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Great Wolf may build 3-story hotel in lieu of 6-story proposal
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WHAT: Great Wolf Resorts

PROPOSAL: 400 to 600 rooms, 70,000-square-foot indoor water park, and convention center

WHERE: On 30 acres west of Costco

INVESTMENT: $180 million to $200 million

JOBS: Up to 500

Great Wolf Resorts - if they end up building in Manteca - will not pursue a six-story hotel structure.

Instead the firm that specializes in indoor water park resorts would cap the hotel portion at three stories. That is due to significantly higher construction costs in California than they expected for structures over three stories.

Great Wolf Resorts, their Manteca project partner McWhinney Development, and the city has been in negotiations since December. The indoor water park-hotel combo is proposed next to Costco on 30 acres of surplus city wastewater treatment plant land. It would start with a 70,000-square-foot indoor water park, 400 rooms, and initially 30,000 square feet of conference center space. The second phase would add 200 rooms to the six-story hotel and double the conference space to give Manteca just 2,600 square feet less conference center space than Modesto.

The project could ultimately 500 permanent jobs, draw 400,000 visitors annually, create 1,000 construction jobs, and cement Manteca as a legitimate tourist attraction.

The price tag for both phases is between $180 million and $200 million.

Based on Great Wolf occupancies in Ground Mound, Wash., city officials anticipate a Manteca Great Wolf could generate between $4 million and $6 million in motel room taxes for Manteca’s general fund.

In December Great Wolf representatives indicated an aggressive optimistic schedule would have had a deal sealed by April so that the resort could open by spring of 2012.

That date has since passed.

Their second target to get a deal in place is October. It would allow ample construction time for the resort to be finished for the start of pone of their two biggest seasons. McWhinney - the Colorado-based development firm - and the city have formally entered into negotiations but there is no guarantee the project will go forward unless both parties can reach an agreement. Great Wolf would be the operating partner.

A Great Wolf deal is also going forward in Garden Grove in Southern California near Disneyland.