Author Topic: New Park - American Heartland in NE Oklahoma  (Read 7194 times)

jericho

  • Ozark Hillbilly
  • Posts: 39
    • View Profile
Re: New Park - American Heartland in NE Oklahoma
« Reply #30 on: November 16, 2023, 04:44:45 PM »
There are a lot of people in the area, and they have good access due to the turnpike, but I still say that without a major IP or something to draw people, it's just a random big theme park with a generic americana theme in the middle of nowhere.

Their main hope of creating a draw is simply building enough themselves to get big, but I still don't see where the $2 billion is going to come from...

Are we already forgetting how SDC came about and put Branson on the map??? Nobody would have started any show in Branson if SDC wasn't here because shows alone don't draw people in.

This park is just outside Vinita, 45 minutes from Tulsa, on Route 66, next to the I-44 Turnpike, and West of Grand Lake. That is NOT the "middle of nowhere"! Route 66 attracts thousands to millions of people every year from all around the globe and brings in more tourists than anything else in Oklahoma.

As they have said, the company already has the money.

Plus, like History Buff said, everyone is tired of Disney and their Woke ideology. We need more companies who are against the woke regime and the creators of this park have already said that they are extremely anti-woke.

There is absolutely no way this park won't thrive because of all these factors!

I'm seeing a lot of red flags with this project. 1st, how is the park fully funded? According to sources, Gene Bicknell’s net worth is estimated to be around $240 million. The press releases say the park is all privately funded from one source, Gene. Where is 2 billion dollars coming from? Also, Gene is 91 years old. What happens if he dies before this is complete? Other little things really make me question this operation. Things like cheap signage for the RV park construction. A 2 billion dollar operation is using PVC pipe and zip ties for signage?

KevinLong

  • Ozark Hillbilly
  • Posts: 67
    • View Profile
Re: New Park - American Heartland in NE Oklahoma
« Reply #31 on: April 04, 2024, 09:59:35 PM »
does anyone know any real current facts about this Park? its been pretty quiet out there lately


I found this comment from July of last year --

 Dennis Speigel, a consultant and former president of the largest international amusement park trade group, said there just aren't enough people in northeast Oklahoma to justify this size of a project. He also said market saturation and too much competition will limit the American Heartland Theme Park's potential.

Speigel said the 4.9 million visitors per year that American Heartland is projecting is unrealistic. KOCO 5 checked on that.

The 4.9 million visitors would make American Heartland the 10th most popular park in the country – ahead of both SeaWorld parks and all of the Six Flags. Silver Dollar City, which is in Branson and about two hours away from where Oklahoma's new park is planned to be, does about 2.2 million visitors a year.

4.9 million visitors seems a stretch to me at least for the first few years...  but I could be wrong..


sdcfan88

  • Conductor
  • Posts: 841
  • SDC Fan
    • View Profile
    • Stormdragon Weather Photography
Re: New Park - American Heartland in NE Oklahoma
« Reply #32 on: April 05, 2024, 06:29:54 AM »
I now see it going up about the same as that Dogpatch revival project a few years ago... and Bells returning...

shavethewhales

  • Administrator
  • Master Craftsman
  • *****
  • Posts: 4180
    • View Profile
    • SDCFans.com
Re: New Park - American Heartland in NE Oklahoma
« Reply #33 on: April 05, 2024, 10:38:33 AM »
I've been watching from the FB groups in the area that are tracking the progress. Construction has stopped. They put out erosion control and the contractor staging area a few months ago, then the contractor pulled off. Original rumor was that the concrete batch plant would show up in March and then construction would get more underway - that hasn't happened. The latest news updates include a blurb saying that costs have increased and they are currently working with the state to get funding...

I know there's a lot of utility/civil engineering that has to take place off-site just to support the ability of the site itself to be developed, but that is why these projects often have a 5-10 year timeframe instead of 2-3. They have made it through a few hoops regarding zoning and some infrastructure approvals, but there's still at least a year's worth of effort before they get to where they can actually move much dirt. Theoretically they could build PART of the RV park, but it would be pretty underwhelming.

We'll see where they finally land, but I'm guessing they end up with a small RV park, a small lake resort, and MAYBE a small theme park.

Okiebenz

  • Blacksmith
  • Posts: 652
  • SDC fan
    • View Profile
Re: New Park - American Heartland in NE Oklahoma
« Reply #34 on: May 14, 2024, 06:08:21 PM »
I have been hearing that a contractor as sued them for $5m for unpaid work.  That could be a reason why construction has stopped.  Seems to be turning out to be a shady deal perhaps?

shavethewhales

  • Administrator
  • Master Craftsman
  • *****
  • Posts: 4180
    • View Profile
    • SDCFans.com
Re: New Park - American Heartland in NE Oklahoma
« Reply #35 on: May 14, 2024, 08:50:07 PM »
It was a design consultant, FORREC, who has famously designed a number of high profile attractions. https://nondoc.com/2024/05/09/company-claims-vinita-theme-park-developer-owes-5-5-million-for-unpaid-work/

For a design consultant to file this kind of action over this much unpaid work, there must have been some serious issues behind the scenes. I work as a civil consultant myself, so I know that amount represents a lot of people working for a long time. FORREC probably designed most of the park and came up with all the renderings we've seen so far. When Mansion comes out talking about not paying until they have "reviewed", that sounds like a huge ton of crap.

I think this is the official start of the wheels coming off. Of course, the whole shenanigans with them putting up orange fencing and then leaving the site for six months and counting was an obvious tell. Oh yeah, they need to redesign the RV park that they already posted videos of them starting work on.  ::)

KBCraig

  • Post Master
  • Posts: 1315
    • View Profile
Re: New Park - American Heartland in NE Oklahoma
« Reply #36 on: May 15, 2024, 11:29:12 PM »
We learned early in life that "willing suspension of disbelief" was the key to reading fictional stories.

Today we see many examples of people who can't wait to throw their disbelief over a cliff any time something tickles their ears in a pleasing way.