In its latest move to secure the construction of an extensive resort water park and hotel, the El Paso City Council has voted to approve an agreement that will also allow for the construction of a convention center as part of the project.
El Paso officials have been trying for more than a year to entice the Chicago-based Great Wolf Lodge, which specializes in water parks and resort hotels, to build on a site off of Paseo del Norte Boulevard on the northwest side of the city.
Late last year, the city council agreed to purchase the land from developer Paul Foster, specifically for Great Wolf Lodge’s purposes.
The prospect of the Great Wolf Lodge locating and building in El Paso has won widespread support in the city, most recently from the El Paso Hotel and Lodging Association.
Now, the council has approved a new agreement with Great Wolf Lodge that will allow El Paso to take advantage of a recent law approved by the Texas Legislature allowing the city to receive millions in incentives if it owns the Great Wolf Lodge land and convention center for at least a decade.
One of the reasons for the push to secure the Great Wolf Lodge project is the expansive nature of the company’s properties, which include multiple water slides, pools, and play areas, across dozens of acres, and hotels housing up to 600 rooms and more.
Construction costs for Great Wolf Lodge resorts are often in excess of $150 million.
The company currently has resorts up and running in more than a dozen states, and opened its latest property last month in Scottsdale, Arizona.
Officials with the Great Wolf Lodge have yet to indicate whether they want to build in El Paso, but a decision is expected sometime by early next year.
By Garry Boulard
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