Trusted local news leader for Williams AZ and the Grand Canyon
Wed, June 03

Theme park progress continues<br>

“Williams flexed its muscles today,” stated Mike Morgan, CEO of Grand Canyon-Northland Amusements & Entertainment, LLC.

Morgan witnessed the vote along with supporters from throughout northern Arizona, West Phoenix and investors as far away as Michigan. The Michigan investors viewed the legislative proceedings on the Internet, Morgan said.

Morgan stated he is close to 100 percent confident that HB 2365 will pass through the “Rules” proceedings. The bill will then reach the Senate floor for a vote before proceeding onto the House for one informational hearing. The final proceeding will happen when HB 2365 progresses to the House for a vote.

“Today was a testimony to all who have been involved. Kurt Davis is a master. Liz (Archuleta) did a phenomenal job,” Morgan beamed.

If HB 2365 is successful, a special taxing district would be created to fund the $3 billion venture that includes the theme park in Williams. The project could also benefit the West Valley’s economy with a 60-acre amusement park featuring an indoor water park and roller coasters located next to Cricket Pavilion in Phoenix.

“Renaissance in the Pines has been an integral part of this process for more than a year,” says Mark Worden, managing director and CEO for Renaissance in the Pines. “Thanks to the incredible work of Mr. Mike Morgan and his team, Renaissance in the Pines board members have signed a contract with Grand Canyon-Northland Amusements and Entertainment LLC. We are excited about bringing something spectacular and unique to northern Arizona.”

Worden stated that Renaissance in the Pines has lots of surprises and special features in the renaissance-theme section of the park.

“It will be a fantastic themed park and entertainment venue. We feel our renaissance experience will be a valuable component. We think our patrons will be amazed and enjoy the experience they receive,” Worden said.

The additional 9 percent sales tax would be collected on purchases from those who use the parks. Individuals not using the parks would not be affected by the tax. The tax could generate between $75 million to $150 million in additional sales tax revenues for the state.

The 1,000-acre theme park would include 50 acres of amusement rides in addition to a western theme park featuring pony rides, barn dances, saloon and rodeo area. Other attractions include an Asian garden, Route 66 strip, a drive-in restaurant and sock hop.

The development also features a recreational vehicle luxury resort, hotels, Navajo learning center and a Renaissance area boasting an indoor jousting arena, castle, food and entertainment.

If HB 2365 is successful, ground could break on the project by the end of the year, says Morgan.

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