MGM recently announced it plans to build its first foreign theme park, called MGM Studio City, in Busan, Korea. The film distributor held a press conference on March 15 at the Grand Hyatt Hotel in Seoul with its Korean partners, GLOVIT, and Busan Metropolitan City, regarding the establishment of the theme park.
In the press meeting, Travis Rutherford, MGM executive vice president, Heo Nam-sik, mayor of Busan Metropolitan City, and Lee Seong-yong, CEO of GLOVIT, announced that MGM’s first foreign theme park will be built on a 1 million square meter site in a tourist complex in Dongbusan, Gijang-gun, Busan. MGM Studio City, which is scheduled to be completed in 2010, is the first visual theme park to be build around the themes of certain famous film properties. However, the park in Busan will face stiff competition from two popular theme parks in the Seoul area, Disney parks in Tokyo and Hong Kong as well as a Universal Studios theme park in Osaka.
The project’s first phase will include the construction of the Studio Park, the Hollywood Way, a Hollywood Hotel, a film academy, and an entertainment school, which are to be followed by Water Park and various accommodation facilities including Water Park Hotel, which will accommodate about 2,000 visitors.
“For the MGM Studio City project, we have been closely discussing with SkyView Advisors, MGM’s Korean agency, to decide on matters from the selection of a partner to the selection of the best site for the theme park,” an MGM official said at the press meeting.
“We believe that launching the first foreign theme park of MGM, which is one of the world’s largest movie producers, in Busan is very meaningful, and we hope to offer a new kind of leisure experience to those who visit our futuristic, cutting-edge theme park, which will showcase Korea’s state-of-the-art information technology.”
In April last year, an investor group led by Sony Corp of America, a division of Japan’s Sony Corp., acquired MGM for around $3 billion.