TACOMA, WA-Disappointing opponents who had appealed a qualified approval by Pierce County earlier this year, a Pierce County hearing examiner has issued a permit for a proposed 440-acre resort west of Mount Rainier National Park.

The conditional land-use permit opens the door for Park Junction Partners, a team comprised of area residents Gayle and Cora Adams, Portland contractor Selwyn Bingham and Portland developer Sylvia Cleaver, to forge ahead with the development of the land it purchased several years ago along Highway 706, located a few miles west of the Nisqually River entrance to Mount Rainier National Park.

But because of the strong opposition by the Audubon Society and the National Parks and Conservation Association, the mood among the Park Junction Partners is “calm” rather than victorious.

“It’s a step, but we know there are going to be appeals,” Bingham tells GlobeSt, noting that his attorneys have said that the appeals process could take up to a year to complete.

Plans for the resort, which has been in the works since 1994, call for a 270-room lodge, condominiums, a conference center, retail shops, an 18-hole golf course, tennis courts, a spa and a train station that could carry passengers from Tacoma.

Bingham, who says the resort is estimated to cost $70 to $90 million and would be constructed in phases over a five-year period, says that because of the likely appeals, it is too early to know when ground will be broken for the project. But he says he is confident that resort will be developed.

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