Say that an additional attraction of some kind was to be opened where the brewery currently sits- could it survive next to BGW? What would such an attraction need to provide to live right next door to the park?
If anything, this plot of land would enable the park to move backstage areas and thus expand Ireland, which desperately needs more capacity... As for an outside attraction snapping up the land? It may not survive, or it may feed off BG's business - depends on who/what it is...
Think about it for a moment. Blackstone wants to redefine Virginia's tourism industry, and adding another park to BGW and the upcoming resort is a great way to do that. Now those of you who think a SeaWorld park couldn't survive in a climate like this, think again. SeaWorld Ohio, how many of y'all heard of it? I see 1, 2, 3...4 hands? SeaWorld Ohio (or SeaWorld Cleveland) was the second SeaWorld park built, after SeaWorld San Diego. It was 50 acres, operated on a seasonal schedule, and was adjacent to the Geauga Lake theme park. Due to the fact that winters in Ohio can bad, after the season was over the whales and such were sent to the other parks until the season started again. The park was acquired with the rest of the SeaWorld parks in 1989 by Busch Entertainment from Harcourt Brace Jovanovich, and BEC began renovating and adding to the parks almost immediately. 10 years passed, and SeaWorld Ohio was still running and doing great. BEC though wanted to add rides and coasters, but was unable due to an agreement made with Geauga Lake/Six Flags Ohio and the Local Government. Busch Execs decided to approach Six Flags about buying SFO. Six Flags instead counter-offered BEC 110 Million for the park. BEC decided that it was better to sell the park, than try and expand it futher. So that's the basic history of SWO, now here's the key points to consider.
Sold to Six Flags on: February 9, 2001
Size: 50 acres
Sold to Six Flags for: 110 Million USD
That BEC was willing to invest major money into the park right before they sold it, infact major improvements we're made just before they sold the park.
That the cost alone of shipping all the animals to and from the park each season would have been exorbitant, and only a park that was making substantial revenue could offset such a cost.
That the park was incredibly tiny, yet was still able to operate with a theme park just across the lake.
That a SeaWorld can operate seasonally in a climate with a harsh winter.
That SeaWorld Ohio was basically in the middle of nowhere (nearest big city [Cleveland] was 30 miles away), yet was still able to bring in a profit.
Also of note is the fact, that when BEC bought SeaWorld from Harcourt Brace Jovanovich they closed 1 park immediately (Boardwalk and Baseball) and eventually sold another (Cypress Gardens) because they weren't turning a profit.
Here's a park map from the last season.
A collection of images from the park is available here, and a timeline of the park is located here.
Anyone who thinks a SeaWorld wouldn't work here is probably crazy. Williamsburg is already a tourist hotspot, and even adding a seasonal SeaWorld with BGW and a resort would really bring in the cash. Think about it, instead of a 1-2 day visit to BGW, they could have a longer multi-day vacation at both parks instead. I mean look around, big things are coming to the parks. How many of you saw SeaWorld San Antonio getting an Aquatica water park? Nobody did. The thought of building an Aquatica there was absurd because they already had a water park. Or how many saw them adding a Resort to BGW? Now *grabs a bat*, Thoughts?
Also, at ivybrit's request, I've attached property info for Discovery Cove.
Thanks Gavin, but lets look even bigger everyone...
So we know a SeaWorld could survive here, based on Gavin's post, but SeaWorld Parks and Entertainment could do even more. The England parking lot is perfectly situated between SeaWorld (the brewery) and Busch Gardens. It would make a perfect portal to both parks as an Entertainment and Shopping Hub. Additionally thanks to the guys in the chatroom they could even extend the ramp that connects the park to 64 to WCUSA so that buses can shuttle between the Entertainment Complex/Parks and the waterpark. Take a look below:
Just to throw this out there: Williamsburg is not exactly a booming metropolis. I live 3 blocks from CW (about 4 miles from the park), and I can tell you as a local, this place gets slammed during peak seasons (spring break, summer, Thanksgiving to Christmas). There is zero parking at CW on busy weeks. The restaurants and hotels are full. But most importantly, the roads get really congested. Most of the traffic around here is on one or two lane roads with very few stop signs and lights. Getting out of parking lots on Richmond Rd. or coming off side street near CW is a nightmare. Not to mention the traffic on 64 from people getting off the exits at BGW and Water Country.
I understand the thought that Williamsburg is "looking for as much tourism as it can get," but really, how much can the area actually handle? When hotels are booked, when restaurants have a 2 hour wait, when the CW taverns have sometimes a week or two waiting list, when you literally have a hard time walking around CW, when they are parking people on the median strips at the outlets because the lots are full, where are you going to put an additional 20K, 30K, 40K (?) people?
I know that these theories account for the parks adding much more hotel/restaurant/parking space to accommodate the additional crowds, but are people really just going to stay at the resort complex? Are people going to be a few miles from Colonial Williamsburg, the outlets, etc. and not want to explore? Wouldn't the "city" of Williamsburg have to fundamentally reshaped to accommodate all of this?
Just trying to throw out an opinion from a different perspective.