View Full Version : Bits Beyond the Berms 4/2/07 - 4/8/07
04-03-2007, 11:17 PM
Bits Beyond the Berms
4/2/07 - 4/8/07
~Astroland May Live To See Another Summer (http://www.intercot.com/discussion/showpost.php?p=1245032&postcount=2)
~Wyndham Vacation Ownership to Build Resort at National Harbor (http://www.intercot.com/discussion/showpost.php?p=1245042&postcount=3)
~New Jersey Motorsports Park Plans Move Ahead (http://www.intercot.com/discussion/showpost.php?p=1245392&postcount=4)
~Safari Theme Park Planned For Holmes County, Florida Put on Hold (http://www.intercot.com/discussion/showpost.php?p=1247840&postcount=9)
~Tweetsie Railroad Theme Park Renews 4-Year Lease (http://www.intercot.com/discussion/showpost.php?p=1247838&postcount=8)
~Canada's Wonderland Rated Most Popular Seasonal Park in North America (http://www.intercot.com/discussion/showpost.php?p=1247830&postcount=7)
~Lagoon Park's "Wicked" Coaster Delayed (http://www.intercot.com/discussion/showpost.php?p=1247825&postcount=6)
~Silver Dollar City's New "Giant Swing" Attraction Pleases Crowds (http://www.intercot.com/discussion/showpost.php?p=1247820&postcount=5)
04-03-2007, 11:19 PM
Astroland May Live To See Another Summer
New York Press
April 3, 2007
On Sunday, Astroland Park opened its doors for its final season ... or so we thought. Developer Joe Sitt, who bought the 3.1-acre summer amusement park last fall to incorporate into his $1 billion Vegas-style project, told The Post that he may be willing to open the park for the 2008 season.
From NY1: “Plans for the new Coney Island Park include a luxury hotel and an indoor amusement pavilion that will include 21 new rides and a man-made canal. There has also been talk about adding another roller coaster and building new condos.”
But the developer and City Hall have yet to agree over whether Sitt's firm, Thor Equities, should be able to turn the site into the latest addition to our condo culture.
The Cyclone will remain open, and run by the family that sold Astroland Park. We can’t really imagine how Sitt will spin the whole luxury-condo-adjacent-to-a-whirling-roller coaster issue, but hey, those developers are a heck of a creative breed.
04-03-2007, 11:24 PM
Wyndham Vacation Ownership Finalizes Deal to Build Upscale Timeshare Resort at National Harbor Entertainment Complex
- Resort will become the company's second property in the Washington, D.C. area -
Wyndham Vacation Ownership Press Release
April 3, 2007
Wyndham Vacation Ownership, the world's largest vacation ownership company and a member of the Wyndham Worldwide family of companies today announced it has finalized a deal with The Peterson Companies, the developer of the highly anticipated National Harbor complex, to purchase the right to build an upscale 250-unit vacation ownership resort on nearly two acres of land. Terms of the deal were not disclosed.
Situated in a 300-acre waterfront community in Prince George's County, Md. on the banks of the Potomac River, the National Harbor complex provides an outstanding vista for Wyndham's second vacation ownership resort in the Washington, D.C. area. Construction is scheduled to begin in fall 2007 with an anticipated opening in late 2009. The resort is scheduled to operate within the company's FairShare Plus by Wyndham portfolio of properties.
"We've been operating in the Washington, D.C. region with much success since 1999 with the opening of our first resort in Old Town Alexandria," said Franz Hanning, president and CEO of Wyndham Vacation Ownership. "We're extremely excited to move forward with plans to build another world-class resort in an urban setting that we know has tremendous appeal to our owners. We're very proud to be a part of National Harbor as it will offer our owners a vast array of options to enhance their vacation experience in our nation's capital."
