Kelly Slater Plans World’s Largest Surf Resort


Eleven-time world champion surfer Kelly Slater has unveiled plans for the world’s largest open-barrel, man-made wave.

The Kelly Slater Wave Company has sounded out La Quinta in Coachella Valley as the site of the $200 million (A$300m) development, adjacent to the site of the annual Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival.

Slater has partnered with private real estate investment and development firm Meriwether Companies, which has worked on residential developments across California, and Big Sky Wave Developments.

Set at the base of Coral Mountain, the 161-hectare site, eight hectares of which will be dedicated to an 18 million gallon wave pool, will also comprise a 150-room luxury hotel, 600 private residences, dining venues and adventure sports.

The site, which was previously approved for 750 homes as well as a 18-hole golf course, will retain the same density and will require less water than the previous concept.

The site of the proposed Coral Mountain resort at the base of Coral Mountain in La Quinta.
▲ The site of the proposed Coral Mountain resort at the base of Coral Mountain in La Quinta.

“We chose to do this project because it allows us to further build on our technology and also because one of our founding partners, Michael Schwab, is heading up the group running the project,” Slater said.

“This can become the blueprint for new developments around waves and surf parks going forward and is in line with some of my original ideas from when we started this project.”

The surf pool will be created by Kelly Slater Wave Company utilising his creation of the largest open-barrel, man-made waves.

One already exists at the Kelly Slater Surf Ranch in Lemoore, California, more than three hours north of Los Angeles.

The Coral Mountain wave basin will be the world’s largest, able to hold roughly 25 surfers and will feature waves for all levels of ability and preference.

Construction is expected to begin in early 2021 with the opening slated sometime in 2022, pending design and amended approval.

KSWave Co
▲ The technology relies on a 100 tonne electric hydrofoil which runs along a fence, like a locomotive. Image: Kelly Slater’s Surf Ranch

Other wave-pool companies, hoping to tap into the recent boom in leisure-based developments, have accelerated the development of their own parks and competing technologies.

In Australia, Urbnsurf opened Australia’s first surf park, a $40 million venture located near Melbourne Airport in Tullamarine, roughly 16 kilometres from the city’s CBD.

Urbnsurf is also planning additional surf parks with a Sydney-based wave pool planned in Sydney Olympic Park.

Late last year, Consolidated Properties, led by Don O’Rorke, confirmed plans for a $100 million surf ranch on the Sunshine Coast, in partnership with Slater and the World Surf League.

The surf ranch, if realised, will span a 529-hectare site in Coolum, is subject to planning, and if approved could be in operation by 2021.

US-based Surf Loch Wave Systems also has ambitious plans for a surf wave park at a golf club on the banks of the Hawkesbury River in outer Western Sydney.

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