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The search continues for a site for Legoland's second U.S. theme park

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Published: October 23, 2009 at 8:18 AM

This week, the St. Louis Post-Dispatch reported that Merlin Entertainment representatives have chatted up Illinois officials about getting tax breaks to bring a Legoland theme park to Glen Carbon, a St. Louis suburb located east of the Mississippi, along I-270.

Previously, Merlin's looked at several sites in suburban Kansas City as well as at Columbia, Illinois, another St. Louis suburb.

Merlin executives announced in 2006 that the company would build another Legoland within 3-5 years. That window's closing fast, as no site's yet been secured for the new park. Clearly, Merlin has its eyes set on a building a seasonal park in suburban location somewhere in the Midwest. And they favor the I-70 corridor, as all potential sites mentioned to date have lied within a few minutes' drive from that highway. Merlin's blown through Kansas City and now is working St. Louis.

Hey, Indianapolis, get ready. ;-)

Update: There was a flurry of reports Friday about a Merlin IPO, based on this Financial Times report. But it is old news - The Independent had that report last month.

Readers' Opinions

From TH Creative on October 23, 2009 at 8:44 AM
They ought to be in Florida.
From Bob Miller on October 23, 2009 at 8:52 AM
I'll second that TH, I'd rather take my small children to Florida than to the mid-west somewhere(sorry James).
From 86.96.228.87 on October 23, 2009 at 10:21 AM
Anywhere but Orlando is a good move. LL would be the biggest game in town in the I-71 corridor with the young family market cornered immediately. Orlando would be a huge money loser with too much competition from what's already there and an insufficient local base to sustain the park.
From Jacob Sundstrom on October 23, 2009 at 12:53 PM
I see both sides of the argument. One one hand, it would be great for Legoland to have a monopoly of sorts on a midwestern market, but I think the park would be hurt by the off-season that you would have to have in such a region as the St. Louis area.

New plan: Keep improving the Carlsbad park and don't build a new one. Yes. I like it.

From 66.159.177.56 on October 23, 2009 at 1:56 PM
Can they put it here?
http://www.norwichbulletin.com/news/x507080128/Preston-maps-out-plans-for-hospital-site-development
From Steven Lee on October 23, 2009 at 2:04 PM
It would be nice to see Legoland build in the St. Louis area. It's biggest competition would be Six Flags St. Louis but if they built on the Illinois side of the river Six Flags would still be about 1 1/2 hours away. Plus there demographic would be largely different. Then they would have Holiday World 3 hours away and Silver Dollar city 3-4 hours away.
From Ben James on October 23, 2009 at 2:08 PM
I think that Legoland would be awesome. Especially for us here in St. Louis. It would definitely force SF to take a look at how to make SFStL better instead of floating it for another season. I think competition would be a good thing.
From James Rao on October 23, 2009 at 3:34 PM
I still can't believe the city of Lee's Summit (about 10 minutes from my house) passed up on a Legoland park a few years back. What in the world were they thinking? Sure, developers wanted the city to cover 80% of the bill, but wouldn't that investment have paid off in huge dividends down the road? Heck, it had to be a better investment than the $800 million Jackson County citizens pissed away on upgrading the stadiums for the crappy Chiefs and lousy Royals! Jeez....
From 71.70.224.233 on October 23, 2009 at 4:20 PM
Just a thought... but I think that it would do well planting roots in the NC area. Nothing in NC to speak highly about, and there is the mountains and coastal regions close by for a drive. I'm suprised that this has not been thought of before???
From 24.90.249.214 on October 23, 2009 at 8:30 PM
Hey what a good idea go to Coneyisland and build it on the Astroland site.

GET READY BROOKLYN.

From 166.214.154.46 on October 24, 2009 at 11:21 AM
I think they should put it off of I-95 and near I-26 in South Carolina. It would be near in between Charleston and Columbia then and on route to Orlando. It would then be far enough away from Orlando that people traveling to Orlando from the North East on I-95 might stop for a break in the driving on the way to Orlando. Also would be in an area that would be warm for a lot of the year, but not have a lot of other theme park compition. It also would be near to the beach and Charleston so there would be other things to do for people who came to the area for Legoland. It also could possibly draw season pass sales from Columbia, Charleston, Florence, and Orangeburg SC. Also the Savannah Georgia and Myrtle Beach areas would not be too incredibly far away.
From 98.197.108.28 on October 24, 2009 at 4:03 PM
I believe that Legoland should consider putting a 2nd park in the Houston, TX area. Once Astroworld left we have no large amusement parks. The weather in Houston is good close to year round...and you have large audience with 4-5 million residents close by.
From Brandon S on October 25, 2009 at 4:39 PM
If they want to put it in the Midwest, they should put it in Columbus, Ohio. It's a big market, and is right in between Cedar Point and Kings Island. A family would love to make a detour to Legoland on their trip to these parks!
From 70.230.163.8 on October 25, 2009 at 9:23 PM
Six Flags and Legoland would not be an hour away. If it was of 270, you take 270 to 44 and you are there. Not close, but not an hour and a half.
From Charles Reichley on October 26, 2009 at 12:51 AM
I remember when Legoland was looking at putting their 1st park in Prince William County. Maybe they could put it near their new Busch Gardens parks in Williamsburg.
From Steven Lee on October 26, 2009 at 3:25 PM
^^Your right it would not be an hour and a half. According to Google maps it would be 59 minutes. I was 31 minutes off on the time.

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