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Progress being made in resort deal talks
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There isn’t a drought when it comes to water parks interested in building a resort in Manteca.

City Manager Karen McLaughlin has confirmed Colorado-based McWhinney Real Estate — the firm that wants to build an indoor water park and have another firm operate it  — is making progress in negotiating a deal with another waterpark/hotel/conference center operator.

It includes developing short-term and long-term development plans for 67 acres instead of the original 30 acres Great Wolf Resort was interested in that’s part of city-owned land west of Costco along the 120 Bypass.

McLaughlin said McWhinney expects to present an update to the City Council committee consisting of Mayor Steve DeBrum and Councilman Vince Hernandez in the next 30 to 45 days. A formal report will be made shortly afterwards at a City Council meeting.

Great Wolf reportedly wanted to own the Manteca resort outright instead of being in a partnership as they are with McWhinney in Garden Grove.

McWhinney in January got the council to agree to amend their exclusive negotiating agreement to go from talking about 30 acres to 67 acres.

The new player apparently needed more land to make the investment work for them. That could mean if they ultimately are the operator their long term plans beyond the first phase may call for significant more than the 200 to 300 additional rooms that Great Wolf envisioned in a future phase.

The odds are the new player won’t want to tinker significantly with the project’s first phase as it has been envisioned. That’s because the environmental clearance has already been secured for a specific project for a 500-room hotel, 75,000-square-foot indoor water park, 15,000-square-foot outdoor water park, and 30,000-square-foot conference center.