Nickelodeon Theme Park To Open In New Orleans
August 18, 2009
Last year, the now-bankrupt Six Flags decided against reopening its New Orleans theme park, which had been shuttered since Hurricane Katrina. Now, Nickelodeon is involved in reopening the property in late 2010.
Nickelodeon Universe New Orleans is slated to become the latest venture in Nickelodeon's efforts to move into the family recreation business. Its brand is attached to a hotel in Orlando, Fla., Royal Caribbean-branded cruises and an amusement park inside Minneapolis' Mall of America.
The New Orleans park will be redeveloped by Louisiana-based Southern Star Amusement, which will pay a licensing fee to Nickelodeon. Those rights will allow it to use the brand not only on the marquee, but in naming all the attractions after Nick programs and characters, such as SpongeBob SquarePants and Dora the Explorer.
The deal is a coup for the city of New Orleans, which gets an added tourist magnet and the redevelopment of a 65-acre abandoned property. While the city still struggles to recover from the hurricane damage, it has made strides in the tourism business, receiving commitments to host an NCAA Final Four and Super Bowl.
Last year, a Nickelodeon Universe park was opened inside the giant Minneapolis mall. The New Orleans venture, which is targeted for opening by the end of next year, is the first outdoor park with the Viacom brand's name attached.