Port Canaveral rejects WatersMark resort proposal

The grandiosity of a proposed mega resort for Port Canaveral, called Watersmark, is unlike anything in Brevard County -- a 60,000-square-foot children's museum, a six-acre surf park, and a crystal lagoon. On the river, a manatee rescue facility would be built, along with three upscale hotels.

"There's none of that product on the Space Coast right now, so there's a huge demand for it," said Brent Woodson, the developer of the proposed quarter-of-a-billion-dollar Port Canaveral resort.  "We know SeaWorld and Ddisney want it."

Woodson wants to build it on 20-plus acres of land on the east side of State Road 528. Port commissioners said they liked the idea, but shot it down, because of another large development already in the planning stages for the port's restaurant and retail area called The Cove.  Plans for the Cove call for 250,000-square-feet of retail and restaurant, with a high end hotel, all built around Exploration Tower.

Woodson doesn't believe Watermark would compete with the Cove. In fact, he thinks it would help. "Because we have the amenities that they are not bringing. They have some retail, some dining. That's not enough for a hotel to make that an anchor spot."

Still, port commissioners unanimously voted not to move forward with the mega resort at this time,  but they said they would re-examine it after some progress has been made on The Cove.