The SoundWaves water park at the Gaylord Opryland Resort and Convention Center is scheduled to open in December, according to a press release.
Are you excited?
Before you grab your swimming trunks and bathing suits, don’t forget, Nashville residents, your taxes helped pay for this thing.
Also, don’t forget you can’t take so much as one dip inside this water park unless you pony up $250 for a one night stay at the Gaylord.
Essentially, you can’t take advantage of something your taxes helped pay for.
As the Tennessee Watchdog reported in 2017, Nashville Metro officials gave away $14 million in incentives so Ryman Entertainment officials could build the water park.
This, even though the city already has a popular, privately run waterpark — Nashville Shores. Nashville Shores will now have a taxpayer-subsidized competitor.
Council member Jim Shulman called it corporate welfare.
“I can’t think of any reason why government should be using taxpayer money to help one business compete against another similar business,” Shulman said to the publication.
The writers at the World Socialist Web site scolded the agreement as did the staff members at the right-of-center think tank the Beacon Center of Tennessee.
Former Nashville Mayor Megan Barry reportedly orchestrated the Ryman incentive package.
The deal keeps Opryland’s property tax payments flat through 2015. Nashville forfeits $1.63 million in annual property the city would have collected from the waterpark.
Ryman officials will spend $90 million of their own money on the project.
Nashville officials, meanwhile, said the project will generate lots of new state and local tax revenue and will create many new jobs for city residents.
The Beacon Center put out a statement last year saying the $14 million could have paid for one year’s salary for 276 teachers, 280 police officers, or 335 firefighters.
In a press release, Gaylord officials describe the water park as an upscale indoor/outdoor water attraction that has four acres and a uniquely-designed roof that allows guests to sunbathe year-round.
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