Four new Northern Colorado tourist attractions – including a film center dedicated to horror movies and a Whitewater Adventure Park - will receive $86.1 million from the Regional Tourism Authority. But the work isn't over yet.
Project organizer Go NoCO was approved for the full $86.1 million it asked for from the state's tourism incentive fund. The next few steps will include "guardrails" – conditions from the Colorado Office of Economic Development and International Trade in the agreement, including when certain elements need to be implemented.
"It's been a long haul," said Stacy Johnson, director of economic development for the Town of Windsor and a member of Go NoCO. "We're thankful to the state and the staff for their support and cautiously optimistic as we move forward to create this whole new tourism industry in Northern Colorado."
The guardrails will be negotiated over the next three months, Johnson said. One of which includes the stipulation that the Windsor resort build its restaurant, The Boathouse, before receiving money for the rest of the project. The four attractions, which will likely begin development in the first quarter of 2016, are estimated to bring in $189 million in new sales tax revenue to the state over the next 30 years.
RTA funds also were allotted to Denver's project to revitalize the National Western Stock Show complex. They received $121 million.
The Go NoCO projects include:
The Stanley Film Center: $11, 338,000 in RTA funding
Housed on the grounds of Estes Park's Stanley Hotel, the film center will focus on the horror film genre. It will feature a 500-seat auditorium, audio and film mixing studios, a sound stage, a film discovery center and archive and an outdoor theater. The center already has support from Hollywood with founding board members including actors and filmmakers Elijah Wood, Simon Pegg, Mick Garris and George Romero.
The PeliGrande Resort and Windsor Conference Center: $26,990,000 in RTA funding
The four-star resort in Windsor will feature a restaurant, spa and 300 rooms and suites, as well as a 58,000 square foot conference center. The resort also has secured a promise from the Pro Golf Association to bring its annual Champions Tour event to the site's Raindance National Golf Course.
The Indoor Waterpark Resort of the Rockies: $30,340,000 in RTA funding
A 75,000-square-foot indoor waterpark combined with a 55,000-square-foot outdoor waterpark including 330 themed hotel rooms and suites in Loveland. The park also would feature a 20,000 square foot Family Entertainment Center.
The U.S. Whitewater Adventure Park: $11,937,000 in RTA funding
Featuring Class 1-Class 6 rapids, this Olympic standard whitewater park will also feature adventure-based activities including canyoneering, a climbing area and a zip line.
"These elements were vetted based off of what was lacking – we felt – not only in Northern Colorado but in the state of Colorado," Johnson said. "So the intent was really to bring in these projects to drive tourism to the state of Colorado."