Despite the City of Surrey’s reluctance to release specifics of a $150-million Great Wolf Lodge waterpark resort that’s on the drawing board for South Surrey, a freedom-of-information request filed to the city has revealed more details about the project and, potentially, a proposed location of the 400-room hotel facility.
The project was originally mentioned in a brief portion of Mayor Linda Hepner’s state-of-the-city address last May. She described the project as one that would have “transformative potential” for the community, and one that she would like to see fast-tracked.
Peace Arch News filed a freedom-of-information request on June 1, asking for more information, specifically the location, of the Jim Pattison Group project.
The City of Surrey responded, Aug. 2, with 16 pages of email exchanges between city staff and the Surrey City Development Corporation (SCDC).
Several of the FOI emails received by PAN were heavily redacted, including one that appears to mention a proposed location.
“The Group is intending to open a Water Park/Hotel on the (redacted) site,” wrote a March 16 email from SCDC financial reporting manager Kam Grewal to SCDC board members.
Another mention of an address – that wasn’t redacted – was in an email forwarded from SCDC senior development manager Ross Yamaguchi to city manager Vincent Lalonde and one other person, who’s name was redacted.
The email, which contained very few details on subject matter, was titled “SCDC Property 192 and 16th ave.”
Surrey acting city manager Fraser Smith told PAN Friday that there’s not a planning application on file for the 192 Street and 16 Avenue property, however, SCDC “has many holdings in that area.”
“I understand that they do have property in and around 192 Street and 16 Avenue. Beyond that, I have had no conversation with Jim Pattison Group, so I can’t share any more on that,” Smith said.
Smith could not confirm if that area is being looked at for a potential location for the resort, and called the project “a work in progress.”
PAN reached out to Yamaguchi Friday; he did not respond to PAN by press time Tuesday.
Surrey communication’s manager Oliver Lum told PAN last month that the city was not prepared to release the specific location in South Surrey that’s being considered, or any further details on the project.
In Hepner’s state-of-the-city address, she said the idea came from the Jim Pattison Development Group. JPDG purchased exclusive franchise rights to the GWL brand in Canada in 2004.