Perryville and Cecil County, MD are working to attract a $200 million Great Wolf Lodge to a site near the Hollywood Casino.
Great Wolf operates sprawling water park, conference and lodging establishments with a northwoods theme in resort areas and tourist destinations. The closest location is in the Pocono mountains of Pennsylvania.
A release from the Town of Perryville stated that the $200 million project would include 450 to 500 rooms and could be completed by 2022.
A development of that size would employ 450 to 600 full and part-time employees and would include a conference center that could accommodate between 700 and 1,000 people, the Perryville release stated.
“I’ve been working hard to bring excitement to our town…meetings and conversations I can finally talk about. This is a great opportunity for all of us and only the beginning,” Perryville Mayor Robert Ashby, Jr. stated.
“As we look to expand the Great Wolf Lodge experience to new audiences, we see the potential for additional resorts in the Mid-Atlantic region. The I-95 corridor running through Maryland is an area of interest to us and the state’s establishment of “Approved Enterprise Zones” shows its commitment to new business development in the state,” stated Jason Lasecki, spokesman for Great Wolf.
“We’ve had some preliminary discussions with leaders in Perryville and Cecil County regarding the potential for a future Great Wolf Lodge. There is no question the designation of Perryville as one of the “Approved Enterprise Zones” will be a significant consideration as we further evaluate this opportunity. We feel Perryville could be a nice fit for us and look forward to continued dialogue with city and county officials, as well as the community at large, as we explore the prospect for a Great Wolf Lodge in Maryland,” Laseckistated.
The Enterprise Zone. offers personal property and income tax breaks to businesses. About 6,000 acres in the county come with the designation from the State of Maryland.
Similar tax breaks have lured resorts and retailers to rural areas, with the Cabela’s-Bass Pro Shops chain often taking advantage of the incentives. Cabela’s opened a smaller location near Christiana Mall in Delaware but did not receive incentives.
The Chesapeake Overlook area near the casino hasbeen slated for development but no projects have materialized. A former outlet mall in the Perryville area fell victim to larger complexes in other areas and tolls on two bridges over the Susquehanna River that come to $8 for out-of-staters.
The Perryville area has seen a boom in distribution centers with Amazon, German grocer Lidl, Restoration Hardware and medical supplier Medline opening sites. A new exit in the area is also in the works in the northwest area of Cecil.
Great Wolf got its start in the resort area of Wisconsin Dells and now has 18 lodges around the nation. The company is based in the Chicago area.