Government & Politics  July 20, 2022

Executive session delayed for Loveland hotel/water park incentives

LOVELAND – With its agenda running an hour and 15 minutes behind, the Loveland City Council on Tuesday delayed for two weeks a planned executive session to discuss a tax-abatement request from developers who want to build a hotel and water-park complex on Byrd Drive near the Northern Colorado Regional Airport.

As part of his proposal for the Rocky Mountain Grand Resort and Conference Center, developer Martin Lind, who heads Windsor-based Water Valley Co., asked the city to help pay for the $244.6 million project by contributing 100% of the sales, property and lodging tax the resort generates in its first 30 years, as well as waiving construction fees and paying for improvements to the roadways that surround the property.

Lind gave the council a multimedia presentation about the hotel, and Joseph Pierce, director of appraisal and consulting services for Lakewood, Ohio-based Hotel and Leisure Advisors, virtually presented the results of a feasibility study Water Valley had commissioned.

The project would include an 85,000-square-foot water park with a retractable roof, a 35,000-square-foot conference center (“We think it should be 85,000,” Lind said), 400 rooms that would rent for an average of $312 per night, eateries including the rooftop Top of the Rock restaurant, and areas for family entertainment.

Lind described the hotel and water park as an “economic giant,” bringing nearly 550 full-time equivalent jobs along with 1,200 construction jobs and an estimated $1.4 billion in economic impact over its first 10 years.

A patio is shown as part of the design of the water park resort proposed for Loveland. Courtesy Water Valley

“The incentives we’re asking are straight down the lane of what municipalities are asked to get these built,” Lind said, but that the resort can’t be built without them. Because of what he called “devastating” interest-rate increases, the cost of the project was $35 million cheaper in February than now. “It would be irrelevant to talk about it if interest rates go up into the 6s and 8s,” he said. Lind asked the city to provide “a window of these incentives to be held … so we know when it’s right to pull the trigger.”

Some council members asked Lind about the feasibility of moving the project closer to The Ranch complex, but all noted that it could be a major economic driver for the region.

A rooftop restaurant is envisioned as part of the proposed water park resort at Loveland. Courtesy Water Valley.

The planned hotel and water park are “Loveland’s opportunity to become a major player in the regional and national tourism industry,” Councilor John Fogle said. “We either step up or step away.”

He noted that “the idea of bringing serious experiential tourism here gives our fellow cities a little heartburn. This will drive everything here.”

And Councilor Andrea Samson recounted taking her daughter to a similar complex, the Gaylord hotel in Aurora. “It was a ton of cash to fork over for one night,” Samson said, “but she hasn’t shut up about it.”

LOVELAND – With its agenda running an hour and 15 minutes behind, the Loveland City Council on Tuesday delayed for two weeks a planned executive session to discuss a tax-abatement request from developers who want to build a hotel and water-park complex on Byrd Drive near the Northern Colorado Regional Airport.

As part of his proposal for the Rocky Mountain Grand Resort and Conference Center, developer Martin Lind, who heads Windsor-based Water Valley Co., asked the city to help pay for the $244.6 million project by contributing 100% of the sales, property and lodging tax the resort generates in its first…

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