What in the wild is delaying construction on the luxury camping resort in Chittenango?

When plans were announced for the 117-acre project on New Boston Road, owner Jeff Taylor hoped to break ground a few weeks later. That was at the beginning of February. We're more than halfway through April and the site still sits empty. So, what's the holdup? Permits and politics.

We are currently working on finalizing all permits with the local health department and the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation. We cannot begin construction until we receive all permits.

Taylor hopes to start construction very soon but he says he's experiencing more delays with the town board.

The head of the town planning board seems to be trying to hold up the entire project, even as we have received approval. We are hoping he can put his personal annimosity aside and we can start building something that will be a great asset to the community. Overall the Town board has been great to deal with through this entire process and we appreciate that.

The goal is to open the Wild Camping Resort for treehouse stays and weddings in the summer of 2023 with more camping to follow. "We just wanna put shovels in the ground and start digging."

Luxury Camping

The high-end luxury camping resort in Chittenango will include treehouses and bungalows that'll make you feel like you're in Africa. "We're going to offer treehouses that you can look out on your deck and see some giraffes, zebras, and African animals, as well as bungalows with lions and tigers outside your window," said Taylor.

Credit - The Wild
Credit - The Wild

Water Park & Mini Golf

A water park and exotic mini-golf course are also planned. But it won't be just any mini-golf course. "There is going to be animal enclosures mixed in with waterfalls and possibly bald eagles."

Wedding/Event Center

There are also plans for a large event/wedding venue that will overlook a large habitat of giraffes and African animals. "The animals will be able to come up to the venue so it's kind of a unique experience where you get to get married, see giraffes, maybe have a penguin walk your rings down the aisle."

Taylor hopes the building, which can hold up to 1000 people, will also be used to bring in lots of entertainment. "We're hoping to bring in some country concerts. Doing a building that size really gives us a lot of options."

Credit- The Wild
Credit- The Wild

Aquarium & Rainforest

Once the treehouses and bungalows are finished, hopefully by the Summer of 2023, it's on to Phase Two. "The plans never stop. Our second phase is a large aquarium and indoor rainforest facility."

Both Phases are large projects that will take years to complete but Taylor says the overall goal is to create a place families can make memories. "We always try to think of things that are different and create a place families talk about forever and look back on fondly. Just putting smiles on people's faces, that's what's important."

The Wild Animal Park opened for the 14th season on April 9. Plans are to open the Drive-Thru Safari on April 30.

The Wonderland of Lights will return bigger and better this year too. "It exceeded our expectations and we already have plans to add upon it for next Christmas season."

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