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

July 26, 2013

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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.

Comments

crispysyn 1 year, 4 months ago

Why ruin the lake? I like going out there as it is now. Its peaceful, quiet.

Eugehne Normandin 1 year, 4 months ago

a privately owned resort belongs on a privately owned lake

blindrabbit 1 year, 4 months ago

Can't make a silk purse out of a sow's ear. Developers must be smarter than State officials.

KSManimal 1 year, 4 months ago

Gee...since these clowns are putting their for-profit resort hotel on public land, we can all look forward to them sharing those profits with the public. Maybe cover some of the state parks budget so we can all get in without paying the user fees.

No? Wait, I forgot. These clowns are only about socializing the costs and risk. The only thing they want private are the profits.

Slimeballs. Put your hotel someplace that's already paved over, and leave the reasonably natural areas in their reasonably natural state.

Armstrong 1 year, 4 months ago

Just guessing but no developers took the bid seriously enough to put the time and effort into putting it down on paper. Look at it from the developers prospective, would you waste time and effort on a project that's going to be a fight from the word go. Look at the SLT debacle, 20 years to get a road put through. The rubes and or "elite" keep shooting themselves in the foot by killing any kind of progress/change. The world is flat crew is a force in Larryville.

waitjustaminute 1 year, 4 months ago

No doubt, the convention space is needed, just might not be the right spot or right venue or right time. Maybe KU could get into the business of conventions then wherever / whatever is proposed it will sail right through. Oh, and add a library to it, too. Ya, that's the ticket!

BigAl 1 year, 4 months ago

Build it. Every time any development project is mentioned in the LJW we get all these naysayers complaining about it. At least this time it wasn't Fritzel or Compton. That would have been entirely too much for some of these chronic complainers. Build it. This would make Lawrence one more reason to become a "destination". Every weekend there are several Johnson County folks out at the lake. This would give them another reason to come and spend even more money in Lawrence and Douglas County. Build it.

pizzapete 1 year, 4 months ago

"At least this time it wasn't Fritzel or Compton." Yeah, because we need more than just two developers putting up cheap tax subsidized high rise apartments and hotels all over town. As an added incentive we could just give the whole property to one of them and let them change the name to Compton Lake or the Fritzel Pond Resorts. Wouldn't it be great if we all had to pay some rich developer $15 or $20 in "special" tax every time we wanted to park, fish, or even get a decent view of the lake.

Robert Rauktis 1 year, 4 months ago

When the lake silts in, there could be agritourism. Might even get the catchy "organic" label. The artists in Lawrence would have another venue and they could have a public bus service out to there.

Scott Morgan 1 year, 4 months ago

Good grief my hope is some development of lakes not only here, but other areas too. Few complaints regarding Kansas, but lack of lodging on our lakes is a biggie.

Some of us, due to physical limitations can not put up a tent, nor back a boat into a lake two or three times a day, still love the water. Some of us never liked putting up a tent anywho.

Funny, I just made reservations for a week on Mizzu's Taneycomo yesterday. Will fish, boat, and just dangle the toes in the water. Will take our docked boat for lakeside dining area a few times as well. What fun!

Wish I could do this in Kansas.

Leslie Swearingen 1 year, 4 months ago

I totally agree with you. As much as I would like to do the hiking and camping that I used to do, I just can't. It would be nice for there to be a way for the physically disabled and older people to enjoy the outdoors in a comfortable manner.

SpeedRacer 1 year, 4 months ago

I just assumed the lake would become part of KU eventually.

patkindle 1 year, 4 months ago

I am sure the developers realize everything has to be free and organic to be attractive to the Lawrence crowd they only spend their money out of town

Fred Mertz 1 year, 4 months ago

The idea of a hotel at Clinton lake is not a bad idea if it is sustainable and done properly.

What is proper? Proper, to means complements the park's current attractions and does not destroy them. Putting the hotel on the North Shore would mean destroying one of the parks bigger draws - its trails.

Put the hotel near the entrance and let people enjoy the park, its lake, its trails and its nature. Leave the park a park and not try to change it into a paved amusement park.

Joe Hyde 1 year, 4 months ago

Building a resort near the park entrance is not a bad idea. Problem is a site that respects the park's interior wild quality is incompatible with your typical "developer ego".

What we'd end up with is a multi-story monstrosity with access road and parking lots that take over Clinton State Park's highest, most scenic overlook. The structure would violate the ridgeline, deliberately. Remember: the mentality being catered to is to give resort guests a commanding view of the lake, but more important, that guests be looked up at and envied by people down on the water who are actually using the lake. Occupying positions of conspicuous social advantage being oh so important to resort visitors.

