By Veronica Barbarin
New Orleans East residents, some in green shirts to show their support for bringing back the Jazzland amusement park, recently assembled at the newly constructed Franklin Avenue Baptist Church with hopeful expectation of hearing positive news regarding an assessment of the site which was once the location of one of New Orleans East’s main attractions — the 60-acre, former Six Flags / Jazzland amusement park.
Unfortunately, since the devastation of hurricane Katrina and the flooding that followed, the amusement park has been sitting untouched, for at least 14 years, with the exception of movie productions and vandalism.
Continue reading “City conducts meeting to discuss future of Six Flags”
Lance Houpt, Principal
I would like to point out a few things from the “Strategic Opportunities Assessment” report. The conclusion appears to be:
“Based on the market context, the study area conditions, and input from stakeholders, the redevelopment opportunity for Jazzland with the highest potential to promote the community goals is an “education destination” that merges the benefits of the higher education and tourism sectors. The destination will be centered on the story and science of resiliency and climate change, providing research, innovation, education, and exploration opportunities. These opportunities will further and promote our understanding of living with water and propel New Orleans to be a leader in the global water economy.”
The gist of it is to me, is that they feel the target market/potential patrons/visitors would be ecotourists and visiting scholars doing research on the effects of climate change and water management. It doesn’t sound like there is a need yet for the facility they propose.
Continue reading “Letter to the Editor”
Playland NOLA offers another view of what the former amusement park could be
Fourteen years after Hurricane Katrina, one of its most visible casualties, the 227-acre amusement park which has previously operated as both Jazzland and Six Flags theme parks, still sits abandoned. Residents are wondering, “Why hasn’t the site been redeveloped?”
In 2000 the park opened as Jazzland Theme Park, but by 2002, the debt was too great and they filed for bankruptcy. Six Flags then obtained possession of the site from the bankruptcy court. Six Flags had their own financial problems and eventually also filed for bankruptcy in 2009 which enabled them to cancel their lease with the City. The theme park did not reopen after Hurricane Katrina and the Industrial Development Board of the City of New Orleans (IDB) eventually took control of the site. During the 14 years that the park has sat idle, there were failed proposals to build a Nickelodeon theme park in 2009, an outlet mall in 2013, and numerous other plans to rebuild another amusement park — plans that the IDB has shown little interest in, due to lack of proof of funding and developers’ wherewithal. Continue reading “The Future of Six Flags”
Property would replace former Six Flags theme park
TPC-NOLA, Inc. has presented on several occasions a comprehensive plan for developing the Jazzland Resort, which would be built on 224 acres at the former Jazzland/Six Flags park and surrounding land. The vision for the resort would include the Jazzland Theme Park, Baritone Beach Waterpark, and mixed-use retail/dining/entertainment similar to that found in Downtown Disneyworld or Perkins Row in Baton Rouge. Included in the plans would be a hotel with a Wedding Pavilion, Day Spa and other commercial development.
The Jazzland Theme Park would integrate art and music education into familiar themes from the state of Louisiana, such as the French Quarter, Sportsman’s Paradise, the Beach and the Bayou. Developers have committed to actively engaging locally owned businesses for construction, operations, restaurants and print services, and locally produced goods and foods. They also have plans to involve local youth organizations for training.
Although there are several theme parks in the Southern region of the United States, the closest is a Six Flags site 469 miles away in Atlanta, Georgia. Others are a Six Flags site in Dallas, Texas (505 miles), a Six Flags site in San Antonio, Texas (543 miles), DollyWood in Pidgeon Forge, Tennessee (633 miles) and Disney World in Orlando, Florida (642 miles).
A community meeting, previously scheduled for July 17, 2019 from 5:30 pm – 8 pm.to discuss plans for the Six Flags Site, was canceled due to Hurricane Barry. Councilmember Cyndi Nguyen will provide additional information on the new date for the meeting.
To request a copy of the study related to the site, email Monica.Rainey@nola.gov or visit Councilwoman Cyndi Nguyen’s Facebook page.