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$60m Buffalo City Park theme park plans move forward

Buffalo City Park, a proposed $60 million theme park in North Dakota’s Jamestown, is moving forward with a goal to break ground in 2022.

buffalo city park

Buffalo City Park would be built on 30 acres of land along Interstate 94 in Jamestown, North Dakota. It would be located next to the National Bison Museum (via The Jamestown Sun).

The attraction would include an amphitheatre, tramway, hotel and buffalo-themed restaurant, as well as rides, interactive displays, multimedia shows and entertainment.

Local officials continue to work on the theme park alongside Apogee Attractions, according to project volunteer Brian Lunde, who said the city should engage “Disney-level thinking”.

Bob McTyre, who served as a division director at Disney, is a founding partner of Apogee Attractions, and a guiding creative behind the Buffalo City Park.

Buffalo-themed attractions in Jamestown

buffalo city park

“We are four or five months from the finish of the financial planning process,” said Lunde. “They [Apogee Attractions] are bringing in some of the top budgeters in the world along with civil engineers and design architects.”

The $500,000 contract with Apogee Attractions involves creating a plan for the North Dakota State Investment Board to determine the feasibility of the project.

“We want to be ready to stick the shovel in the ground,” said Lunde. “We don’t want to hear ‘come back when you’ve developed this’ when we make the pitch for the investment.”

“In early September we want to be ready to go,” he added. “We want to sit down with the money managers at that point.”

Buffalo City Park plans to break ground in 2022

buffalo city park

The project is estimated to cost around $60 million. Investment will come from the $8bn Legacy Fund in North Dakota, repaid with interest from the operating profits of the Buffalo City Park.

“If we get a good recommendation from the money manager it goes to the State Investment Board for final approval,” Lunde said. “We could be able to break ground in the spring of 2022 and open possibly in the middle of the year in 2024.”

Buffalo City Park would improve and build upon the area’s existing attractions, including the National Buffalo Museum and the world’s largest buffalo statue.

“We’re especially excited about the ability to broaden our footprint and reach,” said Ilana Xinos, executive director of the National Buffalo Museum. “We’re just here to tell the story of the bison and would love to do that on a larger scale.”

Images: Apogee Attractions

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Bea Mitchell

Bea is a journalist specialising in entertainment, attractions and tech with 10 years' experience. She has written and edited for publications including CNET, BuzzFeed, Digital Spy, Evening Standard and BBC. Bea graduated from King's College London and has an MA in journalism.

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