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New development could crown Texas as “Wave Pool Capital of the World”

This month developers launched renderings for a wave pool at the new commercial development Sapphire Bay. The non-specific technology will be the centerpiece for the Rowlett North Texas project.

Initially, the development stalled for a year after legal hassles between partners. But now appears to be full-steam ahead with lifestyle destination developers VenuBlue.

Bisnow reported the $39million deal includes approximately 117 acres of land and a deep-water marina. Accommodations for the project include a 500-room resort hotel, along with amenities like a spa and approximately1.4 million square feet of commercial lease space.

VenuBlue’s press release stated their surf and beach club would feature a one-of-a-kind, competition-quality surfing venue. In artist’s renderings, the pool appears as a rectangular with breaking waves in the center.

“We have assembled an incredible team that is ready to deliver everything Rowlett is expecting and more – a unique, experiential, water-themed destination that will be a must-see in North Texas,” said developer Kent Donahue. “The surf and beach lifestyle is what drives this project, and it will fill the resort hotel, office towers, residential units, shops and restaurants with people who want to experience a tropical beach setting in the heart of North Texas.”

The group says it is set to break ground in September of this year

The unspecified wave pool technology is part of the 6.5 acre Crystal Lagoons component in the development. Crystal Lagoons is a separate tech that builds large bodies of water in developments but doesn’t make wave pools.

The company says it has a patent-protected tech that allows the construction and maintenance of unlimited-size clear water lagoons. The lagoons are huge customizable filtered water facilities that mimic beaches (think swim-up bars and dock-front condos). Crystal Lagoons says it has 110 projects in various stages of development in the USA. There is no mention of a partnership with a wave pool technology company on their website.

It’s difficult to discern if this project has secured a wave pool maker like American Wave Machines, LochSurf or Surf Lakes. Wavegarden tends to announce such deals through surf-media channels, so it’s most likely not the Spanish company. No one else has announced they are building the pool.

The artists’ renderings show a square pool, which doesn’t fit current PerfectSwell or Surf Lakes designs. It could be a Surf Loch (by Tom Lochtefeld’s company Wave Loch, as it resembles a demo model they’ve displayed at trade shows.

Currently, Texas houses the BSR Surf Ranch, the most accessible surfing wave pool in the US. The state’s other wave pool, NLand in Austin, is currently undergoing a retrofit to become a Kelly Slater Wave Company facility.


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