A hot springs and spa venture billed as the largest in North America has detailed an ambitious outlook for what it expects to bring to Georgia’s fastest-growing county.
The 10-acre concept, Passport Springs & Spa, is slated to break ground this fall off Ga. Highway 400’s Exit 13 in South Forsyth County, next to an outdoor entertainment and shopping complex called The Collection at Forsyth.
It’s envisioned as nothing short of a tourism supercharger for the area. Project leaders say there’s nothing else like it in the Southeast—or on the planet.
The company behind the project, Passport Experiences, has released economic output projections compiled by GAI Consultants, a planning, engineering, and environmental consulting firm.
According to GAI’s study, Passport Springs could generate more than $551 million in economic impact and 466 jobs over its first decade in business.
Construction alone could generate a $51-million impact in the short term, and the attraction could spell $11 million annually for nearby hotels such as Home2Suites Hilton and Fairfield Inn & Suites, according to Passport Experiences.
“We’ll bring guests from all over the world to Passport Springs,” said Jacob Bloch, Passport Experiences CEO, in a recent media release that included new visuals for exterior designs. “Our visitors will need somewhere to stay and will likely explore the surrounding area to shop and dine at local retailers and restaurants. We not only expect Passport to succeed, but to also turbocharge our neighbors.”
Slade Gulledge, Forward Forsyth’s vice president of economic development, added that interest in the spa project “is very high” and that Bloch’s team is “already fielding calls for bookings prior to any dirt being turned.”
Overall, the project calls for about 150,000 square feet of outdoor space, plus another 40,000 square feet under roofs. An array of watery attractions is meant to recall Japanese hot springs (think: pagodas and koi fish), the Dead Sea, Roman baths, and the volcanic waterfalls of Costa Rica.
Voelker Gray Design, a firm with resort-design experience in California, Cabo, and Las Vegas, is on board as architect and designer. Kimley-Horn has been hired for civil engineering.
More specifically, plans call for 25 thermal mineral pools, 19 spa rooms, private themed cabanas and VIP villas, plus a rooftop restaurant called The Passport Café and Bistro. Also in the works is a subterranean cave network, the Grotto, that will feature snow, steam, sauna, and salt rooms, according to Passport Experiences.
Passport Springs will be divided into four pavilions—Costa Rica, Rome, Israel, and Japan—with food and drink options and designs to echo each place.
It’s all scheduled to open in fall 2023. Costs to experience this/the world without leaving Forsyth haven’t been specified.
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