Southern Star signs deal for New Orleans park with Nickelodeon license

Posted Tuesday, August 18, 2009 7:27 PM | Contributed by Mamoosh

Flanked by Mayor Ray Nagin and City Councilwoman Cynthia Willard-Lewis, Nickelodeon officials today announced they plan to build a theme park at the abandoned Six Flags site in eastern New Orleans, starting this fall and opening by late 2010. In July, the Baton Rouge firm Southern Star Amusement applied for $100 million in bonds for the project. Southern Star plans to partner with Nickeodeon on the deal, with Nickelodeon lending its considerable marketing muscle to the venture. Officials from the two firms this morning sketched out a vision of a revitalized park that contains a mixture of rollercoasters and other traditional amusement-park fare with water-themed rides.

Read more from The Times-Picayune.

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Tuesday, August 18, 2009 7:42 PM

Has anyone found these sketches? Or aren't they on the internet

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Tuesday, August 18, 2009 7:52 PM

So we can assume that SF is being let out of the lease?

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Tuesday, August 18, 2009 8:21 PM

How far below sea level is this place? Is is really worth building?

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Tuesday, August 18, 2009 8:46 PM

Wow. It is about time. That park has been rotting away for about 4 years now. Do you think any of those rides that have been sitting there all that time are even able to operate?
It will be nice to see the park come back to life.

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Tuesday, August 18, 2009 8:48 PM

The article mentions using bond money to restore buildings and equipment. What exactly is owned by Six Flags? Would they have to pay Six Flags for the rides/buildings/etc. that's onsite? I was under the impression that everything but the land was Six Flags' property, but the article doesn't mention any agreement involving them.

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Tuesday, August 18, 2009 9:00 PM

My understanding is that most of what SF put into that property is either long gone or not worth salvaging,and as I recall they are still having problems with the insurance companies which is one of the reasons that nothing has been done with the site. Six Flags did do some physical plant improvements which has been flooded and would have to be re done.

Last edited by Dutchman, Tuesday, August 18, 2009 9:05 PM
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Tuesday, August 18, 2009 9:07 PM

This park just won't die, will it?

Wake me when we read this new version's obituary in a few years.

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Tuesday, August 18, 2009 9:18 PM

The whole area is below sea level. Only an idiot would rebuild anything in New Orleans.

At first I felt bad for the area, but they are stringing this hurricane thing on for way to long. It is pretty pathetic when a country like Mexico can rebuild their tourist areas and move on faster than these people. Then again, New Orleans tourist area was not really a real big draw to begin with. College students drinking for a few weeks during the spring does not really bring in that much $.

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Tuesday, August 18, 2009 9:31 PM

Olsor said:
This park just won't die, will it?

Wake me when we read this new version's obituary in a few years.

Unfortunately, that was exactly the thought I had earlier. After seeing the area not too long after Katrina, I really think they have much more pressing issues that are still problems to worry about than a park that really wasn't contributing much before the storm and had already practically failed.

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Tuesday, August 18, 2009 10:08 PM

Bill2 said:

At first I felt bad for the area, but they are stringing this hurricane thing on for way to long. It is pretty pathetic when a country like Mexico can rebuild their tourist areas and move on faster than these people.

Uh, what? What does that even mean? People lost their homes, man. I'm pretty sure that the concentrated effort has been on rebuilding the residential areas first. And you're comparing a country to a state.

Last edited by Carrie M., Tuesday, August 18, 2009 11:10 PM
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Tuesday, August 18, 2009 10:51 PM

I think that he's saying that it should have been rebuilt by now, of which I would agree.

All I know is that when playing Sim City, you don't build an amusement park until you have build homes, roads, and places for the people to work. :p

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Tuesday, August 18, 2009 10:52 PM

But based on what? What makes anyone think the city should have been rebuilt by now? What is the assumption about why it hasn't been?

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Tuesday, August 18, 2009 10:56 PM

Just a sidenote, but Southern Star actually plans to build a floodwall around the park. Sounds crazy I know, but there already is an existing levee adjacent to the park, so it is plausible. It's actually become a trend too for facilities (mostly schools) to begin building their own floodwalls as part of hazard mitigation because they cannot elevate to the new 100-year flood elevation.

