Maybe Clinton Lake isn’t the hottest potential development property on the horizon.
Only one firm responded to the Kansas Department of Administration after the Kansas Department of Wildlife, Parks and Tourism issued a request for proposals for a conference center and hotel intended to make the lake a regional destination.
Good luck with that, apparently.
No details have been released on the plan that was submitted, but here’s what the state was looking for, based on specifications developed by a national hotel industry consulting firm:
• A 175-room hotel
• A conference center, including a 6,500-square-foot ballroom and about 9,000 square feet of additional meeting room space
• Three restaurants, including a full-service restaurant, a lakeside bar and grill with courtyard, and a poolside bar and grill
• A spa
• An outdoor pool
• An indoor/outdoor pool
• A water sports center, which would include equipment for kayaking, sailing, wakeboards, jet skiing and water skiing
• An outdoor sports center, to include hiking guides, bike rentals, and sports court. Guests also would be expected to have access to the city-owned Eagle Bend Golf Course, east of Clinton Dam.
Currently, the state park is not connected to the city’s water and sewer service, and the development group also would have to make the necessary arrangements with the city of Lawrence to extend those services to the site. That may or may not include a request for the city to financially support the development by subsidizing the utility extensions.
The resort concept sounds good, although the idea is getting a bit ancient. The development firm that responded includes in its leadership one of the individuals who offered a proposal in 2001. (Let’s hope it isn’t the same old plan, dusted off.)
Regardless, the single proposal should be evaluated on its merits. Although it would have been greatly preferable to have received competing ideas and plans in response to the solicitation, the state should give the one it received serious consideration. It’s time to fish or cut bait on this concept for the lake.