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July 11, 1973 - Image 9

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Michigan Daily, 1973-07-11

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Wednesday, July 11, 1973

THE SUMMER DAILY

Page Nine

Wednesday, July 11, 1973 THE SUMMER DAILY Page Nine

Amusement parks:
By KAY BARTLETT THE GENERAL attitude of city large hotel chain that plans to
AP Business Writer government-has been that if the sink $120 million into the amuse-
City fathers, their eyes aglow locals don't like it, they can ment-theme park industry.
with dollar signs, generally jump up and move to a spot where no-
with glee. But one Maryland body wants to raise Six Flags OPPONENTS SAID that even
county said thanks, but no over anything in particular and if the park was the cleanest, the
thanks: We plain don't want a where Mickey Mouse would not nicest, the best-maintamed ever,
giant amusement park here. The wish to live. the honky-tonk parasites that fol-
dollars can go elsewhere. Parks have found happy homes low the parks would settle in, tot.
The amusement park boom, ac- near such cities as Nashville, Therefore, they said, they could
celerating since 1971, brings a Cincinnati, Atlanta, Los Angeles, do without either and turned
boost to the economy in m o s t Houston, St. Louis, Dallas and down the rezoning request. It s
places,- along with higher taxes, Kissimmee, the nearest town to the quality of life, not the al-
exaggerated land values and Mickey's new home in Florida. mightly dollar, that matters, ar-
massive traffic jams. Employ- But Howard County, Maryland, gued a citizenry affluent enough
ment benefits go mostly to high between Washington, D.C., and to afford that kind of argument.
school and college students hired Baltimore, gave a firm thumbs "There is an undeniable cash
as tour guides and ticket sellers. down to the Marriott Corp., a benefit to the county government,
but the issue is: Do you want to
put a price tag on the quality
f h of life in the county?" asked
Stephen Sachs, former U.S. at-
torney for Maryland and one of
the leading opponents of the
7 - project. "Cash benefit doesn't
automatically equal progress."
Marriott, which announced its
ntentions of moving into the in-
distry over a year ago, now has
three theme parks under way,
one in Santa Clara, Calif., one
between Chicago and Milwaukee
and one, once again, outside of
Washington. This time it's Prince
William County, Va.
-° ALL THREE won rezoning re-
quests, the firm reports.
As approved, the three parks
.' will open in 1975, or 1976 at the
slatest. Two of the plots - t 11 e
ones in the Chicago and W i-
- - ington areas - will each sprawl
tover 550 acres and the one i- the
San Francisco region will cn-
S compass about 500 acres.
The biggest economic bottm for
the new amusement parks came
as the magic name of Disney
moved to F'lorida. The nearest
< town, Kissimmee, doubled i t s
population - all the way up to
14,000 - and its size. An acre
-'once suitable only for citrus
trees sold for $300. Now that it
has been demonstrated that gas
- stations, restaurants and motels
AP Photo grow well and profitably in that
Tisoil, it's worth $30,000 an acre.
Traveling inco nitoTHE DISNEY PARKS are the
What may have Biked like a walking mushroom to some people was only two that the industry labels
really three-year old Tom Phillabaum trying to keep dry as as "destination" parks, the goal
he strolled down a street in Middletown, Ohio, during a recent of major family trips. The other
rain under a big bubble umbrella, parks, now called "theme" parks

Fun for all?.
to distinguish them from the old ered about 41/2 square miles. To-
Coney Island parks were a mass day, the population is up over
of rides and hot dog stands were 184,000 and the city covers 36
tossed together haphazardly, squre miles, soon to be up to
draw 80 per cent of their custom- 50 square miles.
ers from a 50-mile radius, a Pre-Disney, there were t h r e e
spokesman for the Marriott motels and 87 rooms. Now there
Corp., explained. are 144 -motels and hotels and
Disney World, a $400-million in- 7,000 rooms. In 1955, there were
vestment that opened Oct. 1, 34 restaurants. Now, take your
1971, created 10,000 new jobs in pick from 312.
mid-Florida, an exception to the Six flags over Mid-America,
general employment picture the outside St. Louis, opened in 1971
parks cause. Usually, there are a and its first year was a good
few hundred permanent jobs and one as three million tourists
the rest, about 1,000 to 1,500, are went through the gate. But most
filled by high school and college of them probably did not set out
students. on long trips specifically to see
The opening of Disney World Six Flags.
in Florida also put the local'Sal- IT
vation Army $19,000 into debt as T WAS JUST a stiolp atong the
dreamers with visions of a Fan- way in a vacation, or perhaps a
tasia lined with gold poured into a day's excursion. Therefore,
the area without a job offer in the number of new businesses are
sight. And it put anything but not there. Only two, both restaur-
magic into the lives of people ants, opened after the park did.
like Mike Smith. There was some land specula-
tion, according to Leon Kircher,
A RETIRED gas station oper- nearby Eureka's planning a n d
ator, Smith picked a nice quiet zoning beard president.
spot to live some 13 years ago, "A lot of land is changing hands
the town of Kissimmee. and plans are being made, but
"It turned into a goldfish bowl, there's no development," he said.
the tourists own main street"
Smith griped. "It used to be a FRANK ANTONIO, a land un-
real nice place to live. Now praiser for St. Louis County, said
stacks of buses start whizzing by he wasn't aware of any impact
at 6:30 a.m. You can't get out the park may have made.
of your driveway - there are .I haven t seen anyone break-
hundreds and hundreds of cars. ing doors down to buy land. The
We don't even go out to eat average investor may go out
anymore. It's not worth trying." there and take options on land,
but there won't be any sales un-
SO SMITH moved. til he is sure of the park's suc-
"Taxes went to hell," he add- cess," Antonio said.
ed, noting that 10 years ago he On the other hand, a 73-acre
paid $109 in property taxes for his amusement park that straddles
small tract of retirement land. the North Carolina - South Caro-
Current taxes: $600. lina state line has sent I a n d
The granddaddy of the park values skyrocketing.
boom was the one and only Dis- THE PROJECT is called Caro-
neyland, a park that put t h e winds and opened March 31.
southern California city of Ana- Eventually, it wil represent a
heim on the map and drastically $250-million investment.
changed the rural setting into The
which it moved back in 1955. TeYork County, S.C., tax
When Disney bought in the early assesor, Ika Oates, said an acre
W',he Disndy bosgt $itheeacrl. cost between $350 and $400 before
T's, the land coat $5,000 an acre. Carowinds came to call. Now
That same acre will coot $100,000 that acre goes for $3,000 to $4,000.
now.
Nashville's new amusement
THE ANAHEIM Chamber of area, Opryland, opened last May
Commerce volunteers that Dis- and its promoters claim that it
ney speeded the city's growth by caused people to look at Nash-
20 years. In 1955, Anaheim had ville in a way other than the
a population of 30,000 and cov- "hillbilly capital of the world."

are ird handlers wanted
I--- ---- ---
Tau Officer Programs
,Navy Recruiting District, Detroi
S426 Clinton Street
College g raduates and undergraduates Inter- Detroit, Michigan 48216
Please send more infarrmation about
ested in flying Navybirds all around the world as Naval
am
Pilots or Flight Officers are eligible.

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