Work on Martin County water park Sailfish Splash Park continues despite controversy

STUART, Fla. - Martin County leaders are hoping that even though it's winter time, you're thinking spring, for the debut of a big family attraction.

The two four-story slides of Sailfish Splash Park are now visible from Willoughby Boulevard in Stuart, and no one is being lazy with the lazy river under construction. The park is scheduled to open for business in March.

There are two sides to the project, the water park side and the competitive swimming side with a 50-meter Olympic size pool.

"It is the only facility between Orlando and Ft. Lauderdale that can actually host a long course Olympic swimming meet," said Craig Anderson with Martin County Parks and Recreation.

Work continues on the main pool building, where the locker rooms will be, as well as space for birthday parties.

The $10 million project isn't without its doubters or controversy. Initial projections show the water park won't make money out of the gate.

Richard Geisinger with the Martin County Taxpayers Association says his group wants the project to succeed but cautioned against it morphing from a community pool, into a full-blown water park.

"We were a little concerned that they were being sold on being able to cover the cost by this additional expenditure," said Geisinger.

Initial projections show the park running a $93,000 deficit. The county says that's based on the most conservative estimates.

"Everybody that is working on the park estimates that we're going to be in the black by the end of the year," said Anderson.

Anderson said he's lined up two regional swim meets next year and has his eyes set on the 2013 High School State Championships. 

But will enough locals be drawn away from the county's natural beauty to visit? High school freshman Kasey Fillmore said, "I think a lot of kids will go there, but the beach is better."

Right now, the county is offering discounted season passes. You can find out more here.

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