Nashville, TN- lacking since Opryland closed.
Phoenix, AZ.- large population, water rides in the summer and could almost open year round.
Some people will point out that astroworld failed. Well that was when Six Flags was having serious financial problems and Astroworld was an outdated micro park. Land locked in the middle of the city, there was no coherent theming, no room for new coasters, the coaster it did have were not much fun and nothing else going for it.
Since Astroworld, Kemah Boardwalk has opened many rides including an amazing one of a kind wooden coaster. The Boardwalk Bullet is built on less than an acre of land, and because of so, it crosses over it self more than any other coaster. And being right on the edge of the water makes it amazing. Business for Kemah has sky rocketed since there are millions of thrill deprived Houstonians.
Also, the city of Houston is well away from being in debt and has hte money and resources to make a new massive park work.
But I think Earhtquest Adventures is a testament to how prime the location is.
Here's the link to the world's first Green Eco-friendly park
2: Phoneix, AZ. A growing population center, waterparks just starting to expand, roller coasters will be next.
3. Nashville, TN. Another growing city. Has options that are in the area (Dollywood, SFOG 4 hours or so away).
4. Las Vegas, NV. A city that gets 30 million visiotrs a year, and is constantly trying to turn its image into a family park. Competition from Disneyland and other California parks.
Problem with building a large park near NYC is finding sufficient, reasonably priced, land to do so. Eastern LI is probably the best place to look for it at this point, and it could also benefit from the existing Long Island Railroad to bring visitors from NYC. There are other attractions there that already attract visitors which it could build upon: the Hamptons in general, Splish Splash, Tanger Shopping Outlets...
Ideally you'd want to be closer to the city, but that's going to be very expensive and I can only think of one place that would have enough space to hold a theme park, the site of the New York World's Fair in Flushing Meadows. That site was built to be accessed: it's literally surrounded by major highways, has rail and subway access, water. It's already been a "theme park" of sorts when the world's fair was held there in '39 and '64, but it was also a huge undertaking was not profitable either time, but there's so much potential. Then again, as your recent entry stated, a world's fair is very different from a permanent theme park.
Personally, I would like to see one in the midwest even if its a seasonal park. There is very little competition in this area with Cedar Point being the big boy in the area.
In other words, I would stay as far away from California and, especially, FL
Not to be political, but whether you agree with the boycotts or not, the fact remains that these boycotts create enormous problems for tourism in the state, and make the state less attractive for substantial capital investment.
Does that rule out Phoenix? No. But, trust me, this kind of stuff shows up in a thorough analysis of a site.
St. George, UT (It's cooler than Vegas and warmer than Salt Lake; it's a large family market in Utah and the second-fastest-growing metro area in the U.S.)
No idea what specific theme would work best there, but a family-oriented seasonal park could flourish in that location, I'm sure. If I could pick a place to put a park like a "Holiday World West," it'd be in St. George.
I think that Texas could support another theme park. Park fans in Houston got the shaft when Six Flags sold out to capitalize on high land values. I get why Six Flags did what they did, but a lot of money and potential got left behind. If the right person/company comes along, they could tap into that potential.
A lot of it depends on who is building this park. If it's a theme park company that can handle its business and its willing to spend some real money and let things grow, then the location doesn't necessarily have to be so close to a large city because they can become a destination. It does help to have that immediate pool of customers though, hence the reason why most parks open close to a metro area. Most experts would call someone crazy if they opened a park too far from a somewhat mature metro area, and that all parks need that market to survive. There are always exceptions to that rule though. Cedar Point thrives in a little seasonal town 90 minutes west of Cleveland and 2 hours north of Columbus. Disney World practically built the city of Orlando, which was a small blip on the radar before Walt put his shovel in the dirt. Even Holiday World, which has been growing by leaps and bounds out of the corn and wheat fields in a small southern Indiana town, resides an hour from the nearest city. All of the successful operations that lie outside of those metro areas have one thing in common. They have a reputation for good management and being really really good at something, be it thrill rides, value, customer service...etc.
Another option would be a Lotte World-style dome park in southern New England. It's population dense, and has shown to be a huge theme park audience in their Orlando attendance. There are current summer offerings, but nothing formidable.
I worry that Phoenix is too short and cheap a flight away from the SoCal theme park megaplex to support something more than a medium iron park.
Location: Nashville is within a day’s drive of 80% of the nation’s population. That’s a stat I couldn't believe myself the first time I heard it.
Weather: with the exception of a few cold wet months Jan Feb, the rest of the year is ideal for theme park operations.
Population: Nashville is a medium size City with a number of other medium size cities within 40 min to an hour away. Murfreesboro and Clarksville.
Transportation: While there is no Mass Transit in place at this time we do have 3 major interstates that intersect in Nashville not to mention a rail infrastructure already in place. We also have a large airport that could more than accommodate visiting guest.
Tourism: Nashville has always had a thriving tourism industry, we are the Music City after all. Converting the guest that are here for the country music hall of fame and the grand ole opry won't be a stretch getting them to spend a few extra days at theme park.
Maybe with Disney's new resort going in...
