|New Orleans East Redevelopment Site, courtesy US Army Corps of Engineers|
New Orleans, LA, USA (February 8, 2012) — On Monday, a special committee for the City of New Orleans rejected a plan by RCS Entertainment to redevelop the former Six Flags New Orleans/Jazzland site into a new theme park. The location has been closed since Hurricane Katrina.
According to their website, Michael Sidener, CEO of RCS Entertainment, based in Katy, TX, is a former manager at Six Flags Astroworld. The company’s website also states that it is developing a 2500 acre theme park resort for the Houston market.
The remaining finalist for redevelopment of the site is the partnership of Provident Realty Developers and DAG Development, who plan to build an outlet mall at the location.
Following the Jan 6, 2012 public hearing where submissions were presented by both finalists, New Orleans City Business stated in an editorial:
“RCS Entertainment proposes opening another theme park at the site and claims to be putting in place a similar deal near Houston. CEO Michael Sidener said he couldn’t provide the exact location for fear of elevating nearby property values. The project is stalled because the owner of the land is going through bankruptcy proceedings, he said.
“Joseph Mori, the financier behind RCS Entertainment, claims to have $600 million from foreign banks ready to back the project but said he couldn’t provide documentation of the guarantees because of contractual restrictions.
“Mori, who was convicted of misdemeanor insurance fraud in 2008, says he has backed hospitals in Colorado and Virginia. When asked about who will own them, he didn’t have an answer.
“Panel members were also skeptical when RCS cited “good” pre-Katrina attendance at Six Flags as their motivation to bring an amusement park back to the site. It was well known before the storm that business had not reached a level for the city to recoup its original investment in Jazzland, which opened in 2000.”
Read the rest of the business editorial HERE
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