Monday, November 26, 2007

Universal Studios picks site for South Korean theme park

Universal Studios picks site for $3.1 billion South Korean theme park

Universal Parks & Resorts and South Korea's Gyeonggi province said they have agreed on plans for a $3.1 billion theme park to be built south of Seoul.

The park, to be built in the city of Hwaseong, is set to open in 2012 and will lead to the creation of over 58,000 new jobs, said a press release provided by Universal Parks & Resorts, the operator of Universal Studios theme parks, and Gyeonggi province. The release said the two sides would sign a formal agreement later.

Universal Parks & Resorts, a division of General Electric Co.'s NBC Universal, operates parks in Orlando, Florida, and Hollywood, California, in the United States, as well as in Osaka, Japan.

The parks include attractions based on Universal films including "E.T. The Extra-Terrestrial" and "King Kong," as well as movies made by other studios such as "Spiderman" and "Shrek."

Universal, which first announced plans for a park in South Korea in May, is cooperating with South Korean partners including Posco Engineering & Construction Co., a unit of steelmaker Posco.

Universal Parks & Resorts is also developing Universal Studios parks in Singapore and Dubai.

The location, about 19 miles south of Seoul and also close to its main international airport in Incheon, will be conducive to attracting both South Korean visitors as well as those from nearby China, the release said.Plans are for the facility to also include a convention center, hotels golf courses and an outlet mall, the release said. ◦

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