A $650 million water park resort-spa and sports complex will be built in Palmer.
The facility will feature a sports complex, a resort hotel, two indoor water parks, a spa, and an outdoor action river ride with heated water. The sports complex will feature indoor and outdoor sports facilities including an indoor hockey and basketball facility, an indoor sports bubble, a baseball complex, soccer and mixed-used fields, and beach volleyball courts.
“There will really be something for everyone,” said Paul Robbins, a spokesperson for the project.
Restaurants and on-site townhomes are also planned for the sports resort complex.
Robbins expects it to draw millions of visitors from a 300-mile radius throughout the northeast, making Palmer the “gateway to western Massachusetts.”
“If you start to layer on, from Yankee Candle, to the Big E to MGM Springfield, I really think we are at a tipping point of how this area is viewed by the rest of the northeast,” said Robbins.
The planned location for the water park and sports complex is on this 250-acre area of land, right off the Palmer exit on the Mass Pike. It’s the same piece of land that Mohegan Sun considered building a casino back in 2013, but the town turned it down.
“It’s good to see it happening,” said Ware resident Darren Carver. “Massachusetts needs some more growth in this area.”
“We’ve heard rumors but we haven’t really seen anything so we’re kind of skeptical.I feel like most of the town feels like that but I think once we start seeing trees going down it’s going to be exciting,” said Bridget Belisle of Palmer.
But one person who lives in Palmer said the massive project could create problems.
“I bring my dog hiking everyday up there, so I’m not looking forward to losing it,” said Sherri Pedraza of Palmer. “Plus, it’s going to bring a lot of extra traffic into our small town.”
Robbins said the facility will help the local economy by adding about 2,000 jobs.
Next steps for the project include meeting with Palmer’s planning board, according to Robbins.
The project will be managed by Skanska USA , who built Gillette Stadium.