"Iconic" and "eye-catching" was how Margaritaville Development Manager Jim Bagley described them on Thursday. He said Encore wanted an entry sign that would be "commensurate for a phenomenal destination resort."
Osceola County has strict sign regulations on its W192 corridor, but the W192 Development Authority allows height and style waivers for projects in the tourism corridor that are deemed to be entertainment districts. The authority voted in April to grant that designation to Margaritaville, giving the developer carte blanche to design a trio of signs that will could photo ops for years to come.
Encore turned to Sensory Interactive, Inc., which specializes in large-format display installations in places like New York's Times Square, American Airlines Arena in Dallas and the Verizon Center in Washington, D.C.
The hotel sign would feature a 384-square-foot high definition LED screen on both sides that can broadcast video or even stream live concerts from the resort. It would be mounted against a soaring metal backdrop with palm leaf corrugation. A light tower would flank the side featuring multiple shades of green, and green neon letters designate the hotel entrance.
The shopping district sign has the same dimensions with a pink color scheme. There, the LED screen is 144 square feet.
Both signs are anchored by a 50-foot-long shellstone planter base with the Margaritaville logo and its familiar parrot. They're surrounded by palm trees, tropical shrubs, Dune sandflower and native grasses.
The shopping center and 4-star Margaritaville Hotel are scheduled to open in 2018. The resort also features 1,000 Key West-style vacation homes and cottages, the first of which are scheduled for completion by the end of the year.
Encore has not submitted a sign yet for the $45 million water park. It would be located on U.S. 192 between the two main entrance signs. Bagley previously told GrowthSpotter the company was still negotiating with a branding partner for the 12-acre water park, which is scheduled to open in March 2019.
Old Town was the first attraction on the tourism corridor to install an entertainment sign earlier this year, and Fun Spot is in the conceptual design phase for its own sign.
Encore will be the first to apply for approval with the W192 Development Authority's new Architectural Review Board (ARB).
The ARB will consider the sign applications on Wednesday. Margaritaville consultant John Adams, an entitlements specialist with Rj Whidden & Associates, chairs the ARB. He told GrowthSpotter he would abstain from voting on the sign package.
The W192DA also voted in late April to spend millions of dollars over the next few years to upgrade the landscaping, lighting and streetscape in front of the resort. Executive Director David Buchheit said the authority hopes to collaborate with Margaritaville so the design complements the resort theming.