Electric go-carts, zip lines, rock climbing, mini-golf, outdoor paint ball, paintless paint ball — the list of attractions coming to Miami’s largest indoor theme park could take up a few paragraphs.
With 250,000 square feet of space, the park is packing in an extensive array of classes and activities, some of them virtual and some of them valued in the millions. That’s because it has a famous name working behind the scenes. Israeli-American real estate developer and car collector Michael Dezer is paving new ground for himself in the theme park world — and he’s lending his name to his latest venture.
Dezerland Park, at 14401 NE 19th Ave. in North Miami, has already quietly opened many attractions, including an arcade, a trampoline park, adult ninja warrior obstacle course — like the NBC show “American Ninja Warrior” — ropes course, rock climbing, paintless paint ball and a virtual reality park that includes about 40 different challenges. The park will host its official grand opening in January 2019, when it’ will debut bumper cars, go-karts, a 300-foot zip line, outdoor paint balling, a two-level mini golf, indoor skydiving and a larger ninja-warrior course.
Also available: aerial silk, dance, art, karate, parkour obstacle course, fitness and boot camp classes, an after-school program, a summer camp program, catering, food trucks, and spaces for corporate events, birthday parties, weddings, bachelor and bachelorette parties, bar and bat mitzvahs, fundraisers and galas. And coming soon: An upgrade to the gymnastics training facility to make it Olympic-level and food trucks.
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Essentially, Dezer chose it all.
“When Dezer does something, it tries to win every segment of the market,” Dezer said. “If some people don’t like go-karts, they’ll like bumper cars... That’s the beauty, that’s why we get so many people.”
Dezer is best known in South Florida as the founder of Dezer Development, which developed a substantial number of beachfront properties in Sunny Isles Beach, including most notably the Trump Towers and Trump Grande. He’s also an avid car collector and most recently has been involved in theme park projects including Xtreme Action Park in Fort Lauderdale and the Artegon Marketplace Property in Orlando. Dezerland Park is a $25 million investment, Dezer said.
That park will be in what until recently was the Miami Auto Museum, which featured many of the vehicles in Dezer’s collection. That has since moved to Orlando, but his 007 Bond Museum remains, complete with $50 million worth of cars, planes, helicopters and other paraphernalia from the James Bond movies.
Much of the programming at Dezerland will be focused on giving children in the Aventura, North Miami and Sunny Isles a place to go and have fun. The area has grown tremendously in recent years but lacks lifestyle options.
“I’m a kid at heart,” Dezer said. “When I was born at Israel, we didn’t have these kinds of park and arcades. I am making up for what I didn’t do when I was as young kid.”
Guests can pay for the attractions individually, at $14 for the first hour and $25 for two hours, or bundle the full experience attractions for $45 for the first hour and $55 for two hours for adults. For children the bundle prices are $35 and $45, respectively. Certain experiences have individual pricing, like the ninja course, which costs $17 for one hour for adults, and the virtual reality park, with prices ranging from $10 to $39 for individual ride tickets and $45 to $50 for the longer, more immersive virtual reality challenges.
“We call ourselves a community center and a family entertainment center. It’s a hybrid,” said the park’s general manager, Cutari Cotton. “It’s a new concept we are trying to bring to families to do their week-day activities ...and their weekend activities.”
One of the most popular activities in the new space is the virtual reality park, which offers experiences including a three-minute virtual reality headset activities, a VR arena that tracks your every body movement and a one-hour murder mystery-style VR escape room.
In the virtual reality arena, up to four players have 40 minutes to complete a mission involving a hairy situation: In a laboratory in the North Pole, scientists have turned into monsters. It’s very “Ready Player One.”
“We have good reviews and people like it. It’s one of a kind,” said Michael Lambrozo, the park’s VR manager. Other, thought smaller virtual reality parks have opened in Wynwood and Palmetto Bay.
For events, the park does the catering and creates the decorations in-house based on the party’s theme. NBA star LeBron James recently hosted his son’s birthday party at the facility. It was, of course, basketball-themed.
“We are saying to say we are like Disney World in Miami,” Cotton said, “— but you interact more.”