Metro Lagoons, by Crystal Lagoons — the first Crystal Lagoon amenity in the United States —officially opened with a party on Dec. 16.
About 400 invited guests and residents were expected to turn out, according to officials.
“Residents have waited a few months to get in here, so we wanted to throw them a nice holiday party,” said Eric Wahlbeck, managing director of Metro Lagoons.
“This is compliments of Metro,” he said, noting the festivities would include a showing of the movie, “Elf,” on a huge screen, followed by the broadcast of the game between the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and the Baltimore Ravens.
There also was free barbecue, bounce houses, a visit from Santa and, of course, people taking advantage of a chance to play in the lagoon — the only one of its type in the United States.
The lagoon covers 7.5 acres and includes 16 million gallons of water.
“It’s a pretty amazing idea of bringing crystal, clear water — this amount of water, this size, into a residential community. It’s something that’s never been done before. We’re really excited to offer this through the Epperson community,” Wahlbeck said. “What we’re excited about is getting the residents in here and allowing them to start enjoying the space.”
The lagoon’s water temperature fluctuates with the ground temperature.
“In the summer, it’s going to be like the Gulf (of Mexico),” he added.
The lagoon is operated using sustainable technology and maintained remotely by Crystal Lagoons to ensure crystal clarity. It offers various aquatic activities, including kayaking, stand-up paddle-boarding and a waterslide with rock wall.
There are also private cabanas, a family beach, an event pavilion and more.
And, what’s there now is only the beginning, Wahlbeck said.
“We’ve got development plans all around the lagoon,” he said, noting that new amenities will be added over time.
The Epperson community currently has about 300 homes, with about 1,500 people living there. At completion, it is expected to have 4,000 dwellings.
Published December 26, 2018