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New indoor theme park in Memphis

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The idea sounds pretty cool, especially the idea of the coaster blasting out of the building and down a glass tube. Intamin hyper anyone?!?!


I also like the idea of an aquarium, but I am not sure it would do well in this area.


This discussion has become very heated due to the fact the building is just sitting there with nothing going on. The Grizzlies have first rights to ANY event in Memphis and must approve anything that is held in the pyramid. To top it off, the city still owes 28 millon on the Pyramid.


Considering Libertyland's attendance is somewhere in the 300,000 range, I am not sure this new park could draw one million. But, it would be open all year round.

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Oops, try the new link I posted at the top. If that doesnt work go to http://www.commercialappeal.com and on the main page, click on "Pointed Plans" about a third of the way down the page in the middle. I also think you might have to register for free to see the article.


I would post the contents, but I dont want to violate any copyrights!

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Is this in that area near that weird island?


I remember going there with my family. They had this cool mock up of the Mississippi River. I always thought it would make a cool amusement park area!


Elissa "my parents brought me to some weird places" Alvey

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^Yes, your thinking of Mud Island. It has the Mississippi river walk, a resturant, and a nice ampetheater that is Awsome to see concerts at. There is a monorail going over there. There is a chase scene in the Firm there.



I bit the bullet and registered for this dog**it paper so no one else would have to. Here is the article:


Pointed plans


Groups offer ideas for The Pyramid, but only one offers to purchase it


By David Williams


April 13, 2005


For the committee mapping The Pyramid's future, the building stands at the intersection of Safe and Daring.


The daring course imagines the arena as a world-class aquarium with 2.5 million gallons of water stocked with the oceans' wonders -- or a theme park with a roller coaster that breaks the building's skin and rockets down the side in a glass tube.



The safe course imagines the arena as a privately owned office complex leased to the federal government -- or razed to make way for retail, condos and a hotel.


The two courses emerged during presentations Tuesday to the committee and its co-pilots -- national consultants RKG Associates Inc. and Bartram & Cochran.


"The aquarium and the theme park are riskier, in a financing sense," said Richard Gsottschneider, RKG president. "But the multiplier is probably a lot bigger.


"Instinct tells me they're probably not going to bring a million new guests (a year), but they're probably going to help people have more to do while they're here. ... Then you stay over for the next day. That's where the city really gets the multiplier."


The course of choice is expected to be decided over the next three months as the committee works with its consultants, then makes a report to the city and county.


"It may not be necessarily at that point a recommendation of which group to go with," committee chairman Scott Ledbetter said. "But if not that, it will be a very definitive direction."


Ultimately the committee is expected to recommend a specific future for a building that opened in 1991 as the city's showcase arena and was replaced last fall by FedExForum. The city and county owe a combined $26.8 million on The Pyramid.


The committee invited five groups to make presentations Tuesday in a three-hour session at the Center City Commission. The five were chosen not as committee favorites, but for the range of ideas they represented.


First was the proposed African and African-American International Trade and Cultural Center. Minister Suhkara A. Yahweh said the arena could become a "working symbol" of Memphis, promoting trade and economic development.


Next was AquariuMemphis, which would feature 2.5 million gallons of water, a science center, theater, fine dining and cafes and retail space.


The project is a partnership of Todd Walker and Barry Yoakum, Archimania architectural firm principals; Calvin Anderson, vice president of Blue Cross Blue Shield of Tennessee; Jim Phillips, CEO, president and chairman of Luminetx; Dan Robinson, attorney with The Bogatin Law Firm, and Peter Chermayeff, of Boston-based aquarium architects Chermayeff, Sollogub and Poole Inc.


The group would raise capital for the $65 million project, but prefers not to pay for The Pyramid or assume remaining debt.


Lester Lit, an attorney and former president of Lit Refrigeration Co., said the increasing number of people living Downtown need places to shop. Hence, his proposal to tear down the arena in favor of retail development.


"It's probably cheaper to tear The Pyramid down now than to tear it down when it's full of fish," he said.


Next came Pyramid Park Memphis, an indoor theme park featuring roller coasters and other thrill rides and an African-Egyptian theme.


Greg Ericson, president and CEO of the local Ericson Group, predicted more than a million visitors annually. His team, which includes the Hnedak Bobo Group and local philanthropist Becky Wilson, estimates its cost to be $100 million-$125 million.


It also prefers not to buy the building or assume the debt, but Ericson said when profits reach a certain point a portion would go to the city and county.


Lewis Dunn, who is from Memphis but is living in Jackson, Tenn., said he and a partner want to buy The Pyramid, retrofit for offices and courts, and lease it to the federal government.




Some of the ideas presented Tuesday:


African and African-American International Trade and Cultural Center.


AquariuMemphis, featuring 2.5 million gallons of water, a science center, theater and fine dining.


Pyramid Park Memphis, featuring thrill rides, motion simulators and an African-Egyptian theme.


Conversion to federal office building.



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