Nearly two years ago, officials with the DreamVision entertainment company came to Fort Worth from Florida and in grand fashion announced plans to open a huge movie studio in the city and a theme park in North Texas. But as quickly as they made their announcement, they went silent.
Now the company has resurfaced and on Monday plans to hold a news conference to again discuss plans for a 5,000-acre theme park, to be called DreamMountain. Two days later, it plans to announce a similar, 1,400-acre project in Alabama. “Both parks will be built simultaneously, which has never been done by a single company,” their news release says.
Despite the size of the proposed project, Fort Worth city officials and department directors, as well as the head of the Fort Worth Convention & Visitors Bureau, have not been contacted by any DreamVision executives. (By comparison, Texas A&M University says its College Station campus is 5,200 acres.)
Fort Worth Mayor Betsy Price has spoken with a DreamVision representative, but is said to have signed a confidentiality agreement not to discuss what she knows, according to a city spokesman.
And even as the company has planned the multimillion-dollar projects, DreamVision and Richard Silanskas, its president and CEO, have faced a $109,221 judgment stemming from a Florida lawsuit.
Several messages left with DreamVision’s Fort Worth office were not returned.
In 2009, Bank of America sued DreamVision Studios and Silanskas in Lake County, Fla., for defaulting on a promissory note for $99,224. The bank received a judgment for $109,221, which includes interest and fees. But by April 2014, DreamVision and Silanskas clearly had not paid the judgment and the bank filed notice of the judgment in Tarrant County.
DreamMountain will have golf courses, water parks, hotels, concert venues and much more, DreamVision says. At the Monday event, Silanskas is expected to give details about the plans, including what the park might look like and how many people it will employ. It’s not clear if the company will discuss a location, and that has city officials perplexed.
Fort Worth Councilman Dennis Shingleton, whose district has larger, undeveloped areas, said there are not 5,000 contiguous acres available within the city limits. The city would have to annex some of its extraterritorial jurisdiction, which would take several years and a lot of money to get water and sewer and other infrastructure to it.
“It’s yet to be seen,” Shingleton said of the project. “I don’t discount it, but it’s yet to be seen.”
Large tracts are available in Hillwood’s AllianceTexas development in far north Fort Worth, but a Hillwood spokesman said the company knows nothing about DreamVision’s project.
Bob Jameson, president and CEO of Fort Worth’s Convention & Visitors Bureau, an organization whose mission is to bring visitors to Fort Worth, said no one has contacted him. The last he knew of anything regarding DreamVision was more than 18 months ago when he watched a fireworks show it put on.
In June 2013, DreamVision staged Celebrate Fort Worth Spectacular, a six-hour musical event near the Fort Worth Convention Center that ended in a fireworks show. At that time, Silanskas was proposing to build a $20 million, 80,000-square-foot movie studio here. That project has not happened.
And after building the movie studio, and a $2 billion theme park in South Africa by 2017, Silanskas said, DreamVision would create a similar, Disney-like theme park somewhere in North Texas.
Ron Logan, DreamVision’s chief creative officer and a retired executive vice president and executive producer for Walt Disney Entertainment, is expected to join Silanskas at the news conference Monday.
Sandra Baker, 817-390-7727