Epic Recreation Center Opens in Grand Prairie, Texas, Nov. 17

SOURCE: The Epic

The ambitious, innovative facility, part of a $94 million City of Grand Prairie development, is an anchor attraction in an emerging recreation and entertainment destination known as EpicCentral

(Grand Prairie, TX) The latest chapter in the development of EpicCentral Grand Prairie (formerly Grand Central) unfolds this fall with the opening of The Epic, a 120,000-square-foot fitness, arts, and entertainment destination that City of Grand Prairie officials characterize as a “reimagination” of conventional notions of the American recreation center.

The Epic is the newest destination to open at EpicCentral, following the opening of the GrandLawn Amphitheater late this summer and Epic Waters Indoor Waterpark in January. Each EpicCentral destination (and the development itself) is owned by the City of Grand Prairie.

Mayor Ron Jensen, who has lived in Grand Prairie since 1963, said that the opening of The Epic represents a significant milestone in both the city’s history and its ongoing transformation into a premiere North Texas community. “The Epic is a huge addition to the quality of life amenities in Grand Prairie,” said Jensen.  “Our city is seeing such a boom in our tourism, housing, retail development and new businesses, particularly along State Highway 161. The expansion at EpicCentral will undoubtedly create further success for Grand Prairie in these key areas.” Find out more about recent Grand Prairie development.

ABOUT THE EPIC: The Epic will offer daily programming and resources in the areas of fitness, arts, entertainment and recreation, available year-round to Epic members and drop-in visitors. Unlike most municipal recreation facilities, there’s no residency requirement for participation; however, Grand Prairie residents are eligible for discounted membership fees. View The Epic’s fee schedule.

Activities planned for The Epic include fitness training for people of all fitness levels, group exercise classes, sports leagues, swimming, art education, game room recreation, culinary classes and seminars, and seasonal camps for kids and teens, as well as concerts and entertainment events held in The Epic Theater or the GrandLawn Amphitheater, an outdoor concert space located immediately adjacent to The Epic.

The Epic also boasts a robust menu of complimentary and fee-based amenities and upgrades—such as free parking, babysitting, massage therapy, café service and a digital library kiosk—as well as programming for patrons with special needs, supported by an adaptive/inclusive recreation coordinator.  

Rick Herold, director for the Grand Prairie Parks, Arts & Recreation Department, said that the City is positioning The Epic as a top-tier meeting and event venue as well as a fitness and recreation destination.  “In the same weekend, we can host a children’s birthday party in our aquatics center, a retirement party in our game room, a private concert in our theater, and a corporate event in our top-floor warehouse facility,” said Herold. “There’s no other event venue in North Texas that can rival The Epic when it comes to versatility, capability and affordability.”

Noteworthy features and program opportunities at The Epic include:

  • A $1 million workout facility packed with hundreds of state-of-the-industry cardio and strength training options, available in a setting boasting dramatic views of the green spaces and lakes at EpicCentral.  

  • Indoor tracks (including an inclined “adventure” track with multi-feature challenges), a Preco Chronis spin room, a high-intensity workout room and a multi-format yoga studio.

  • An athletic court featuring NBA-style basketball goals and spectator seating with an overhanging view of the playing court. In addition to basketball, the court can accommodate play in a range of sports, including volleyball and fast-growing sports like pickleball, futsal or indoor soccer.

  • A multi-use aquatics area with lap lanes, in-water exercise equipment, a resistance training “vortex” pool, a relaxing spa, a kiddie splash area and a waterslide.

  • An art gallery that will showcase the works of area artists.

  • A “listening-room” styled theater (sponsored by Texas Trust Credit Union) inspired by the historic Kessler Theater in Dallas.

  • A recording and digital media studio (with film editing capability) and an internet radio station (epicradiogp.com).

  • A culinary teaching kitchen (sponsored by IKEA).

  • An amenity-packed, interactive children’s play space and teen center.

  • A family game room featuring ping pong and interactive games.

  • Private event spaces, including a “warehouse” space with a terrace overlooking the GrandLawn Amphitheater and memorable views of EpicCentral and the North Texas horizon.

One particularly noteworthy feature of The Epic is an innovative artist-in-residence programthat the City of Grand Prairie is sponsoring in collaboration with the University of North Texas. The program offers a fellowship and living accommodations (in a private residence located at The Epic) to a candidate from the university’s fine arts doctoral program who will lead art classes and other art education events at The Epic. The artist will also have access to loft space at The Epic where he or she can work on art of all mediums, including a work to be contributed to the City of Grand Prairie’s public art collection. Meet the current Epic artist-in-residence, Horacio Casillas.

“The Epic is going to completely change the way we think about recreation centers and municipal facilities,” said Rick Herold.“It’s a place where you can begin (or continue) a fitness program, play basketball, take a spin class, take a painting class, record a podcast, enjoy a great book over a cup of coffee, take a walk with a friend indoors or out, host a meeting, learn how to cook, play games with your family, or listen to live music. There is truly nothing like it anywhere else.”

MORE ABOUT EpicCentral: EpicCentral is a City of Grand Prairie-owned, 172-acre development situated along the southern sector of the recently expanded State Highway 161 corridor. Destinations at EpicCentral include Epic Waters Indoor Waterpark (an 80,000 square-foot, resort-quality, year-round family entertainment destination that opened in January); The Summit (a country club-styled recreation center for active adults age 50-plus); the GrandLawn Amphitheater (an outdoor concert space that opened in August); and PlayGrand Adventures (an inclusive and adaptive play space that will open in 2019 or 2020.  

Wrapped around all of these walkable destinations are lakes, paved walking trails, and expansive green spaces (including a purple martin sanctuary). Future plans for the EpicCentral development include hotels and restaurants.

Funding for the construction of The Epic, Epic Waters and the GrandLawn Amphitheater, a combined $94 million project, was generated by revenue collected from a ¼ cent sales tax that Grand Prairie voters approved in 2014. To date, the destinations at EpicCentral have created 300 seasonal, part-time and full-time jobs.

“The growth at EpicCentral and other developments along the new Highway 161 corridor, as well as the expansion of State Highway 360, will continue to serve as a catalyst for overall development in Grand Prairie that will also benefit our neighboring communities,” said Mayor Jensen.  “It’s a very exciting chapter in the history of our city.”



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