Monday, October 3, 2011

Troubled Parks: To Open Or Not?

Three park developments, all with a different set of woes - not the best odds in today's rocky financial environment.  Still, talks are suddenly spreading that Dubailand, the absolutely massive development planned for the Middle East, might give it another shot.

The development would have really been an entire city of sorts, filled with entertainment locations such as theme parks, along side housing and all the necessities in a very modern setting.

Originally a slew of parks were planned, though now Dubailand is looking to restart plans for only 4 of them.  Universal Studios actually went as far as building a gate to their property, but Six Flags and Legoland also announced projects.

Exactly which projects may get another chance at life will be announced later next year - leaving plenty of time for rumors to either intensify, or disappear all together.

Just when things were starting to look up - at least it seemed - the Kentucky Fair Board has announced that they are no longer negotiating a deal with Ed Hart and his company to reopen Kentucky Kingdom.

This story is about as twisted as the park's Twisted Twins coasters, but Ed Hart seemed quite intent on once again bringing the amusement park back to greatness.  Only saying that they could not agree on key terms of the deal with Hart, the Board is confident they can find another operator to get the park open.

You have to wonder - when, though?  Mr. Hart seemed to have a solid plan in place, and already has developing the park on his resume.  I can't tell at this point if the Board has another plan, or just wants to play hard ball.

Although most industry minds seem to agree that it is time to just let Freestyle Music Park go, articles about the park's potential 2012 reopening have come up once more.

Freestyle Music Park, which opened as Hard Rock Park, failed two consecutive Summers under both names, ending in bankruptcy both times.

This story, which is quite detailed, is wondering if a third time could be a charm for the theme park.  Drastic changes would be necessary to work in the given market, such as axing the pay-one-price in favor of a more evening oriented pas as you go setup.

Whether it opens or not, the park has some interesting rides that I do hope end up somewhere, someday.