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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.