An Akron-area business owner wants to build an indoor and outdoor water park, 175-room themed hotel and conference center off Interstate 71 near Lodi in Medina County.
Tim Sanford, who owns Sanford Quality Wash in New Franklin, is seeking a zoning change for property in Harrisville Township near the Prime Outlets retail mall to construct the entertainment complex, called Aqua Paradise.
''This isn't an urban legend like Cabela's, trust me,'' Sanford said Monday in a brief telephone interview. He was referring to the outdoor sporting goods retailer's possible move into Ohio.
Dan Goodrow, who works at the Medina Business Institute and has been helping with the effort as a consultant, said the project could cost as much as $100 million.
''We're hopeful we can achieve some level of success this year,'' said Goodrow, who was elected mayor of Lodi earlier this month. ''Either way, we see it as a very viable project that will take shape.''
Sanford, who lives in Clinton, said he has financial backing through investors and is ready to break ground next year if the zoning change is approved.
He submitted specific
plans to Harrisville trustees, who seemed to favor the proposal Monday night, but took no action. A town meeting for residents will be at 8 p.m. Monday at the Lodi Library.
A feasibility study already has been done, Goodrow said. The park would get its water through a joint effort from Lodi and Medina County, he added.
''The area here is very primed for growth,'' he said.
In a news release issued late Monday afternoon, Sanford said he has chosen Harris/Day Architecture of Canton and the Aquatic Development Group of Cohoes, N.Y., to plan and build the water park and hotel. Aquatic Development worked on the Kalahari Resort water park in Sandusky.
Aquatic Paradise would be along the same scale, Goodrow said.
A second phase would involve a handicap accessible water park and medical facility.
The release stated that the project would bring as many as 1,500 jobs to the area and produce more than $500,000 in tax revenue. It called the complex ''a world class destination.''
The water park idea came to Sanford after his children appeared in a commercial for Cedar Point's Castaway Bay Waterpark Resort a few years ago, he said.
''My two boys said, 'Dad, you should build us a water park' and I said, 'That's not a bad idea,''' Sanford said. ''I would do anything for my kids.''
''We haven't decided anything yet,'' said Harrisville trustee Thomas Packard. ''The zoning commission will work on it and bring it to the trustees.''
Rick Armon can be reached at 330-996-3569 or firstname.lastname@example.org.