Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Developers Eye Gun Creek at Rend Lake

Today's Southern Illinoisan has an update on Rend Lake Conservancy District's efforts to attract private investors to develop the Gun Creek area northwest of Exit 77 on Interstate 57.
Three of the proposals call for the land to be developed into a resort or resort-type complex that could include such amenities as an indoor/outdoor swimming pool, hotels, shopping, cottages, condominiums, marina and a nature center.

A fourth group has proposed a residential housing complex for the site. [RLCD Manager Keith] Thomason said the group would like to construct 140 villas.

Hopefully the district will take one of the three proposals for tourism development rather than the residential development. I've got a problem with using eminent domain for what would be a luxury subdivision.

A mixed use development would provide additional lodging, sales tax and attractions that would bring in even more tourists.

The latest figures released earlier this summer showed Franklin County with the second worst rate of growth of any county in the state when it comes to tourism expenditures. As home of one of Illinois' Seven Wonders that shouldn't be the case.

To see what you're missing at Rend Lake, check out this video from YouTube.

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