IRVING — For people like Ryan and Kim Cook, it was a good excuse to spend a night watching "Indiana Jones" under the stars in Las Colinas.
"This is kind of neat, you know?" Ryan said.
But for others, like Irving City Council member Allan Meagher, it was much, much more.
"Proud day, very proud day," he said. "This is a great thing for the city, it really is."
Seven years ago, Irving voters resoundingly decided they wanted to build a massive entertainment complex in Las Colinas. But as News 8's Brett Shipp first reported, legal and financial woes plagued that project — so much so that its future was in question.
That is, until last year, when Noah Lazes' North Carolina-Based ARK Group took over and threw things into high gear.
"We're very excited to finally be breaking ground here," Lazes told News 8.
On Saturday night, the $165 million project was officially underway. It will be called the Irving Music Factory. Lazes says it will include more than 25 restaurants and entertainment venues, a movie theater, and an indoor/outdoor concert hall when it's completed in spring 2016, nearly 10 years after the vote to create it.
The groundbreaking was more of an entertainment event than anything; it included bounce houses, food trucks, and an outdoor movie.
It was a taste of what's to come.
"It's amazing how many e-mails and phone calls we receive from just random people saying 'thank you' for finally making this happen," Lazes said.
"This is so exciting for the residents of Irving to have something in Irving we can really be proud of and keep our residents in Irving," Meagher said.
Ryan and Kim Cook, who live in Dallas, say they'll be coming back.
"Absolutely, yeah," Kim said. "This wasn't a far drive for us at all, and this is really cool to see out here."
That's exactly what proponents have been saying for all these years.