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Otter Creek Could Re-Open This Summer

February 26th, 2009 by admin · 6 Comments

The fallout from the ice storm continues at Otter Creek Park.

When the power went out at the Conference Center, it got cold. And when it got cold, the pipes burst. And when the pipes burst, water ruined the carpeting and drywall. Workers have been out at the Park the last few weeks making repairs.

Rather than just leave the place in shambles, Metro Parks is spending about $9,000 to fix it, according to Parks spokesperson Jason Cissell, who added that five weddings scheduled this spring will bring in enough revenue ($10K) to cover the costs.

But the bigger picture is that the fix-up has to take place to make the Park presentable enough that it will get responses to a Request for Proposal being released in the next two weeks. Metro Parks is hopeful that an organization will come in and operate the park on at least a revenue-neutral basis to the city’s budget. Cissell said it would be nice, though, if an operator could return a dividend.

“Our main goal is to provide recreational activities at no cost to the taxpayer,” he said.

Sounds like a tall order for any operator. Cissell said Metro Parks has heard from 15 parties interested in seeing the RFP, and has gone out and researched a half-dozen firms who operate concessions at parks throughout the U.S. The RFP will be a hefty document, with details of the park’s various long-term plans and details of the facilities.

But it will be up to the operator to figure out a way to make money, presumably through lodge and cabin rentals, concessions and activity fees. Fans of the park are hopeful. If a proposal requires modest changes, the park could re-open under a new operator as early as this summer.

Tags: Metro Council · Parks

6 responses so far ↓

  • 1 Steve Magruder (I, not D or R) // Feb 26, 2009 at 5:27 pm

    “Cissell said it would be nice, though, if an operator could return a dividend.”

    It’s a government service, like any metro park. Why on Earth does it need to return a dividend? I think most of us would prefer to keep the park entry fees and other fees as low as possible.

  • 2 Danny // Feb 26, 2009 at 7:51 pm

    9,000 bucks to fix busted pipes? sounds like this place has cost them even more since they closed it. Why does this not surprise me? 10,000 in weddings revenue? When were these scheduled? Did this figure in to the decision to close the park at all? do I have a lot of questions?

  • 3 Carter Burger // Feb 26, 2009 at 9:43 pm

    I’m with you Danny. Why close it THEN try to find someone to run it? Why not find someone to run it BEFORE it’s closed. Sheese.

  • 4 btucker // Feb 26, 2009 at 11:15 pm

    There were a few bozos from Indiana that popped in at a Friends of Otter Creek Meeting in January. They said they were working on a proposal to reopen the park and add some type of “youth camp”. They wouldn’t divulge if a particular church was involved or what exactly the “youth camp” was for, but at the end of the presentation, the couple admitted they had never been inside the place.

  • 5 john // Feb 27, 2009 at 10:10 am

    Do they not realize that there is already a youth camp at Otter Creek Park?

  • 6 btucker // Feb 27, 2009 at 3:08 pm

    Those rubes didn’t know anything about Otter Creek except that it was closed.

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