GREAT WOLF APPLICANT PRESENTATION
The meeting began at 7 PM with thirteen people attending. Connie introduced Kat Filice of Articulate Solutions who is setting up meetings for community groups to hear about Great Wolf, the resort/lodging company that wants to locate on city-owned property adjacent to Gilroy Gardens. The City and Great Wolf are in the middle of an exploratory period to gauge the concerns. In October the City Council plans to decide on whether to allow Great Wolf to proceed with a formal development application.
Kat introduced Bryson Heezen, Corporate Business Development Director for Great Wolf, who showed a Power Point about Great Wolf. He explained what they would like to build in Gilroy, which was followed by a question and answer session lasting over an hour. Thank you to Carl Yordan who supplied the following notes:
-- Number of rooms per lodge in 14 existing properties is 200-400
-- GWL in Gilroy targeted at 500 rooms, expandable to 700 so we would be the largest in their system
-- Annual number of guests projected at 500,000 and seasonally weighted to months when kids are out of school.
-- There are NO GWL lodges that allow for regular admission to the water park for local residents. There is an occasional day that could be set up to allow for locals to use the water park, with proceeds generally going to a charity
-- Local residents are allowed to access the lodges' restaurants and game areas
-- Rooms/suites are designed to sleep 6-12 with the average room occupancy being 4.5
-- Water usage for the park Bryson said is a non-issue. Total water in use is low and gets treated and reused
-- When asked if GWL will require concessions/incentives from the city to attract the lodge, Bryson said "yes" but did not want to elaborate since GWL and Gilroy are under non-disclosure right now
-- He emphasized several times that they want to go into communities where they are wanted.
About 8:15 we moved on to the most important items on our own agenda.
Carol Marques and Linda West reported on their meeting with Gary Walton and asked the group for input on how we could best help downtown. They said the Downtown Business Association is very wary of them since GGS has stated its preference for the downtown aerial alignment for High Speed Rail. GDBA is asking for applications to join their committees. There was a lot of discussion and agreement that any help we give must be tactful, not critical of what the GDBA has done so far. They would like to have more help setting up tents, tables, chairs, etc. for events but we don’t feel we can offer that. We would like to help with promotions, planning, legwork and execution of events and hope we can involve some of the 300+ people on our large email list. Carl felt that as a retired finance person he could give business advice if it was requested.
Very briefly we discussed the need for more communication with our large email list. Perhaps this could take the form of a monthly newsletter to get out information if we can find someone who will write it.
HIGH SPEED RAIL NEWS
Both Janet Espinosa and Steve Seebart attended the Board of Supervisor’s meeting the morning of 9/12 to hear the County staff’s recommendations on the High Speed Rail alignment. Steve reported that the Supervisors did not want the alignment to go through their agricultural preserve east of Gilroy, but declined to take a position on the alignment within the City of Gilroy.
GENERAL PLAN NEWS
– Joey Weitz submitted this brief report on the August 28th General Plan meeting.
“Can't make it tonight. No real updates on my end, but the General Plan meeting showed a strong preference of those involved to force the HSR out of downtown. It was a bit surprising. Outside of that it was a forum for homebuilders and what they look for in a community to invest. They said land pricing and transit are issues that need to be addressed. They also said we need to focus on our natural beauty and tourism to possibly flourish. “
We didn’t have time to address other items originally on our agenda.
OUR NEXT MEETING - The only date I was able to secure was
Tuesday, Nov. 14th at 7:00 PM in the downstairs meeting room.
Submitted by Connie Rogers with help from members as noted.