A California native who has been in the "amusement business" since he was a preteenager has asked the city to approve a $70 million plan that would convert Six Flags New Orleans into a "world-class" attraction with twice as many rides and a water park by next summer.
The city's recovery czar, Edward Blakely, said he received the proposal this week from Danny Rogers of Southern Star Amusement Group that included a "commitment letter" from William Prip, a vice president of Six Flags Inc.
"We got it today," Blakely said Tuesday. "We'll assess the proposal against other proposals, including a sports complex, and look at the role the city would play."
This (unincorporated) company is planning to take over a wildly unsuccessful amusement park that has been heavily damaged by flood waters, double its size, add a water park, add an RV park, and open it NEXT SUMMER in a remote and unknown-to-visitors part of an economically troubled city while we sit on the verge of what looks to be a very nasty recession. Wasn't April Fools' Day three weeks ago?
Perhaps my favorite line item from the proposal:
-- Adding five entertainment areas -- with names such as Area 51, Tumble Weed Gulch, Cricket Creek Bog, Fort Thunder and Country Fair -- that "will provide much needed shade" from the sun.
If the utter preposterous nature of the idea itself isn't enough to raise a skeptical eyebrow, please note that the article also prominently features comments from Ed Blakely. And then, of course, there's this:
-- Encouraging entrepreneurs to buy land in front of the park in eastern New Orleans and develop it as a hotel complex that would be later linked to the park by a light-rail system.
Here's a tip. If someone proposing to sell you land (in this case, actual swampland) allows the words "light-rail" to pass his or her lips during your discussion, immediately get up and run as far and fast as you can.
Bonus link: In other Amusement Industry news, U.S. businessman aims to bring 'badly needed' fun to Baghdad