AIDEA OKs loan for Wasilla theme park

ANCHORAGE (AP) — A state agency has agreed to provide a commercial loan for a company that wants to build a $6 million theme park in Wasilla.

The Alaska Industrial Development and Export Authority will lend $5.4 million to Oregon businessman John Schweiger for a project he’s calling Valley Family Fun Center, KTUU-TV reported.

The 58,333-square-foot facility is planned for space next to Mat-Su Cinema. Schweiger owns the theater.

The facility will feature go karts, laser tag and a laser maze, said AIDEA External Affairs Officer Karsten Rodvik.

The facility, scheduled to be completed in 2015, is expected to create 35 to 50 jobs, according to AIDEA.

The Alaska Legislature established AIDEA in 1967 to promote economic growth within the state. The agency doesn’t originate loans but can purchase up to 90 percent of a commercial loan sponsored by a financial institution.

Northrim Bank originated the loan, according to AIDEA, and brought it to the agency for consideration. The bank is contributing $600,000.

AIDEA has invested in the FedEx maintenance facility in Anchorage, the Skagway Ore Terminal, the Ketchikan Shipyard, and the Delong Mountain Transportation System, a 52-mile haul road over which ore from the Red Dog Mine is carried to tidewater.