The luxury vacation ownership resort will feature 250 condominium-style, fully furnished suites including 42 opulent, penthouse-style suites. Built in an 11-story tower, the resort will be comprised of one-, two- and three- bedroom suites. Planned resort amenities include a health and fitness club with indoor and outdoor heated swimming pools and an outdoor terrace with a spa, wading pool and pool cabana. This resort will complement the company's existing Wyndham Old Town Alexandria resort, located one mile from the Potomac River.
"Our goal at National Harbor is to bring the world's premier brands to the Capital Region," said Tom Maskey, Senior Vice President of Retail for The Peterson Companies. "Wyndham is without question a premier hospitality brand. We're thrilled they've taken this step to bring this resort to National Harbor. It will do nothing but enhance our fabulous, growing community."
National Harbor is destined to become the premier entertainment destination in the region, offering retail, dining and entertainment facilities along with more than a mile of walking paths and waterfront activities.
About Wyndham Vacation Ownership
Wyndham Vacation Ownership, a subsidiary of Wyndham Worldwide , is the world's largest vacation ownership business, as measured by the number of vacation ownership resorts, vacation ownership units and owners of vacation ownership interests. Wyndham Vacation Ownership develops, markets and sells vacation ownership interests and provides consumer financing to owners through its three primary consumer brands, Wyndham Vacation Resorts, WorldMark by Wyndham, and Wyndham Vacation Resorts Asia Pacific. Wyndham Vacation Ownership has developed or acquired approximately 150 vacation ownership resorts throughout the United States, Canada, Mexico, the Caribbean and the South Pacific that represent more than 20,000 individual ownership units and more than 800,000 vacation ownership members. Wyndham Vacation Ownership is headquartered in Orlando, Florida, and is supported by more than 16,000 employees globally.
04-04-2007, 12:05 PM
Motorsports Park Clears Final Obstacle
By JOSEPH P. SMITH | Staff Writer
The Daily Journal
April 4, 2007
The last regulatory roadblock to the New Jersey Motorsports Park is gone.
The Federal Aviation Administration, after more than two years of review, has cleared the sale of 139 acres at the municipal airport for use in phase one construction of the theme park.
The FAA contacted developers with the news Friday, according to Lee Brahin, one of three principal investors.
Brahin and partner Joseph Savaro were at Tuesday night's City Commission meeting to witness commissioners approval of the release by resolution.
After the unanimous vote, Brahin said construction should start on the park in weeks. Some land title work and talks with Atlantic City Electric about power provisions need to be finished, he said.
The four-page resolution authoring the land sale states that the land will be sold for $556,000, a figure based on a February 2005 independent appraisal.
The sale proceeds go into an interest-bearing account to be used for capital development projects at the Cedarville Road airport.
Under the deal, the city retains rights to maintain aviation routes over the future park.
The motorsports park project was unveiled June 1, 2004. It has battled environmental opponents in court, ultimately but not quickly winning, and then complex regulatory reviews at the state and federal level.
The FAA review, first requested in March 2005, was a particular frustration.
"The early litigation by Citizens United may have chilled the process and made them more stringent," Brahin said. "I think they wanted to make sure it was done with all the 'i's dotted and the 't's crossed. And believe me -- it was!"
The park eventually is to cover about 707 acres, with 507 acres to start phase one.
The developer and city estimate the park as an eventual $100 million ratable.
But that is said to be on the conservative side.
The meeting agenda also contained a final approval of a tax reduction agreement for the project. The payment in lieu of taxes was approved.
Paul Porreca Sr., of the group Millville First, challenged the commission for hard evidence of the project's financial benefits.
As part of the response, city Economic Development Director Donald Ayres said the park's residential component by itself should be a $70 million ratable. It also is subject to regular taxes.
Ayres also said the city should collect $2 million for the land sold for phase one.
04-06-2007, 11:23 AM
Riders Scream with Glee
'I thought it was pretty crazy' Giant Swing expected to be main draw this year at Silver Dollar City.
by Ryan Slight
April 6. 2007
Corey Scott enjoyed getting that "pretty sweet" sensation Thursday — that feeling you get when you fly up seven stories and feel like you will fall straight down.
