‘Beachfront’ resort coming to next to Cardinals’ stadium in 2022

A beach resort experience is coming to the West Valley.

Crystal Lagoons is building an Island Resort that will have hotels, retail, offices and entertainment venues surrounding an 11-acre man-made lagoon with sandy beaches for guests to relax at.

The resort will be at the southeast corner of Loop 101 and Cardinals way, just south of State Farm Stadium, where the Cardinals play. It is also nearby Westgate Entertainment District, the Tanger Outlets, the Coyotes’ Gila River Arena and Topgolf Glendale. The resort is being built at the site once planned for an IKEA store in 2018 before the furniture company changed its plans.

The resort is planned as a single-phase development that is expected to be open to the public in 2022, ahead of Glendale’s hosting of the Super Bowl in 2023.

Crystal Lagoons Island Resort is expected to bring 1,800 net new jobs to Glendale and an estimated $700.8 million in new sales, property and bed tax revenues to the city, county and state during the next 25 years, according to the city. Glendale’s portion of the revenues are estimated at $240.5 million.

The projects main feature will be the 11-acre public access lagoon, which will be up to 10-feet deep.

“Crystal Lagoons, the world’s top amenity, is excited to bring the first branded Crystal Lagoons Island Resort entertainment destination to Glendale, Arizona,” Miami-based Crystal Lagoons vice president Eric Cherasia stated in a news release. “As you will see in our announcements over the next few months, we have teamed with some of the world’s top attraction, entertainment, and hospitality brands to create the next wave in entertainment destinations.”

The resort will include:

  • An 11-acre lagoon
  • Projection screens in the lagoon capable of laser mapping projections
  • Seven islands, each with their own theme
  • Activities like kayaking, stand up paddleboarding and paddleboard yoga
  • The world’s largest helium balloon, which will lift guests in the basket 400 feet in the air to get a bird’s eye view of the region
  • Restaurants, including one with a bar that guests get strapped into before it rises 135 feet over the lagoon
  • A 4-D theater and a “fly theater” that simulates flying, similar to Disney theme park’s “Soarin’ Around the World” ride
  • Three hotels with more than 600 hotel rooms
  • Amusement rides
  • A family entertainment center
  • Office space
  • Retail

“I am so excited and pleased to announce yet another private investment project for the ever-growing Yucca District,” Yucca District Council Woman Joyce Clark stated. “It brings a new level of adventure, recreation and entertainment that complements our vision for the Westgate area. I thank our new, visionary partners for their confidence in Glendale as their location of choice. Tonight’s action emphasizes this council’s goal of job creation that will further support our community.”

Along with approving a development agreement with Crystal Lagoons earlier this month, Glendale City Council also voted to approve government property improvement leases for the project.

“We’re excited for this project on many fronts, but two really stand out,” Glendale city manager Kevin Phelps stated. “Not only will this be a great example of experiential retail, which is the only area of growth in brick-and-mortar development over the past 10 years, but this project further cements Westgate as the largest sports and entertainment district in Arizona.”

As part of the project deal structure, on Tuesday, Sept. 22, the city council will act on additional agreements to support this project.

“I am so proud of the continued successes in the sports and entertainment district,” Glendale Mayor Jerry Weiers stated. “An amenity of this magnitude adds to Westgate’s mega event appeal and will generate significant revenue to support residents, businesses, and the state as a whole.”

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