Jamie Hess hadn’t even opened his dueling piano bar, Treble Makers, before he was on to the next thing.
A water park for The Grove?
“I get bored easily,” Hess jokes.
According to Hess, he was having a conversation with Gold only about a month back when the developer asked what he thought about the idea of a water park, which could be built on 1.8 acres next to the Chuck E. Cheese’s.
I thought it was absolutely brilliant,” Hess said, who went ahead and jumped in as the point man on the project. He signed a letter of intent that day.
Hess says it wasn’t hard to convince him. After all, he was the first person to sign a lease with Gold. (Note – Double Branch Artisanal Ales had actually signed with the previous owners shortly before Gold bought the property.)
“I think his vision for this area is great,” Hess says. “I wanted to be a part of it right from the beginning.”
The water park will not be sprawling like Tampa’s Adventure Island, but will be family-oriented, says Gold, and small enough where parents will have no trouble keeping an eye on their kids.
Hess says he envisions the park as something similar to Splash Harbour Water Park in Indian Rocks Beach, but larger — Splash Harbour is on roughly 1.3 acres, compared to the 1.8 acres planned for The Grove’s water park.
The Grove park will have a lazy river and a variety of slides and splash zones. It won’t need a mini-golf course like Splash Harbour, because Gold is building a standalone course as part of his theater complex.
The water park will have season passes, as well as one-day and four-hour passes. Although it is still very early in development, a one-day pass might cost $25, with a four-hour pass running $16. Season passes will be “very very reasonable” according to Hess.
He adds that he is in the feasibility phase and, once that is determined, the design phase begins, followed by permitting.
Within a year, Hess says, the park could be ready and he has already shown the county pictures of what he has planned and, “they were enthusiastic.”