Posted Tuesday, July 19, 2016 9:09 AM | Contributed by Jeff
Nearly 100 city officials, business leaders and local residents listened to an ambitious plan Monday to build a multi-faceted $70 million to $80 million western theme park within the city limits of Deadwood, SD by 2019. As envisioned, the proposed Gold Nugget Theme Park would include “heart-pumping” amusement rides with an 1870s motif, western re-enactors posed as cardsharps, miners and muleskinners, a dinner theater, a themed water park, and a steam train leading from the Gold Nugget into Deadwood.
Read more from The Rapid City Journal.
While I admire the enthusiasm, can the area support something like this seasonally? I might be projecting, but it seems like an area you stop in only for Mt. Rushmore, then you keep going. I stopped there on the way between Cleveland and Seattle when I moved, and especially in October, it wasn't a place I would hang out much longer.
I think it sounds like fun.
The Turnpike ride will be a straight 50 mile stretch of corn for scenery and one traffic light. The Dodgem will be the battle of Farmall and John Deere tractors. The gift shops will sell flannel shirts, no sleeves, men's and ladies' sizes. Refreshment stands won't sell soda, only pop. The dive coaster will pause at the end of George Washington's nose. And there will be a big extravaganza show only on select nights- when there's thunderstorms and lightning. (Visible from the parking lot, folks!)
I'm so excited I'm booking my plane ticket right now!
Edit: Whoops! Looks like the Rapid City airport is only open once a week. How long was that drive, Jeff?...Last edited by RCMAC, Tuesday, July 19, 2016 10:38 AM
My cousin got married in South Dakota years ago and we all trekked out there as a family caravan from Ohio. We made a vacation out of visiting all the tourist traps: Mt. Rushmore, Crazy Horse Memorial, Wall Drug, Corn Palace, Deadwood. Interspersed with mile after mile of nothingness. So an amusement park would be a welcome addition, I'd think. Especially if they're looking at land near The Lodge, then they've got some traffic up there.
I visited the area years ago and couldn't get enough of the beautiful landscapes. Hiking Badlands was a highlight.
^ ^ Did you stop at Flintstones Bedrock City? I have no idea if that's still there we drove though in the late 70s. My dad got into a fight with a waitress at Wall Drug and made a huge scene because what they served me wasn't as described on the menu and she tried to argue with him about what hamburger is. I can't remember for sure but that may have also been where they put a bumper sticker on his car even though he specifically left instructions not to because it was brand new so he peeled it off and stuck it to their plexiglass window before we left. Good times...
I'm kind of surprised we didn't do Bedrock City, because that's something we all would've gotten a kick out of. Looks like the South Dakota one closed just last year, and the Arizona one is falling apart and for sale.
What I mostly remember about Wall Drug is the thousand miles of billboards for it, all the way from Minnesota, and then once we got there, we were like... eh? I guess the story of how it came to be is kind of interesting, but it's just a strip of kitschy stores and restaurants. But we did get our free ice water.
I've always wanted to see the Corn Palace, I check up on it every year. I love stuff like that.
Say, did you hear the one about the blonde that moved from North Dakota to South Dakota? Both states got smarter.
Actually, if you're going west on 90, Rapid City is where the scenery finally starts to get interesting. It's everything between there and Chicago that makes you want to harm your body. Instead of tumbleweeds, there are cornstalks blowing across the freeway.
Living in Nebraska, I would be more than elated if this was true.
If they're thinking of something like a small carnival with mostly kiddie rides (cheap to buy and operate) - I can see it working. Anyone thinking Intamin or B&M might want to reconsider the "market."
Here are some, uh, specific generalities:
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