Nashville wants theme park feasibility study

Posted Monday, August 9, 2004 9:44 AM | Contributed by thrillerman1

Two Nashville council members are co-sponsoring a resolution that requests the mayor and administration to collaborate and report to council regarding the feasibility of locating a “major destination family theme park in Nashville.” The council members believe a park could anchor tourism in the area.

Read more from The Nashville City Paper.

Monday, August 9, 2004 10:45 AM
Could someone explain the logic behind destroying a theme park because of low attendance(?) and then doing a feasibility study to see how a theme park would work in the area. Maybe I'm missing something.
Monday, August 9, 2004 11:19 AM
There's much more ot it than that. The COO of my company used to be one of the financial Mucky-mucks at Gaylord during the rise and fall of Opryland. He was in on the meetings regarding its fate, and this is how he tells it.
Opryland was not facing declining attendance, but instead was in a bit of a slump. The facilities were aging and he said the park needed 14-15 million worth of repairs just to refurbish everything to a decent standard. Meanwhile, there had been an ongoing corporate rivalry where the parks people hated the hotel people and vice versa. When they began to toss the idea of the mall around they asked the hotel people "How would closing the park affect your occupancy". The hotel folks responded that since most of their sales were from conventions, the impact would be less than a 10% decrease in occpupancy. What they didn't account for was the fact that the conventioneers were coming to the hotel and bringing their families and staying extra nights BECAUSE of the park. It turns out the occupancy actually fell almost 40% and has had a hard time recovering. In retrospect, my Boss agrees that long term they should've spent the money on the rehab.
Monday, August 9, 2004 12:50 PM
Well, I guess it would depend on how cool the city administration at the time of Gaylord's proposal to tear down the amusement park was. I don't know the whole story but if the city did not put up too much of a fight and most of the folks in charge then are still in charge now, it still looks pretty bad. If the city has reservations then or have new folks in charge, it really is not too bad.
I wonder how sore of a decision it remains with many of the folks in Nashville.
Monday, August 9, 2004 1:00 PM
As a Tennessean, I'm excited that the Nashville city brass may be willing to woo a major park to the area. Nashville is a good sized market with a lot of tourism connected to the Country Music business. There are no major parks nearby ... SFKK in Louisville, Dollywood, Carowinds, and SFoG are the ones that come to mind, and none are really close to Nashville.

It's a shame that Opryland had to suffer the demise it did. Maybe this time Nashville can do a major park the right way.

Monday, August 9, 2004 5:00 PM
janfrederick's avatar Aren't some of the old rides still up for grabs in Indiana?
Monday, August 9, 2004 6:08 PM
Last noted, only Screamin' Delta Demon, and CHAOS survive.
Tuesday, August 10, 2004 12:21 AM
I think we are possibly the largest US metro area without a theme park. Pretty sad for us Nashvillains so bring it on! Paramount? Siebert you out there???
Wednesday, August 11, 2004 12:07 AM
Thrillerman1 what are you talking about??? Nashville has a little over a million people. There are plenty of cities larger without a theme park. Some that come to mind are San Diego, Austin, Charlotte, Miami, Jacksonville, Memphis, Indianapolis, Detroit, Pheonix, Las Vegas, Greensboro-Asheville NC, Cleveland, Omaha, I could go on.
*** This post was edited by jrhodes07 8/11/2004 12:07:52 AM ***
Wednesday, August 11, 2004 1:03 AM
Jeff's avatar Uh, SeaWorld San Diego? Cleveland's Geauga Lake and Cedar Point? Detroit and Cedar Point?
Wednesday, August 11, 2004 3:33 AM
Since when did SeaWorld San Diego get rollercoaster?(aside from water coaster).? Detroit is atleast 3-4 hours away from Sandusky, so the park wasn't targeted for the Detroit area. Cleveland, I forgot about. The point still remains.
Wednesday, August 11, 2004 12:12 PM
Jeff's avatar You said there were no theme parks in San Diego.