Then after the first resort gets built there'll be more. Success of the first cited to justify the need for a second. And conversely, failure of the first cited to justify the need for a second, "better" resort built at another high elevation spot overlooking the lake.

ChuckFInster 1 year, 4 months ago

Not to worry Joe, the Duh factor in Larryville will drive out any hope of creating a reason for "them city folk to come to yer town"

shanep 1 year, 4 months ago

Aren't we dead last in the nation for public use lands? We need more parks, not huge private resorts.

To the person who soon plans to "dangle [their] toes" in the Taneycomo, I doubt you dangle them too long! The water comes off the bottom of Tablerock and even in the dead heat of the hottest summer, it's numbingly cold! Beautiful area though, enjoy your trip.

Sparko 1 year, 4 months ago

One developer. Hmm. Funny how hat works. Not needed and probably laden with malfeasance.

George_Braziller 1 year, 4 months ago

The words "resort" and "Clinton Lake" seem like an odd combination to me. If I wanted to go to a resort one at Clinton Lake would be at the bottom of my list for possible destinations.

ChuckFInster 1 year, 4 months ago

I'll bet those same thoughts were expressed in Branson 30 years ago. Keep thinkin' small !

George_Braziller 1 year, 4 months ago

Compared to Table Rock Lake Clinton is a shallow muddy farm pond.

Garth Atchison 1 year, 4 months ago

Stop comparing the Missouri lakes to Clinton--they are not anything alike. Clinton is a muddy, man-made lake that has some nice un-developed land around it. Not really a destination. Lawrence is a college town period. Wake up! Development for developments sake is wasteful and insane. The state better sell that land before they give it away to someone who just wants a handout.

Currahee 1 year, 4 months ago

While I am all for ideas to bring money into the state, this project seems doomed before it gets even inked. Like I said before, if someone wants to get out of their way to go to Clinton Lake, are they really going to fly out to KCI, pay for transportation TO the site, and then pay for rooms? Isn't it insanity when you're out by a lake and you're going to SWIM IN AN INDOOR POOL?? I can't see this being a conference destination either, I mean as soon as you're at KCI- there are many, many places to choose from in the Kansas City area not to mention civilization. Also do you think people are going to be cooped up in their hotel room all day? If they want to get to Lawrence they're also going to have to pay for that transportation. Nope, too inconvenient.

nalinijohnson 1 year, 4 months ago

Since this is not a tourist destination per se (Lawrence is not now a tourist town), I have difficulty seeing the viability of the project as described. I think a better option would be providing more amenities for campers and visitors by enhancing the sporting aspects of the lake (boating, rowing, etc.) There are plenty of hotels in Lawrence proper, and unless we are talking convention center (we already have one), I fail to see how this will enhance Lawrence. In fact, it may trigger more development around the lake, and being that this is a public lake, these are forces that might spoil the desirable qualities of Clinton Lake (quiet, peaceful retreat, etc.)

nalinijohnson 1 year, 4 months ago

The City should buy the land around the lake to assure the lake serves Lawrence residents and safeguard the public lands by keeping control in town This is not a regional tourist destination, nor should it be.

Ken Lassman 1 year, 4 months ago

If you are so concerned about leaving money on the table by not "facilitating recreation" at Clinton, and you are would also prefer to maintain the "greenspace" around it, then I have some suggestions:

-Clinton has some really good oak-hickory woodlands scattered among the new growth of locusts, hackberry, elms and osage orange woods. It also has some scattered native grass patches, both re-established and original prairies. These are prime wildlife habitat and great for hiking in, so lets make maintaining them and expanding them as the primary land management goal for the State and Federal park staff, which means introducing a regular burning regimen, eliminating invasive weed stands, juniper clearing in prairies, etc.

-While improving the habitat on the land surrounding the lake, create some incentives to adjacent landowners/acquire property to establish wildlife corridors to connect the Clinton wildlife area to the Kaw river basin and the Wakarusa wetlands to the east. Plenty of wildlife migrate back and forth to these destinations and end up as roadkill. If they had safe ways to travel back and forth to these destinations, all three areas would become better habitat and we could showcase this wildlife network as a destination that would be a heck of a lot better for the long term health of our community than another resort at an area lake.

You might say that spending money for this kind of priority does not have as good a return on investment as a lakeside resort, to which I reply: how much money does Central Park bring to New York City? The returns are actually incalculable but incredibly valuable at the same time, especially when you think of the filtration value of native plants around the lake and downstream to the wetlands, the fitness value of trails, the sanity value of having native habitat for a lifetime of enrichment to area citizens, and on and on.

So rejecting a lakeside resort idea is not necessarily due to a lack of imagination; it's that the lakeside resort idea IS an example of thinking small and is itself an example of lack of imagination.

