Nickelodeon Universe Owner Misses Debt Payments

May 26, 2020, 10:53 AM · The developer behind the Nickelodeon Universe theme parks is delinquent on its mortgages and seeking a government bailout as it looks to manage its debts, according to financial reports.

Triple Five Group, which owns the Nickelodeon Universe parks at its Mall of America and the new American Dream mall in New Jersey, has missed the last two monthly payments on its $1.4 billion mortgage for the Mall of America property. The Minneapolis-area mall - the biggest in the United States - has been closed since March 17, though it is scheduled to reopen on June 1. The company is asking the state of Minnesota for a forgivable loan to help it make its debt payments.

Many shopping mall operators were struggling before the pandemic, as "brick-and-mortar" retail suffered under competition from online sales and indoor malls fell out of favor. The pandemic will be the killing blow for many retail chains, such as mall stalwart Pier 1, which recently announced its closure. With many stores unable to pay rent while closed, leveraged mall developers can't make their payments, either.

Triple Five was opening its new Nickelodeon Universe at American Dream, starting with its first rides last fall. The incomplete park didn't immediately hit with fans, but Triple Five was hoping for a bigger response following an official opening of the park and the surrounding mall this spring. That didn't happen because of the pandemic.

The New Jersey park features the record-setting TMNT Shellraiser roller coaster - a Gerstlauer Euro-Fighter that offers the world's steepest drop at 121.5 degrees. Other coasters at the indoor park include Shredder - a Gerstlauer spinner, and Sandy’s Blasting Bronco - an Intamin launch coaster that has yet to debut.

Replies (2)

May 26, 2020 at 12:12 PM

That sucks. As a mall owner it sounds like they did the right move - move away from product retail into selling services. Hopefully the core value will be recognised by others and “saved”.

May 26, 2020 at 1:23 PM

Sounds a lot like Hard Rock Park in Myrtle Beach, only that one was due to their own overly optimistic projections on business.

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