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Soaking debt: Whitewater Center strives to overcome past woes (access required)

By Caitlin Coakley Discussing features he’s adding for the summer season, U.S. National Whitewater Center Executive director Jeff Wise exuded gleeful optimism. Of the 40-foot bungee plunge called Mega Jump: “You’ll free-fall, then it’ll catch you the last five feet. It’s pretty cool — It’ll scare the daylights out of you.” Of the new aerial challenge on the Adventure Course, an obstacle course: “It’s on a continuous belay system, once you’re clipped in, you can route all the way through, walking along a cable with a series of challenges associated with it.” Wise’s sunny outlook suggests that the storm has passed. In February, lenders forgave two-thirds of the center’s$38 million debt, leaving Wise with only $12.4 million to repay. But when asked about the center’s financial difficulty, Wise abruptly clouds up.

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