With less than a month to go, it seems many residents around the lake area are still deciding on their position towards the Lake of the Ozarks soccer complex project.
With less than a month to go, it seems many residents around the lake area are still deciding on their position towards the Lake of the Ozarks soccer complex project. In early polling done by the Lake Sun, a 60% vote (714 total) leaned towards being in favor of the project, though when speaking to business members, the viewpoint was spread.
Tim Jacobsen, Executive Director of the CVB, says that through many forums and independent Q&As within the community, he and other project members are learning what aspects of the project they need to work on informing better on. Number one on the list would seem to be better information surrounding the funding model being used.
Jacobsen says it has been a top priority for himself and other involved to inform the public that no taxes will be added for this project. The funding model will strictly pull funds to pay off the bonds through an increase in lake lodging tax. Until the November 5 vote, he says they will plan to double down on their efforts to get this point across. Another aspect of the project that Jacobsen says they need to communicate better is how the complex will be owned and operated. The complex will be owned by Osage Beach and they will operate the facilities. He says that many members of the community are concerned about XO Strategic playing a part, but Jacobsen says that he wants to stress that they were only involved with the feasibility study and data research for the initial phase of the project. Osage Beach will own and operate, while Heartland (if an agreement is completed following a successful vote) will operate tournament hosting and lodging arrangements.
Among the three counties affected, the Westside patrons were among the highest percentage against the vote. Jacobsen says that he understands the viewpoint they share, but in his view, they will benefit from the complex. He sees the unique qualities of lake lodging to be something that will draw families to all areas of the lake. As he has said from the start of the project, Jacobsen believes the complex will be an economic stimulus for the entire tri-county area.
Overall, Jacobsen says says that he hopes the public will put their trust in the work the CVB and TCLA have put into this project. He says that work on a conference center or sports complex have been studied since the early-2000s at the time Joe Poettinger was in the same position at Jacobsen.
“We want any other projects at the lake to do their due diligence and homework to make sure they are successful,” Jacobsen said.