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Governor commends Zehnder's for hotel, water park expansion in Frankenmuth

Thursday, March 27, 2013


LANSING, Mich. - Gov. Rick Snyder today applauded Zehnder's of Frankenmuth for the expansion of its hotel and water park operations, thanking the company for continuing to invest in the state and for bringing new jobs to Michigan.


"Zehnder's has been instrumental in contributing to the growth and success of Frankenmuth and is well known as one of the top family attractions in the state. It is great news that this longstanding Michigan company has chosen to make new investments here," Snyder said. "Tourism supports approximately 200,000 jobs in the state and the growth of companies like Zehnder's plays a key role in this." 


Zehnder's of Frankenmuth traces its roots to 1856 and features a variety of hospitality products and services, including a restaurant, bakery, 18-hole golf course, and the Splash Village Water Park & Hotel. The company plans to invest at least $15 million to expand Splash Village to add an additional 30,000 square feet to the water park and 32 additional hotel rooms, more than doubling the current size of the existing venue. The project will create 69 new full-time jobs. At least 35 of these positions will be held by low- to moderate-income persons.


"We think Michigan, and in particular Frankenmuth, is a great place to invest in the future," said Zehnder's CEO Al Zehnder. "The future of Michigan is keeping families in Michigan. The future of Michigan is about creating jobs. This project will create nearly 70 new full-time jobs in addition to securing the current jobs of our nearly 700 employees."


The city of Frankenmuth will work with the company to improve its waste water collection system and make other infrastructure improvements, and will contribute $862,000 from its Downtown Development Authority. As a result, the Michigan Strategic Fund approved $500,000 in Community Development Block Grants funds for the city of Frankenmuth.


"Frankenmuth's place as a Michigan tourism center is strongly supported by the ongoing investment by Zehnders of Frankenmuth, a major tourism destination and anchor. Its commitment to the community expressed through this major expansion is a tangible endorsement that business in Frankenmuth is strong and healthy," said Frankenmuth Downtown Development Authority Director Sheila Stamiris. "With the assistance of the MEDC funded community development block grant, the city can maximize the benefits of the Zehnder family investment, improving the community's infrastructure, retaining and creating new jobs and building new tax base." 


Zehnder's also has received $5 million in loan enhancement funds through the Michigan Economic Development Corp.'s Loan Participation Program.


"By leveraging state resources with private sector funds,  the Loan Participation Program will help Zehnder's move forward and continue to grow, which in turn will bring jobs and investment to our state," said MEDC President and CEO Michael A. Finney. "Zehnder's' continued commitment will further establish Frankenmuth as one of Michigan's top travel destinations and provide jobs for years to come."


The Loan Participation Program works to increase capital to small businesses by participating with lenders to address cash flow issues which often make small business loans less attractive. Under the loan program, the MEDC partners with private lenders to offer loan participations with little or no interest payments for a specific period of time. The MBGF-LPP purchases a portion of a loan from the lender and offers a grace period on the program's portion for up to 36 months.