Wednesday, November 21, 2018
Pasco News

Break out the cold-weather gear. Company plans Florida's first snow park in Pasco County

Snow tubing could be joining zip lining in rural Pasco County.

Point Summit Inc., the company behind TreeHoppers Aerial Adventure Park and the seasonal Scream-A-Geddon Halloween attraction, wants to bring Florida’s first snow park to a site west of Dade City.

The company is under contract to buy 58 acres east of Bellamy Brothers Boulevard and just west of its current TreeHoppers location on St. Joe Road. It envisions turning the agricultural land into a still-to-be-named snow park with a 300-foot snow tubing run and a separate area to play and build snow sculptures.

“It’s real snow. It’s man-made and it’s eco-friendly,’’ said Benjamin Nagengast, CEO of Point Summit.

Florida’s climate is not considered problematic. A similar attraction, Snow Mountain, opened 10 years ago near Atlanta at Stone Mountain, Ga. Another warm weather location, Dell’Osso Family Farms in Stockton, Calif., offers seasonal snow tube rides for just a three-week period in December and January.

Nagengast said the Florida snow park more likely would follow the Dell’Osso model, operating a weather-dependent schedule of six to 12 weeks each year. The company is targeting a fall 2019 opening, and still requires a Pasco County permit to operate. A community meeting with nearby residents is planned for 6 p.m. Dec. 4 at TreeHoppers. The permit request, to operate an amusement park in an agricultural district, is scheduled to be heard by Pasco’s planning and county commissions in early 2019.

“It really differentiates us,” said Adam Thomas, Pasco’s tourism director, “There’s not another snow park in Florida. It’s really going to draw a lot of attention to Pasco in a good way.’’

Nagengast’s attorney, Clark Hobby, said the county’s land-use designation of an amusement park “doesn’t do justice to what this really is.’’ Nagengast said the park would operate on approximately 5 acres of the 58-acre site and the company plans to purchase and plant up to 1,000 trees for buffering and to promote an agri-tourism atmosphere.

“It’s similar to what we’ve done with TreeHoppers, using the beauty and natural resources of Pasco County, getting away from concrete jungle, and letting people experience the space and nature,’’ he said.

Plans call for digging a lake on the site for drainage and using the excavated dirt to build a 40-foot tall hill for the snow tubing lanes. The width of the run hasn’t been determined. Attendance will be limited to a few hundred people at a time via advance-purchase tickets with designated times to use the course, Nagengast said. He said the attraction probably would employ 50 people on a seasonal basis.

Though tourism officials are excited about the facility, Nagengast said the primary market will be area residents.

“We’ve always made sure the local community is our number one client,’’ he said. “If the locals don’t like it, it doesn’t matter what goes on with the tourist market.’’

Point Summit opened TreeHoppers in 2015 and Scream-A-Geddon later the same year. The company operates similar zip line and seasonal haunted house attractions in Anderson, Indiana.

Contact C.T. Bowen at [email protected] or (813) 435-7306. Follow @CTBowen2.

Comments
Pasco man arrested for 2015 machete attack on driver

Pasco man arrested for 2015 machete attack on driver

Jason Robert Putnam of New Port Richey faces charges of aggravated battery with a deadly weapon and failure to appear.
Updated: 0 minutes ago
Popularity taking toll on New Port Richey park

Popularity taking toll on New Port Richey park

City may create a reserve police unit to help keep it safe and clean.
Updated: 21 minutes ago
First-time voters prepared to make choices

First-time voters prepared to make choices

River Ridge High School students Brielle Brodd, Katelyn Kirves and Claire Kraft, all recent 18th birthday celebrants, voted for the first time in the November 6 election.
Published: 11/20/18
Motorcyclist killed in Port Richey after drunk driver turns in front of him, FHP says

Motorcyclist killed in Port Richey after drunk driver turns in front of him, FHP says

Dustin Shawn Hogan of New Port Richey died from his injuries at Regional Medical Center Bayonet Point, according to the FHP.
Published: 11/19/18
Updated: 11/20/18

Pasco Letters to the Editor

Opinions and reactions from Pasco County readers.
Published: 11/19/18

Hernando and Pasco county news

News and notes from the community
Published: 11/19/18
Things to Do in Pasco and Hernando counties starting Nov. 23

Things to Do in Pasco and Hernando counties starting Nov. 23

Pasco and Hernando county events
Published: 11/19/18
Hometown Pasco

Hometown Pasco

News and notes about your neighbors.
Published: 11/19/18
Celebrating the holidays in Pasco and Hernando counties

Celebrating the holidays in Pasco and Hernando counties

Upcoming events in the North Suncoast
Published: 11/19/18

School notes for Nov. 23

Pasco schools calendar, events and briefs
Published: 11/19/18