Apex OKs adrenaline park

aramos@newsobserver.comJune 7, 2013 

— The country’s largest indoor adrenaline park could be open for thrill seekers in the next six to eight months.

Carolina Sports Holdings revealed the park’s name, Maxx Thrill The Adrenaline Factory, at the Apex Town Council meeting on Tuesday.

The council approved major site plans and a special-use permit for the 16-acre indoor and outdoor extreme-sports park at 810 Lufkin Road. Now the company plans to move forward to finalize the sale of the property.

The “factory” theme plays off the history of the existing site, a former Henry Wurst commercial printing plant.

“A factory produces things,” said Myles Owens, general manager of the future park. “Our factory produces the adrenaline molecule.”

Eventually, the park is set to be more than 146,000 square feet, with 572 parking spaces and six outdoor attractions.

The park will be built in three phases. The first amenities will include a cafe, a two-story laser tag game and maze, an arcade, a bocce and cornhole area and more than 20,000 square feet of trampolines for jumping, dodgeball and dunking basketballs.

When it’s finished, Maxx Thrill The Adrenaline Factory will have the largest trampoline arena in the Carolinas, Owens said.

The 39,000-square-foot indoor go-kart track, which will be part of phase two, will also be the largest in the Carolinas, he said.

A restaurant, meeting rooms, an outdoor ropes course and ziplining will be added during the second phase.

The last phase will include a 16-lane bowling alley, billiards and outdoor patio, a skydiving wind tunnel, outdoor laser tag and two outdoor thrill rides, “Skycoaster” and “Double Shot.”

“You can’t experience this anywhere else in the country,” Owens said. “This is going to be really big for our area and the region.”

A draw for Wake

The Greater Raleigh Convention and Visitors Bureau is backing the project.

Wake County saw about 11.6 million visitors in 2011, and 45 percent of them were daytrippers who visited museums and attractions, said Loren Gold, executive director of the visitors bureau He spoke out in support of the project at last week’s council meeting.

As a regional draw, Gold said the adrenaline park could boost the number of people who stay in local hotels as part of a thriving sector of tourism – sports.

Gold said Wake County also needs another venue that can host large groups. The adrenaline park is expected to be able to accommodate nearly 2,000 people at a time.

The facility will have a 400-seat restaurant, which will include banquet space.

Apex Mayor Keith Weatherly said the attraction will boost his town’s economy.

“I’m very excited about the potential,” he said. “It’s one more thing that makes Apex a unique, family-oriented community. It’ll bring a lot of new people to our area who may not have visited before. I don’t see any downside to it.”

High-tech bracelets

Parents might worry about losing track of their children in such a big place. But the company has a solution: Patrons will get bracelets that allow them access to amusement rides, and those bracelets can send text messages that alert parents when their children have left a certain area, Owens said.

Originally, a skate park was planned as part of the facility, but the company decided against it.

“We heard feedback that we had too many aggressive sports,” Owens said. “We are trying to promote a culture of safety.”

Ramos: 919-460-2609

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