KANSAS CITY, Kan. — Wasting away again in Margaritaville…at least, that’s the idea coming before the Unified Government of Wyandotte County and Kansas City, Kansas.

This week commissioners heard plans for an $85 million Margaritaville Resort that would take the place of the former Schlitterbahn Water Park.

This is actually a revision from what the developer, Homefield, originally proposed.

Homefield originally described their vision as a “Youth Sports Mecca” primarily focused on baseball. That plan also included some resort amenities but the addition of the Margaritaville brand is generating some pretty big interest from commissioners.

Construction is already underway where scant evidence remains of Schlitterbahn Water Park, the site where a 10-year-old boy died on a water slide. The facility had been out of operation since 2019.

Plans for its transformation are already in motion with STAR bonds fueling Homefield. Homefield founder Robb Heineman said during a Monday UG committee meeting that private money is pushing them to think bigger.

“I think the thing that came literally out of the blue for us a bit is this Margaritaville resort. And I think we’re tickled to death that we’ve been able to get something done there,” Heineman said.

Heineman said the hotel would be privately financed. But this is not the only change.

The revised plan would also increase the overall STAR bond request from $130 million to $150 million. In addition, it would increased the scale of the Homefield baseball components, including a 10 field tournament baseball facility, rising the request from $15 million to $40 million.

UG commissioners at the committee meeting endorsed the idea which also solves STAR bond repayment issues, an issue difficult to solve because of the closure of Schlitterbahn.

Heineman told commissioners that the benefits would reach beyond their construction footprint and impact more than just tourists.

“We will have various kind of privileges that the local, not only kids, but the local citizens will have. Whether that’s discounted rates, free access, special events, advance access. All different things of that nature,” Heineman said.

This specific STAR bond district was created back in 2005 for Schlitterbahn. Its absence has been felt by the Unified Government from a revenue perspective.

The Margaritaville Resort Hotel has a planned opening in the year 2025.