Updated May. 23, 2007 03:19
Universal Studios has announced plans to establish a theme park in Korea by 2012. Although the site has not been decided yet, the American film giant Universal is known to be making its choice among five to six places in the Seoul Metropolitan area.
Tom Williams, chief executive officer of Universal Parks & Resorts (UP&R), which operates the Universal Studios Theme Park, held a press conference at the JW Marriott Hotel in Banpo-dong, Seoul on May 22, and said, We will open a Universal Studios Korea Theme Park Resort by 2012 in Korea.
The CEO added that a hotel, convention center, and an outlet in addition to numerous rides and displays would be established in the theme park resort, creating a comprehensive space for entertainment.
The location of the amusement park is said to be a place accessible from Seoul in two hours by car on weekends, but the exact whereabouts are to be revealed just prior to the land purchase. It seems that the company has taken into consideration previous cases such as that of MGM Studios in which a similar project was aborted after the announcement of the location caused an extreme surge in land prices.
One of the major stumbling blocks to theme park businesses has been regulations on the usage of land based on the Seoul Metropolitan Area Readjustment Planning Act. We will keep persuading the central and local governments that our plans can vitalize the tourism industry and create considerable added value, said Williams after he was questioned on how he would overcome such obstacles.
Universal Studios has theme parks in Hollywood and Orlando in the U.S., and Osaka in Japan, with content based on the film productions of its mother company NBC Universal.