State looking at selling off Honey Creek Resort
DES MOINES — The Iowa Department of Natural Resources is going to seek an appraisal and consider the sale of the Honey Creek Resort near Moravia.
The contract with management group Delaware North which runs the state-owned resort — is set to expire in April of next year. DNR director Kayla Lyon told the Natural Resources Commission Thursday they will seek a review of the operation.
“The next step in the process with Honey Creek is to get an appraisal to understand what the site is worth. So there has been bid put together to put out at the end of the week to request folks to go through the appraisal process for us,” Lyon says.
Lyon was asked by a commission member if they are looking for a new management company or to sell. “The goal is to sell the property, so we are asking the appraisal to include the business side — and then what the assets are worth,” Lyon says.
DNR spokesperson Tammie Krausman told Radio Iowa that Delaware North made the decision to not continue with the contract when it expires, and that gives the state the opportunity to explore the option to sell it. She says they want to get appraisals back by the end of March.
The park sits on the shore of Lake Rathbun and opened in 2008 at a cost of around 60 million dollars. It lost money in its early days and the state paid off the debt owed on the resort in 2013 after the then DNR director said the revenue coming in was not enough to pay the debt.
Various state lawmakers have advocated selling off the resort since it opened. Delaware North agreed to spend $2.5 million on upgrades when it took over the resort.