Lake Delton approves $10 million grant to Kalahari

November 14, 2018

Lake Delton approved a grant of $10 million to Kalahari Developments as part of a private development agreement. The agreement, which was approved at the Nov. 12 meeting of the village board, will grant the developer the funds after completion of the convention center project currently underway at Kalahari resort.

According to the agreement, the expanded convention center is likely to attract additional national and regional conferences. The project is expected to create demand for an additional 250,000 nights of lodging in the area, which Kalahari cannot provide for completely at the resort. The increased visitor numbers are expected to expand the village tax base, and provide additional revenue for local businesses.

The project, which recently finished the site work phase of the project that began in September of 2017, will expand the existing conference facility to over 200,000 square feet. Estimates for the project put the total cost at about $35 million. The project is expected to be completed by the end of summer in 2019.

Members of the board also approved a development agreement for Seven Dells, LLC Wild Animal Refuge and Campground, which will be a hybrid campground and wild animal rescue park on about 158 acres of land north of Hillman Road behind the Wilderness Resort. The developer will reimburse the village $10,000 for engineering and legal fees as part of the agreement.

As part of the development, the location will also hold residential housing for business operators on the property. Surrounding the property will be an 8 foot high chain link fence, and there will be a 100 foot buffer zone between any campsites or animal displays and residential areas. The completed campsite will hold up to 79 camping sites, and up to 20 yurts.

The project is in the preliminary phases now. The developers need to get the land rezoned from agriculture, to have a site plan approved and a building permit issued, to install a driveway to access the property, and to install sewer and water systems.

In other action the board:

Approved a 134 square foot sign for a residence hall on W. Hiawatha Drive.Approved an easement on village land for Kohl’s, Ross, and VLD on Commerce Drive.Approved operators licenses expiring June 30, 2019, for Cody Hess, Edmundo Rivas, Serena Gomes, Alberto Juarez, Maria Estrada, Cristian Moya, Johan Gomez, Brian Davison, Josie Lovelace, and Anne Johnson.

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