Posted Thursday, July 29, 2004 9:56 AM | Contributed by Jeff
[Ed. note: The following press release was issued this morning.]
Paramount Parks announced today that the company has reached an agreement with Japan Trade, Inc., of Fukuoka, Japan, and its U.S. partner, Gateway Entertainment Group, LLC, of Orange County, Calif., to jointly develop and construct a world-class theme park in Japan featuring attractions and venues based on the Paramount studio’s rich archive of more than 3,000 film and television properties.
Under terms of the agreement, a Japanese holding company will be formed by Japan Trade, Gateway and other shareholders to fund the development and construction of the project. Paramount Parks, in exchange for service, design and consulting fees will have the option to acquire a minority interest in the holding company. The park will be designed, constructed and managed jointly by Paramount Parks and the holding company.
“This is an exciting project for us as we expand the Paramount Parks brand and our operations into Asia,” said Alexander Weber, Jr., president and CEO of Paramount Parks. This agreement represents a great opportunity for Paramount Parks, Japan Trade, Gateway Entertainment and the Fukuoka region in Japan. The project would certainly be one of the premier entertainment complexes in Asia.”
Japan Trade and Gateway, with the collaboration of the local municipality and various landowners in the area, has acquired land for the project in Hisayama Township, near Fukuoka, Japan and Paramount Parks has developed a customized park concept and development plan for the site.
The movie studio theme park will anchor the complex and will occupy 85 acres of land. It will include five highly themed zones featuring Paramount’s world-renowned brands. The attraction mix is designed to appeal to a broad spectrum of park goers and will bring to life, the vast array of entertainment experiences in the Paramount library … from Hollywood classics and adventure films to popular cartoons, action adventure hits and science fiction blockbusters. The attractions will immerse guests in the Paramount-branded experiences through a variety of intense thrill rides, water attractions, children’s adventures and multimedia and live entertainment shows. (The Paramount Parks in North America feature popular attractions based on movies and television shows like Top Gun, Tomb Raider, Star Trek and Nickelodeon.) The Japan project has been designed to appeal to young and old alike and draw both regional and travel market visitors.
The initial feasibility study for the project was executed by Economics Research Associates, of Los Angeles, Calif.
In addition to the movie studio theme park, the concept master plan for the site includes the development of several related educational and creative facilities adjacent to the park, including:
UCLA Extension’s Department of Entertainment Studies will act as the primary anchor for the educational center.
The Hisayama site will also feature a resort style complex with three luxury hotels for guests visiting the park and/or the educational center.
When complete, the entire complex will be a world-class entertainment facility for Fukuoka region.
“Paramount is pleased to announce this partnership for the development of a movie studio theme park in Japan. We have long held an interest in this strong market and we are excited to take this next step in the development process,” said Michael Bartok, executive vice president – business affairs for Paramount Parks.
Kazunori Yamasaki, president of Japan Trade, stated, “I am delighted that we are able to make a public announcement about this project. This would not have happened without cooperation of all people who are concerned with this project. I hope this project will contribute to the economy and employment of Fukuoka, my hometown. I am determined to push forward with all of our effort to the opening of the park targeted for 2010.”
Michael DeStefano, president of Gateway added, “We are extremely pleased with the progress of this project. Our American and Japanese teams worked very hard on the Paramount movie studio park concept and it is exciting to see the project move to the next level. We are confident that the park will be a great success and offer tremendous economic benefits to the citizens of Hisayama, Fukuoka City, and Japan. We look forward to starting the Design and Development phase in the coming months.”
Quite a change in direction for Paramount. Should have built it here in San Diego though. ;)
Pale Rider, you need to get to Japan. So many rides, most of which are truly original. Yummy!
After its record breaking debut year the Tokyo Universal park has declining attendance and many japanese parks are struggling to survive.
I wonder how long the plannings for this park were in the pipeline and maybe it was too late to cancel the whole project (wouldn´t be the first time that important communication is "lost in translation")
But the "Paramount Wheel" looks too good to be true...
I think that, given the oppotunity, Paramount could build a great park. Some of their stuff is highly themed, but as stated before, their U.S. Paramount Branded parks weren't built with Paramount in mind. But take a look @ Terra Mitica. It looks very nice, though I don't think the park is doing stellar. Maybe its because it only has one theme.
This, on the other hand, is more more more. Studios, a park, Hotels, educational/intaractive centers. No doubt eventually they'll add a water park (if its not going in in the beginning), and maybe even a Pleasure Island/Downtown Disney/City Walk type area.
This could be great, but I hope that the recession ends before the park is finished:).
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