(FORSYTH COUNTY, GA) The “largest spa in North America” is one step closer to becoming a reality in Forsyth County. At the Forsyth County Planning Commission’s most recent meeting on June 28th, planning members unanimously recommended that Passport Springs & Spa be approved.
Planning members examined Passport Experiences’ request for a conditional-use permit to build a facility that will total 76,811 square feet with 261 parking spaces on 10.6 acres. Scheduled to break ground this fall and open in 2023, the project will be located at 410 Peachtree Parkway directly adjacent to The Collection. Passport Springs & Spa will feature four pavilions inspired by exotic hot springs destinations around the world with unique experiences and upscale dining options.
“I’ve been on the planning commission a long time, I think there’s never [been] an application in my district or countywide that’s appeared that I have been more excited about than this one,” said Stacy Guy, the District 2 planning commissioner.
Local business owners hope the development will boost tourism in the area and bring new customers to The Collection’s shops, restaurants, and hotels. In an economic output projection study for South Forsyth County conducted by GAI Consultants, Passport Springs & Spa was projected to create over 466 jobs and exceed $551.7 million in economic impact over 10 years.
In the shorter term, Passport Springs is estimated to produce $47.7 million per year in economic impact and a one-time economic impact of $51.3 million due to construction. The Passport Experiences team is already working with some local businesses including the two existing hotels at The Collection - Home2Suites Hilton and Fairfield Inn & Suites. This project could be a boon for those businesses since it is expected to generate $11.1 million in annual economic impact for lodging alone.
“We are committed to being valuable members of the community and supporting local businesses and organizations as we build this unprecedented, immersive experience,” said Jacob Bloch, CEO of Passport Experiences. “The long-term success of Passport Springs & Spa is intrinsically linked to Forsyth County’s prosperity and position as one of the fastest growing and most affluent counties in Georgia. The venue will not only service the local community, but also drive revenue and tourism for the entire region for years to come.”
Local leaders are optimistic about the project and its impact on other businesses in the community too. “Jacob and his Passport Springs team have already made a large impact by reaching out for partnership opportunities with local businesses and organizations in Forsyth,” said Slade Gulledge, Vice President of Economic Development for Forward Forsyth. “This is the hallmark of how successful businesses get established and thrive. The interest in this project is very high; Jacob and his team are already fielding calls for bookings prior to any dirt being turned. The projections within their economic impact analysis on Passport Springs are extremely impressive. Not only are we thrilled to welcome this first-of-its-kind attraction to Forsyth [we] are also pleased to have a great team and community partner in Passport Springs.”
The next step for the project is the Board of Commissioners meeting on Thursday, July 21. The meetings are open to the public and convene at 5 p.m. in the Commissioners' Meeting Room (Suite 220) on the second floor of the County Administration Building, 110 East Main Street, Cumming.
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