Joe Berns 1 year, 4 months ago

Don't need it and don't want it. To all the people who say they are too disabled to back their own boats into the water, you can easily rent a boat at the marina for hours or days at a time and they gas it up and have it on the water ready for you with just a phone call and credit card. We have a marina to service the lake, we don't need more development turning this little oasis right outside town into a commercial venture that will spoil the draw of the lake. I've boated at the lake for the better part of 12 years now and more commercial development would ruin it for me and a lot of other people as well.

Scott Morgan 1 year, 4 months ago

I am the Taneycomo toe dangler. What a great nickname, yes a 56 F swim in this lake will wake an unsuspecting human up.

Table Rock and Bull Shoals are great swimming lakes. All three areas have year round users.

Oh, Table Rock Lake part of the Tri-lakes area near the Branson area is a corp lake just as Clinton. Oh, there is another underused Corp lake nearby in South Jo-co. Same deal, a few more access points, not many. This lake is so impressive I can't remember what it's called.

Mizzu had some sharp folks watching out. Table Rock Dam (est. 1950s) provided cheap electricity for the entire area. Just when A.C. became affordable for home and large businesses. But,

Smart folks wrestled the power away from the Corp. Fed. Govt.

For many decades, many boats, many nights I and family spent (still do) in this region. By far one of the more popular activities is an evening boat ride which includes looking at lake homes. The water in Taneycomo is by far cleaner than before the Branson Boom.

Many tri-lakes environmental projects were funded by touristo dollars, I shudder to think how many from Kansas.

Scott Morgan 1 year, 4 months ago

I do feel a bit of "anti disability" feelings coming out from a very few in this theme. In other words, too bad you have problems walking do something else. Personally, mine is a mobility problem and simply getting older. This in my opinion, my problem is not a ticket for a rocker and boring people with old scrapbook photos.

The fact is Clinton Lake/Kansas public lakes for me and others could be on the moon.

I have little problem driving a car or boat. I do drive a few leisurely eye appealing hours and can be in an area which does not limit what I can or can not do on the water. My bride of many decades never liked camping, never will. "Never liked" doesn't do her feelings justice, she despises camping.

She does love grabbing a coffee and watching the morning fog lift off a body of water as she walks along the shore. She loves taking our boat to lakeside restaurants. So do I. These activities would of course include renting a lake cabin or hotel room.

I love to see families camping and boating and would never restrict anyone seeking out this style of being outdoors. Both lake development and camping can and do coexist very well.

Better bring your debit card if...

Thinking about renting a boat in any of our Kansas lake areas. Two bucks a minute at Pomona, plus fuel.

Joe Berns 1 year, 4 months ago

Boat rental is $80 a half day at council grove lake, plus you get to enjoy the drive there via the scenic flint hills. Whats that, 33.4 cents a minute plus fuel?

blindrabbit 1 year, 4 months ago

One of the main difference between most Mizzouri reservoirs and those in Kansas are the source waters. Many of the rivers that are parent streams for Mizzou lakes are relatively clear flowing streams, including the Niangua, the White River, lower Osage. Those for the most part in Kansas are naturally muddy waters. And which do you prefer?

Scott Morgan 1 year, 4 months ago

BlindRab.........you make a great point.

Scott Morgan 1 year, 4 months ago

Paul85."Boat rental is $80 a half day at council grove lake, plus you get to enjoy the drive there via the scenic flint hills. Whats that, 33.4 cents a minute plus fuel?"

Wished I would have put more energy into promoting tourism in the Great State of Kansas. Hard to promote when our own citizens knock it at times. Kansas has much to offer, but very undersold.

Truth be known, am retiring to the lakes area of Mizzu soon, so my voice on this cause will be silent soon.

Gorgeous Council Grove is the perfect example of an area which could boom if the area lakes were open to development. Also, 80 bucks boats per half day is reasonable.

Besides a cool little downtown, Council Grove is near a wonderful Nat. Park, an functioning heritage of an army base, near hometown of one of the most powerful men in world history, western themes, oh my.

Add-promote-develop in an area as Council Grove +- 40 mile radius.

Allow lake development, more than allow, seek development Kansas outdoors, hunting, fishing (some of the best in the nation), hiking Resorts, lodges, and restaurants including live music Promote water sports Promote western themes Vintage train tours Waterpark-theme park? Very few exist, but develop true horse riding, wagon camping trails through or near Tall Grass N.P. offer guided tours as well. Build it they will come. Golf courses Casinos

Much more I am sure, smarter people than I have the ideas. Just think of the job creation.

estafel 1 year, 4 months ago

Build it and fail. I'll applaud from a distance.

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