Water park not coming to Talking Rock area

Members of the Jasper Downtown Development Authority appeared to drive the final stake into the years-old discussion that a large water park resort was eyeing a spot along Highway 515 in Talking Rock.

During their general discussion Thursday, authority member Chuck Payne said he wanted to hear an update on the Port Royal project, which began in the spring of 2013 with a proposal for a $130 million project that would include a 400-room hotel and a water slide park.

Since then, there have been various meetings, and ups and downs, but no construction ever commenced, though soil tests and engineering work was conducted.

Last Thursday, other members of the Jasper DDA replied to Payne’s questions that the project is like water under the bridge – or down the slide as the case may be.

Chairman Mike Denson said, “It’s not going to happen for better or worse, and mostly better.”

Jasper Mayor John Weaver simply said, “gone.”

Authority member Ken Pint said he had been following the parcel of property (owned at the time by real estate and timber giant Forestar), and it has been sold in a large auction that included thousands of other acres. 

Pint said it was hard to track who bought it, but it appears that their proposed site has changed hands and he felt this signaled an end to the speculation. The developers had never purchased the property, holding it with an option during the pre-construction period.

Times Courier

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