ORANGE COUNTY, CA-The Glacier of Anaheim LLC is close to finalizing financing for Gotcha Glacier of Anaheim, a $130-million, 600,000-sf sports entertainment venue. The complex will be located in the parking lot of Edison International Field of Anaheim, next to the train station. The company hopes to break ground on the project before year’s end. Construction is expected to take 22 months.

In discussing financing for the project, Michael Gerard, CEO of Glacier Sports of San Juan Capistrano, says, “We’re right there. We have several offers on the table, and we’re evaluating them all.”

Named after its title sponsor Gotcha International, an Irvine-based sportswear manufacturer, Gotcha Glacier will be the anchor tenant of the 805-acre Sportstown District in Anaheim, which includes the Glacier, Edison Field and the Arrowhead Pond. These three venues will provide sports enthusiasts the opportunity to watch or participate in 28 different sports.

The Anaheim City Council unanimously approved the project in 1998.

Bally’s Total Fitness signed on in March, pre-leasing 28,000 sf of the complex. In September, Sport Chalet came aboard, pre-leasing 29,000 sf of retail space. The project will also include a food court and full-service restaurants. Gerard is expecting to announce another major anchor-tenant lease, possibly today.

When completed the facility will be 173 feet high–60 feet taller than Edison Field and one-third larger than Arrowhead Pond. Sports venues to be offered include an indoor snowboarding park that, “will be the training site for the US snowboarding team for the winter Olympics,” Gerard says.

The complex also will have skiing and snowboarding learning centers, a free-skating ice rink, six stationary wave pools, an indoor/outdoor surfing park, a 33,000-sf skate park, a wind tunnel for sky diving and a 15,000-sf rock climbing wall–the largest in the United States. Additionally, Gerard says,”We are currently working with Playstation to develop a game that includes the Glacier.”

A partner in the project, Mammouth Mountain has agreed to be the offical snow operator for Gotcha Glacier, providing snow production and grooming, ski-lift operation, ski and snowboard rentals and lessons. Equity partner Enron Energy Services, a subsidiary of Enron Energy, will manage the complex’s mechanical infrastructure and climate control for various venues. KUD International LLC,a subsidiary of Kajima Corp., is project manager. Turner Construction will be the general contractor and Ogden Entertainment will manage the facility.

According to Gerard, Glacier Sports is looking at other major cities around the country to repeat the concept.

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