phase now, in that it has been developed and just needs the capital to get it to the next level," Hulihan said.

With his international banking experience, Hulihan will help the ownership group pursue private equity sources in the United States, Asia and the Middle East, the latter two of which are emerging hotbeds of private equity fund managers that want to invest in the U.S. economy, he said.

The Xero Gravity Action Sports and Entertainment Resort, to be located off U.S. Highway 192 near the intersection with SR 535, will offer an alternative to "ride-oriented" theme parks, with extreme sports attractions like a 14-story ski and snowboard mountain with artificial snow, a surfing pool and more.

A 250-room Hyatt Place hotel is planned for the property with a rooftop pool and bar.

Get all the details on Xero Gravity's planned resort by reading our profile on the project, one of more than 40 profiles on major growth and development projects in the region available at GrowthSpotter. or (407) 420-5685