Executives with the DreamVision Co. revealed conceptual plans Monday for a $3.5 billion park in North Texas but left some big questions unanswered.
Such as: Where exactly will the 5,000-acre park with a massive man-made mountain that will house a winter wonderland be built?
CEO Rick Silanskas said DreamVision has chosen a site, but he declined to say whether the land is under contract. He wouldn’t say where the park will be built but said it’s slated to open in 2020, after three years of construction.
“It’s in the region,” he said. Silanskas said the park will employ 15,000 to 20,000 workers.
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Officials said the project, called DreamScape Mountain, has financial backing from a private equity firm called Provident Global Capital, based in Muscle Shoals, Ala. On Wednesday, DreamVision is scheduled to host a news conference in Muscle Shoals to announce construction of another theme park there.
Bryan Robinson, CEO and founder of Provident Global, attended Monday’s event in Fort Worth and said the company owns “a lot of different things.” He declined to be specific but said this will be the firm’s first theme park development.
“We have different real estate holdings,” Robinson said. “We’re not here raising money. We will reveal all the partners at the groundbreaking. That is how private equity works.”
Robinson said additional information about his company could be obtained on the company’s website. But the site, which was established this year, was password-protected and inaccessible.
Though Robinson said he has been in business for 20 years, Provident Global Capital was registered with the Alabama secretary of state Feb. 3, according to al.com, the online site for three Alabama newspapers. The company listed a post office box as its address in Killen, Ala., the report said.
Robinson also hosts an online radio talk show, Retail Traders Network, which offers advice on stock market investing.
Local business and civic leaders have been curious about DreamVision ever since the company staged a six-hour musical extravaganza and fireworks show 18 months ago in front of the Fort Worth Convention Center and announced plans for a theme park and an 80,000-square-foot movie studio in North Texas.
Nothing has been heard publicly from DreamVision since then. Silanskas said Monday that plans for the movie studio are moving forward and that it will now open as an extension of the theme park.
DreamVision is not registered with the Texas secretary of state’s office, ethough it says its headquarters is in Fort Worth. The company leases space on an executive suites floor in the 777 Main office tower downtown. Instead, the company obtained its business license in Wyoming in 2011, according to the Wyoming secretary of state’s website.
Fort Worth Mayor Betsy Price, who attended Monday’s elaborate event at the Ashton Depot, called DreamVision’s plans “big dreams” and said she’ll believe the executives “until they prove us otherwise.”
Price said it has been more than a year since she met with them in her office, and more recent contact has been through text messages and emails. She said she doesn’t have any more information than was revealed Monday, but she acknowledged that the project will involve a lot of land and money.
“I don’t know their financing model. I haven’t been privy to that,” she said. “I know they’ve looked at a couple spots in our [extraterritorial jurisdiction], but I don’t know where they’re going to settle. They’ve looked at several locations.
“It’s their dream; we’ll see what happens, if they can pull this off,” Price said. “The theme park will require a lot of water and a lot of resources. It could be a huge impact for our region. As they flesh this out and give us a location, we’ll have questions that come to the surface.”
Silanskas donated $500 on Feb. 11, 2013, to Price’s mayoral campaign, according to campaign finance reports filed with the Texas Ethics Commission in Austin.
Since first announcing the project in Fort Worth, Silanskas said he has assembled “the most creative production and operational talent in the industry.” He said that most have had some ties to the Walt Disney Co. Silanskas called the late Walt Disney an inspiration for the park and said it will be a magical place based on family values. “Our dream is so very clear,” Silanskis said.
In addition to the two theme parks, Silanskas announced that DreamVision’s animation division is in production on its first full-length animated film, called Nadia. The story is based on a childhood dream, he said.
“It’s been a long journey, but it’s good,” Silanskas said.
He could not say how tall its man-made mountain would be, but it will be at the center of the park and will feature snowboarding and bobsledding. Around the mountain will be the amusement park, divided into areas with different themes and featuring thrill and soft rides and attractions. The park will have a performing arts center, restaurants and shops. Outside the park, an extensive retail development with hotels is planned, he said.
Paintings from the late Thomas Kinkade, the so-called painter of light, will influence how the park is designed, and DreamVision has partnered with the Thomas Kinkade Co., Silanskas said. Kinkade died in 2012 of acute intoxication of alcohol and Valium, according to reports. He had met with DreamVision in 2011, said John Hastings, the Kinkade Co. president.
Ron Logan, DreamVision’s chief creative officer and a retired executive vice president and executive producer for Walt Disney Entertainment, joined Silanskas at Monday’s news conference.
DreamVision has also added Dave Goodman, a longtime entertainment executive, to head up the theme park division. Goodman is a former vice president of entertainment and executive producer at Disneyland Resort and has held executive level positions at Walt Disney Special Events Group and Busch Entertainment Corp., DreamVision said.
Malcolm Clulow, said to be the world’s expert in indoor snow making, has also been hired. He created Ski Dubai, a 20-story indoor resort in Dubai.
“This project, not that I know a lot about it, is so huge,” Clulow said Monday. “We can make it snow.”
Sandra Baker, 817-390-7727