|By Tom Daykin, Milwaukee Journal
SentinelMcClatchy-Tribune Regional News
January 19, 2010-- A Wisconsin-based firm's plan to open a large water park resort in Virginia has received a big boost through a $25 million tax-exempt bond issue.
Kalahari Resorts, based in Lake Delton, last year delayed its plans for a $260 million project near Fredericksburg, Va., after the recession made it difficult to obtain financing. But the project is now closer to being done after a state agency approved the bond sale, Kalahari owner Todd Nelson said Tuesday.
Kalahari is responsible for paying back that debt to investors that buy the bonds. But the tax-exempt status allows Kalahari to pay a lower interest rate to bond purchasers. The state makes the bonds available for private projects in economically stressed areas.
Kalahari Resort-Virginia plans include an 832-room hotel, 200,000-square-foot indoor water park, 100,000-square-foot indoor theme park, 100,000-square foot convention center, four restaurants, spa and fitness center, and 10,000 square feet of retail space. Construction is to begin by June 30, and would open in March 2012. It would join other Kalahari properties in Lake Delton and the Sandusky, Ohio, area.
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