Bryan County families looking for a theme park have to drive nearly 5 hours to Disney World and Sea World in Orlando, Fla., or three and a half hours to Wild Adventures Theme Park in Valdosta. Soon, however, they may have a closer option for family entertainment.
Kingsland is located at exit 3 on I-95, about 90 minutes from Richmond Hill or two hours from Pembroke. It’s the home of Naval Submarine Base Kings Bay, but according to city planner Ken Kessler, Kingsland also may become home to a major theme park by late 2014.
Kingsland Entertainment and Adventure Resort is a project proposed by Minnesota-based Real Development Corporation and California-based Leisure Entertainment Development and Operations International, Inc.
“This park would be a sports-focused park,” Kessler said. “There’s a large water park planned, as well as soccer fields, eight baseball/softball fields and 24 bowling alleys.”
Kessler said other plans include a tethered balloon ride, indoor skydiving, batting cages, amphitheater, nine-screen movie theater, rock climbing, ziplining and “mudding” adventures. There also would be midway rides and games, he said.
Though the planned park is farther down the interstate, Chris Sheppard, executive director of the Richmond Hill Convention and Visitors Bureau, said its location won’t likely hurt Bryan County.
“Any attraction that makes the Georgia coast a destination is a good thing for us,” she said. “Because once people come to the coast, whether they come to Savannah and work their way to Brunswick, or vice versa, that will have a positive impact on our gas sales, restaurants and hotels.”
Kessler said the city of Kingsland drafted a redevelopment plan in October that would establish two tax-allocation districts located at exit 3 on I-95. While saying redevelopment in each TAD will drive growth in the other, only TAD No. 1 would include the $100 million resort, which, he said, would be a major economic engine for the small community of 16,000.
Read more in the Dec. 1 edition of the News.