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Tuesday, May 17, 2016

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Association News

Last Call for IAAPA EMEA Spring Forum Registration
Join your peers and colleagues for three days, from 23 May to 25 May, of networking, education, and unique opportunities at the very unique and interesting attractions in Northern Italy. Visit some of Italy's major theme parks such as Gardaland, Canevaworld, and Leolandia. Learn from industry experts details on acquiring the right IP for your facility and how to best utilize it. Register here.

Amusement and Theme Parks

Florida's Universal Orlando Resort offers first glimpse of King Kong in new ride
Universal Orlando Resort revealed in a new video that King Kong, the centerpiece of the "Skull Island: Reign of Kong" ride set to open this summer, will be 26 feet tall, measure 18 feet across its chest and will display lifelike facial expressions. Mike West of Universal Creative said riders will be "close enough you'll feel his breath sweep across your skin." Universal is slated to unveil more information in a media preview June 22. Tampa Bay Times (St. Petersburg, Fla.)

Six Flags Great America in Illinois readies "Justice League: Battle for Metropolis" 4-D ride
A new 4-D attraction with interactive elements called "Justice League: Battle for Metropolis" will open at Six Flags Great America in Gurnee, Illinois, for the park's 41st season. The ride received IAAPA's Brass Ring Award for Best New Product in 2015 and has versions operating at Six Flags St. Louis in Missouri and Six Flags over Texas in Arlington. The Times of Northwest Indiana (Munster)

Busch Gardens Tampa in Florida completes testing on "Sheikra" roller coaster
Busch Gardens Tampa reopened the "Sheikra" roller coaster Monday after several days of tests. A malfunction last Thursday, which the park described as an "electrical error," caused the ride to stall with 64 passengers on board.
Tampa Bay Times (St. Petersburg, Fla.)

Other News

Water Parks

Parques Reunidos gets extended contract for Acuópolis Water Park in Torrevieja, Spain 
The city of Torrevieja, Spain, is set to grant Parques Reunidos an extension on a contract for the use of land occupied by the Acuópolis Water Park. The extension will be for an additional 15 years, though the rent is set to increase to €248,621 per year. The new rent fee is almost five times the previous rent amount. The Leader (Spain)

Sports complex with water park in New York to break ground this summer
The developer of a $170 million sports complex in Wawarsing, New York, hopes to submit a consolidated funding application for the project this summer and begin construction later in the season. Plans call for various fields for baseball, soccer, field hockey and ice hockey. The facility will also include a $750,000 park with an indoor aquatic facility, a golf course, rock climbing structures, ziplines, a ski park, trails, snow tubing and other attractions. Daily Freeman (Kingston, N.Y.)

Other News

Family Entertainment Centers

Derby, England, to get a "Crystal Maze"-style escape attraction
Escape-room attraction operator Make Your Escape plans to open an entertainment facility in Derby, England, that would feature elements inspired by the 1990s game show "The Crystal Maze." Guests will need to solve logic puzzles and work together to complete the room's challenges. The attraction is slated to open this summer with one room called "The Signal" and will add a horror-themed room called "Spellbound" sometime later. Derby Telegraph (U.K.)

Grant to enable construction of mini-golf course in Baltimore, Maryland
The Maryland Institute College of Art and Station North Arts & Entertainment have received a $35,000 grant to design a temporary mini-golf facility in downtown Baltimore. The design of the eight-hole course will also receive input from students from area schools and nonprofit group FutureMakers.
American City Business Journals (subscription required)/Baltimore

Mixed-use development with bowling, dining in New Mexico moves forward
One Central Operating Associates has signed a contract for an entertainment district in Albuquerque, New Mexico, that would include a bowling alley, at least 39,000 square feet of commercial space, dining or retail venues, a parking garage and residential space. One Central will shoulder $19.8 million in funding while the city will contribute about $17.5 million. Work is set to begin in the fall.
Albuquerque Journal (N.M.) (free content)

Other News

Zoos, Aquariums, Science Centers, and Museums

Lucas' reps in talks for potential museum site in San Francisco, California
A member of the San Francisco Board of Supervisors in California revealed that it has begun preliminary talks with representatives for George Lucas on a possible site for the Lucas Museum of Narrative Arts on Treasure Island. A lawsuit has stalled progress on a plan to build the museum in Chicago, Illinois, prompting a search for other locations.
The Associated Press

Healthworks! Kids' Museum now open
The Healthworks! Kids' Museum in St. Louis, Missouri, opened its doors last Saturday. The larger, 12,000-square-foot space offers various interactive attractions, including a 4-D tour of an apple's journey through the digestive system, a "Face Your Future" exhibit on age progression and the facility's highlight: an 8-foot tall indoor playground designed to resemble a human skeletal structure. KMOX-AM (St. Louis)

Work progresses on Discover Australia exhibit at Maryland's Salisbury Zoo
The administrators of the Salisbury Zoo in Maryland hope to complete construction of its Discover Australia exhibit over the next 6 to 12 months. The exhibit will be part of a new group of "zones" at the zoo centered on different animals and habitats, which will be connected by a series of trails. The zoo's upgrade also includes a new animal health facility and a new visitor center and reptile house.
The Daily Times (Salisbury, Md.) (tiered subscription model)

Other News

Related Industry News

Islam-themed park being built in in Yinchuan, China
Construction is underway on a park called Hui Culture Park or World Muslim City in Yinchuan, China, centered around a Communist Party-approved version of Islam. The park is slated for completion in 2020 and will feature a "Golden Palace" and performances such as a rendition of "The Thousand and One Nights," with hotels and a folk center set to be added. The Independent (London) (tiered subscription model)

"Nevis Thriller" attraction in development in New Zealand
Work continues on an adventure attraction in Queenstown, New Zealand, with a working title of "Nevis Thriller." The project recently received a grant of up to $500,000 from the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment. Developer AJ Hackett Bungy New Zealand continues to withhold details on the project, though co-founder Henry van Asch said it would be "a thrilling ride that will employ bungy, flight and speed." Stuff (New Zealand)

Other News