walkitout (walkitout) wrote,

heritage USA, het land van ooit and future European trips

Fjellman mentioned Heritage Park, a Jim & Tammy Bakker theme park, which I'd never heard of so off to google around and find some pictures and get the scoop. Wow! Done in by a screwy time-share. Sort of.

The evangelical Xtians hate Disney thing is kinda old, but apparently back in the day, it was enough to keep a competitor going, complete with big hotels, a time-share deal (selling memberships for $1000 that got you 3-4 nights/year in the big hotel), water slids, rides, and theming. In classic PTL fashion, they ran this operation under the church tax exemption and the IRS wrote a ruling saying I don't think so leaving them with a hefty tax bill which the unfunded liabilities associated with the membership deal could not have helped with. Aggravated, of course, by dissension in the community of televangelists and some sordid accusations of infidelity. Who knew?

It appears on a loooong list of abandoned amusement parks over on wikipedia (I knew about Luna Park but I'd never heard of Santafair, both in my home region). Along with Het Land van Ooit, which made me go, HEY! I just found out about that less than 2 years ago and was going to go there as a side trip on the De Efteling outing and now it's out of business?!? What happened here? Last I'd heard, they were expanding over in Belgium -- and therein, apparently, lay the problem. Very high labor costs, too much competition and the new park was only open for three months before the whole thing fell apart on them. Bummer. The Belgian operation was a public/private venture and the public parts are trying to find a new operator; best of luck to them. There's a lot of competition in that area.

Things you almost certainly _do not_ care about. ;-)

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