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Resort proposed for old I-94 interchange

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River Falls, 54022
Hudson Star Observer
715-386-9891 customer support
River Falls Wisconsin 2815 Prairie Drive / P.O. Box 25 54022

Developers unveiled plans Monday night for a Wisconsin Dells-style water park resort at Hudson.

James Meffert, a partner in DaMe Properties, revealed the plans in a request for the city to annex 12.3 acres of former highway right of way that his company purchased from the state last summer.

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The site is the old I-94/Hwy. 35 interchange on the south side of the freeway that was vacated when Hwy. 35 was moved a quarter-mile to the west. DaMe Properties was the top bidder for the land, paying $756,000.

The development company also owns 20.6 acres immediately to the west of the former interchange that is already in the city boundaries. The proposed resort would be built on a 32.9-acre site.

An associate of Meffert's presented drawings showing a hotel, indoor and outdoor water parks, a putting green, retail shops and a conference center.

"The goal is to create a themed destination park," he said.

Meffert said Hudsonite Douglas Rohde, who has The Lodge at Crooked Lake in Siren, would manage the $40 to $50 million facility.

Mayor Jack Breault indicated that the resort would be a boon to Hudson businesses.

Some council members voiced reservations about the development, however.

Alderman Scot O'Malley wanted to know if the water park, along with other development, would use up the existing capacity of the wastewater treatment plant. He said he understands that it would require the addition of a city well and water treatment facility.

Alderwoman Carah Koch said she was concerned about adding a major facility on the fringe of the city when the city's comprehensive plan is due to be updated.

Alderman James Mayer said he wanted to know if city residents would approve of such a facility.

The council approved the first reading of the petition for annexation. Final consideration of the annexation will be taken up in the future.

Randy Hanson can be reached at rhanson@rivertowns.net.

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Randy Hanson
Randy Hanson has reported for the Star-Observer since 1997. He came to Hudson after 11 years with the Inter-County Leader at Frederic, and eight years of teaching social studies. He’s a graduate of UW-Eau Claire.
(715) 426-1066
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