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Great Wolf Resorts submits letter to Bloomington City Council opposing proposed MOA waterpark

Great Wolf Resorts submits letter to Bloomington City Council opposing proposed MOA waterpark Photo: City of Bloomington

April 18, 2019 01:24 PM

Great Wolf Resorts, which owns and operates Great Wolf Lodge in Bloomington, sent a letter to the city council and mayor opposing a proposed water park that would be built near the Mall of America. 

According to city documents, the park would be built across from the mall on Lindau Lane, and would connect to the mall's north side addition. The park would be open to the public, instead of being developed for a specific hotel in the area. 

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According to the documents, the city is exploring a model in which a nonprofit would initially own the park. Once the debt used to pay for the park is financed, the city would take ownership of the park. 


More from KSTP:

Bloomington taxpayers will not back $200M financing of mega water park

Bloomington and MOA continue plans to build massive water park


In a letter to the city, Great Wolf Resorts CEO Murray Hennessy said the company supports investments that benefit Bloomington, but oppose the building of the water park. 

Hennessy's letter argues the Great Wolf Lodge, which includes a water park, would have direct competition from the new water park. Hennessy also said the project would provide little incentive for developers to build new amenities in the area.

"Cannibalizing existing business enterprises in order to add a new attraction for the Mall of America is bad strategy for long-term business development and tax stability," the letter read. 

Hennessy's letter also voiced concerns about the impact the area could have if the new water park does not receive the businesses that are projected. 

"If the waterpark project does not perform as projected, to recoup losses, Bloomington would have to levy additional taxes on admissions, food/beverage, lodging and sales tax," Hennessy said in the letter. "The additional taxes would further hinder tourism, and burden residents who routinely visit the Mall of America with their families." 

Triple 5, the owner of the Mall of America, is currently building a water park as a part of a retail and entertainment project in New Jersey. Bloomington city documents say the project could be North America's largest water park, "unless the water park at MOA is built to exceed it." 

Construction on the project could begin as early as 2019. The project would reach completion by 2021.

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