By Scott Trubey and Jennifer Brett
Could a new “Hunger Games” theme park rise up in Georgia?
Lionsgate already has announced it will partner with Dubai Parks and Resorts for a park there, opening in October 2016.
“Motiongate Dubai will be 4 million square feet and is expected to attract more than 3 million visits a year,” Entertainment Weekly reported earlier this year.
The studio also reportedly is eyeing a large tract in Bartow County, the Atlanta Business Chronicle reports.
No confirmation from the studio at the moment but Georgia seems like a good fit for a possible “Hunger Games” park. Three of the four movies in the series, “Catching Fire” and “Mockingjay” parts 1 and 2, all filmed here.
The property lies near the LakePoint Sporting Community in the Bartow County city of Emerson, northwest of Atlanta.
State Rep. Earl Ehrhart, R-Powder Springs, who is an executive involved in the LakePoint Sporting Community, said he was not aware of the purported Lionsgate project and was alerted to it by media reports. He said his organization would be “thrilled” to have it as a neighbor. LakePoint is a mix of sports facilities, hotels and retail designed for youth sports tournaments.
“I hope it’s true,” he said.
Former Georgia Lottery chairman David Garrett III is part of a team that had proposed a virtual reality theme park on the property along Paga Mine Road in Emerson. The project, Avatron Smart Park, would be a “totally immersive, technology driven theme park drawing on the expertise of Hollywood’s leading visual effects professionals,” according to a filing with state planners in March.
Garrett did not return messages from the AJC. He told the Chronicle he could not comment, but told the paper he hoped to be able to “talk in the next couple of weeks [about] something that is meaningful.”