KANSAS CITY, KAN. State officials have agreed to help finance a $412 million water park and resort in western Wyandotte County.
In a letter to Unified Government of Wyandotte County and Kansas City, Kan., Mayor Joe Reardon, Commerce Secretary Howard Fricke said he had determined that the project met the requirements for sales tax revenue - or STAR - bonds, which are a popular way to generate public financing.
The letter, released Tuesday by county officials, said the 300-acre project would be a major tourism and entertainment development.
Under the agreement, the county could sell up to $225 million in STAR bonds to help build the 300-acre resort. Design work on the project, being developed by Schlitterbahn Waterworks of New Braunfels, Texas, is expected to start next year with the resort ready for business by 2009.
The park, to be named Schlitterbahn Vacation Village, would be across Interstate 435 from Kansas Speedway and the Village West commercial development. The speedway and Village West also were financed with the help of STAR bonds.
Developers say the Schlitterbahn project will create 3,000 jobs, generate $200 million in annual sales, pay $3 million in property taxes every year and attract more than 3 million visitors a year.
The water park will feature the typical slides and wave pool, as well as Schlitterbahn's trademark Transportainment system, which uses a network of artificial rivers to direct guests from one ride to another.
Besides the water park, plans call for a partially covered riverwalk along a 4,000-foot channel and 300 hotel rooms and "tree houses."