The Metro Lagoon is Open South of S.R. 52 & Will Host a Grand Opening Celebration the Weekend of June 24-25! 

“I made the call to make sure that Epperson got the potable water to open the first Metro Lagoons amenity in the U.S.,” District 1 Pasco County Commissioner Ron Oakley said proudly at the VIP Lagoon Ribbon Cutting event at the new Metro Lagoons amenity at Mirada on June 2. “And, it’s awesome to be here as we open the largest (Crystal Lagoons®) amenity in the country right here in Pasco!”

Yes, while Epperson’s 7.5-acre Metro Lagoons amenity was the first in the U.S. when it opened in Wesley Chapel in 2018, the 15-acre lagoon at Mirada, located just north of Wesley Chapel in San Antonio, is now the largest manmade lagoon amenity in the country — and also is now open to the public.

Metro Development VP of Operations Kartik Goyani, Pasco Commissioners Ron Oakley & Jack Mariano, Dan Mitchell of the Pasco Economic Development Council & Metro CEO John Ryan.

There were lots of “oohs” and “aahs” as more than 100 visitors — including Oakley’s fellow Pasco Commissioners Seth Weightman and Jack Mariano, a representative from State Sen. Danny Burgess’ office and Board members of the North Tampa Bay Chamber of Commerce (NTBC) — joined most of the team from Metro Development Group, which now has three Metro Lagoons amenities in the Tampa Bay area (the other is at Southshore Bay in Wimauma), with a fourth opening this year in Ft. Myers, and several others planned throughout Central Florida.

Oakley added, “This amenity will be for all of our citizens and visitors and I’m very grateful to have it. It’s also part of the Connected City and I made the motion to approve that, too.”

Metro Lagoons managing director Eric Wahlbeck. 

Oakley was introduced by Metro’s VP of marketing and communications Vaike O’Grady, who quickly ran down some of the stats about Mirada:

“This community is 2,000 acres and will one day have 4,500 homes from six different builders — DR Horton, Lennar, Lennar Active Adult Collection, Biscayne, Maronda and West Bay Homes — with prices from the high $200s to about $1 million,” O’Grady said. “This lagoon amenity includes about a mile of shoreline and is filled with 33 million gallons of water, or about as much as in 2,750 swimming pools. We also brought in 17.2 million pounds of sand, or enough to build four average-sized, two-story homes entirely out of sand.”

O’Grady then introduced Dist. 5 Commissioner and Pasco Board chair Jack Mariano, who noted, “Projects like this are what makes Pasco a premier place. We want to create quality places to live, work and play.” 

Members of the North Tampa Bay Chamber, Pasco County government and the Pasco Economic Development Council were all part of the Mirada Lagoon ribbon-cutting ceremonies.

Mariano was followed by Dist. 2 Commissioner Seth Weightman, who said, “What a great and beautiful way to kick off the summer!”

Next, O’Grady introduced NTBC CEO Hope Kennedy, who said, “This is an absolutely wonderful day! We’re proud to have had a seat at the table on this project since, I think, 2012 or 2013, and we have been honored to stand by your side!”

Before multiple ribbons — well, pool buoy lines — were cut (by a saber-wielding pirate), Kennedy was then followed by Metro Lagoons managing director Eric Wahlbeck, who said, “We have had the first and now the largest (lagoon amenity) in the U.S. What’s next? This is a massive project and pretty exciting stuff!”

On With The Festivities!

In addition to the ribbon-cutting pirate, the VIP preview event featured three mermaids, one in a life-sized martini glass (above) one who appeared to be wearing a skirt surrounded by mimosas (above) and another sitting on the side of the lagoon deck.

There also were two gymnasts (top of page) wearing body suits covered in water bubbles who struck some impressive poses while balancing themselves. It looked like the young lady on page 1 was actually swimming in the lagoon (at least to me it did).

There also was a steel drum playing island sounds, the bar was open and serving tasty tropical drinks and a delicious lunch was provided by local favorite Vesh Catering that  featured coconut shrimp, chicken satés and roast pork.

A Metro staffer told me that there actually are multiple events every week planned and that the total number of planned events at the lagoon will number in the thousands.

The public Grand Opening event for the Mirada lagoon will be held the weekend of June 24-25, 11 a.m.-8 p.m., both days. It will include free carnival rides, games & tasty treats at the “Lagoon Shore,” the Mirada Lagoon Bar will be open and there also will be food trucks, live music, activities and fun. You’ll also be able to meet the Mirada builders under the “Big Top” on the beach.

In other words, even if you’ve already been a regular at the Epperson lagoon, you owe it to yourself and your family to check out the largest manmade Crystal Lagoons® amenity in the U.S. 

For free Mirada Lagoon Grand Opening weekend tickets, visit or

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