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Willow Lakes Resort Village still in works for Midway Road, Fort Pierce

The nation’s largest Wavegarden surf park is still coming to Fort Pierce , 200-acre Willow Lakes Resort Village community.

Fort Pierce already is home to a popular surf spot: the north jetty. But an artificial wave pool, part of a recently proposed development on Midway Road, could elevate the city to an even more popular surfing destination. The Wave is the first inland-surfing destination of its kind, where people of all ages, backgrounds and abilities can experience the joy of surfing and its many physical and mental health benefits. But it’s not just about surfing. It’s about getting back to nature, improving health and well-being, connecting with other people, enjoying great food and drink, and having a load of fun in the process!

The facility will feature a massive swimming pool-like area that creates up to 1,000 waves an hour for about 100 surfers at a time. Waves will vary in shape and for a range of expertise. Wavegarden has six surf parks in Brazil, Switzerland, South Korea, Australia, England and Wales. It has three under construction in Palm Desert, California; Myrtle Beach, South Carolina; and at another location in Brazil. It also has over 46 projects in development across five continents.

The Willow Lakes project, on the northwest corner of Interstate 95, also will include 800 residential homes, 600 hotel rooms, 400,000 square feet of retail space, 125,000 square feet of office space and thousands of potential jobs. Willow Lakes has more steps to take before it can break ground on its Wavegarden surf park. In August, the developers submitted a site plan for the project’s first phase, which Lee hopes the city will approve by the end of this year.

If the city approves the building permits, construction can begin on the infrastructure, roads and utilities — and then the wave park.

The Surfworks Resorts surfing center and its wave park are expected to create 139 jobs and $15.6 million economic impact annually, according to a study by the Economic Development Council of St. Lucie County. The entire Willow Lakes project is expected to create about 3,400 jobs during construction and nearly 1,900 jobs annually.

Wave pools for surfing are rare in Florida. Disney’s Typhoon Lagoon Water Park in Lake Buena Vista near Orlando is the only one Hughes knows. The wave pool would bring people from across the nation to Fort Pierce. Their pneumatic wave technology is the most reliable and long-lasting on the market. Swell Studio technology allows them to deliver consistent, programmable, ocean-quality waves for all ages and abilities, from family splash zones to powerful barrels. With seven core wave types, there’s a wave for every skill level, from beginner foamies to longboard gliders. From first point waves and shortboard heaven with peelers and endless airs, the variety of Endless Surf will ensure repeat sessions never become stale.

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