City approves sale of Great Wolf Lodge land

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The long-awaited Great Wolf Lodge has taken another step toward construction as Jackson City Council approved a land sale agreement between the city and the Industrial Development Board, paving the way for the purchase of the required land in Tiger Jones Industrial Park.

The resort is expected since the beginning of 2020, but saw difficulty moving forward as COVID-19 tightened its grip on the state.

Continued:Jackson-Madison County tourism and economic development slowly recovering from COVID-19

Funding was approved a second time for the location in mid-2021, allowing city officials to start moving the project forward again.

Tuesday’s special meeting saw the city officially hand over 258 acres to the Industrial Development Board, which will sell 36 acres to Great Wolf Lodge for a total of $1,260,000.

Once the station has officially purchased the land, the Industrial Development Board will pay the city all of the proceeds.

Continued:Talks ‘remain overwhelmingly positive’ as Great Wolf Lodge moves closer to development

Mayor Scott Conger admits the sale price is lower than it could be, due to the fact that land prices have risen since the deal was struck two years ago.

“The land in Jackson has grown since then,” he laughed. “What we’re selling at $35,000 an acre could easily be $50,000 now. But you can’t go back and renegotiate it.

As the deal works its way through the system, Conger says the city is working on a development plan, which will involve the remaining 222 acres contiguous to the land being sold to Great Wolf Lodge.

“We are currently working on a development plan for this area,” he said. “A master plan. We know we have entertainment options – we have the ballpark, we have the Sportsplex, we now have the Great Wolf Lodge – so how do we create a master plan that will complement this area? »

The sales contract must be completed by December 31, 2022, although Conger expects it to be finalized much sooner.

“I anticipate that we will be moving sooner,” he said. “I believe they still want to innovate in the fall.”

The station is expected to create about 500 jobs, according to an earlier interview with Kyle Spurgeon, president and CEO of the Jackson Chamber.

“We’re still looking for between 250 full-time and 250 part-time jobs,” Spurgeon said. “As with any project, that number is going to be subject to a small percentage waiver. But it’s not just the jobs we’re creating there – if you think about it, with half a million additional visitors, you’ll have these people shopping at other establishments, eating at other restaurants, and those are also creating indirect jobs.

Do you have a story to tell? Contact Angele Latham by email at [email protected], by phone at 731-343-5212, or follow her on Twitter at @angele_latham.

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