Only one developer submits proposal for resort at Clinton Lake State Park

The idea of a Clinton Lake resort may not be quite as popular as proponents had hoped.

State officials received just one developer proposal prior to Friday’s deadline for the project, which could include a 175-room hotel, resort and conference facility. Overland Park-based LodgeWell Resorts submitted the lone proposal to build a resort at an undisclosed site at Clinton Lake State Park.

“But it just takes one good proposal,” said Chuck Knapp, director of operations for the Kansas Department of Administration, which is overseeing the proposal process.

Details on LodgeWell’s proposal were not released by the state. According to the company’s Web site, its leadership team includes Dave Mashburn, who led an effort in the early 2000s to build a resort at the state park.

An attempt to reach Mashburn Friday afternoon was not successful.

According to its Web site, Mashburn’s LodgeWell Group has been involved in the development of several hotel and conference centers, including the Sheraton Hotel and Overland Park Convention Center; the Renaissance Hotel, Spa and Conference Center in Colorado Springs; and the Holiday Inn Hotel and KCI Expo Center in Kansas City, Mo.

Several development firms had attended a pre-proposal meeting for the project earlier this month. At the meeting, officials shared the results of a feasibility study that found support for a 175-room hotel, about 15,000 square feet of conference space, three restaurants and an outdoor sports center that would include everything from hiking to water sports.

The city’s top tourism official on Friday said she was still taking a wait-and-see approach to the resort idea.

“I think everyone, including us, is just waiting to see what the project will entail, and whether it is something that we can be excited about,” said Christina Phelps, director of the Lawrence Convention and Visitors Bureau.

Phelps said the state’s failure to release details about the proposal put local officials at a disadvantage in gauging the project’s prospects.

“We hope we get to be involved in the process,” Phelps said. “I think that would be smart on everybody’s part.”

Knapp said the state committee that will review the project has the ability to consult with local officials. The committee — which includes the secretary of commerce, the secretary of administration and the director of purchases, or their designees — will review both the technical details and the cost proposals.

A deadline for completion of the review of the proposal hasn’t been set, but Knapp said officials hope to make an announcement this fall.