Saturday, March 12, 2011

Zip Line Proposed For Sand Key Park

Investor Dev Pathik, founder and CEO of Sports Facility Advisory and Clearwater Canopy Tours, wants to build a zip line trail though Sand Key Park. Pathik currently operates zip line tours in Hawaii and now wants to also offer them closer to his Clearwater headquarters. The Hawaii zip line facility is so popular, tours must be booked 5 weeks in advance. The trail would attract worldwide tourists and add tens of thousands of hotel room bookings, according to his proposal.

Zip lines are seats suspended by cables that are attached to very tall towers. The proposed trail would have four or five zip lines and three or four footbridges suspended on telephone poles 35 to 40 feet high. The highest structure would be an entry tower which Pathik hopes to build on a “spoil mound” near the Sheraton Sand Key, with a combined height of 75 feet for the tower and the mound.

While he Pinellas County Parks Advisory Board likes the idea of tree-top level environmental tours of Sand Key Park, Sand Key residents and Clearwater City Council have questions and concerns. Pathik made a presentation Monday to the Clearwater City Council on Monday. It's unknown at this point if the county can move forward with the project without the council's approval. The project might require city building permits and height variances for the towers. The Sand Key Civic Association is meeting with condo associations and planning a town hall meeting on April 4 at the Sand Key Sailing Center.

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