Study gives green light to Mosquito lodge, park

The lodge would need 135 to 150 employees during the peak tourist season.
CORTLAND -- City and county leaders say they are enthusiastic about a consulting firm's recommendations to build a multimillion-dollar lodge and water park at Mosquito Lake.
Thomas Chema, chairman of Gateway Consultants Group Inc., announced Monday the results of an 85,000 study commissioned by Trumbull 100, the city of Cortland and other civic groups to look into the feasibility of building a lodge at the lake.
Gateway Consultants recommended building a 17 million lodge, as long as a water park is built with it, Chema said during an hour-long presentation at the Lake Vista Club House in Cortland.
"The chances for commercial success are tenuous with the lodge operating on a stand-alone basis," said Chema, who is also president of Hiram College. "The lodge needs an attraction on a year-round basis. We feel the best option is an indoor/outdoor water park."
The 80-100 room lodge also would need to have a full-service restaurant and conference facilities to generate sufficient revenue, Chema said.
The study recommends 3.25 million of the cost come from federal, state and local government, while the rest of the cost would be covered by lodge and water-park fees and tax credits.
The study, which was completed by Gateway and the Center for Sport and Recreation Development at Kent State University, did not estimate a cost for building the water park.
Potential for Cortland
The ideal location for the lodge and water park would be on the southeastern edge of the lake in Cortland because of the easy access to utilities and the picturesque views of the lake. The location also would be close to a new city park Cortland is planning, Mayor Curt Moll said.
The lodge would bring much-needed jobs to the Mahoning Valley, Chema said.
The lodge would need 135 to 150 employees during warm weather and 60 to 90 employees during the winter months, according to the study.
The lodge and water park also would increase business in downtown Cortland, Moll said.
"I'm very enthused," he said. "This is a great opportunity. A lot of spaces that are now empty could be all filled up."
Trish Nuskievicz, environmental coordinator and flood plain administrator for the Trumbull County Planning Commission, said she also is enthusiastic about the plan.
"We're the second-largest inland lake in the state of Ohio," she said. "This is something that's been sadly missing for a long time."
The study outlined several steps for city and county leaders to keep the project moving, including studying the feasibility of a water park, engaging an architect to plan the lodge and identifying a potential lodge operator.

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