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Amusement Parks: Nickelodeon Enters Into Licensing Arrangement to Create a New Nick-Branded Water and Theme Park in New Orleans, Louisiana

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Nickelodeon, the City of New Orleans and Southern Star Amusement, Inc. (SSA) today announced plans to create a new Nickelodeon water and theme park in New Orleans, LA — Nickelodeon Universe New Orleans.

Nickelodeon — the number-one kids’ entertainment brand — and Southern Star have entered into a licensing arrangement in which Southern Star will construct the new park themed with the Nickelodeon brand and its characters. The Nickelodeon/SSA agreement is part of the City of New Orleans’ and SSA’s redevelopment plans for the existing 65-acre theme park space (formerly Jazzland/Six Flags) in Eastern New Orleans, and will represent Nickelodeon’s first-ever outdoor theme park.

Plans for the park include the addition of brand-new rides including several major water-based attractions and the renovation of existing attractions, all to be themed with Nickelodeon’s popular programs and characters, including: SpongeBob SquarePants, Dora the Explorer, Go, Diego, Go! and Avatar: The Last Airbender. Nickelodeon costumed characters, live interactive entertainment, retail shops, games, food establishments and more also will be featured. Construction will begin this fall after the creative and architectural plans are complete and the park is targeted to be in service by the end of 2010.

Under the terms of the agreement, Nickelodeon will receive a licensing fee and the City of New Orleans will retain a leasing arrangement with Southern Star Amusements. The rebuilding of the park would be funded by private investors and partially by GO Zone bonds. There will be no local public funding used to construct the park.

The New Orleans theme park will be the first-ever outdoor theme park for Nickelodeon and will mark the network’s second stand-alone amusement park. The first — Nickelodeon Universe — was opened in Minneapolis’ Mall of America in 2008. Nickelodeon also has several branded lands and attractions in North American regional theme parks including Universal Studios in Orlando, Fla. and Hollywood, Calif., as well as Nick Central at Dreamworld Australia and Movie Park Germany.

"The Nickelodeon brand is perfect for the redevelopment of this area and will make a very positive impact on the City of New Orleans, " said New Orleans’ Mayor C. Ray Nagin. "We expect the new theme park will draw even more new visitors to our wonderful city and are looking forward to getting this project underway."

"We hope to provide the residents and visitors of New Orleans with a first-class destination for family entertainment with this new park, " said Howard Smith, executive vice president of Recreation, Nickelodeon/MTVN Kids and Family Group. "New Orleans is a vibrant city and a great location for our first stand-alone theme park, and we are honored to play a role in its rebuilding effort."

"Amusement park services in New Orleans East have been a work in progress for more than two years so we’re thrilled to be taking such a big step forward on this project, " said Danny Rogers, founder of Southern Star Amusement. "With the help of Nickelodeon, we plan to turn this once shuttered park into a mecca of entertainment and a wonderful playground for locals, visitors and families alike, while adding jobs and a new source of revenue to the city."

Nickelodeon entertains more than 30 million guests a year with a wide variety of family entertainment and attractions around the world. Nickelodeon is a leading producer of top quality theatrical and touring shows for kids and their families, with more than 15 theatrical stage productions including Dora the Explorer Live, Go, Diego, Go Live!, The Backyardigans Live! Tale of the Mighty Knights and more. Nickelodeon also has a world class hotel resort business including the Nickelodeon Family Suites in Orlando, Fla. and the Nickelodeon Resorts by Marriott which provide family friendly accommodations, amenities and experiences in destination markets.

About Southern Star Amusement

Southern Star Amusement, Inc. is a location based entertainment development company dedicated to creating quality, family friendly attractions.

About Nickelodeon

Nickelodeon, now in its 30th year, is the number-one entertainment brand for kids. It has built a diverse, global business by putting kids first in everything it does. The company includes television programming and production in the United States and around the world, plus consumer products, online, recreation, books, magazines and feature films. Nickelodeon’s U.S. television network is seen in more than 99 million households and has been the number-one-rated basic cable network for 15 consecutive years. For more information or artwork, visit http://www.nickpress.com/. Nickelodeon and all related titles, characters and logos are trademarks of Viacom Inc. (NYSE:VIA) (NYSE: VIA.B) .

Source: City of New Orleans

CONTACT: Joanna Roses, Nickelodeon, +1-212-846-7326, or +1-310-266-6130
(cell), joanna.roses@nick.com; or Ceeon Quiett, City of New Orleans,
+1-504-658-4928, or +1-504-473-0776 (cell), Ceeon.Quiett@mayorofno.com

Web Site: http://www.cityofno.com/

See also:
Theme Parks: Southern Star Amusement comments on IDB meeting

Southern Star Amusement announces plans for shuttered New Orleans amusement park
Nickelodeon Names John Paul Geurts Vice President and Creative Director, Nickelodeon Recreation
Howard Smith Named Executive Vice President, Nickelodeon Recreation

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