KINGSLAND, Ga. - The Kingsland City Council recently approved an agreement that could lead to the groundbreaking of a $350 million, 495-acre amusement resort on Interstate 95 in the spring of 2015.
"I'm optimistic," City Manager Lee Spell said. "We have taken a huge step forward. This is what the investors and lenders have been waiting on."
The project, Epic Adventures Resort Kingsland, is described as a regional entertainment resort that is expected to create 2,350 jobs in Camden County.
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The company is committed to filling the positions through the regional labor pool, according to a statement.
Tentative plans for the venue, located off Georgia 40 just west of Exit 3 on Interstate 95, includes a hotel, conference center, water park, go-cart track, miniature golf, zip line and ropes course, outdoor amphitheater, bowling lanes, restaurants and theaters, all surrounded by a host of shops and businesses.
"EPIC Adventures Resort Kingsland is envisioned as a multi-themed resort destination that will create an extraordinary recreational and leisure-time experience for visitors," said Thor Degelmann, president and chief operations officer of EPIC Resorts Group.
Degelmann described the project as a "one- of-a-kind resort experience that fully integrates all venues, activities and facilities."
Cindy Peterson, a spokeswoman for Epic Adventures, said a final design for the project is still ongoing.
She agreed that the Aug. 25 city council vote was a significant step.
"It sets out the roles and responsibilities of the developer, as well as the city, and provides accountability for both sides throughout the development process," she said.
The venue is designed to attract residents in the region, including Glynn and surrounding counties, and out-of-area travelers with a balanced mix of experiences geared toward all age groups and interests, Dagelmann said.
"It will establish EPIC Adventures as a regional and national tourist destination," he said.
Spell said the next step is the land acquisition.
The board of the city's Community Improvement District must still finalize the agreement, but Spell said he doesn't anticipate any problems.
Kingsland Finance Director Filiz Morrow said the Aug. 25 vote allows investors to get some of the financing necessary to purchase the land.
"There is still some work to do," Morrow said.
Randy Cardoza, former commissioner of Economic Development for the state of Georgia and chairman of Kingsland's Georgia Gateway Community Improvement District, said the project will attract thousands of visitors annually, pump millions into the local economy and create needed jobs in the region.
"Projects like EPIC Adventures Resort are few are very far between," Cardoza said. "In my years of recruiting business to Georgia, this project highlights the type of tourism project we dreamed about."
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