Illinois officials in talks with Legoland for down state park

Posted | Contributed by redman822

A European company is quietly talking with Illinois officials about tax incentives to build a $200 million Legoland amusement park in the Glen Carbon area, the Post-Dispatch has learned. The Legislature could decide next week on the fate of a controversial tax incentive bill that could make or break the deal.

Read more from The Post-Dispatch.

Looks like they're going for a bit of the St. Louis market. It might be a nice area for a park.

Coaster Junkie from NH
I drive in & out of Boston, so I ride coasters to relax!

I am not too familiar with this area, how far away are some major population centers?

crazy horse's avatar

I am kind of suprised that they don't look to build further north. They could tap the chicago and detroit markets.

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.

LostKause's avatar

Lord Gonchar said:
Take a look. :)

Exactly what I would have posted. That new map thingy on the internets is way cool!

Edit - I pushed the send button too quickly...

I wasn't at all familiar with Legoland until recently when the CA park was posted on Google Streetview. It looks like a really fantastic park. Are all Legoland's of the same quality as the CA park?

Last edited by LostKause,
janfrederick's avatar

I would imagine that most are better, having been around a lot longer (shrubbery, more rides, etc.). They could really use a monorail. :)

"I go out at 3 o' clock for a quart of milk and come home to my son treating his body like an amusement park!" - Estelle Costanza

Thanks for the map. I'm defiantly interested to see what happens with this park and I know legoland was looking at locations in the southeast US so I wonder if this project goes through does this rule them out or are they going to add many parks?

Glen Carbon is literally 10 mins from here, I have a feeling that these negotiations wont be any more successful than the Columbia negotiations, but we'll see.

Glen Carbon is where I grew up. I think this would be great for the surrounding towns with all the extra tourism. The positives outweigh they negatives.

But could it survive?

I saw a quote from one of the state senators

"We lose 150 million in sales tax if we do this"

My response would be how much will you lose if
they do not build it and another state gives them this incentive ?

Giving away sales tax you won't get if they do not build is a far cry from New Orleans that has to pay 1 million a year for 10 to 15 more years for the bonds that built SFNO.

Jeff's avatar

That figure doesn't tell the whole story either. $150 million over how much time? Assuming a 5% tax that's $3 billion in revenue from one park. That's more than three years of all of Cedar Fair's revenue combined by all parks (admittedly not all taxable, but used for illustrative purposes).

Jeff - Editor - - My Blog - Phrazy

My response would be how much will you lose if
they do not build it and another state gives them this incentive ?

True, but there are also a lot of hidden development costs that a park will induce on the surrounding areas. Roads need to be widened and improved. Police forces need to be enlarged. Etc. etc. What's more, the jobs created are going to be low-wage jobs, and those also come with costs to the surrounding community in terms of support services, etc.

Growth is not always a net-positive, and it's appropriate for local government to look carefully at any proposal.

Cost/benefit analysis of any given proposal definitely should be considered. In general, I think folks tend to overstate the benefit and understate the costs. Part of the problem is the short sighted view of vast majority of politicians who do not look beyond the next election cycle. And action/change is often mistaken for progress. And looking any distance in the future is extremely difficult in terms of forecasting benefits or costs. My guess is that there are plenty of folks who want Legoland in Illinois who can produce stacks of data which will show without any doubt in the world that the benefits of the park greatly outweigh the $150 million of tax revenue and any other costs resulting from the project. But by the time reality actually sheds any light of any of those projections, the folks approving the deal will have moved on to something else and the voters will have forgotten all about it. There will be some nice pictures from the ribbon cutting ceremony though.

I agree with you completely that most of the jobs will be low paying but hopefully the 150 full-time positions will be medium to high income. Which should help the housing market in the area if these people are not local or provide some good jobs if the people are highered locally.

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