Grayling Theme park in the works

Grayling Theme park in the works

There are 49 comments on the Petoskey News Review story from Jun 2, 2007, titled Grayling Theme park in the works. In it, Petoskey News Review reports that:

“It's something that's desperately needed here and it's needed in the entire Michigan economy. ... It'll provide jobs. I'm a person who takes phone calls every day from some of the people who don't have money for heat or rent.”

After several years of rumors, a large multi-million-dollar theme park inched one step closer to coming to Grayling, bringing with it 2,000 jobs and an estimated payroll of $25 million. via Petoskey News Review

Join the discussion below, or Read more at Petoskey News Review.

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Grand Rapids, MI

#1 Jun 5, 2007

Ashburn, VA

#2 Jun 7, 2007
A Michigan Resident

Mecosta, MI

#3 Sep 7, 2007
A Michigan Resident
Join the community
1 min ago
Before Michigan allows any big corporation to build anything in Michigan, or Michigan sell any of its public land, or ask any Michigan resident for added tax money. That Corporation should be a company Based in the United States. Because the Michigan residents will never see a return on that tax money. All the profits go the that company. OH sure it will create needed jobs, but for how many and at what rate of pay? will it justify selling our natural resources? Will it justify a raise in land taxes for everyone in that area? I strongly feel that if this Axioms wants to build a theme park then, they incur all costs. Michigan and it residents are broke, we are taxed to death as it is and hear comes someone with another idea to take more. Plus How much is the Michigan DNR selling our land for, and why are they selling it. I'm not so sure I want anymore Michigan State Land sold. Are You? I thought that was why we are paying higher prices for all hunting and fishing licenses not to mention again taxes. I'm not so sure that we are going to see any great return on our money in this venture.. A Michigan resident...
Michigan Citizen

Jackson, MI

#4 Sep 15, 2007
this is the Mission Statement of the DNR.
"The Michigan Department of Natural Resources is committed to the conservation, protection, management, use and enjoyment of the State's natural resources for current and future generations." I would like to know what part of the above statement gives the DNR the right to sell our lands to private companies so that they can turn them into an asphalt and steel wastelands. It makes me sick to think that the government agency we intrust to protect our land is going to let a private company destroy the land for profit, forever stripping us and future generations the right to enjoy our own land without paying. This thing is huge it is supposed to be 2100 acres. Cedar point is 364 acres! What is happening is that this private company has bought off Grayling City Officals and have flat out lied to the people of Grayling about the number of jobs and high wages. The DNR is ready to sell the land for 5 million. Does that seem fair for 3 square miles. The development company actually has the audacity after stealing the land to then ask the citizens of Grayling to bond another 5 million for infrustructure improvements. I am a business man and the only time I have seen deals like this go through is when one side is being bribed or is just completely naive. What I believe will happen is that the development company will seek bank loans and venture capital to begin construcion. They will drag the project on and constantly seek more funding. The entire time the executives will draw fat salaries and dole out boneses to each other as well as continue the bribing, and wining and dining city officials and any state government officials that have any oversite. The various construciton companies, architects, engineering firms and the like will also get paid (none will be from Grayling. Graying construction companies will be lucky to put up a fence or two and maybe build the parking lot guard shack. I think this park has a less than 50% chance of opening if they actually start construction. I do not believe Michiganders who can barely afford to keep their cottages, afford the gas to get up North and are debating on whether to even put their boats in the water are going to stop at an amusement park on their way up North to get away from the city so that they can then stop and blow a couple of hundred dollars on snow cones and rides. I believe it has a 99% chance of failure either before it is completed or a few years after it opens. Michigan citizens and Grayling residents will be left holding the bag. They will now be the proud owners of 3 square miles of parking lots and rusting rides. The last time I checked broken down amusement parks did not draw a lot of campers, hunters, fisherman, or snowmobilers. Can you imagine members of Trout Unlimited fly fishing in the shadow of the "Worlds largest ferris wheel"? If the park survives for a couple of years we will see a mini city spring up along 4 mile road. Every fast food, fudge shop and indian souvenier store will be built and then have to shut down. Again if Grayling Citizens are the proprietors they again will be left holding the bag. This will also divert much needed investment from Grayling's downtown and create a second downtown competing with a city center that can barley survive now. As a business man I would not invest in this idea even if you took out the public land moral and ethical issues. This is bad business that will make a few rich and leave many worse off than they were before.
Michigan Native

