"Blue Ridge America" plan revealed for Explore Park site
Developer Larry Vander Maten sits in front of site plans for a possible family resort development at the site of Explore Park in Roanoke County.
Join the discussion below, or Read more at Roanoke Times.
#1 May 24, 2009
If we let this developer have control of the park it would basically amount to giving it to the company which takes down old log cabins, barns, outbuildings, churches and old mills and sells 100 or more of them a year to people in Japan. These old historical buildings of Virginia's Explore Park are only going valuable to this developer as long as he feels that they are making him money. If not, then they would become as useful as an outdated or worn out amusement park ride, history!
The focus of the park will change from education to that of amusement. A family won't be able to pay an nominal admission fee, and spend a few hours in the park. They will want to you purchase a two or three day pass with would include over night lodging. The new park will function as Disney or Dollywood, and the local business will not see any benefit because the new park may also expand and create its own adjacent water world park, and other attraction, then force you into purchasing additional tickets options.
This plan will transform Virginia's Explore Park into a resort. A resort provides the following: food, drink, lodging, sports, entertainment, and shopping. Blue Ridge America will be a self-contained commercial resort. Gone will be such things like education, and history. The name "Blue Ridge America" will mean that it is a "historical resort" in only because it is located in an historical setting, and its mission will no longer be education, but commercialism at the price of local history simply as a painted backdrop, and noting more. The new park will focus in on all of the commercial aspects of the original Bern Ewart's plan for the American Frontier, which may mean that the living history museum may become the back drop for hollywood style fake Western gunfights. Roanoke County has been sold a bill of goods, and the Blue Ridge America is basically a rehashing of "Disney's America" a defunct history-based attraction which was planned for Haymarket, Virginia in the early 1990's.
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