Councilmember Art Tolis presented the Crystal Lagoon and Fountain Park concepts to a full room at the Chamber’s public policy meeting on Thursday, August 24.
His message was clear, this is one concept and “we don’t have all of the answers yet.”
The Crystal Lagoon and Fountain Park feasibility study is underway and should answer many questions but as the Council explained there will still need to be further vetting to arrive at a final plan.
From my perspective, the project brings up some very interesting possibilities for Fountain Hills.
Creating a venue for regional tourism, through a unique asset, could be just the right amenity to attract locals who are ready to spend a few dollars in Fountain Hills. Plus, special events like weddings, corporate retreats and partnering with local hotels should also yield more revenue and create an overall experience for visitors.
The good news about this type of entertainment is the typical group would spend over $100 per visit.
Let’s do some math. If the entry fee is $20 per person and a family of four participate that’s a quick $80. Being in the sun and heat creates a need for drinks and likely food. At a suggested $10 per person, that’s another $40 in sales. Maybe a souvenir t-shirt or water bottle at $25 and $20 respectively brings the total over $150. It’s like going to Disneyland, everyone buys more once inside. That’s a conservative estimate and really not a bad deal for hours of outdoor fun.
The Chamber surveyed FH Connect Breakfast Networking attendees and developed some additional questions:
- How much does it cost to operate?
- Where will people park and do we have enough parking?
- Can we control the fountain overspray?
- Will the noise cause complaints from nearby residents?
- Is the water quality in the lake going to be improved if this project goes forward?
These are all great concerns that we will ask the Town to address as the project is considered in the future.
If you’re for or against this concept, the fact is the Town is already moving forward on studying the issue. That decision was made in June.
It’s time to get on board and be part of the dialog in creating the future of this project or another amenity or nothing… but, complaining about the Council’s decision will not change the past.
Talking about pros and cons is a healthy, productive and engaged method of creating a community conversation about this and other projects.
Thanks to everyone who attended our Public Policy Committee meeting and special thanks to Councilmember Tolis for being present, honest and facing another audience of interested people.