Michigan's top tourism spot could see many more visitors after the governor announced a multi-million dollar expansion at Frankenmuthâ??s Zehnderâ??s Splash Village Hotel and Water Park Wednesday afternoon.
Zehnderâ??s CEO Al Zehnder said, â??Our focus has always been we want to be the No. 1 choice.â??
He joined Gov. Rick Snyder to announce a nearly $20 million investment to expand Splash â??Zehnderâ??s has a great track record, looking for their growth, and this will bring more jobs and more exciting activity for tourists to come to Michigan and hopefully spend their resources here,â?? Gov. Snyder said during a media conference call.
"This is exactly what we need,â?? Sue Smith of Jackson said. â??We need all of these people headed back to what they think is Michigan to tell what Michigan is really like."
The project calls for 32 new guest rooms and adding 30,000 square feet of the water park with new rides and a fully retractable roof.
David Brown was visiting Splash Village with his family Wednesday. "I love it, the kids love it. We've only been here about 4 hours,â?? Brown said.
The Michigan Strategic Fund approved $500,000 in Community Development Block Grants funds for the city of Frankenmuth for infrastructure improvements.
Zehnderâ??s also has received $5 million in loan enhancement funds through the Michigan Economic Development Corp.â??s Loan Participation Program. The rest of the project funds will come from Zehnderâ??s.
â??We're happy to be a partner with it, and that's the continuation of reinventing Michigan. This is Pure Michigan through and through, and I'm looking forward to seeing this facility. Again, the biggest disappointment i had today was not getting to Frankenmuth myself to be there in person,â?? Snyder said.
The expansion is expected to create 69 new, permanent jobs. Groundbreaking on the project is slated for late August or early September.
The hotel and water park will remain open during construction. The new and improved park will open summer 2014.