|By Jason Kuiper, Omaha World-Herald,
Neb.McClatchy-Tribune Regional News
Aug. 23, 2008 - COUNCIL BLUFFS -- Snowboarding in July in the Bluffs? That could happen in a year to 18 months if a Wisconsin company goes through with a plan to build a multisport resort near the Mid-America Center.
The project, Wedge Adventure Resorts, will go before the Bluffs City Council on Monday for final approval of the commercial development plan.
A similar Wedge Resort also is planned for the Wisconsin Dells. The two proposed resorts, if built, would be the first of their kind.
Aspects of the Bluffs resort would be an impressive sight off Interstates 29 and 80. It would include a giant ski slope with an indoor waterpark under the slope and a 12-story tower combining a hotel and condominiums.
The ski slope would be 500 feet long and 120 feet tall and have a synthetic snow surface called Snowflex, made by Briton Engineering.
The facility would cost about $60 million to build and be privately owned and financed.
It could bring up to 400 full- or part-time jobs to the Bluffs and attract the "action sports" crowd, developers said.
It would include a BMX-skate track, indoor and outdoor go-karts, rock climbing and other attractions for speed and adrenaline junkies.
Craig Wilkinson, chief operating officer for Wedge Adventure Resorts, pointed to the growing popularity of sports that will be offered at the resort. The BMX events at the Olympic Games are good examples of the mainstream success these sports are enjoying, Wilkinson said.
Martin Greenberg, the company's president, said Council Bluffs offers access to two Interstates along with "small-town flexibility and big city charms."
Wilkinson cited the resort's location near the Council Bluffs Recreation Complex and the Mid-America Center. The area, he said, is sports- and family-oriented.
"All those pieces fit into what we wanted to do," Wilkinson said.
Greenberg said the resort also would attract restaurants and retail stores. Construction could begin this fall, Greenberg said.
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