A businesswoman from Houston is hoping to reward her hometown with a Texas-themed amusement park that pays tribute to some of the Lone Star State’s most renowned and beloved cultural touchstones.
Lizzy McGee, a sixth-technology Texan and current graduate of Stanford Graduate College of Business, recently spoke with Texas Monthly’s Emily McCullar about her strategies to make TexasLand, a theme park that speaks to the state’s greater-than-lifetime identification. “You could have the Towns of Texas Pavilion, and have a Matt’s El Rancho in the Austin element, and Lonesome Dove and the Stockyards in the Fort Value pavilion, and a haunted household in the Marfa pavilion,” McGee said in Texas Regular, which likened the task to EPCOT in Disney World.
The 27-year-old entrepreneur also spoke with Houston Community Media’s Adam Zuvanich of a park ladened with Texas record and symbols—a reproduction of the Alamo attractions that pay out homage to the state’s huge landscape, NASA, rodeo arenas, and well known sites and concession stands stocked with barbecue, Dr Pepper, tacos, and beer. TexasLand will be developed out and designed in phases, McGee mentioned. She approximated that the startup value will be much less than $250 million.
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McGee claimed the concept is what drove her to enroll in small business college, and her resolve only grew for the duration of the COVID-19 pandemic when she was performing remotely from her childhood house. As a previous industry analyst for Disney attractions, McGee was uniquely positioned to carry her eyesight to life.
“I recognized that Texas broadly, and Houston precisely, has all the metrics that my team look[ed] for: a significant and burgeoning population, a company-pleasant ecosystem, and, from the information facet of items, a special identification,” McGee explained. Over and above that, she also observed what was lacking. As Zuvanich reported in January, Houston is the biggest American town with out an amusement park—a difference it earned when Astroworld shut in 2005.
“That is 1 of the greatest mysteries, I feel, in all of the industry,” explained Christopher Penney, a company professor at the University of North Texas who utilized to get the job done in the amusement park industry, in January. “How you can have a market that is the biggest metropolitan space in Texas, how you could have that and not have a solitary concept park? It is extremely surprising on a lot of degrees,” he advised Zuvanich.
It really is an oversight that McGee hopes to suitable. Though she has not created off other metros like Austin, San Antonio, or Dallas-Fort Worth, she reported her perfect area is the Increased Houston place.
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McGee and her group launched a Kickstarter campaign earlier this calendar year to increase revenue to fee a “need study.” In her pitch, McGee described the examine as “an market ‘must-have’ to show what we presently know—that Texas is an ideal sector for a new park, with its sizing, growing population, and unique cultural heritage.” As of July 15, 2023, the Kickstarter has collected almost $82,000.
What will established TexasLand apart from opponents McGee instructed reporters, will be its points of interest and price stage. “This is significantly more tale-driven, and you really do not even automatically require rides,” she said in Texas Regular. If all goes in accordance to plan, McGee predicted that the park could open up in summer 2026.
To Houston General public Media, she also expressed her perception that TexasLand ought to be family members-welcoming and available to everyone. It will be a theme park “by Texans, for Texans that will never split the lender,” McGee reported. “We’ve received folks of all distinct religions and sexualities and political viewpoints, but we still all come together in the seventh inning of an Astros match and sing ‘Deep in the Coronary heart of Texas.'”