In an effort to spur the construction of a massive $160 million project that would include a water park, hotel, and convention center, the City of El Paso is putting together a one-of-a-kind incentives package.
That package will also include a land trade with El Paso developer and real estate investor Paul Foster, who owns the property on the west side of the city targeted for the complex.
As hoped, the incentives package would bring in the Madison, Wisconsin-based Great Wolf Lodge for the development and ownership of a complex that will include a 10,000 square foot convention center, a hotel with around 350 rooms, and an indoor water park.
El Paso is also offering Great Wolf Lodge a $5 million development grant, as well as a 15-year break on sales, property, and hotel occupancy taxes.
The project would be built on some 44 acres across the way from the West Towne Marketplace shopping center, located in the 6400 block of N. Desert Boulevard.
If all of the preliminary arrangements can be worked out, Great Wolf Lodge would have until early 2020 to decide whether the numbers are right for building in El Paso.
As part of the preliminary maneuvering to get the project going, the City of El Paso would trade just over 2,300 acres on the northeast side of the city to obtain the 44 acres owned by Foster for the Great Wolf project.
Both the incentives package and land swap are awaiting the approval of the El Paso City Council.
Great Wolf Lodge, advertising what it calls an “integrated, branded family vacation experience,” opened its first resort in Wisconsin Dells in 1997 and today has just under two dozen operating locations across the country.
By Garry Boulard
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