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Wednesday, May 4, 2016

'A First-Class Resort Project

Thursday, November 17, 2005

Growing national resort firm eager to take on management of AWAYSIS lodge

Officials at Leisure Hotels & Resorts are completing their preparations to manage the emerging lodge and water park developments in Storm Lake's Project AWAYSIS.

"In addition to managing, operating and marketing the Lodge and outdoor and indoor aquatic centers, Leisure Hotels will assist with the design, technology and functionality, staffing, and other pre-opening issues," the company said in a statement this week.

Storm Lake will be Leisure Hotels' third resort project in addition to The Hawthorn Suites Golf & Conference Center in Ruidoso, N.M. and Chase on the Lake in Walker, MN.

Construction on The Lodge at Storm Lake is expected to begin in Spring 2006, and it is projected to open in 2007.

"We commend The City of Storm Lake for spearheading a first-class resort project and are excited to be part of it," said Steve Olson, president & CEO of Leisure Group of Companies. "Storm Lake is totally committed to tourism - it understands the value of the lake and what a resort can mean to the community."

Olson noted that few lakes in Iowa are available for recreation, and Storm Lake and the water parks will particularly appeal to the growing numbers of young families in the area.

"This is the most important economic development project that the City has ever undertaken," commented Mike Wilson, project manager of Project AWAYSIS for the City of Storm Lake. "We are extremely pleased to select Leisure Hotels as both the pre-commencement and long term manager. Their management team complements each other and will offer well-rounded and broad experience."

The Lodge will overlook Storm Lake and be built in the arts and crafts style with big beam timbers and a facade of stone, stucco and hardy wood siding, the company said.

City officials are meeting with the consulting architects Friday, and hope to be able to unveil the final design for both the lodge and the nearby water park by early December.

The lodge will consist of 81 guest accommodations on three floors, including 57 standard rooms with two queen or king beds, four one-bedroom suites, two two-bedroom suites, and 18 mini suites - all with refrigerators and microwaves. The entire hotel will be fitted for high-speed wireless Internet access. A full-service lakeside restaurant and lounge will serve breakfast, lunch and dinner, and room service will be available.

The Lodge will offer 3,000 square feet of meeting space for up to 300 people, ideal for weddings and other social events, regional conventions, community meetings and retreats. It will feature the latest technology with power point presenters and electronic screens.

The indoor water park - along with a 14-person whirlpool - will be attached to the hotel, and guests will have full use of the facility included in the cost of their room. They will also be able to take advantage of the lake and boat docking facilities. Architects for the property are Beringer, Ciaccio, Dennell & Mabrey (BCDM) and Dana, Larson and Roubal (DLR). "The Lodge will enjoy great prominence on the lakefront, and is being sited to offer spectacular views as well," said Kevin Strehle, project manager, BCDM. "It's exciting to work on a project that is the remaking of an entire public waterfront that will become a focal point for tourism and business development within the community."

In addition to the lodge at Storm Lake and adjacent water parks, the $30 million AWAYSIS plans call for a public beach, lighthouse, Great Lawn, family playground, revamped municipal golf course with condominiums, expanded campgrounds, family cabins, and related projects for the future such as an Environmental Interpretive Center, skate park and improved marina facilities. For additional information, visit http://www.awaysis.com.

Leisure Hotels & Resorts is a third-party management group that operates as a division of Kansas-based Leisure Group of Companies, which specializes in hotel and convention center development, construction management, brokerage services and management of hotels in the resort, extended stay and full service markets. Employing more than 800 people, Leisure Hotels & Resorts is one of the industry's fastest growing multi-faceted full service hotel companies in the U.S. with corporate offices in Leawood (Kansas City area) and Hutchinson, Kansas.

Leisure Group of Companies manages 24 hotels in Kansas, Colorado, Iowa, Missouri, New Mexico and Texas and operates a variety of well-known franchise branded hotels from Intercontinental Hotels, Hilton Hotels and US Franchise Systems. Additional Leisure-managed properties are set to open in Colorado and Minnesota early next year.

The firm operates such well-known destination lodging as the Grand Victorian in Branson, Mo., and Chateau Avalon in Kansas City.

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