Archive for Thursday, October 30, 2003

Great Wolf Lodge infuses hotel figures

October 30, 2003

In July, hotel goers in Wyandotte County paid $33,939 in transient guest sales tax. A month later, in August, that figure rose slightly, to $37,662.

And then the hammer dropped, or more accurately, the water park opened.

In September, receipts for transient guest sales tax accounted for $122,533, according to the Kansas Department of Revenue.

You've just seen the first effects of the Great Wolf Lodge Hotel and Water Park.

"That's the lodge," said Don Denney, Wyandotte County spokesman. "That's right around their peak season."

The Great Wolf Lodge is located at 10401 Cabela Drive in Kansas City, Kan., inside the Village West entertainment and tourism district. The lodge includes 281 rooms and a 38,000-square foot water park.

The only municipalities accounting for more transient sales tax than Wyandotte County are Overland Park, Topeka and Wichita. But that may not last for long.Two more hotels inside the Village West entertainment district hope to capitalize on the momentum created by the tourism district.

The Hampton Inn, a 76-room, three-story hotel just west of Cabela's, opened its doors in late September. Sales tax numbers from guests at the new hotel did not figure into the department of revenue's latest figures.

Anniversary Inn, a 62-suite luxury hotel, is under construction south of Cabela's at the very southeast corner of the property and is scheduled to open in February 2004.

Denney said tourist attractions at Village West -- the Kansas Speedway and Cabela's are ranked in the top three in Kansas -- are delivering exactly as advertised by bringing outside revenue into the county.

With the development of new hotels, the county has a better chance of keeping dollars of Village West tourists in Wyandotte County, Denney said.

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