L.A. Company to Help build Martial Arts Theme Park in China
Hugo Martin, The Los Angeles Times
December 7, 2011
A Los Angeles-based entertainment group plans to co-develop a $3.1 billion theme park and resort in China's Hubei province with a local investment firm, two people familiar with the project said.
A Los Angeles company is teaming up with a Chinese investment group to build a $3.1-billion martial arts-themed park and leisure resort in central China. Los Angeles Major Antonio Villaraigosa, who attended a signing ceremony in Beijing as part of a 12-day mission to Asia, said the project could create hundreds of jobs in Los Angeles and may mean millions of dollars in revenue for the theme park designer, Ikonic Entertainment Group.
The project would be built south of the manufacturing city of Shiyan in the Wudang Mountains, known as the birthplace of the Chinese martial arts form known as kung fu.
The announcement of an agreement between Ikonic and the Shiyan-based Taichi Lake Group is only the first step in the development of what the two companies are calling the largest theme park and resort in China.
Ikonic was founded last year by Tony Christopher, chief executive of Burbank-based Landmark Entertainment Group, and Jack Chen, CEO of Transworld Capital Group, a Los Angeles investment firm specializing in business developments in China.
"The cooperation agreement signed today represents the future: We are combining our strengths, investing in one another, and fostering greater tourism and business between the U.S. and China," Villaraigosa said in a statement.
Under the plan, Ikonic will provide master planning, concept creation and construction oversight for the theme park, a live show and other elements of the project. No one could be reached Tuesday at the offices of Ikonic, Landmark Entertainment or Transworld Capital Group. Founded by Christopher and attraction designer Gary Goddard in the 1980s, Landmark helped design several popular theme park attractions, including Jurassic Park: the Ride at Universal Studios Hollywood, Terminator 2: 3-D at Universal Studios Florida and the Amazing Adventures of Spider-Man at Universal's Islands of Adventure in Orlando, Fla.