EL PASO, Texas - The plan to bring a world-class indoor water park and convention facility to El Paso went through a big change on Monday. The City Council approved a new incentive agreement with Great Wolf Lodge in a 7-1 vote, in which city Rep. Alexsandra Annello was the lone dissenter.
The proposed development will be in northwest El Paso at Interstate 10 and Paso Del Norte. Great Wolf Lodge hopes to be able open its doors there sometime in 2021.
City officials say this latest deal takes advantage of tax incentives and complies with a new state law governing the use of rebates and incentives for hotels and resorts. That new law forced the city to redo the existing development agreement it had with Great Wolf.
Part of the deal now approved by council requires the city to own the land and the resort, which will include a convention center. That land must be maintained by the city for at least 10 years in order to be eligible for the incentives.
The new law adopted by state lawmakers in Austin also allows the city to use sales tax revenue from businesses within 1,000 feet of the lodge as part of the incentive agreement with Great Wolf.
The state of Texas Comptroller will now review the city's latest agreement to ensure it meets the eligibility for state rebates. If the city doesn't get those rebates, they will have to bear the cost of paying Great Wolf $4 million a year for 10 years.