Last edited by Cameraman, Tuesday, August 18, 2009 10:59 PM
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Tuesday, August 18, 2009 11:02 PM

I don't really know why it hasn't been rebuilt yet. It's been way too long for the city to not be the New Orleans we all remember. I guess that's my opinion. I just expected it to be a city again like before by now.

Opening an amusement park is awesome, but does anyone know if their will be enough people in that area with enough disposable income to be able to keep the park open? Maybe I am incorrectly assuming that it NO is still mostly filled with homeless people and debris. "I blame the media." lol


Edit- spelling

Last edited by LostKause, Tuesday, August 18, 2009 11:10 PM
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Tuesday, August 18, 2009 11:22 PM

I'm sorry, I'm not really on my A-game this evening. What I don't understand is how this deal can be construed in a negative light for the city of New Orleans. They had a defunct property that was not going to get rebuilt. Now it will. Where's the problem?

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Tuesday, August 18, 2009 11:31 PM

The good: Construction Jobs, park postions, and business tax revenue.

The bad: Low paying seasonal jobs, rebounding economy in a rebuilding tourist area, oppressive and dangerous weather phenomena.

The ugly: Ray Nagin LOL

Truthfully I am glad to see the city starting to revitlalize, and for there to be some place for residents to go and try to escape from the life that they have been living for the last few year. I still have the gut feeling that this will eventually fail, as New Orleans never seemed to be a family destination, and with Nick branding this will definitely be a family park.

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Tuesday, August 18, 2009 11:33 PM

From what I understand from people still going down to help with cleanup efforts and other rebuilding projects, the only area that is really anywhere close to what it used to be in terms of population is downtown and the directly adjacent city area on the north side of the river. On the other side of the river and outside the immediate downtown area it is still by accounts I've heard pretty unpopulated, and still shows signs of Katrina (debris still there, houses empty and gutted, waiting to get bulldozed or fixed).

Having been there to help about 6 months after the fact, it looked like Katrina could have hit maybe one month ago, and less than that outside of the downtown area. So this was definitely not going to be a quick cleanup by any means, but the fact that its still going on (though not in overt ways anymore) should tell you something.

Last edited by maXairMike, Tuesday, August 18, 2009 11:34 PM
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Tuesday, August 18, 2009 11:58 PM

Dutchman said:
So we can assume that SF is being let out of the lease?


well, not in the sense of the City letting them out of it.

the city realizes that Six Flags' bankruptcy filing trumps anything they can do. At this point Six Flags can (if not already) formally reject the lease, and the city gets Schtupped.

As for anything left on the land, if (or when) Six Flags rejects the lease, they can also formally ask the Courts to allow them to abandon whatever is left. So, if Six Flags is going to reject the lease (and it's possible they have already filed this motion with the Court), then the City can take possession of the items still there (if Six Flags filed also to abandon), and thus they can move on.

Last edited by CreditWh0re, Tuesday, August 18, 2009 11:59 PM
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Wednesday, August 19, 2009 12:15 AM

LostKause said:
I don't really know why it hasn't been rebuilt yet. It's been way too long for the city to not be the New Orleans we all remember. I guess that's my opinion. I just expected it to be a city again like before by now.

Opening an amusement park is awesome, but does anyone know if their will be enough people in that area with enough disposable income to be able to keep the park open? Maybe I am incorrectly assuming that it NO is still mostly filled with homeless people and debris. "I blame the media." lol


Edit- spelling

Short answer is no, there will not be a market for this. That would have been the answer before Katrina, and it certainly is the answer now.

Tourism is still way down in NO, and the park was suffering before the flood. I think this issue has been discussed many times in other threads, but there are so many things wrong with this plan (without seeing any of it), that it is doomed for failure.

Those that have been to NOLA in the last 2 years will agree, the CIty is not going to come back to anything close to what it was. Tourism hadn't come back by last summer, and the recent severe drop in nationwide travel will undoubtedly compound New Orleans' troubles. Conventions are booked years in advance and they just aren't on the books for NOLA. Conventions are the money that drives NOLA. If they aren't filling hotel rooms on a weekly basis, the casual tourist isn't going to compensate in sufficient numbers.

Convention tourism had negligible impact on Six Flags (Jazzland)'s attendance, as most NO tourists arrive with out cars, (since they are there for the Quarter, which has abyssmal parking). Thus there is no way for most people to get to the park. So, whatever tourism NOLA is getting, still means nothing as far as getting tourists to the park.

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