Thursday, 12 February 2015

Shoals Amusement Park?

My brother brought this to my attention.  Folks around the Shoals area got pepped up yesterday because some folks came out and announced they are building a three-BILLION-dollar theme park in the local area.

What's generally said is that it'll be around a 1,400-acre park to start soon and wrap up by 2019 (open for business).  The park would center around music......yeah.....that kinda left me wondering how this would work up into some money-making operation.

The company did indicate that this will bring 20,000 jobs into the northwest Bama region.....which would be a major deal.  Although, if you sit and think about it....the vast majority would be a minimum wage situation....but folks around this area would not complain too much.

Scam?  Well....I did some reading on this and most locals have doubts over the announcement.  There is major company in the US which these guys claim to be a part of....which build amusement parks.  The doubts come because of recent failures.

If you look at just didn't have a sustainable business situation, so it was closed.  If you drew a 500-mile map from the region....what amusement parks that exist....are marginally surviving at the present.

Typically, you need three things for an amusement park to thrive.  First, there needs to be secondary things in the area to do....which the Shoals can claim the Tennessee River and five-star hunting....that's about it.  Second, you need an interstate highway connection.....which does not exist in the Shoals.  Third, you need some thriving and robust airport....which the best you can say is that three or four flights a day work out of the Shoals Airport.....with planes mostly big enough to handle twenty passengers and flies into Atlanta or Memphis.

Scam?  Well....Bama folks are skeptical (for obvious reasons).  In this case....the big show at the hotel, along with company involvement....gets folks past the first level and makes them think it might come true.

Location?  Well....that's a secret for another week or two.  They don't want to lay everything out there yet.

My humble guess is that they will try to use cheap farming property south of the Tennessee River, near Highway 72, going between the Shoals and Huntsville.  They might go further west and try to use the Natchez Trace Parkway....with cheap property all around the area but a good fifteen miles from the Shoals or the newly built golf resort.

The best I can say is that it's 'real' so far and might actually happen.  The profit game from a three-billion-dollar theme park?  Man, you'd have to have 10,000 folks a day coming in....staying a couple of days....and spending lots of money around on different things (golf, fishing, casino operations, drinking, food, etc).  I just don't see 10,000 folks coming daily to the Shoals for some theme park.  Sorry.