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Great Wolf eager to build in Manteca

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POSTED May 24, 2014 1:39 a.m.

McWhinney Development — the firm proposing to invest at least $150 million in a Great Wolf Resort in Manteca — wants to break ground this year.

Representatives of the Colorado-based firm as well as Kim Schaefer, the chief executive officer of Great Wolf Resorts, appeared before the Manteca City Council on Tuesday to reiterate their commitment to a Manteca resort hotel and indoor water park.

“We would like to break ground in the next few months,” McWhinney Chief Development Officer Trae Rigby told the council.

Before that can happen, a consultant needs to complete an environmental study of the project, hearings must be conducted on that document and the City Council must certify it. After that a decision could be made by the council whether to proceed with the resort on land owned by the city west of Costco.

City Manager Karen Mc Laughlin said she is optimistic the EIR can be reviewed and adopted in time to allow a final decision by the council before November.

McWhinney and Manteca have been in negotiations for 42 months. On Tuesday, the council voted unanimously to extend the exclusive negotiations pact with McWhiney through June 30, 2016. 

McWhinney is basing negotiations on a 290,000-square-foot hotel with 500 rooms – with a possible future expansion of 200 rooms – along with an 85,000-square-foot indoor water park and a 20,000-square-foot conference center. A possible expansion would add 79,000 square feet to the water park and double the size of the conference center.

McWhinney conducted groundbreaking ceremonies for the first Great Wolf in California on Wednesday in Garden Grove. Great Wolf this month opened a new resort near Boston.

Great Wolf promises to create 414 permanent jobs and 156 part-time jobs in Manteca with an annual payroll of $9.4 million and the overflow spending of 400,000 yearly visitors.

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