Sunday, May 02, 2010

A $1 Billion Ski Resort Near Atlanta? Anything's Possible with Somebody Else's (Taxpayer's) Money


From Georgia State Senator Chip Pearson, chairman of Georgia's Economic Development Committee, commenting on Friday about Georgia's legislative session, which recently ended:

"With the creation of the “Georgia Tourism Development Act” under HB 1251, we can truly attract large developments to Georgia by granting a sales tax refund to companies who establish new tourism attractions here. To be eligible for the tax refund, projects must exceed $100 million and have a positive economic impact on the state."

From a Georgia newspaper:

"Plans for a $1 billion, million-square-foot indoor ski resort in Bartow County, Georgia (near Atlanta), are progressing and apparently hinge on one decision -- if Governor Sonny Perdue signs the Tourism Development Act passed Thursday by the Georgia General Assembly, the facility, billed as the world's largest of its kind, could go up on more than 750 acres of land near Red Top Mountain State Park.

The development -- to be divided into the Alpine and Village levels -- would include five ski runs, the world's only indoor snow mobile track at a mile long, two NHL hockey rinks, a 2,000-seat outdoor waterfront amphitheater, three four-star hotels, a conference center, 30 restaurants, 400,000 square feet of retail space and multiple residential components.

Rep. Paul Battles, a cosponsor of the bill, said it would provide incentives to developers via sales tax rebates of a quarter of a percent for the next 10 years. Bartow County would receive $25 to $30 million in road improvements, including a proposed new four-lane bridge over Lake Allatoona."


HT: Evan Julber, who asks in an email: "What's next, $1 billion government-subsidized indoor beach complexes in cold states like Idaho, Montana and Minnesota, complete with palm trees, surfing areas, tidal pools, scuba diving areas, etc.?"

14 Comments:

At 5/02/2010 9:33 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

What? $14 million cash flow off of a $1000 million investment? That's a 1.4% return per year on the investment. What's the rate on the bond that will be floated to pay for this?

 
At 5/02/2010 9:45 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Evan Jubler forgot the SHARKS!
Why hot have an organised tour.
Atlanta skiing, Nashville country music, Charleston dancing, with the big finish in Washington for a big laugh.

 
At 5/02/2010 9:46 PM, Anonymous Lyle said...

What we don't know is what is the estimated sales of the site. Note that the state is only reducing the taxes on the site by .25% but since we don't know the estimated revenue we don't know if the books balance. Now one wonders what bright bulb on Wall Street will finance this? Clearly the private side has to find 60 million a year for its debt service. Otherwise its a pretty standard deal that states and the like give, look at Chattanooga up the road and the VW plant. We also don't know if there are property tax considerations involved here as well.

 
At 5/02/2010 10:27 PM, Blogger gadfly said...

Heh.

Somebody needs to tell Sonny Perdue to stick to chickens and veto this economic disaster.

Even Rocky Mountain ski resorts run into economic trouble during winters with less than normal snowfall, but they can make snow ... that doesn't immediately melt.

But the total annual average snowfall in Atlanta is 2.9 inches and the average winter temperature is above 40 degrees Fahrenheit.

 
At 5/03/2010 12:11 AM, Anonymous grant said...

"One turkey says to the other turkey in the turkey shed. Isn't this the life just wonderful-gourmet food-no rain or cold in the shed-all the top company-free medicals-this is the life and it just gets better now and things are really picking up-they were really rough when we were small 2 years ago-the problems are gone now and everything is recovering and just absolutely great again-YEAH!IT!IS! no more just hanging around the place anymore eating drinking and sleeping-the farmer says we are shipping out this afternoon-GREAT I wonder what we are going to be doing-I haven't a clue-I am going to some place called"Dream Heaven Birds"-Sounds like a top fun place-Maybe a poultry theme park-It is supposed to be by a very nice fella Purr Dew-I tkink it will be a great holiday- I cant wait to get there.
gobble---gobble-----Goooooooooooooo

 
At 5/03/2010 12:35 AM, Blogger bobble said...

theres skiing in georgia?

 
At 5/03/2010 1:13 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

You missed the point -- this will be an INDOOR ski area.

 
At 5/03/2010 1:31 AM, Anonymous Lyle said...

I traced the link back saying long term the county in question would get 13 million a year in sales tax, which in that county is 3% This implies an overall take of about 433 million a year (note include 5 ski runs an indoor snowmobile track, 2 hockey rinks etc). The state sales tax is 4% so the state gets 17 million a year, and the county 13 about 30 total. The tax reduction is about $1 million a year.
The question is it privatly financed or by amt bearing bonds, (since it would not in general qualify for non amt bonds as a private activity).
If it is privatley financed its not to bad a deal pay 1 dollar to get 16 back every year for 10 years for the state.
If you include the county thats 30 to 1 multiplication.
Now the big question is are the revenue numbers at all realistic? but even at half its still 1 to 8 which is not to bad a deal.

