Chalk up another casualty of the Central Oregon real estate bust and the Bush recession: A grandiose water park planned for Redmond has been put on hold.
When the idea was first proposed in January 2007, The Bulletin (sorry, subscription needed) reported that the park and "upscale" hotel complex (what isn't "upscale" around here these days?) "has the potential to become a tourism catalyst for the city and provide up to 90 full- and part-time jobs."
The first phase of what was then called the "Redmond Indoor Water Park & Hotel" was going to include a 200- to 400-room hotel and an indoor water park with a "Western frontier theme and décor," whatever that meant. Construction was supposed to start in late summer of 2007 and the first phase completed in a year to 18 months.
But the developers, including Bill Schertzinger, Greg Hodecker and Jim Stirewalt of Redmond and a fourth man from Wisconsin, haven't broken ground yet. And The Bulletin reports this morning that it will be at least another three to four years before the park opens.
Hodecker blamed the tight credit situation for the partners' inability to get financing. "Right now, going to market with funding and the economy, it's a little tougher now than it was two years ago," he was quoted.
Redmond has extended the deadline for construction to 2012, which Community Development Director Jim Hendryx said was a more "realistic" date. Don't bet on it, Jim.
A domed water park in Redmond? Well, weirder ideas surfaced during the Great Bend Bubble. The Shire, for instance.