Marriott faced up-hill battle to develop Gurnee park decades ago

Posted Wednesday, June 25, 2003 4:52 AM | Contributed by Chitown

Those with long memories will note that 2003 marks the 30th anniversary of a critical milestone in the development of the regional institution: passage of the advisory referendum that cleared the way for Chicagoland's first outdoor theme park, what is now known as Six Flags Great America, since Riverview. Local opposition caused an 11-month battle to win approval to annex the property to Gurnee and build the park.

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Wednesday, June 25, 2003 5:44 AM
Thats a very interesting article. I never realized that the main parking lot entrance was suppose to be at Washington Street and not Grand Avenue. So was the front gate suppose to be back by the Washington Street entrance?

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Wednesday, June 25, 2003 7:47 AM
I guess a similar thing happened in the Washington DC area, but didn't turn out the same way. Anybody know a little more about why that park was never built?

"It's not a Too-mah!" - Arnold after riding Batman the Ride

Wednesday, June 25, 2003 10:18 AM
Its because PKD was one step ahead of Marriott
Wednesday, June 25, 2003 1:39 PM
Ya'd think that Richmond was too far away to have as much of an impact. Besides, Busch Gardens seems a lot closer to Richmond than Richmond is to Washington DC.

"It's not a Too-mah!" - Arnold after riding Batman the Ride*** This post was edited by janfrederick 6/25/2003 6:04:18 PM ***

Sunday, June 29, 2003 1:15 PM
I never knew about the Marriott park planned for Washington, DC, but Marriott was also looking at property near Columbia, Maryland for a park in the mid 1970's. They faced a battle there also and lost when Howard County passed a resolution that there could only be one amusement park located within Howard County. At that time there was a childrens "amusement" park called Enchanted Forest located in Ellicott City. Over the last 30 years or so Six Flags and Disney have also failed at attempts to build theme parks In Maryland. SF had their eyes on two sites in eastern Baltimore County for parks, one of them that had been an amusment park up until about 1947. Both Disney and SF had expressed interest in building a park at the former US Naval Training Base in Cecil Co, right off I-95. Maryland's problem is that anytime a major theme park is proposed, everyone starts to suffer from "Not In My Back Yard" syndrome. I'm really suprised the park that is today SFA has survived.

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