TRAVEL PARK CLOSURE OPENS WAY FOR WATER PARK HOTEL
The recent closure of the Travel Country RV Park turns the page on the City’s efforts to relocate over 100 RV park residents in order to make room for the state’s first Great Wolf Lodge® indoor/outdoor water park resort.
“Thanks to the cooperation of the Travel Country RV residents, Garden Grove now opens a new chapter in its redevelopment efforts by moving closer to achieving a once-in-a-lifetime project that will generate economic vitality and job creation at a time when it is so much needed in our community,” says Garden Grove City Manager Matthew Fertal.
Garden Grove Mayor Bill Dalton credited City staff and relocation consultants with assisting tenants of the 1970’s-era temporary park successfully transition into more permanent and suitable housing.
“Staff put a lot of hard work into finding decent, family housing that stayed within the financial limits of low-income tenants,” said Mayor Dalton.
Mayor Dalton confirmed that the City paid for temporary hotel stays for a few remaining residents who had not yet found housing by the January 23 vacancy deadline.
According to Fertal, vacancy of the property was a critical component for the project developer, McWhinney Enterprises, to confidently obtain financial backing for the 600-room hotel and water park development. He said construction would
be able to begin within a few months after funding was secured.
“McWhinney has been as eager as we have to keep building on the aesthetic and visitor appeal of the area,” says Fertal. He adds, “This opens an important door to bringing investor interest to Garden Grove, and tapping into the strong tourism market that Disney continues to demand.”
The City bought the RV park in 2003 and invested significant amounts into improving living conditions. In 2010, the City announced an agreement with Great Wolf Resorts, Inc® to bring a 10 to 12-story, 600-room indoor/outdoor water park hotel that would generate $8.5 million per year in tax revenue and create up to 600 jobs. Since then, the City was able to overcome a number of legal challenges to relocate tenants, and remove one of the remaining blighted areas along Harbor Boulevard.
As of February 1, 2012, Garden Grove, along with more than 400 California cities, will lose their redevelopment agencies as a result of a State Supreme Court ruling.
According to City Council Member Bruce Broadwater, “Garden Grove is taking an enormous economic hit with the demise of its redevelopment agency. The Governor has no clue what he has done at the worst possible time.”
Fertal adds, “The water park hotel is one of the surviving projects that will keep our city financially afloat. I can’t be more serious when I say that without it, our revenues may find themselves in rough waters.”