BARABOO (WKOW) -- The city of Baraboo is considering a unique development plan that is expected to bring a new kind of tourist to town: horse lovers.
Developer Bob LaDow with First Class Management presented his initial proposal for a horse arena and event center to the city's Plan Commission Tuesday night.
LaDow says his project is unlike any existing facility in the area and is a much-need resource for the equine community.
The development would be built on a 120 acre plot of city-owned farmland on the far east side of Baraboo, just past the Sauk County Fairgrounds on Highway 33.
It includes two indoor, heated and air-conditioned arenas that can be used year-round, three outdoor arenas, retail space, a banquet hall, a campground and multi-use trails. LaDow tells 27 News the Baraboo land is the perfect spot for the project.
"It's just great, it's got some hills in it, it's got some woods in it, we're going to put some trails in," LaDow says. "After doing some more research, we found out how big the need is for a arena that is a decent size but at a cheaper rate than what is out there."
LaDow worked with a team of equine advisors to assess different locations and work on what is needed at the site. They say many groups that show horses have had to cancel shows because they can't afford to book the larger venues.
Developers had initially considered property in the city of Portage, but have since abandoned that option because they believe the site in Baraboo is more favorable.
27 News reached out to Portage city officials and they say they haven't had any communication with First Class Management since October, when a planned meeting was canceled by developers.
Administrator Shawn Murphy says the city was supportive of the concept and they're disappointed with how it played out.
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