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Idea for a family fun facility looks to return to stage
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ST. SIMONS ISLAND — A once-hot topic across Liberty County could be back on the front burner soon.

Cited as a priority at the 2020 planning workshop, the last one held before the COVID-19 pandemic, there may be a revived push for a family entertainment center in the community.

“The last time we were in this room, we were watching COVID unfold on our phones,” Marcus Sack said of the March 2020 planning workshop. “And the entertainment industry took a hit.”

Sack, speaking for the other committee members tasked with exploring a potential family entertainment center, said the committee hasn’t made much headway. What they have in mind, he said, is a study, and he indicated the money families spend at such venues.

“We want to perform a study that tells us the what, the how and the where to put some sort of family entertainment facility,” he said. “We believe it will encompass some sort of waterpark, athletic facilities and an opportunity for private investment as well. We want this study to tell us what the capital outlay will be and what the return on investment will be.”

The hope, Sack acknowledged, is the study will help local leaders make decisions on directing the resources to build a family entertainment center.

“I think that’s one of the main reasons this hasn’t gotten legs — because there hasn’t been an effective plan and it is a large capital outlay,” he said.

Two years ago, the prospect of a family entertainment center was seen as having a positive impact on quality of life and the tax base, along with creating jobs and giving residents a chance to spend their money closer to home. There were challenges identified too — where to build it, how to fund it and how to get to it.

“We’ll get the study done in the next 12 months so we can get serious about it the next time we meet,” Sack said.

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