Paris, France

#5 Sep 29, 2007
Discouraging as it sounds, I agree with most of what "Michigan Citizen" has written about the future of the Theme Park, and the costs to not only the community of Grayling but to the whole area of Northern Michigan. In addition, while the construction proposal may be 'green', when the park fails (as I believe it will, if it's ever fully finished) who will be responsible for cleaning up all of the junk left on the site? Furthermore, what studies are being conducted to examine the cost to the watershed of paving over so much land in the area? How will so much asphalt or concrete affect the current quality of the water? How will the loss of so many trees and fields impact the local temperature and weather patterns? That part of the state is already suffering from lower snowfall many winters, which causes large ski centers to be forced to make snow, and smaller hills to just close down. Ditto for the opportunity for snowmobiling (which can already be done for free when there's snow, so who would pay for that 'opportunity'?). Why doesn't someone start considering nature tourism or eco-tourism from abroad, and sell the incredible beauty of the northern counties of our state that way? If you've ever traveled in Japan, you will see huge groups of Asian tourists out to enjoy the fresh air and changing colors in the mountains and countryside every weekend in the autumn. The same goes for Germans and Austrians. There are direct flights from Tokyo to Detroit, and ones from Northern Europe as well. Easy connections to Traverse City, Pellston and other Northern airports could bring in groups that would need rental cars, hotel rooms, restaurants, souvenirs, etc., but without razing our trees and tearing up the open fields. Plus, the Japanese would love the reasonably priced golf courses in the lovely Northern Michigan settings which would cost less to play for a week than they might pay for 18 holes on some Asian courses. I understand that people living in Crawford County need hope for their futures, but this Theme Park sounds like a pipe dream to me, and the developer sounds more slick than a sheet of black ice. Don't do it.
Hometown Grayling Girl

Bentley, MI

#6 Oct 11, 2007
I have lived in Grayling all my life. I don't know anything about politics and don't wish to learn. I don't know if this park will fail and I don't appreciate the negativity of those with previous comments. I can tell you this: Grayling needs the jobs. Grayling will never grow with out them. I think of Grayling as a small town that keeps getting smaller. This community and economy would greatly benefit from what this park could bring. Not just the park itself but also the businesses that will pop up because of it. Grayling needs help.
Michigan Native


#7 Oct 14, 2007
I understand 'Hometown Grayling Girl's' concern, and her comment that the community needs jobs. That is absolutely true of Grayling, and has been for many years now. However, the so-called 'negative' comments that she 'doesn't appreciate' should not be taken personally. They aren't meant as criticism of Grayling, its citizens, or the area in general. I LOVE that part of the state of Michigan, and hope it can stay unspoiled and beautiful as it is for generations to come. I also don't intend to say that the area is not desperately in need of jobs and growth opportunity. I miss the busy downtown, including the clothing stores, lunch counter, dime store, movie house and more. Perhaps Grayling does need help, but I (and I suspect some of the other 'negative' responders to the Theme Park idea) don't believe that this Theme Park is the help that is needed. No matter whose feelings are hurt by my opinion on this matter, I still feel in my gut that this project is doomed from the start. I also believe it could pose serious environmental concerns for Northern Michigan. By all means, get something going in Grayling, Hometown Girl. What are you, personally, doing to help?
David Bonewit

Columbus, OH

#8 Dec 12, 2007
When the good citizins of Crawford County have their taxes raised to provide the infastructure for the theme park, they will sing a different toon. Do not be fooled by wolves in sheeps clothing. I am from Ohio and Kings Island has changed hands several times and had it not been in a major metro area it would have folded its tent long ago. Remember that Michigan is surrounded by water on three sides. The only place for visitors to come from is the south. I hope your govenor is not going to empty the state's treasury for this folly.

Gaylord, MI

#9 Dec 13, 2007
Any new news? Aren't they supposed to make a final decision to buy today?

Gaylord, MI

#10 Dec 13, 2007
I wouldn't hold my breath to await this project. A local backer has a less than stellar business history, nothing illegal, immoral or fattening as they say, just mediocre results. One business of his only grosses $60,000 more than it did when I worked there 30 years ago and it's doubled in size. Add to that the Grayling area lacks the motels and restaurants to serve a crowd like that

Peoria, AZ

#11 Dec 13, 2007
reading all the info on this THEME PARK----will
this make hartwick ines go down the tube? granted
it has been 30 years since i have been there. i have
good memories of the place. we went there every year on my birthday in july and loved it. can someonetell me the condition of the place now and has it been kept up? i have old post card from there. as far as theme parks go- years ago in phnx they tried legend city and it was a laughing
stock. i hope the 'in the know' people make sure
the land used is used in connection with park.
that al;ways makes it nicer. the grayling citizens
can then really enjoy it.-sorry to butt in but the area of lewiston to grayling is a favorite
area since i was 5. good luck to what you really want. dee

Gaylord, MI

#12 Dec 13, 2007
I had the impression that there were no "locals" involved, but then our local medea outlets just hype, hype, hype.

I agree that the motel and restraunt base would be over whelmed and would hate to see people diving into the business on a "if come" only to lose it.

BTW, am in Gaylord, not Elmira.

