For all who speculated, wondered, assumed and absolutely knew, the Honey Creek saga has come “full circle.”
September 26, 2006 “Iowa Outdoors,” Iowa Department of Natural Resources’ news letter, Editor: Mick Klemesrud states: Quote “The principle financing source for the Honey Creek project is $28 million in bond proceeds that will be paid off over a 30-year period with revenues generated by the resort” — unquote.
January 4, 2008. The Public Interest Institute of Iowa Wesleyan College performed a study of Honey Creek Resort State Park completed by Deborah D. Thorton. In it she states — quote “The private sector for 30 years hasn’t been interested in Honey Creek because of the low return on investment; however citizens, Legislators, and state officials are now building it anyway. Hopefully, if you build it they will come, if they don’t taxpayers will still have $33 million in revenue bonds to pay.” The revenue bonds will need to be paid back from the “Net” proceeds after operating expenses, not the “Gross”; therefore, if the resort doesn’t break even the bond payments will have to come from another source, presumably the state budget. Why should Iowa taxpayers assume the risk?” — unquote.
September 19, 2008-Honey Creek opened to the public - with some state leaders questioning whether the $58 million resort will succeed.
February 25, 2010 — As captioned by Daily Iowegian — payments loom for Honey Creek. Officials are afraid the state run resort won’t be able to make it’s bond payments over the next several years - $700,000-$900,000 each year. Michelle Wilson, executive officer with DNR states: quote — “DNR has used Iowa Value Fund dollars to cover recent bond payments, hoping that $1.5 million proposed for debt service for resort included in governor’s proposed budget will be approved for year 2011. We can’t not make a bond payment. Central Group Inc., a private company out of Minnesota that runs the resort, will eventually help pay the bonds with revenue.” — unquote.