Other good options IMHO:Nashville, TN - they have been void of theme parks since Opryland left. Also consider Six Flags Kentucky Kingdom is now closed and that leaves many thrill seekers with few other options.
Phoenix, AZ - Yes, it gets hot, but look at all the retirement communities elsewhere in the state.
Trapper Creek, AK (just kidding :-)
My brother lives there, so I like the idea of stopping by and walking around a themepark while I'm there to visit with my two girls.
I wouldn't put a themepark near me because I live outside of Boston. I wouldn't recommend putting anything like that here. I mean, it was 40 degrees with a mix of snow a couples of days ago and it is almost May!!
With the coming Orlando Tourism Renaissance, that location is the ideal spot to build a parking garage and a moderate sized attraction that operates in the evening.
I'd call it 'Family Lights' theme it as a beautiful city with a Time Square-like city center, a park. feature a couple of dark rides some small coasters and a nightly show.
But most important, I would have live music where people of all ages can dance. They don't have ANYPLACE in Orlando where families with teens and younger kids can dance.
SMACK IN THE MIDDLE of International Drive with thousands of hotel rooms in walking distance.
How about 'Hard Rock Vault' and 'Guiness Book of Records' were lousy IDEAS. They were roadside attractions and not theme parks (as the thread's topic calls out).
Just my wildest wishes :)
While Houston might not be the most logical place, I do think San Antonio might be a good choice, or even Dallas. San Antonio is already a big tourist destination, and even though they have Sea World, Six Flags and the Riverwalk, plus the original Schitterbahn is less than an hour away. I think another major player could boost the town up to a similar status as Southern California, and maybe even Las Vegas as a major destination. I think there's still some decent land there for a good-size park, although it might not be as cheap as suburban Houston.
Dallas might also be a good choice, simply because of its central location in the U.S. and weather there isn't too bad, most of the time. However, there's not any other major players there, so it's status is similar to Houston, except, there's a bigger population here.
I would also argue the Dallas/Ft. Worth Metroplex would be a good spot. It's the largest metropolitan area in the state of Texas and the 4th largest in the country. So it could definitely support a new theme park. Plenty to do here and only 1 major theme park- Six Flags Over Texas. There is also a water park- Six Flags Hurricane Harbor across the street. And they are both down the street from the new Cowboys Stadium and the Ballpark at Arlington. The trade-offs... land price is surprisingly not one for a metro area. There is so much land that real estate prices stay low (people from other states are always surprised at how low!)... the HEAT in summer can be oppressive. Just like Central FL and sometimes worse. We go to Orlando to get away from the heat, but run smack into Central Florida's humidity!
I once wrote a paper for Economics on why North Texas should be the place Disney builds that elusive (and never gonna happen) 3rd theme park resort.
First, let's eliminate the bad choices:1. Phoenix: Might be great weather, but it has three things going against it. First, see Robert's comment about boycotts -- even though I don't believe the boycott will hurt Arizona at all, the bad publicity isn't something theme park companies want. Secondly, with the astronomical rise of drug cartel violence spilling across the border from Mexico, Phoenix is now recognized as one of the cities with the highest rates of kidnapping and homicide (percentage-wise) in the country. Until something is done to stem the violence down there, ain't no one traveling that direction. Thirdly, there's really no theme park infrastructure to speak of.
2. Los Angeles: As an LA resident, I'd love to see Southern California be the site of the next big theme park (we're keeping our fingers crossed for Disney's strawberry field site in Anaheim -- and I don't think this is too big of a stretch)...but as far as new investment, don't count on it. Because of such a hostile business climate and the country's highest tax rate (Los Angeles Business Journal), large corporations and companies are looking to leave this state, not come in. Also, high-wage, high-tech workers are moving eastward, mainly to states like Texas, which offer high-wage jobs, low cost of living, and next-to-nothing taxes. Although I think SoCal has the best weather in the country, the traffic and hostile business climate make it unlikely.
3. Anywhere cold. I know you cold-weather theme park lovers (WHY NOT JUST MOVE???? Why stay in miserable weather???) are jonesin for a midwest park, it just won't be sustainable.
1. Orlando area (of course). Although it might be oversaturated already, but I like TH Creative's idea....a night-time theme park (NOT a shopping center). There's TONS of available land. Very low taxes. Plenty of theme park infrastructure.
2. Texas. Austin, San Antonio. Interesting. Since all the workers and companies are fleeing to Texas, and the state is actively assisting companies to set up shop, and the cities are growing, it might just work. The weather ain't half bad, either. And the income-level of the state is pretty high, so the higher-end theme parks could probably be sustained.
3. Maaaaaaybe Myrtle Beach -- although the income level of the normal visitor would need to be increased. I know that sounds elitist, but it's just plain theme park economics. Disney, Universal and SeaWorld flourish while Six Flags and Hard Rock Park go bankrupt. Why? Because of the income level of the average guest -- and the spending associated with that average guest.
That's it. I personally wouldn't go out of my way to visit a theme park in any other part of the country -- except maybe New Orleans. But Katrina probably scared the bejeesus out of any investor. Sad.
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