ISAAC SMITH The South
WHITTINGTON – Repairs to several buildings at the Rend Lake Resort have been completed and the “boatel” there demolished as the state continues to seek a supplier to manage the resort, which has been closed since 2016.
In a press release posted on the Wayne Fitzgerrell State Park Facebook page, a representative from the Illinois Department of Natural Resources writes that the remediation of the Rend Lake Resort site has been completed and that a new request for proposals for the tourist destination will be announced soon.
“The Agency completed the reclamation of all upgrades to the Wayne Fitzgerrell State Recreation Area of the resort, including the hotel and conference center, cabins, boats, restaurant and gift shop. “wrote Connie Wagoner, director of the Office of Real Estate and Environmental Planning.
WHITTINGTON – The Illinois Department of Natural Resources on Wednesday announced plans to return the Rend Lake Resort to service.
The press release also states that during the refit the Windjammer Boatel proved beyond repair and demolition was the best solution.
“Upon further investigation, it was determined that the demolition was being initiated by the Agency in anticipation of a new Request for Proposal (RFP) issued seeking a new supplier within the next two weeks,” according to the communicated.
People also read …
Almost exactly a year ago, a press conference at the Franklin County resort announced a new tender to find a supplier to take over the property. The IDNR closed the facility in December 2016 due to mold, peeling paint and other health issues in the buildings. The seller was also in arrears with rent and related rents totaling over $ 205,000 and owed back taxes and utility payments.
At the time, local and state leaders hoped for a successful turnaround for the property, citing the resort’s great potential as an economic engine for Franklin County.
State Senator Dale Fowler, R-Harrisburg, said he hopes to see the site booming.
“The Rend Lake Resort has always been a big draw in the area, adding to the number of unique southern Illinois destinations that draw visitors from all over. Unfortunately, in recent years the facility has been underutilized, ”said Fowler.
“I hope this latest RFP to reopen the resort will spark a renewed sense of urgency to get this facility up and running, creating job opportunities and encouraging tourism to the region.”
Why did the state shut down Rend Lake Resort? And will it reopen?
On Twitter: @ismithreports