 
At 5/03/2010 2:45 AM, Anonymous Michelle said...

Being a resident of Lake Allatoona and living about 2 miles from the purposed ski dome site in Red Top Mountain State Park - I can rest assured that Sonny Perdue will not sign this bill. It would amaze me if he did!

After talking with many local government officials, all are in agreement to the no vote. It truly would boost the local economy such as Acworth and Cartersville and make this area a world destination....but it might just ruin these hometown areas and turn them into tourist central.

The other major concern is the impact it would have on our beautiful lake. Lake Allatoona is for the most part unspoiled and I think the ski dome on Red Top Mountain would be a bad idea.

Ga Lake View - You Lake Allatoona Source!

 
At 5/03/2010 4:03 AM, Blogger W.E. Heasley said...

Milton Friedman wasn’t kidding about the four categories of spending!

The economic viability of this tourism proposal seems about on par with building the General Sherman memorial statue in downtown Atlanta.

 
At 5/03/2010 10:31 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Even Rocky Mountain ski resorts run into economic trouble during winters with less than normal snowfall, but they can make snow ... that doesn't immediately melt.

This will be indoors, like the one in Dubai. the profits may melt, but not the snow.


http://beforeitsnews.com/story/651/Dubai_Crisis_May_End_in_Default.html

 
At 5/03/2010 10:41 PM, Blogger xemplarusa said...

It is better to be silent and thought a fool, than to speak and remove all doubt. It is without fail that our honorable Gov. Purdue has routinely vetoed nearly every potentially viable addition to our failing economy. We have failed as a state to invest in infrastructure and transportation and thereby are fastly losing our competetive edge. Many of the organizations locating here are having second thoughts do to the poor economic decisions and infrastructure. We are falling behind Charlotte and Raleigh in probality of jod acheivement, we are failing as a state and metro in all major economic stress indices. We must create new jobs and attractions if we are to move forward, the hospitality sector is hurting and we have dropped to 13th in terms of net tourism numbers. We are on the same desent that Detroit, Dayton and Cincinatti fell victim to, mainly because of no it all idiots. How could one compare this to creating beaches in Idaho, how elementary, skiing has become a growing american pasttime, many of the international models of this sort, have seen phenomenal success. I and many feel that this is in fact perhaps the greatest oppurtunity for our governor to demonsrate business prowess and put first the interest of his citizens, by signing this bill, and breathing life into our dying hospitality industry, luring other tourist attraction, securing more funds to repair or transportation sector and put the citizens of Bartow county back to work. Atlanta is last in greenspace and walkability, nearing last in regional public transportation and small business development, we are swiftly being left behind by Charlotte. Look at Orlando, a much smaller city, but burgeoning at the seems with development and resources,the are currently buildin a regional passenger rail, we dont even have a plan, they invested in tourism and infrastructure, they are leaving us behind. TRAJIC, keep your comments to yourself, this administration and people such as yourselves have like in the confederate war when General Sherman burned Atlanta to the ground, so have you. I only hope its symbol reigns true and that it can rise from the ashes.

 
At 5/04/2010 8:16 AM, Blogger juandos said...

"It is without fail that our honorable Gov. Purdue has routinely vetoed nearly every potentially viable addition to our failing economy. We have failed as a state to invest in infrastructure and transportation and thereby are fastly losing our competetive edge"...

Are you talking about something silly financed with taxpayer dollars (like a ski resort) or are you talking roads, bridges, sewers, etc.?

"Look at Orlando, a much smaller city, but burgeoning at the seems with development and resources,the are currently buildin a regional passenger rail, we dont even have a plan, they invested in tourism and infrastructure, they are leaving us behind"...

Well for what its worth Monster.com shows Orlando with a 12% unemployment rate, is it worse or better where you're at?

 
At 6/08/2010 11:08 PM, Blogger LoFlyer said...

I am a skier and a nature lover. Lake Altoona has sections that are well developed and is continuing to develop as fast as the developers can buy up the land and do so. This indoor ski-resort is a bad joke. The thing would have to be at least 300 foot tall to give a decent elevation to ski down and would dominate the natural beauty of lake Altoona. This thing would of been a failure, much like the ill-conceived indoor putt-putt center built next to Turner field and only the Atlanta stadium authority was surprised that it failed so dismally. Perdue did the right thing in vetoing this turkey.
Real skiers fly out west and ski on real mountains.

 

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