I’m all about keeping Central Florida as the premier theme park vacation destination in the world. So I think it’s a terrific idea if LEGO wants to build one of their themeparks here. That’s the rumor that was just posted on Screamscape.
The not-so-great part of that rumor was that they were looking at the old Cypress Gardens as the possible location. As good as that location may seem with the historic gardens and water-skiing attraction plus a water park already in operation, the distance and back roads access cancels all that out. Even as a pretty decent amusement park Cypress Gardens was never able to attract the tourist market and there is no reason to think that even a Disney operated park could. So Blackstone, no matter what your surveys say, just say no.
That said, there are a number of very decent locations that are much more central to the established tourist cooridors. Yes, they will cost more, which will mean more debt to start (always a risky proposition), but lots of customers and some debt is better than little debt and no customers. Plus the current economic market might find sellers who are interested in more creative deals right now.
For instance, in Kissimmee, there is a plot of land just past the Old Town attraction on Hwy-192 that’s already zoned for a theme park. There are 100 acres of developable land and easy access from Hwy192 at the top and I-4 at the bottom of the property. The current owner wants a huge price because he wants to include the non-developable acres in the price, however, he might be willing to negotiate more today.
One more thing to ask. Just build it before my kid is too old to play with LEGOs. Thanks!