New Era For MGM Theme Park
JEFF SIMPSON, GAMING WIRE
VEGAS, NV - Less Disneyland, more MGM Studios, that's the mantra
for recent changes at the Grand Adventures theme park behind the
Starting with its name, the amusement park has been renamed The
Park at MGM
Many of the
amusement park's rides have or will soon be sold, and the park's
theaters are expected to begin hosting movie premieres, concerts
and television shows.
Closed to the
public for the autumn and winter, the theme park will not reopen
Instead it will
only be marketed to groups of 50 to 7,000 people, and general admission
tickets for individuals or smaller groups will no longer be sold.
"As the market
has evolved, there is greater value for the land, and for the company,
than having a theme park," MGM Mirage Vice President Alan Feldman
said February 8.
The newly named
park will add new team-building attractions, such as rock-climbing
walls and obstacle courses designed to build corporate staff cohesion.
Property officials declined to disclose the price of the new additions.
Three of the
park's rides will remain: the 250-foot-high Gateway Arch-shaped
Sky-Screamer swing ride; the 69-foot-high, 30 mile-per hour Lightning
Bolt roller coaster, and the Parisian Taxi bumper car ride.
was one of the MGM
Grand's weakest profit generators, and company executives have
been increasingly willing to admit its shortcomings.
MGM Mirage Chairman
Terry Lanni jokingly referred to the theme park at a June press
conference, as "our small theme park, which is likely to get smaller.
later, MGM Mirage was seeking partners to redevelop the 18.8-acre
parcel. "To be competitive as a theme park it needed to be much,
much more than it was," a source said in September. "There's no
desire to keep the theme park unless they can find some way to make
it more profitable."
When it opened
in late 1993, Grand Adventures was a centerpiece of Las Vegas' short-lived
flirtation with becoming a family friendly image.