Jackson, MI

#13 Jan 1, 2008
Hey I got a great idea....we can hire out all the new jobs to illegals ...might as well

Chicago, IL

#14 Jan 26, 2008
I've been searching for information on this park and it's progress. One thing sticks out. There isn't much news on it's progression. That is not a good sign. Any business that is moving ahead always, always promotes itself. I am working on moving to the Grayling region and will be opening my own businesses, but I'm not hedging on the park being there to draw in customers for me. If I get extra income from transient vacationers then great. If not, then so be it.

I was wondering the size of Cedar Point. After seeing what was posted and how big this proposed park is going to be, I hope someone is going to be there to rent bicycles to get around the park.

“Cedar Log Furniture”

Since: Jan 08

Lewiston Mi

#15 Jan 26, 2008
I think they drop the option to buy the land didn't they. was just a dream someone had with no money

South Haven, MI

#16 Jan 30, 2008
I would like to see the marketing study for such a project to see if it is viable or not. I would not want to see this proposed project become simply a "land grab" or other sinister objective for greedy investors at the expense of naive government officials and unsuspecting residents.

I have several concerns this theme park would actually survive because other theme parks in Michigan have failed (remember Autoworld in Flint) and other major theme parks near Chicago and Cleveland simply do not have enough customers throughout the year to stay open... the only one's that can do this are in warmer states such as Florida and California.

Be careful !

Since: Jan 08

Niles, MI

#17 Jan 31, 2008
I am a native of the area. As long as I can remember,and I am in my 60's,the job market was like it is. Well actually,when I was young,we didn't worry about the job market in our towns. That is why there was Traverse etc.. We have always been low on jobs. My gosh,we are a town in the top of the mitt. People from down below love our area. So they come here. And think about it. What do they do? They miss the city,so they get a hold of all their city friends and they get idea's rolling around in country hicks heads,and make the areas they loved,commercial and big and noisy and take away all the open spaces etc..We live here for a reason,and it has nothing to do with commercialism. It has to do with living life as simple and quiet and clean air as possible. How many people reading this,have ALWAYS driven to Traverse and now Gaylord etc. for jobs? Any small town in any state,does the same thing. Every small town doesn't have a lot of jobs. You change Grayling,and you change the small town. Traverse use to be unique. Now Traverse is just Saginaw moved north. It isn't jobs,don't make the issue jobs. We will never go back to what we were if this park comes in. People think about it,hard. Mackinaw City has the Commons which works for them,because it isn't some huge crazy idea. We could be a Mackinaw City. Really think about what will happen here in Grayling. No one considers the citizens. They only consider the city people and their money. Jobs shouldn't rule in this issue.Losing Grayling,Michigan should.

United States

#18 Feb 21, 2008
Grandma L

La Crosse, WI

#19 Feb 26, 2008
BUZZ wrote:
Hi Buzz,

Your comments re the Grayling Theme Park got posted in another forum.

United States

#20 Mar 7, 2008
it amazes me how many rant and rave about something they hardly know anything about. I have no affiliation with this company or any of its investor/ developers. How ever this company axiom has spent a substantial amount of money researching this. There are many involved with this. All of the investment money would be private with the exception of infrastructure money. One point, no one here realizes, the dnr handed the county or township the right to improve the land as industrial/commercial improvement, after nine years of no interest from anyone or entity, axiom comes foward with this idea. I'm a downstater, and I'm a property owner in crawford county. Tourism is your biggest asset, in and around the area. the size of this potential improvement is but a speck compared to the vast beautiful land that will surround this. their plans do include new homes/ apartments, hotels, and the necessary improvements incedental to a project of this size. Petitions from residents of this area have shown they are anxious for this. As far as new information from the company as to the progress of this venture, I'll bet the company and its investors /developers didn't want to let the cat out of the bag just yet, but with something this big, its presentation to the township just had to be. What really impressed me was their enviromentally freindly approach, such as windmills for power and water regeneration, and of course the similar archetectural design of the buildings as the neighboring town of grayling. I'm sure they are back behind closed doors again, assembling this to a degree no one here can fathom. And with the economy the way it is right now, the investors are going to be very very careful. They know what their up against, they will have to prove this will work, before they can even place a shovel in the ground. I would have to say for those that don't think it will survive that one of the conditions should be that they'll have to return the land to it's original condition, such as removing all hardscapes and structures that would no longer be viable for the community, including planting of trees. If this project does happen, we should embrace it with open arms, be involved, and speak up intelligently, we do have a say, even after they open the doors. As far as taxes go, property owners will only be paying slightly higher taxes, because the value of their property will increase,caused by the demand from people just like us, which then leads to better roads and road improvements. I'll be moving there soon, to live up there year round. Park or no park. This area is a jewel in the rough. Let's polish it up a bit.

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