PROPOSED NEW PARKS & MAJOR ATTRACTIONS:
This is the page where I’ve collected the news for any proposed new North American amusement parks or major attractions that are pretty much still either in the proposal phase, have yet to begin full scale construction, or who may have started construction but their future is now possibly in question.
Grand Texas Theme Park -
(Montgomery County, just North of Houston)
(4/23/13) A great list of rides (with fun names) intended for the Grand Texas theme park has now been posted to the official website. Check it out.
(4/10/13) The local news reports that the proposed Grand Texas theme park project may be able to finalize the necessary land purchase in May, which would put them on track for 2015 grand opening. If everything goes as planned, they are also planning to have a “top-10 wooden roller-coaster” mixed in with more than two dozen other rides.
(2/22/13) The people of Houston are desperate for a new giant theme park to replace the closed Astroworld, but this summer you will have to set your sights on the new Galveston Historic Pleasure Pier or make the drive over to SeaWorld San Antonio, Six Flags Fiesta Texas or Six Flags over Texas. So far the plans to build the old EarthQuest theme park proposal seem to be stalled.
That said, there is a new plan afoot for something called the Grand Texas Theme Park hoping to come to East Montgomery County which would include a ‘theme park’ and an ‘entertainment district’. The newly proposed park would be themed to the history and culture of Texas and have a couple of roller coasters, carousel and other typical park rides. They also want to put a focus on live entertainment, which sounds a lot like the original vision for Fiesta Texas way back in the day, as well as add a museum element.
The group hopes to close a land purchase deal y the end of April 2013, finish up their plans and begin work on the site by October 2013, and open by March 12, 2015. While this all sounds like a good plan... the total capital cost involved to build the Big Rivers Water Park, the theme park, Pine Grove Amphitheater and a Gunslingers Paintball attraction is only $118 million, which is in my opinion... microscopic for a true theme park. For comparisons sake, back in 2001 dollars, the cost to build Jazzland (later renamed Six Flags New Orleans) was said to be about $120 million. By today’s standards the portion of the $118 million budget allocated to build the Grand Texas Theme Park itself doesn’t sound like it will go very far.
There is also around $90-95 million on deck for outside developments like a hotel, restaurants and plans for a baseball stadium. The group also has a plan to invest $33-42 million back into the park over the first seven years... but again... in today’s world where a typical new B&M steel coaster will cost you $15-$20 million, they obviously are not intending to take on SeaWorld and Six Flags with their attractions, though they are planning on having their own hotel with between 200-400 rooms. In an almost un-Texas like fashion, they are clearly not trying to be the biggest, and are taking a slow and more cautious approach to this project, which is likely to be better for them in the long run. According to one spokesperson, Monty Galland said, “We want to make sure all of the elements are successful and there is enough traffic to support the business so we are planning very conservatively”. The first year attendance figure estimates are modest enough, hoping for between 665,000 to 904,000 and they have tapped Chuck Hendrix (former GM of Six Flags Astroworld) to oversee the park’s planning and operations.
-- Notice --
To my knowledge, there are currently no other active serious proposals to build new theme parks in North America. There are a few projects out there that have been talked about for years and years (ie: Earth Quest, Ole South, various Oz park proposals, etc...) who either made very little traction, or appeared to have stalled out due to lack of funding, so they were removed for the time being until they appear to be back on track.
There are other projects that are still in the early ‘idea’ phase, and have not made enough true progress in my opinion to be listed here just yet.
This also does not mean that there are no new projects under way, as some projects have moved on to have their own dedicated news pages to track their latest efforts like American Dream Meadowlands, or pages that follow the progress to reopen closed park sites as new attractions like Kentucky Kingdom, Freestyle Music Park or Ghost Town in the Sky.