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Archive for Thursday, September 6, 2012

Clinton Lake resort discussions resurface

September 6, 2012

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The leader of the Kansas Department of Wildlife, Parks and Tourism has begun exploring the feasibility of a resort development at Clinton Lake.

“We’re still in the beginning stages, but I can tell you that it is an idea that is very important to me,” said Robin Jennison, KDWPT secretary.

Jennison confirmed he has met with state Rep. Tom Sloan, state Sen. Marci Francisco, and various city leaders about the idea of a major lodging and resort development located inside Clinton Lake State Park, which is just west of Lawrence.

“With K-10 (the South Lawrence Trafficway) on track to be completed, that really adds to the potential of Clinton,” Jennison said. “Clinton is one of our great lakes. It may have one of the nicest marinas in the state, it has a stable water source, and it is close to a vibrant community. It has a lot going for it that would be attractive for a resort.”

Jennison, however, said it likely would be at least another year before the state is ready to begin accepting proposals from private developers interested in building a resort.

He said the next step in the process is having more detailed discussions with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. Jennison said he is optimistic the corps will be open to a long-term lease for a resort on federal land at the lake.

The last time a resort project was seriously considered at Clinton was in 2001, and the issue of a long-term lease was a stumbling block, Jennison said. The cost to extend city water and sewer service to Clinton State Park also was a concern.

But Jennison thinks new corps policies will help with the lease issue, and he said the Lawrence city limits is significantly closer to the state park than it was in 2001.

“Plus, I think our timing may be right,” Jennison said. “The potential growth the city is talking about with a new sports complex could tie in very well with what we want to do.”

Jennison said the state likely will be willing to consider a variety of ideas from private developers about what type of resort would be appropriate for the lake. In 2001, a development group had proposed a 150-room hotel with a conference center.

Jennison said that type of development is still what he has in mind, but he’ll be interested to see other proposals too.

Megan Hiebert, owner of Clinton Lake Marina, said she’ll also be interested in seeing how the process progresses.

“They will have a lot of things to look at,” Hiebert said. “They’ll have to select an environmentally appropriate site for sure.”

Jennison said there were about four locations in the state park that could be considered. Previously, developers had focused on a wooded point near the marina, but Jennison said it is recognized that site could create some ecological concerns.

Hiebert, who has met briefly with Jennison about the resort idea, said she’s ready to hear more about what the state has in mind.

“I definitely like the idea of additional tourism at the lake,” Hiebert said. “I think it could create a really positive economic impact for the whole area.”

Jennison said he anticipates having a public meeting to discuss the resort idea early next year, if the process remains on track.

Comments

cowboy 1 year, 7 months ago

Get a Clue...Yep folks are traveling in from around the country to look at our sacred frigging pastures , get over yourself , it ain't Yellowstone. I have traversed alot of trail at Clinton on foot and horseback. Local losers like yourself think this habitat is all that , it is simply overgrown farm ground and not "special" .

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cowboy 1 year, 7 months ago

We aren't talking about the giant redwoods here , lose about 100 acres of ragweed and gain a resort. Do any of you ever leave lawrence on a vacation ?

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KSManimal 1 year, 7 months ago

If people want a resort hotel, they should build it in a city where habitats are already paved over and the viewscape is already concrete and steel; and preferrably on private lands. Leave our state parks and other reasonably un-developed public lands alone.

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mikekt 1 year, 7 months ago

Once they build it, we need to get Jerry Springer to come out to the new resort and hold a spring break special there, to finish trashing the place up!

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jhawkinsf 1 year, 7 months ago

They took out all the trees and put them in a tree museum, And they charged all the people a dollar and a half just to see them.

Don't it always seem to go, that you don't know what you've got til it's gone.

They paved paradise and put up a parking lot.

Thanks, Joni.

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repaste 1 year, 7 months ago

Something about paving big chunks of our state parks does not sound quite right.

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just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 1 year, 7 months ago

This is the model for the new US economy-- tax breaks and government subsidies to wealthy developers to plow under/pave over a park to build a resort for the wealthy-- but it'll create (well, transfer, more likely) a few jobs for minimum-wage service workers, so they call this "economic development."

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Ken Lassman 1 year, 7 months ago

Doesn't Fish and Wildlife understand that what the main draw for an urban Lawrence community is access to some trails, woodlands, prairies and water? Another golf course when there is already one below the dam that is underutilized is just not getting the concept. Resort? Why do we need another hotel?

There is a profound lack of imagination in such schemes, and also a lack of understanding about the true value of having wild habitat so close to an urban setting. C'mon, F & W folks, get with the mission!

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BringBackMark 1 year, 7 months ago

Gee, drive from KC to stay at a hotel and look at a big mud hole, or drive 3 hours to Tablerock.... What a decision!

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cowboy 1 year, 7 months ago

I wouldn't mind a nice resort with some waterfront . Jeez , what else is there to do around here. Put an awesome restaurant and a nice environmentally conscious designed hotel and spa. I'll go. Just don't let some loser like compton or any local architect have anything to do with it.

something like the boulders in north Scottsdale , design molds into landscape , lovely place , great dining , spas , golf , add a waterfront . Do it !

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uggadyboogadyboo 1 year, 7 months ago

a big submarine and use its nuclear power for electricity for the county. I know its crazy, but is it crazy enough?

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lunacydetector 1 year, 7 months ago

since it's so close to lawrence, they need a really nice resort that would draw thousands of paying customers.

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Coles_Law 1 year, 7 months ago

I hope they don't end up plowing under some of the great trails that exist at Clinton Lake. Keep it cabins, or at least smaller sized.

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Barclay 1 year, 7 months ago

Will they also expand area for recreational boating? On nice days there are boats on top of each other trying to tube and ski- very, very difficult to ski. Resort? Very bad idea!

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rockchalker52 1 year, 7 months ago

I vote cabins & please note this is only one potential example of economic growth that can occur as a result of magnet projects like the rec center.

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hujiko 1 year, 7 months ago

Please, no. Some areas should never be developed. Clinton's scenery is perhaps the best thing going for it.

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FlintlockRifle 1 year, 7 months ago

I agree build more cabins, have rangers do nightly talkes around a camp fire, thats more outdoorsey than a hotel--------

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kuguardgrl13 1 year, 7 months ago

A hotel? Gross. Build some cabins with a rec hall/conference hall and a fire pit. You don't see hotels on lakes. That's tacky and ruins the atmosphere.

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