Detroit is about two hours from CP, not three to four, and the park markets to Detroit just as strongly as it does to Cleveland. Next...

Wednesday, August 11, 2004 1:36 PM
I was thinking that SeaWorld San Diego was a zoo/aquarium. I wasn't thinking about CP and Detroit. As I've stated, the point still remains and I could start naming other cities.
Wednesday, August 11, 2004 8:28 PM
First....Opryland wasn't destroyed because of low attendance, Gaylord just thought they would make more money with a mall. Which could'nt be true because they skiped out on OpryMills a few years back. Also Opryland had GREAT attendance for its size and investments. (if anyone already stated this sorry i haven't read the above posts)

As a Nashvillian, I know Nashville could support a major amusement park. Everytime i go to KK or SFOG, i see one or two people i know. So Nashvillians must really have a big part in their attendance. An amusement park is way over due for Nashville. I heard on the news that Nashvilles tourism just caught up to 1997's numbers. Gah i miss Opryland! It was awesome.

Wednesday, August 11, 2004 8:46 PM
Well, i doubt there is a city with as much population, and tourist base without a major amusement park. Country music is (for some reason) interesting ,and a great draw for tourism. An amusement park would thrive in Nashville!
Wednesday, August 11, 2004 10:36 PM
In 7/03, Nashville had about 1.44 million people.

San Diego also has Belmont Park, Legoland 30 mins away, and isn't Disney & Ca Adv ~1-1.5 hrs away?
Austin: SFFT and Sea World ~1+ hrs away.
Charlotte? Carowinds?
Jacksonville: Orlando 2hrs, Wild Adventures 2hrs
Indianapolis: IB 1.5 hrs, PKI 1.5hrs
Vegas: rollercoasters & other things to do.
Phoenix at least has Castles n Coasters.
Memphis at least has Libertyland.
Omaha: Adventureland 2hrs, WoF 2.5hrs (plus I would bet a lot more people drive through Nashville than Omaha).
Greensboro-Asheville NC - small population isn't it?
Jeff covered the rest.

Please everyone note that Nashville has other good music besides country (blech). :)

I wonder how sore of a decision it remains with many of the folks in Nashville.

Very sore. I get a sickening feeling anytime I think about it. I live in the area and have spoken to a lot of people about Opryland since it closed. 100% miss it pretty badly. Almost 100% can't understand why it closed. And most say they don't care much for the mall. Though oddly, go on any weekend and the mall's parking lot is completely full. It really is a prime location, whether theme park or mall.

Thursday, August 12, 2004 12:41 PM
The story has also been mentioned on at least one TV news station.

BTW, the Nashville City Paper article/picture was on the front page of the print version. The print version has one extra picture of Blue Streak that isn't in the online version.
Note you can post your opinion at the link in the first post above.

Thursday, August 12, 2004 3:23 PM
In 2000 Greensboro had 1,250,000 people.
Thursday, August 12, 2004 4:37 PM
In regards to Eric's post, No the same folks are not still in charge. Nashville has changed mayors since Opryland closed. Although the mayor of Nashville at the time, Phil Bredsen is now Governor of Tennessee, I don't think he will have much, if any say about what the city does now. The new Mayor, Bill Purcell, will do what he thinks is most popular with the public .

Also there was not alot the city could do to keep Gaylord from closing the park since it was a privatly owed and funded (although the city did give Gaylord some tax breaks,but that was more for the hotel than the park) I think,as a native Nashvillian, the city has finally seen the light on just how much money the park brought in and is now willing to do whatever it takes to get another park in here. The council is set to vote on this resolution next week.

Thursday, August 12, 2004 9:31 PM

In 2000 Greensboro had 1,250,000 people.

This Greensboro, NC?

BTW, Greensboro is 1.5hrs from Carowinds.

Mister 7, it says you joined today. Welcome Nashvillian. Might want to unhide your info. Then you can be emailed (your address still won't be shown).


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