An opportunity that was sat on without response by Larimer County is the reason the City of Loveland has now received a proposal for an incredibly exciting opportunity in Northern Colorado.

Let's walk back on the timeline a little bit.

Back in 2019, Martin Lind and The Water Valley Company initially responded to a Request for Proposal (RFP) from Larimer County involving plans at The Ranch. In November 2018, the county commissioners put the proposal request on ballots.

What exactly was the proposal, you ask? A master plan including everything from youth sports like hockey and swimming, to 4H, to equestrian facilities, to hotels with halls and plazas for activities - things reportedly promised and encouraged by the county. Things, arguably, necessary for a growing Northern Colorado population.

The original drawings for the proposed water park from The Water Valley Company to Larimer County in 2019. Photo Courtesy of Martin Lind with The Water Valley Company
The original drawings for the proposed water park from The Water Valley Company to Larimer County in 2019. Photo Courtesy of Martin Lind with The Water Valley Company

Throughout the process of the RFP, developing infrastructure plans, and the proposal for extensive future plans, several stakeholder meetings were held from 2017 to 2019.

According to Lind, the final master plan was then produced in 2019 and approved in January of 2020 by the Larimer County planning commission and board of commissioners.

Understandably, COVID hit and suspended the process. Then, down the line, things started to shift even more.

Since COVID, stakeholders were reportedly eliminated from the process of amending or contributing to a revised master plan, according to Lind. Eventually, The Water Valley Company reportedly stopped hearing from Larimer County altogether.

“To say we [were] frustrated with the lack of transparency, lack of accountability is an understatement,” Lind said. “Our companies will not be submitting a proposal back. We’re not going to be involved until they assure the taxpayers and stakeholders are going to be put first and they open the tent of transparency.”

Townsquare Media has reached out to Mark Tinklenberg, Senior Operations Manager for Larimer County, for a quote and has not yet heard back.

Update: Tinklenberg responded to our request for a comment saying, "We are aware that over the last few years, multiple water park proposals have been discussed in Northern Colorado. Many of those appear to be tied to the Regional Tourism Authority. As far as I know, a water park has never been proposed on The Ranch and that use is not included in our adopted Master Plan."

Following the decision to not resubmit their proposal, Lind and Water Valley shifted their project focus to the City of Loveland instead. So, here we are in the present day, with an exciting proposal that is in the earliest of beginning stages of approval through Loveland.

Originally reported by Ken Admundson with BizWest, the Loveland City Council, during an executive session tonight (Mar. 22), will be allegedly discussing the plans that have been in mind by The Water Valley Company for well over a decade now.

What exactly are those plans, you ask? A potential water park resort right here in Northern Colorado.

Looking at the agenda for the special meeting taking place tonight - now that said agenda is publicly available through the City of Loveland - it’s unclear whether or not one of the topics of discussion will, in fact, be this water park.

All that is available, connecting the dots due to inside knowledge on the project by sources that wish to remain anonymous, is part of the agenda that is listed as a discussion about an “economic development”. Because of additional details known, it seems fairly likely that that “economic development” topic is the water park proposal.

The City Council will be presenting this topic for approval to discuss the matter confidentially behind closed doors at the City Council meeting.

In a brief conversation with Kelly Jones, Economic Development Director for the City of Loveland, a couple of weeks back, she was unable to provide any financial details regarding the proposal due to an NDA to reportedly protect the confidentiality and exclusivity of the proposed plans.

More information will be reported as decisions, details, and discussions come to fruition following the City Council meeting tomorrow night.

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