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Idea for Clinton Lake resort scrapped by state; city asked to approve name for Farmland business park


A couple pieces of quick news out of Lawrence City Hall on what is shaping up to be a busy Friday:

• Plans for a resort at Clinton Lake State Park have fizzled, according to word from the City Manager's office. City Manager David Corliss reports that state officials have notified the city that the lone bid for a resort at Clinton Lake State Park is no longer being considered.

"It was apparent that this project would not/could not be financially feasible for the State of Kansas," state officials told the city in a recent letter.

This isn't much of a surprise. The prospects for a resort at Clinton appeared dim after the state put out a request for proposals and received only one set of plans. And those plans were from a company, Overland Park-based LodgeWell Resorts, that hasn't yet developed a resort project on its own.

Officials with the Kansas Department of Wildlife Parks & Tourism had hoped a 175-room hotel, resort and conference facility could be built at the state park. Perhaps someday one will be. It seems that the idea pops up about every 10 years.

• Look at the bright side: If a new resort were built, somebody would have to come up with a name for it. City officials can tell you that coming up with a name for a new project can be difficult. But they think they have finally come up with one for the new business park that will be located on the former Farmland Industries site on the eastern edge of Lawrence.

City commissioners on Tuesday will be asked to approve the name Lawrence VenturePark. City officials worked with Gregory Thomas, the director of the Center for Design Research at KU, to come up with the name. Some other possibilities presented by Thomas and city officials included VentureCenter, ReSource Center, Prairie Center, Corporate Business Center, HarvestCenter, Heartland Gateway Center, Element Business Park, Riverview Technology Center, Innovative Industry Center, Spark Technology Center (or Spark Park for short), Progress Place, EcoVision Park, ReNew Business Center, Parkland Commerce, Crosstrails Commerce, Greenway Park and reConnect Park.

Also at their Tuesday evening meeting, commissioners will be asked to approve more than $1 million worth of additional infrastructure work at the Farmland site, including a northward extension of O'Connell Road. I'll look through those documents and report back.

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  • Comments

    nick_s 4 years, 7 months ago

    Thank god on the "Resort" decision. I could have saved them all a lot of time on that one.

    Deb Stavin 4 years, 7 months ago

    I agree. I shudder to think of what that "resort" would have entailed. Clinton Lake is lovely and I hope it can stay that way. I'd hate to see a mass of shops, restaurants, and "luxury" hotels and condos out there.

    Scott Morgan 4 years, 7 months ago

    Yes, yes, another Kansas reservoir saved from ruin. Big bodies of water, useless for many. Unless you are wealthy enough to own a boat docked at the expensive marina, healthy enough to launch one, and like camping.

    Besides the job creation for many areas of Kansas, like Pamona, just the idea of losing so much tax revenue to Missouri and Oklahoma should make Kansans think twice. Lake of the Cherokees is a wonderful example of controlled growth along water.

    I was at Baxter Creek Missouri on Table Rock last week and couldn't believe the number of Kansas License plates in the parking lot. Many Kansas boat owners are registering them in Mizzu it appears.

    gatekeeper 4 years, 7 months ago

    You can't compare Clinton to Tablerock. Tablerock is 6 times bigger than Clinton and the water is much nicer. I believe it's also deeper. Clinton is a cr*phole.

    I hate MO, but they do have nicer lakes than we have.

    The best is the otherside of Tablerock, Beaver Lake across the border in Arkansas. Not as many people there as Tablerock and the water is so clear that many scuba dive there.

    Try doing scuba at Clinton. You can't see your foot underwater if you hang it off a raft.

    nick_s 4 years, 7 months ago

    Exactly. Lawrence & Lake Clinton will never be a regional attraction. I know people will say that Branson was nothing back in the day. I say that is a poor example as I hope Lawrence never turns into Branson. How tacky & commercial. Shoji is pretty awesome, but I think Lawrence could do without, ha ha.

    I have friends who boat at several out of state lakes, & they suggest Clinton is too muddy & small (as mentioned above), & the lake level is not regulated. They suggested that the Ozarks level is regulated by another resorvoir upstream, making it ideal for boating & water activities. With no level regulation it made it difficult to commit to such development if the lake level could recede & leave docks, & boats, etc on land. I for one didnt think it sounded like a terribly good idea, but thanks to Sam for trying to sell that away too.

    Scott Morgan 4 years, 7 months ago

    There has been a special tax on fishing and hunting items in this state for at least 2 decades. This tax was to work wonders for we who love the outdoors. If anything fees have risen.

    For the life of me, can't we simply build some nice public fishing docks?

    Joe Blackford II 4 years, 7 months ago

    Hmmmmm, when we moved to Misery in 1981, we had to pay a 0.5% sales tax going to DNR; on top of having to appreciate less murky waters.

    Catalano 4 years, 7 months ago

    Sorry, but Lawrence VenturePark does not roll off the tongue very well. And just google the definition for "venture". Seriously.

    blindrabbit 4 years, 7 months ago

    A couple of comment on both parts of this story: Good outcome on Clinton Reservoir, but I would like to see fishing docks and maybe one heated, enclosed one. They work well in Oklahoma and even Lake Shawnee in Topeka has one.

    Having worked at Co-Op Farmland many years ago, I was hoping the place might carry the name: Nitrogen/Phosphorus Enhanced Park.

    patkindle 4 years, 7 months ago

    What about UNION Park? Farmland was not pro union, in fact the Lawrence plant was one of the few union facilities and one of the many reasons it closed earlier than some others.

    elliottaw 4 years, 7 months ago

    Watch your step as you try to avoid the facts on your way thru

    stevieboy 4 years, 7 months ago

    Call it Rock chalk park like everything else in town..lol

    webmocker 4 years, 7 months ago

    Tax Abatement Brownfield Park (or TAB Park for short)

    Scott Morgan 4 years, 7 months ago

    No, Kansas really has no lakes, but do have reservoirs. The Table Rock area of the Ozarks was a huge area where good rivers met. Rocky ground = no farming = perfect place to flood.

    On the other hand, Kansas Pamona for instance would be a perfect start. Never fails to amaze me when traveling over the earthen dam, there is rarely any boat traffic. Then drive through the impoverished area, knowing good jobs are just waiting.

    Just waiting if not for folks who want to look at water. Look as in not fish or hunt, nor stay for a weekend. Walk by the water, dip a foot in, maybe swim or wade.

    Richard Heckler 4 years, 7 months ago

    Tons of city park dollars have been spent at Clinton Lake in hopes of the impossible. Perhaps following the policy of reckless spending.

    Mark Kostner 4 years, 7 months ago

    I can only speak as someone who likes to come to Lawrence when I am in the area. When I stayed in Lawrence I wanted to be downtown by shopping and entertainment and I paid more to do it. Same in the future. The only way I would stay at the lake is if it were a casino resort. If the state scrapped their southeast Kansas casino near I-44 and put it at Clinton or allowed an off res Indian casino I might stay there but otherwise I want to be in the city. My guess is with Rock Chalk Park going in nearby and the potential of lodging on Sixth, more hotel rooms downtown, and even the Delawares moving in as a wild card, this project was a long shot.

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