"I thought it was pretty crazy," the 15-year-old Festus resident said with a smile after experiencing Silver Dollar City's new Giant Swing. "It ain't a kiddie ride."
Children apparently didn't share that opinion as they — and their parents — cheerfully screamed on the amusement park attraction that opened last week.
Housed in a huge red barn crowned with a 10-foot copper rooster weather vane, the ride is part of a $6 million addition that covers more than an acre.
In addition to the Giant Swing, patrons can pull themselves 30 feet in the air before gently drifting to earth on interactive climbing towers.
Children can tackle the sensation of milking a cow or battle others in an area designated for water balloon fights.
Attendees may sit and play jumbo checkerboard games featuring unique pieces.
The Giant Swing's entrance offers a previously unavailable wide view of a nearby water rapids ride.
But park officials expect this year's main draw will be the gigantic pendulum that sends thrill seekers nearly upside down at a 230-degree arc.
The bar from which the pendulum swings is 65 feet tall, and passengers go up about 75 feet. Each of the ride's two arms carries 16 passengers in opposite directions.
Although there are other huge swings in the country, SDC has a special themed one, said SDC general manager Brad Thomas.
Park officials considered a barn swing a good fit when considering potential new attractions for the year.
"All of those rides (at other parks) have the structure just on asphalt. That's not what Silver Dollar City is," he said of the 1880s Ozarks family barn design.
The Giant Swing has a locking mechanism to ensure safety. Air is required to unlock the seats, and the ride only gets air when stopped at its low position, Thomas said.
Isaac Lippert, 10, of Washington sprinted from the Giant Swing's exit to the entrance to board his new favorite attraction repeatedly.
"It goes really, really high, almost to the top. Almost goes all the way around. And it goes really smooth," he mused.
Kim Podbevsek, a Kearney season pass holder, exited the Giant Swing with a grin after riding at her children's insistence.
"It will bring more people in just because they need more rides," she said. "It's a fun addition."
04-06-2007, 11:27 AM
Lagoon: Something 'Wicked' this way comes, eventually
April 5, 2007
FARMINGTON - "Wicked," a new $10 million rollercoaster, won't be ready when a popular northern Utah amusement park opens Saturday.
The German-made rollercoaster will be Lagoon's fastest ride, but some parts need to be retooled.
"We ran into some manufacturing problems," said Dick Andrew, the park's vice president of marketing.
The rollercoaster will have a dark tunnel filled with mist, a 110-foot tower and a maximum speed of 55 mph. It could open in June, Andrew said.
04-06-2007, 11:31 AM
Canada's Wonderland Rated The Most Popular Seasonal Park in North America!
Canada's Wonderland Press Release
April 5, 2007
VAUGHAN, ON, - Canada's Wonderland ended 2006 by setting an industry record. According to a leading industry publication, Wonderland is the number one attended seasonal theme park in North America for a second year in a row.
Theme Park Attendance Report (TEA/ERA), released yesterday, estimates Canada's Wonderland ranked first in seasonal attendance and was only behind a handful of year-round park operations in North America.
Success is being attributed to the great ticket value, the over 200 attractions for all ages, quality award-winning entertainment and the fantastic staff, who work hard to ensure a fun, safe and clean environment for all of its guests.
The Park opens for the 28th season on May 6th!
Canada's Wonderland is owned and operated by Cedar Fair Entertainment Company, a publicly traded partnership that is listed for trading on The New York Stock Exchange under the symbol "FUN." In addition to Canada's Wonderland, Cedar Fair owns and operates eleven other amusement parks, five water parks, one indoor water park resort, and six hotels. Cedar Fair also owns and operates Star Trek: The Experience, an interactive adventure located in Las Vegas, and operates the Gilroy Gardens Family Theme Park in Gilroy, California under a management contract.
