GLENDALE, Ariz. - Construction for the VAI Resort in Glendale is well underway, and the project is growing.
The 60-acre property is set to include the world's first Mattel Adventure Park. Officials with the City of Glendale say the program is focused on crafting a whole new genre of resorts catering to younger people and families.
"The adventure part is a way to kind of market four of their major lines: Barbie, [Thomas & Friends], Masters of the Universe, and Hot Wheels," said Glendale City Manager Kevin Phelps. "They can really leverage those four brands to kind of take the next generation and future generation of children and potential customers, and give them a chance to showcase what they want to do."
The VAI Resort site is located near Glendale's entertainment district, which already features State Farm Stadium, Tanger Outlets, and the Westgate Entertainment District.
The resort itself will be the largest of its kind in Arizona, sporting its own concert venue, a six-acre swimming pool and a man-made beach.
"I'm actually so excited, I think it’s going to be really cool to have something like that here in Arizona," said Marianna Carrizoza.
"I’ve been here for about 25 years, and I am thrilled about the new Mattel adventure park that’s coming," said Ron Rockwell. "I can’t wait until they open. I think it just brings another level of entertainment to this area."
The economic impact was originally forecasted on the project consisting of 600 hotel rooms, but it has grown to almost 1,100 hotel rooms. A conference facility has been added, and the size of the adventure park has scaled up.
"The old economic impact showed approximately $13 million a year in new tax revenue coming to the City of Glendale, but this number will be significantly larger," said Phelps.