Clock ticking for Grayling, MI theme park proposal

Posted Monday, December 22, 2008 12:55 PM | Contributed by Jeff

Axiom Entertainment, of Rochester, the company that pitched a sprawling amusement park concept for state land in Grayling Township, has not secured the needed $161 million for state approval. Their deadline is Feb. 5 and without the cash, state officials will turn away from the deal.

Read more from The Record-Eagle.

Monday, December 22, 2008 2:48 PM

One can only hope that they can't find a bank stupid enough to give them the money.

Monday, December 22, 2008 4:40 PM
eightdotthree's avatar

The failure of Hard Rock Park certainly isn't helping them at all.

Monday, December 22, 2008 4:45 PM

Makes me wonder if HRP's debacle will poison the well for any other park ventures that want government funds or incentives for the foreseeable future.

My author website:

Monday, December 22, 2008 4:49 PM

Seeing as banks who received bail out money will not disclose or have no idea where the bailout money is being spent or used, I would say there probably is a bank stupid enough to lend it. I would go and check the park out, seeing as I live in MI, but I don't think this thing would last long.

Monday, December 22, 2008 9:45 PM
Jeff's avatar

It's a bad idea not because of HRP or anything else other than the fact that they want to build a park that has a short weather season in the middle of a state with one of the most tanking economies anywhere. That, and the "developer" has a track record for failure.

Jeff - Editor - - My Blog - Phrazy

Tuesday, December 23, 2008 8:09 AM

Not to mention put it in an area that people drive through on their way to summer vacations---it's not a place people stop for anything other than gas and coffee right now.

Tuesday, December 23, 2008 12:50 PM
crazy horse's avatar

Actualy, if you look at the website for the park it will be open year round with many winter activities.

Why would no one stop there? Holiday world is in the middle of nowhere and look at them. If the park is built(does not look good right now) and has some good attractions, why woulden't people make a trip there?

We need some more options for entertainment in michigan. You only need to look as far as michigans adventure who had record attendance this year. And all they added was a crappy slc coaster this year.I went to MIA 3 times this year, and they were packed all 3 times. 2 out of the 3 times it was too cold for the water park and there were still long lines for the rides.

If you build it, they will come.

As far as HRP goes. I had been under the impression that the park had to pay a ton of money just to have the name "hard rock" tagged on the park, and allthough I have never been there the attraction line up had much to be desired.

what you've just said is one of the most insanely idiotic things I have ever heard.
Everyone in this room is now dumber for having listened to it.
I award you no points, and may God have mercy on your soul.

Tuesday, December 23, 2008 1:25 PM
Jeff's avatar

Holiday World can attract from Cincinnati, Indianapolis, Louisville and St. Louis. This park can draw from Detroit, Flint, Saginaw and Grand Rapids, most of which (except for 'Rapids) are in the worst shape economically of any American cities. Furthermore, Holiday World didn't start as a $160 million park, and today draws just over a million people.

Jeff - Editor - - My Blog - Phrazy

Tuesday, December 23, 2008 2:16 PM

it will be open year round with many winter activities.

But who would actually go there? And why? I'm headed to Shanty Creek for MLK weekend. There is no way in hell I'm going to spend a day of the long weekend in Grayling shopping and riding a roller coaster (in January? Seriously?)

We need some more options for entertainment in michigan.

Only if you think "entertainment" equates to "amusement parks."

If you build it, they will come.

The amusement industry is littered with counter-examples to this. Hard Rock is just the most recent example. The vast majority of parks with substantial attendance today started small and went with slow and steady growth. Even those can fail when they outreach their grasp.

I'd be a lot more enthusiastic about this project if (a) they subscribed to the slow-and-steady philosophy, (b) they didn't start by thinking year-round, and (c) they didn't want what amounts to a sweetheart deal buying state-owned land.

My read on the whole deal? These guys are a bunch of shysters looking to take advantage of an air of desperation in the state in general, and this area in particular.

Wednesday, December 24, 2008 1:43 AM
bobthecoasterguy's avatar

Location, location, location! Grayling is in the middle of nowhere! It's still 3 1/2 hours from Detroit, 5 1/2 from Chicago, 6 from Toronto, 2 1/2 from Grand Rapids. Even if you think people are going to come there from other upstate attractions, it's an 1 1/2 hours from Cheboygan and Boyne!

That's not even including the shrinking economy of Detroit and Michigan in general. Plus, start-up parks just aren't working out in recent years, highlighted by Hard Rock and I'm also thinking of Wild West World. I just don't see how it would be a wise business move to build a huge, new theme park in the current economic condition.


Monday, January 5, 2009 11:47 PM

Hoping by the fact that they plan to cater to snowmobilers, they might actually stand a chance. Drive up 75 or 23 on a Friday afternoon during the winter and take a look at the number of in and out of state trailer plates you see. Most that do travel with sleds aren't exactly hurting too badly during this downturn in the economy.

If they weren't planning on doing anything with the winter, they wouldn't stand a chance.


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