04-06-2007, 11:35 AM
Tweetsie Stays On Track
Wild West Theme Park Renews 4-Year Lease
By Scott Nicholson
April 5, 2007
Tweetsie Railroad got a nice present for its Golden Anniversary: a renewed lease that will keep the Wild West theme park at its current location for at least the next four years.
Chris Robbins, general manager of Tweetsie, said the agreement recently had been reached with Dee Arthur Properties, a group that owns 142 acres of the park territory between Boone and Blowing Rock. The lease had been set to expire after the season, which might have forced a move from the site where the Tweetsie whistle first blew in 1957.
Last fall, Tweetsie reached a long-term agreement with members of the Broyhill family to lease 46 acres of the site. Tweetsie also owns 97 acres of the theme park property, which covers nearly 300 acres.
Tweetsie is continuing to look at other sites in case it has to move in four years, and Robbins confirmed the theme park is still exploring a site in Wilkes County but the preferred option is to stay at its current location. “There’s a lot going on, but there are a lot of unknowns,” Robbins said. “Our number one goal is staying here.”
A firm that had been looking at several sites in both Wilkes and Catawba counties has been kept on retainer, and a 187-acre site near North Wilkesboro reported last year as a possible destination for the theme park was sold as a subdivision. The firm has looked at as many as nine sites in Wilkes County and Robbins said the firm would continue to seek new sites until the park’s long-term future was settled.
“That is Plan B,” Robbins said, adding there were mainly complex issues to be addressed whether the park moves or not.
Robbins has said the park would likely remain in the North Carolina mountains if it had to move, and the theme park has also been negotiating potential economic development incentives with Watauga County. However, it’s unlikely the park would move to a new location in Watauga County because of high land prices and shortage of large tracts with suitable terrain.
The tourist attraction is adding four new rides for its 50th anniversary season. Robbins said the new rides were a Tornado, a free-fall ride, a Round Up spin ride and a pirate-themed Dark Ride. The new rides are designed to appeal to children aged 8 and up, Robbins said.
He said the park would continue to make year-to-year plans over the course of the lease agreement, and also added Bob The Builder events for July, while continuing popular favorites like Thomas the Tank Engine, Fourth of July fireworks, dog shows, the Riders in the Sky, Rail Fan days and the Ghost Train Halloween Festival.
The park attracts about 250,000 visitors a year. A private study commissioned by Tweetsie showed it had an annual impact of $27.4 million on the region and employed 225 people during the season, most of them from the immediate region.
Tweetsie opens for its Golden Anniversary Season on May 4 at 9 a.m
04-06-2007, 11:38 AM
Safari Theme Park Planned For Holmes County Put on Hold
By DUSTY RICKETTS
April 4, 2007
BONIFAY — Plans to build a 7,000-acre animal safari theme park in Holmes County appear to have fallen through.
At least for now.
Blue Dolphin II, the company developing Jim Fowler’s Life in the Wild theme park with the former “Wild Kingdom” host, announced Wednesday that it has delayed plans for the park and might have to move it out of Holmes County.
“We worked hard to bring this exciting development to Holmes County because of the significant economic impact that such themed attractions that are both educational and entertaining would have on this region of the Panhandle,” Barbara Farris, owner of Blue Dolphin II, said in a news release. “However we’re still looking forward to making the first phase of the project, Jim Fowler’s Life in the Wild, a reality somewhere.”
Telephone messages left for Farris seeking more information were not returned.
The original plan was to develop the safari area and theme park at the southeast corner of Interstate 10 and State Road 79. But negotiations with investors broke down before a contract could be signed, Farris said in the news release.
She implied in the news release that fallout with the investors might force the project to move from Holmes County.
“We did everything we could, right up until the moment we were signing contracts for the land deal, but at closing two small investors were unreasonable and wanted to negotiate a higher return on their investment,” Farris said. “We now have to consider all of our options, which includes the future of the project in Bonifay.”
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