2008-08-21 / Front Page

Developers given February deadline

DNR Director's decision

Michigan Department of Natural Resources Director Rebecca Humphries Aug. 14 set deadlines for developers to prove they can finance and obtain permits for a proposed theme park near Grayling as a prerrequisite for sale of some 1,400 acres of state-owned land for the project.

Gaila Gilliland, director of the Crawford County Economic Development Partnership, said about 30 area residents traveled to last week's Natural Resources Commission meeting in Lansing to show support for the project. Among them were Roscommon County Commission Vice-chairman Ed Nellist, Economic Development Coordinator Lois Byrd, Roscommon County Road Commissioner Larry Paxton and Roscommon businessman Scott McNamara, who is also on the board of the Higgins Lake- Roscommon Chamber of Commerce.

According to the Associated Press, Humphries set a February deadline for Axiom Entertainment to prove it has financing for the $160 million project. Sale of the land would then be contingent upon Axiom obtaining required permits for the theme park within nine months, AP reported.

Gilliland said developer Patrick Crosson of Axiom Entertainment "was very pleased" with Humphries' decision.

Byrd was also happy with the outcome.

"I'm thrilled to death because this is what we've been waiting for," Byrd said, noting that the committment of land would mean the project is "ready to go."

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