Colorful garden attraction under construction in Paso Robles

Posted at 5:54 PM, Aug 28, 2018
and last updated 2018-08-28 20:54:45-04

A new development is coming to Paso Robles and it’s unlike anything ever built in the area, or in California for that matter.

Construction started this month on the first phase of what will be an outdoor garden exhibit. It’ll be a new tourist attraction here on the Central Coast.

Located across from Hunter Ranch Golf Course on Highway 46 East, work is underway on the 250-acre site.

It’s called Sensario and it’s been in the works since 2002.

"Visitors, guests, will enter through an entry portal that’s quite visionary and imaginary and beautiful. They’ll then venture into different parks which will be similar to Butchart Gardens up in British Columbia," said Susan DeCarli, Paso Robles City Planner. She’s been working on the project for years.

The city says the outdoor landscape attraction will be a visual treat for tourists and locals.

"I think it will bring a lot more people in," said Paso Robles resident Kassidy Voogd. "This town already brings in so many people for wine tasting, I think that that’s just kind of another beautiful thing to add to our country, wine country."

The Paso Robles Chamber of Commerce agrees it’ll draw in tourists looking for that one-of-a-kind experience.

"Absolutely thrilled that something like this, an attraction that we’ve not yet seen before in Paso Robles, is coming into our area," said Gina Fitzpatrick, CEO/President of the Paso Robles Chamber of Commerce. "As I’m sure you’ve heard, there are many people that, tourists, that we see that are specifically looking for the experience." 

The first phase will include an interim outdoor exhibit with LED lights.

"This is referred to as the field of lights where they will install, in this section of the property, several acres of LED lights that create this outdoor, natural wonder landscape for evening strolls," DeCarli explained. 

This will be completed next spring. It’s set to last for two to three years, about the same time the rest of the gardens should be finished.

"This is not on par with anything that we have in this area or in this state," DeCarli said.

The second phase of the project will include a conference center and a resort. The city says plans for a golf course have been scrapped.

The entire project is set to be completed in the next five to ten years. 

KSBY reached out to the applicant of the project, Ken Hunter, but have not yet received a response.