Developer bringing 40-acre surf lagoon, entertainment complex to Mesa


MESA, AZ — As downtown Mesa has recently seen a wave of new businesses open — Novel Ice Cream, Gus’s World Famous Fried Chicken, Tacos Chiwas, to name a few, and soon, Pedal Haus Brewery, one developer is set to break ground next week on a 40-acre project that he hopes will bring even more restaurants and entertainment to the area.

Canon Beach Mesa Rendering 1.jpg

Cannon Beach/concept rendering

Cole Cannon is the developer behind Cannon Beach, a 40-acre development near Power and Warner Roads, that is set to include Revel Surf, a three-acre surf lagoon, as well as restaurants, shops, and other attractions. He and his team are set to break ground on the project next Tuesday, March 30.

“It is a first in class, first in the world, really, of a surf lagoon that is surrounded by hotels, restaurants, retail, a state-of-the-art gym,” Cannon told ABC15 in a Tuesday afternoon interview. “We have areas planned in the community for electric go-karts, American Ninja parks — that’s the plan, ya know, tenant-based of course.”

“This is a place where you can experience and challenge yourself to be the best version of yourself,” he said.

Cannon Beach Artist Rendering 2

Cannon Beach/concept rendering

With a ceremonial groundbreaking planned for March 30, Cannon said actual construction — clearing land and building the underground infrastructure — would begin within a few weeks after.

The project itself will be built in multiple phases,” he said.

The surf lagoon will be the first phase to open, tentatively set for May 2022 — 14 months away from now — and then, eventually, followed by restaurants, attractions, and hotels. No specific tenants have been announced yet.

Cannon, who is part of Cannon Law Group and has developed other projects, said the Mesa project has been in the works for more than two years.

“We’ve been two and a half years now in the planning of this property. I acquired the property in September 2018. And we’ve been aggressively pursuing entitlements ever since,” he said. The land he bought was primarily agricultural and was rezoned for commercial building.

The Mesa development is one of three major water-based attractions that have been proposed around the Valley.

The Strand Water Park A

Artist rendering/The Strand & Gilbert

In Gilbert, a developer has proposed building a 25-acre water park with three lagoons for cable-based surfing, skiing, and kneeboarding, as well as areas for swimming, a beach, and restaurants.

John McLaughlin, the CEO of Strand Resorts and the developer behind The Strand at Gilbert, told ABC15 in an email that the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, has seriously delayed the project, though it is still moving forward. He said he expects to break ground within the first half of the year, but depends on a number of factors.

Crystal Lagoon Glendale.jpg

Concept rendering/City of Glendale/Crystal Lagoon

One of the more recent proposals, Crystal Lagoons Island Resort, announced that it plans to build a large entertainment destinations in Glendale, near Westgate Entertainment District, and would include an 11-acre lagoon, hotels, restaurants, entertainment, and attractions.

That project was announced in September. No new updates have been released since then.

A spokesperson for the City of Glendale’s Economic Development Department told ABC15 that there have been some delays due to the pandemic, but that she expects additional announcements to be made later this year. ABC15 reached out to Crystal Lagoons for an update on the project.


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