DERBY, Kan. (KAKE) – A tourism and entertainment district is expected to begin construction later this year.

Derby Shores was officially announced by Derby Destination on Monday, with the $160 million project to break ground in the second quarter of 2024. The park will center around a public access inland ocean, complete with "sandy beach shores, beach volleyball, waterfront restaurants, waterslides and water sports." Derby Shores will be located at 63rd and Rock Road on the east side of Derby, near The Sandbox.

In a statement, partner Rodney Steven II compared the project to a Caribbean beach resort.

"Derby has made strides towards being a regional tourist destination, and we’re here to blow that wide open. That takes some serious infrastructure, so we’re putting in everything: a hotel, RV/Glamping park, and enough other activities to do to keep visitors here for multiple days," Steven said.

The project is expected to generate millions in annual tourist dollars for the region, but it is also poised to help the local community absorb and leverage that growth by adding apartments, a hotel, an aerial park, and a BMX course.

“Everyone is excited about the tourism dollars, but there will be direct benefits for Derby residents, too. We’re building a high-end apartment complex right on the beach, so residents and guests will have access to beach life all summer long. Plus, we’re putting in a BMX track and Aerial Park and large open beach space for local residents to use. There’s going to be so much more to do in Derby; most cities don’t see this much growth in a decade, let alone all at once," Steven added.

Derby Destination Development, a partnership between Rodney Steven II, Dave Murfin, and Rick Worner, is behind the project. The Star Bond project is anticipated to be the largest entertainment and tourism destination investment in south central Kansas history.