Article Originally Posted by PhoenixBusinessJournal on October 17, 2022
VAI Global Development, a newly formed entity that's behind the planned $1 billion resort and lagoon entertainment complex in the Phoenix metro, has unveiled new details about the project that's now set to open in late 2023.
The 60-acre Glendale resort will include the soon-to-be largest hotel in Arizona with 1,200 rooms, a 360-degree concert stage, a dozen restaurants and a 6-acre lagoon. The Sheraton Downtown Phoenix is currently the largest hotel in the state with more than 1,000 rooms.
Named after the words vitality and Wai, which is known as fresh water in Hawaiian, the resort aims to become a premier international destination featuring day and nightlife entertainment in a "experiential" hospitality setting.
"[Arizona] has always been home for me and it's always been a market that really hasn't been tapped into when it comes to this large-scale resort," Grant Fisher, president and co-owner of VAI Global Development, told the Business Journal. "Choosing a city like Glendale that's so pro-growth and you see the way Phoenix is trending, everything is pushing west, it was such a good opportunity as far as regionally, that's why we chose Arizona."
The original hotel project, which was called Crystal Lagoons, had an initial goal of being open ahead of the Super Bowl in February 2023 but the timeline extended far past this as a result of supply chain and labor shortage delays in addition to the resort changing ownership and becoming a new concept. It has recently made big strides in construction and now has a clear presence rising up next to the Cardinals Stadium and Loop 101 in the city's sports and entertainment district.
It's currently about 30% completed and at full build-out is expected to create 1,800 jobs in Glendale. So far, Fisher said they've hired about 15 people from destination cities such as Las Vegas, Miami and New York for its leadership team and will ramp up hiring in January 2023.