Loveland council votes to move whitewater park forward

LOVELAND — Loveland City Council voted Tuesday to remove 42 acres from an urban renewal area near Centerra and end a public improvement fee covenant to advance a plan to build a new whitewater park attraction on the property.

The vote was 7-1 each time, with Mayor Jacki Marsh voting no and council member Andrea Samson absent.

The parcel is 2% of the 2,060 acres of the overall renewal area, city staff told the council.

The removal was needed for the city to be able to commit incremental increases in sales and property tax receipts to the new project.

“A commitment of funds is required,” City Attorney Moses Garcia told the council. “We need … to meet the state’s requirements.”

A supporting document staff presented noted the city is also “pursuing the acquisition” of the 42 acres.

“One of the present ideas is the city will own the land,” now held by Centerra developer McWhinney, Councilman John Fogle said Monday prior to the vote.

Fogle heads the regional tourism authority set to have some oversight over project funding.

Project planning began in 2015. Costs are pegged at $200 million, with 43% from a state tourism grant. The work, as previously proposed, promised $38 million in wages on 1,300 new jobs, an average of about $29,300, news reports this year said.

Loveland city manager Steve Adams told the council no new financial data is available. “The financials we had” no longer apply, he said.

Adams’ assistant, Justine Bruno, said via email before the meeting “no new pro formas” were available, in part because the project needs a new developer.

Loveland last week ended a deal with P3 Partners in Scottsdale, Arizona, after a P3 executive was indicted in an alleged construction kickback scheme.

Bruno said in the email that project participants “have reached out with interest” about potential developers.

“The city is now working to [find] another developer,” Adams told the council Tuesday night.

It isn’t currently talking with McWhinney to be the developer, Bruno told BizWest. Fogle said Monday McWhinney’s interest was “fairly logical” as an option.

Developer Martin Lind, who in 2018 dropped a proposal for a water park in Windsor as part of the regional tourism authority’s planning, said he didn’t know enough about the specific project to comment on it but would likely take a look.

“We were originally involved with RTA so we have an awful lot of core knowledge,” he said. “We’ll do a quick study on it” and see where it goes.

Several council members said the Tuesday votes were “conditional” in that they depend on finding a developer and completing the project.

“This is not a final action,” Councilman Dave Clark said. “We’re not voting on the [overall] water park project tonight.”

LOVELAND — Loveland City Council voted Tuesday to remove 42 acres from an urban renewal area near Centerra and end a public improvement fee covenant to advance a plan to build a new whitewater park attraction on the property.

The vote was 7-1 each time, with Mayor Jacki Marsh voting no and council member Andrea Samson absent.

The parcel is 2% of the 2,060 acres of the overall renewal area, city staff told the council.

The removal was needed for the city to be able to commit incremental increases in sales and property tax receipts to the new project.

“A commitment of funds is required,” City Attorney Moses Garcia told the council. “We need … to meet the state’s requirements.”

A supporting document staff presented noted the city is also “pursuing the acquisition” of the 42 acres.

“One of the present ideas is the city will own the land,” now held by Centerra developer McWhinney, Councilman John Fogle said Monday prior to the vote.

Fogle heads the regional tourism authority set to have some oversight over project funding.

Project planning began in 2015. Costs are pegged at $200 million, with 43% from a state tourism grant. The work, as previously proposed, promised $38 million in wages on 1,300 new jobs, an average of about $29,300, news reports this year said.

Loveland city manager Steve Adams told the council no new financial data is available. “The financials we had” no longer apply, he said.

Adams’ assistant, Justine Bruno, said via email before the meeting “no new pro formas” were available, in…