To Have or Not to Have an Amusement Park or Theme Park in Las Vegas

Amusement Park on the Las Vegas Strip?

Although I do believe there needs to be an amusement park in Clark County, similar to a Magic Mountain or Knott’s Berry Farm, I do not believe that it should be on the Las Vegas Strip. For one, there isn’t enough room on or near the strip to build a “quality” amusement park. Part of the fun of going to an theme park, is that it takes you away from your day to day life. Yes, thrill rides are fun, don’t get me wrong, but just throwing some rides together and calling it a theme park, is doing a great injustice to the theme park industry.

In my opinion, a “theme park” has a “theme” or themed areas/lands. Look at Disneyland as an example. Disneyland is a magical place, because it takes you away from your crazy, overwhelming life, by setting a stage that you’re actually somewhere else. As you go to different parts of the park, you are taken to different places or times, i.e. Tomorrowland, Frontierland, Fantasyland, etc. People go on the rides some for fun and some for nostalgia. It’s the whole experience that makes a theme park successful.

Even though Adventure Dome is fun, it’s not something that I, nor anyone else I know, would think of as a theme park. Other incarnations of theme parks in Las Vegas were Wet N Wild (which was very successful and they should reopen somewhere else in Las Vegas) and the MGM Grand theme park. The MGM Grand theme park was the closest Las Vegas got to a theme park, but it was WAY too small.

Leave the Las Vegas strip for the adult tourists. There is no need for kids to be there roaming around. Build Wet N Wild again off the Strip and build a full blown theme park further south down the 15 or Las Vegas Blvd. Number one, there is more room there to build it, and two, if people want to go to a theme park, they are willing to drive there or take a shuttle. There is absolutely no reason that it should be on the Strip so people have the convenience of walking to it. They walk enough while at the park. Six Flags Magic Mountain was basically the only thing in Valenica for MANY years. People from LA and Orange County would make the hour to 2 hour drive just to go there.

Lastly, the casinos need to stop getting their panties in a bunch that they would lose customers if things open OUTSIDE of casinos. Whether it’s a nightclub, stadium, or even a theme park, everything doesn’t have to be on their property to be successful. The casinos are ok with conventions coming here, because they bring in money. But if you look at it from their logic, tourists (convention goers) coming to Las Vegas, spending SEVERAL hours (the same time one would spend at a theme park) inside the convention center, would take business away from the casinos. Yes, for those hours, you would lose money. But, people still need to sleep, eat, and play somewhere and that’s where your role comes in casino executives. To this day, with all the sunshine Las Vegas gets throughout the year and the amount of tourists we have visiting our great city, why we don’t have a full blown theme park here baffles me.

At Las Vegas Boulevard and Mandalay Bay Road, the Strip seems to stop. A motel and a few businesses share 9.6 acres of land with overgrown weeds, piles of dirt, and chain-linked fences. That, however, could soon change. Developers propose a facelift that Clark County Commissioners are considering.

The proposal on the drawing board is an amusement park with at least eight rides, including a “Sky Wheel” nearly half the height of the Stratosphere. The attraction would attach to a 42-foot-high tent that would connect with a convention center and retail space.

Clark County Commissioner Chris Giunchigliani, who is also running for Las Vegas Mayor, says the proposal intrigues her.

“It complements if you really think about it,” she said. “As you move down that corridor toward the university, depending on what happens with the university stadium being rebuilt, there could be a real synergy that comes into play there.”

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