Crystal Lagoon finally opens to residents


After months of setbacks from permitting issues, the highly anticipated Crystal Lagoon is going to finally open in Wesley Chapel Saturday. 


The developer Metro Lagoon initially held a high-profile grand opening in April with Olympian Michael Phelps but had to keep the lagoon closed until now. 


“This is in our backyard. We don’t have to drive an hour to the beach. We don’t have to drive an hour to other amusement parks,” said resident Patrick Keating.


The lagoon finally opens Saturday to the Epperson housing community after months of delays.


“We worked really hard with the county and safety consultants to make sure this place is ready to go for residents,” said Eric Wahlbeck, the Metro Lagoon managing director.


Some residents voiced frustration about the setbacks and preliminary fees.


“Yeah, we’ve had some people be up in arms about it not being open yet. Well, that’s out of our control, so take a deep breath. Again, it’s a development,” said resident Kyle O’Donnell.


Now families look forward to using its features, like a poolside bar.


“There’s a group of us that do Wine Wednesday. So every Wednesday night we get together and have wine, and I see that moving probably down here,” said O’Donnell.


Plus, there’s an obstacle course and water sports equipment.


“I think that I will have more time with my dad and that I will have more time to just be with my brother and sister,” said 11-year-old Andrew Keating.


After months of planning, delays, and feedback from residents, developers said they are building something special in the backyards of their residents.


“To actually open the doors is what we’ve all been waiting for,” said Wahlbeck.


Residents will pay $25 a month to get access, and other features like the bar and restaurant will be extra. Developers said the lagoon will stay open only to residents for now, and it could open to the public at a later date.

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