Crystal Lagoons Island Resort breaks ground in Glendale, Arizona

By | June 19, 2021

Resort to feature first ever Mattel-themed Adventure Park

GLENDALE, Ariz. — Crystal Lagoons Island Resort officially broke ground  on June 10 in Glendale, Arizona on property across the street from State Farm Stadium, home to the NFL’s Arizona Cardinals.

The resort will be home to a massive Crystal Lagoon, retail shops, restaurants, hotel and the first ever Mattel-themed adventure park. The resort is scheduled to be completed in fall 2022, in time for the city’s hosting of Super Bowl LVII in February 2023.

Glen Bilbo, managing director for Epic Resort Destinations pulled the resort concept together with Mark Cornell, president of attractions & entertainment for Crystal Lagoons Island Resort.

Eric Cherasia, vice president of the Crystal Lagoons brand told Amusement Today, “This is the next wave of bringing family entertainment in a very epic way by bringing the beach to the desert.”  The lagoon itself will be the centerpiece of the resort, with waters eight to 10 feet deep in the center.  The resort will include the finest of dining and retail shops, and will have a venue within that is large enough for weddings and other entertainment events.”

This resort concept marks the first time the Crystal Lagoons brand has been used in a tourism/hospitality themed brand.

The fun for resort guests doesn’t stop at just the lagoon interaction. The Mattel Adventure Park will feature an indoor FEC along with outdoor rides all geared to the Mattel brand of toys.

Highlights at the park will be a Hot Wheels-themed looping roller coaster and a first life-sized Thomas the Tank Engine electric-battery powered passenger train, both to be supplied by Chance Rides, Wichita, Kan.

The park will also feature a Hot Wheels race track that is being implemented into the Lagoon. Hot Wheels go-carts for all skill levels,  with interactive Hot Wheels AR-racing systems, will be available for the more competitive speed-seeking drivers.

“At Mattel, we are home to some of the most iconic, multi-generational franchises in the world,” said Julie Freeland, senior director, global location based entertainment, Mattel. “By partnering with Crystal Lagoons Island Resort, we will be offering new and immersive ways for families to experience classic brands like Hot Wheels, Thomas & Friends, and more.” 

“A passion for innovation and excellence has driven the design of our venue. Mattel shares our vision and sets the platinum standard for the concept of play.  We are thrilled to create the country’s first Mattel Adventure Park in Glendale,” Cornell told AT.

“We are delighted for Glendale to be the flagship location for this resort that will bring technology and globally established partners to create a one-of-a-kind environment,” said Kevin Phelps, city manager. “The Crystal Lagoons and the Mattel themed Adventure Park will complement our thriving sports and entertainment district and support our goal of being a premier destination for visitors from across the globe and for Glendale residents. Over the coming weeks we look forward to sharing details on the iconic hotel, restaurants, and entertainment brands that will join the Mattel Adventure Park in calling Glendale home as part of this world-class resort development.”

Crystal Lagoons Island Resort is projecting attendance of 5,000 to 6,000 visitors per day.  

“I know Crystal Island Lagoon Resort will add so much more to the visitor experience, and it’s starting to become an attraction all on it’s own — save all of our technologies — and enhance the experience.  That’ll make this destination a must stop for people just visiting Arizona, as well as a must see for those who call people Arizona home,” said Glendale Mayor Jerry Weiers

—Story contribution by Laurin Privateer

This article appears in the upcoming JULY 2021 issue of Amusement Today.
View the entire issue for FREE with our digital edition beginning June 23!