Resort Mini Golf Renovation Uses AGS Custom Modular System to Withstand Hurricane Force Winds
Caribe Resort in Orange Beach, Alabama along the Gulf Coast, recently engaged Adventure Golf & Sports (AGS) to replace a concrete-built miniature golf course on the rooftop of a parking deck that had been severely damaged when Hurricane Sally came ashore in 2020. While the three 13-story towers of condominiums and vacation rentals that were originally built 16 years ago with poured concrete and post tensioned slabs at the resort were relatively undamaged, the mini golf course and some other outdoor amenities at the resort suffered severe damage and needed renovations estimated at $3 - $4 million.
According to Stan Szapiel, General Manager of Caribe Resort, “Hurricane Sally was a high Category 2, we tipped over to a Category 3 with sustained winds of 120 miles per hour and speeds higher than that for gusts…
“We had impacts, for sure, but we were covered and the island lost power for six days and our staff was able to recover and get our operation back up and running.
“Since then we have done a tremendous amount of upgrades to the property. And when we started looking at the amenities at our resort, we said, ‘Hey, let’s start looking at everything and really doing a good overall renovation to the property.’
“When we got to the mini golf, we said ‘this just doesn’t cut it in today’s times.’ Our guests and our owners expect spectacular results from our renovation. So when we got connected to AGS, we looked at all the mini golf companies that are out there that could do this and learning that AGS was familiar with cruise ships and building courses on top of a cruise ship deck gave us the insight to say ‘Hey, let’s zero-in on this company not only for their price point but the quality of what they can do working with the obstacles of having different elevations in the mini golf that was already there that had been built with concrete.
“Our team down here prepped the area and it was unknown what was under that (existing rooftop course) 16 years ago when artificial sod and turf was laid. It had a very thin Astroturf-like product that was laid like you would carpet. It was really a dated product when you look at what’s developed in the market these days. So when AGS came to us, they said, ‘Look we now have different panels with different thickness, different padding, we have a completely different product.’”
AGS proposed using their Custom Modular System that is much lighter in weight than concrete and features a proprietary anchoring system that is safe, secure and even seaworthy. AGS says it able to withstand heavy 24/7 foot traffic in all kinds of weather – from the harsh Caribbean sun and salt water to monsoon rains, wide temperature fluctuations and hurricane-force winds.
“Their team was super professional,” says Szapeil. “They (AGS) gave us a truly three-dimensional links course that has accents with topography, it’s aesthetically exceptional looking…
“The benefit of this thing also is that when it rains, we have drainage up there. This (course) is on top of a deck where we don’t want to pool water into this area. So drainage was taken into consideration with the elevations that they did so they were able to create proper drainage and proper elevation so that we don’t have standing water after a big storm. And that was a big plus to us because down here along the Gulf Coast we get pop-up showers throughout the busy season and clearly it’s ready to go soon after it rains. It all drains fully. And we have ADA access throughout the course.
“We have three towers of 13 stories each and close to half of these condominiums can look down upon this (mini golf) amenity from the south side of our building between the Gulf of Mexico and the building. So you go out on your balcony which is substantially large and you look over and we want to see what is the equivalent of a Disney-looking quality resort. And so that was our mission when we went into renovation. When you look down on this mini golf course, it is so enticing that you’ve got to play! And so at night, when we have our lights up, the accents of the different color of artificial sod that we have there, the tan sod that appears to look like you’re in the sand up there, it’s exceptional.
“We’ve got a full 18-hole course. It’s like a links course. It’s interesting and people are loving it. This is really a three-dimensional kind of aspect and look and feel, whereas the other (course) was pretty flat. We had a little bit of elevation with the old course but not that much. It was a very plain, open course. Here, the elevations give it a true three-dimensional feel that, when you’re playing through it, you’ve got some more challenges other than flat surfaces. So this is so much more interesting and fun to play.”
In addition to mini golf, Caribe Resort offers complimentary fishing off their docks (the resort has 141 boat slips), a waterpark-style pool with tubular slides, a 980-
foot long lazy river and other amenities for the enjoyment and convenience of their condominium owners and rental guests.
“(AGS) delivered on everything they said,” says Szapiel. “We were thrilled with the end result… They worked with our budget and in our opinion, they over-delivered for what they said they were going to do which made us feel exceptionally confident. They met with us, they were very clear about what they could and couldn’t do, they got over the hurdles we gave them and so I highly recommend them. So would any of our owners because the end result exceeded our expectation.
“AGS really developed something we couldn’t make any better. I don’t know what we would do to make it better except maybe improve our scores when we play it!”
Adventure Golf & Sports (AGS) is a global leader in the design and installation of fun, interactive, cost-effective entertainment attractions like Miniature Golf, Pickleball, Shuffleboard, Bocce Ball, Croquet & other recreational courts. Besides traditional concrete-poured permanent installations, AGS has long term experience installing interlocking panel system versions, like the Custom Modular Mini Golf System and Bunkers & Bumps™ for a variety of indoor and outdoor applications for retail centers including restaurants, hotels and resorts, family entertainment centers, amusement parks, as well as on rooftops and cruise ship decks.
For more information about the AGS Mini Golf Custom Modular System, as well as other mini golf build / construction choices from AGS, including pre-made portable systems that can be used in a variety of situations, email firstname.lastname@example.org, call (231) 922-8166 or visit www.AGSGolfandSports.com.