After nearly nine years of planning and plenty of push by Pasco County Commissioner Jack Mariano, the county broke ground at Sunwest Park.
"This is just exhilarating,” Mariano said. “For nine years, to be working on a project, developing a vision for what needs to be done out here. This is just tremendous."
The plans for the park are big.
Mariano said there will be a mile of beach stretching around part of the lake. That same beach, he said, can easily be converted into 40 sand volley ball courts and even sand soccer fields.
Mariano called it a great way to entice athletic tournaments from around the country--and that’s not all.
"A board walk will connect this whole area here down to where the wake board park is going to be,” Mariano said. “And the wake board park will be the only one in the world with six little training runs."
Not to mention plans for two bigger runs for professional competitions. Throw in a ropes course and a zip line, all on top of other plans for a major baseball complex in Wesley Chapel and the county says it’s on its way to becoming the area’s go to for sports.
"We have the courage and we have the drive,” says the county’s tourism manager Ed Caum. “We want to make Pasco the sports destination for central Florida. Then on top of that, we're going to go for the whole entire southeast."
As for a timeline, Mariano expects the beach portion of the park to be completed by summertime.