By Kent Larsen
Nauvoo Changes Coming from Mormon Investors, Not Just Temple
NAUVOO, ILLINOIS -- Despite the efforts of Nauvoo's city government to
forestall changes, Mormon investors and entrepreneurs are making that change
inevitable as they try to cash in on the LDS Church's new Nauvoo Temple.
Although the town has in place a moratorium on new buildings, investors are
looking at unincorporated land around the city, where its rules don't apply.
A report in the Salt Lake Tribune today provides one example of the plans.
Missouri developer Ted Johnson issued a press release recently that outlined
his plans for a golf course, a 300-room "Chateau Nauvoo" and spa, a
convention center, an IMAX theater and the "City of Joseph Art &Wax
Museum." According to the report, Johnson only planned to build the theater
for a Mormon-themed pageant, but then an anonymous investor put up
additional funds, and pushed him to go farther. "It just kind of grew like a
cancer. A nice cancer, but a cancer," said Johnson.
Local planning officials say that the plans are everywhere, and changes in
them are frequent. "You could probably write a story every day, if you
wanted to have a gossip column," says Hancock County Planner Kerry Asbridge.
He says that a developer that has the money could build just about whatever
he wishes outside the city, "No permits are required unless it's in the
flood plain," he said. And city planner Steve Freiberg says the only
physical obstacle is the city's sewage plant, which is running at capacity.
Nauvoo Cringes: Investors Seek to Cash in on New Temple
Salt Lake Tribune 22Feb01 B4
By Dan Egan: Salt Lake Tribune