OSAGE BEACH, Mo. — A location has been chosen for the proposed Destination Tournament Soccer Complex, pitched as an opportunity to bring a new off-water attraction to Lake of the Ozarks.
The site consists of 51 acres in Osage Beach, at the Arrowhead development, formerly the site of Dogwood Hills Golf Course. Arrowhead Development Group, LLC, submitted the proposal.
A TIF (tax increment financing) for a multi-phase development at that location, dubbed Arrowhead Centre, was approved by the City of Osage Beach in July of 2015. The first phase of the development was completed in early 2019, with the grand opening of Arrowhead Senior Living, a high-end assisted living and memory care community operated by Midwest Health. The TIF approved $55 million in reimbursements, over the life of the project, which constituted an estimated 55 percent of total projected tax revenues from the project (over the life of the TIF). However, the TIF was approved for a planned development that included housing, shopping, and entertainment. Osage Beach Mayor John Olivarri told LakeExpo.com the TIF will have to be amended, in order for it to apply to the soccer complex.
Olivarri said the city indicated during the proposal process that they would work with the developer on adjusting the TIF.
He said he's excited about the opportunity. "We think it’s a great opportunity not only for Osage Beach but for the Lake area as a whole," Olivarri said. "This is how our Lake grows. People first start as tourists, then they become second-home owners, then they become full-time residents."
"The great part of this is that it’s going to bring more families down to the Lake… probably people that have not been to the Lake before," he said. "I’m really excited about that."
The Lake of the Ozarks Convention & Visitor Bureau sent out a Request for Proposal (RFP) for the potential complex in early March for 30-60 acres to be used for the project. Eight proposals were submitted: one in Eldon, two in Lake Ozark, three in Osage Beach and two in unincorporated areas of Camden County near Linn Creek. The RFP was sent to landowners, brokers and developers within the three counties that make up the Lake of the Ozarks Region in Central Missouri: Camden County, Miller County, and Morgan County.
The details of the proposal and who will ultimately be the developer are currently protected by confidentiality statements, CVB Executive Director Tim Jacobsen explained, as those negotiations are ongoing. "This is nothing unusual in economic development projects, especially in this size and complexity of a project," he said.
The Lake of the Ozarks Convention & Visitor Bureau (CVB) and Tri County Lodging Association (TCLA) have been studying how to bring additional visitors to the Lake of the Ozarks and increase the economic activity of the whole Lake area. In 2016 the CVB completed a two-phase feasibility study conducted by Convention & Sports Leisure (CSL) on recreational complexes. The study indicated the Lake Area could support a destination tournament soccer complex (DTSC) with 12-14 tournaments with 50-300 teams each weekend in the spring and again in the fall. It is estimated that this would have a $75 million economic impact annually for the Lake area.
Since the completion of the CSL feasibility study, the CVB, TCLA and other local businesses and organizations moved forward with exploring how a DTSC could be designed, built, and operated in the most efficient manner possible. XO Strategic, a company owned by former Kansas City Chiefs Hall of Famer and former owner of the Jacksonville Jaguars, Deron Cherry, and led by former Major League Soccer executives and youth soccer entrepreneurs, were engaged to operationalize the CSL study. On Dec. 4, 2018, XO Strategic rendered their report that concluded that the Lake Area had a unique opportunity to capitalize on the growing $18 billion youth sports industry by constructing a DTSC financed primarily from a proposed increase in the lodging tax at the Lake.
The TCLA Board of Directors has approved a November 2019 election initiative that seeks a 3% increase in the lodging tax in Camden County, a 1% increase in the lodging tax in Miller County and a 3% increase in the lodging tax in Morgan County, for the purpose of funding the complex's development.
At the suggestion of XO Strategic, an Advisory Committee was created consisting of 5 voting members: 3 community-minded business leaders from the Lake Area, and the current presidents of the CVB and TCLA. The executive directors of both the CVB and TCLA serve as non-voting consultants to the Advisory Committee, and XO Strategic was again engaged to moderate the Advisory Committee and provide operational guidance and advice to the Committee. At the direction of the Advisory Committee, XO Strategic drafted the RFP and was responsible for its administration through site selection for the Project. The CVB noted XO is not a voting member of the Advisory Committee.
Tim Jacobsen, Executive Director of the CVB, said in a press release, “The idea of a sporting facility that will bring families to the Lake Area in the shoulder seasons and create the estimated economic growth for the entire Lake is very exciting. The community has been very supportive of this type of long-term project that will benefit all businesses in the Lake Area and the overall economic growth for years to come.”
Dane W. Henry, FACHE, Chief Executive Officer, Lake Regional Health Systems has stated, “The development of this soccer complex represents a rare and important opportunity to strengthen and diversify the Lake Area’s economy. A family focused attraction, such as a destination sporting facility, will undoubtedly bring new visitors and revenue to multiple Lake of the Ozarks resorts, hotels, restaurants and other attractions. I truly believe this facility will introduce the Lake to an entirely new generation of young visitors. It will establish our community and region as the place they associate with vacation and enjoyment. We must aggressively pursue this incredible opportunity!”
The next steps in the process of a potential DTSC are to determine: the ownership, the operation, the tournament director, and the final funding details.
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