Theme Park Surprise Announcement: Pulling Out of Orange County
In a surprise announcement yesterday, theme park developers say they will be pulling out of an Orange County community.
Hip towns such as Beacon, Hudson, and Rhinebeck have helped make the Hudson Valley one of the hottest tourist destinations. With world-class restaurants, shops, and nearby attractions like the Walkway Over the Hudson, everyone is talking about the Hudson Valley and making plans to visit.
The steady influx of tourists has captured the attention of developers who have eyed the region as an untapped resource. With close proximity to New York City, the Hudson Valley is ripe with opportunity. Big names like Angry Orchard and City Winery have already moved into Orange County, bringing entertainment and tourist dollars to the region.
That opportunity is what drew developers of LEGOLAND New York to the area when they announced they were building a massive 500-acre theme park in the heart of Orange County. Now in its second season, LEGOLAND has already been selling out on certain days, reaching park capacity before the summer season even kicks in.
With all of this success, you'd think the region would be hungry for more, but some local residents are saying "no thank you." When LEGOLAND New York was in development, an angry mob assembled claiming it would cause too much traffic and ruin their way of life. Two years later, it appears that most of their fears haven't come true and the park is enjoying lots of success while positively contributing to the Goshen area.
Another theme park has been waging a similar battle against some angry Orange County residents, but this time it's proven to be too difficult to overcome.
Developer Neil Gold has been planning to build a dinosaur theme park in Orange County, not far from LEGOLAND. The $12 million park would feature life-sized animatronic dinosaurs, a fossil digging area, and other interactive attractions. Part "zoo" and part educational experience, the dinosaur park seemed like a great complement to the other tourist destinations already in place.
After a failed attempt to build the park in the Town of Wallkill, developers have been eyeing property in Monroe for their Jurassic Park-like experience. A plan was announced to utilize over 100 acres of land near the Mansion Ridge Golf Course, something local residents were not happy about.
Gold announced on Wednesday that he will no longer be pursuing the project, killing any hopes of the dinosaur park coming to Monroe. In a statement from the Town of Monroe, Supervisor Tony Cardone said the company decided to pull out because environmental constraints on the property would make it too difficult for developers to create their vision. Cardone said the lease agreement was officially terminated and that "no further action is anticipated at this time concerning the proposed project."
It's unclear if Gold will continue to search for a suitable Orange County location or ultimately decide to go elsewhere.
We want to know what you think about the dinosaur park. Is there a location in the Hudson Valley that you think would be perfect for a project like this? You can tell us your thoughts in the comments section below or on our Facebook page.
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