A massive water park catering to surfers backed by a high-profile Denver businessman is being planned for the Austin area, with developers hoping to open in 2016.
The developers behind the project – dubbed NLand Surf Park – aren’t offering too many details outright, but a website set up for the venture touts the project as a 12-acre wave pool with 11 different surf areas catering to surfers of all abilities, novice to pro. Think of it as a wave pool on steroids.
Doug Coors, descendant of Coors Brewing founder Adolph Coors, is named as the founder and CEO of NLand Surf Park. Backing is being provided by Colorado-based 9th Street Capital.
A location for the surf pool has not been disclosed by the developers, however, the Austin American-Statesman reports that permits have been filed to construct a 160-acre water park with multiple attractions at near Austin-Bergstrom International Airport.
According to the website, the massive lagoon would be able to generate waves up to six-feet tall that can crest and curl, ideal for surfing. The technology behind the project was developed by the Spanish engineering firm Wavegarden, according to the website.
A 2011 video produced by Wavegarden demonstrating the capabilities of its wave-generating technology shows surfers cutting across moderately-sized waves in a temporary lagoon set in a grassy meadow.
Also, the NLand website says the lagoon will be filled with “self-sustaining” rainwater, able to operate even in the driest of Texas droughts.
Many popular surf parks are typically small, swimming-pool-sized lagoons that replicate surfing conditions by rushing water over a sloping plane. The plans described on the NLand website would dwarf that project.
In Orlando, plans for a large Ron Jon Surf Shop-branded surf park were floated in 2004, but never came to fruition. At the time it was proposed, development costs were estimated to be $10 million.
In the U.K., developers are planning to open a surf park called Surf Snowdonia this year in Wales. A similar project on the Hawaiian island of Oahu, featuring a 4 acre surf lagoon, is being developed with an opening date set for Summer 2017.
And though it’s not a surf park, in terms of scale and cost comparison, the recently opened Hawaiian Falls Waterpark in Pflugerville cost $23 million and covers 21 acres.