Theme park investor withdraws from talks after Marawi siege


CAGAYAN DE ORO CITY: A multinational investor eyeing to build a theme park in this city pulled out from talks due to the now three-week-old Marawi City siege.

This was confirmed by Elmer Francisco, a consultant for the Philippine Economic Zones Authority (PEZA), who identified the investor as a subsidiary of the popular children’s channel Cartoon Network.

Francisco said the foreign investor was supposed to build a smaller version of its amusement park in Thailand in a 111-hectare property in Barangay Lumbia, this city, but the talks with PEZA collapsed when the Marawi hostilities broke out on May 23.

Turner Broadcasting Asia Pacific, owner of the Cartoon Network television franchise, partnered with Amazon Falls to build Pattaya Waterpark in Thailand in 2014. The amusement park features rides and attractions from the popular cartoon shows.

Lumbia, located in the uptown portion of the city, is favored for mixed-use type developments and is previously the site of this region’s main airport before it was transferred to a more modern facility in Laguindingan town, Misamis Oriental, over five years ago.

Francisco said the investor has now expressed interest in finding a suitable spot in Central Luzon. He said the failed project was a huge setback considering the impact that it could have on the tourism industry in Northern Mindanao.

“Once peace and order is swiftly restored, I’m still bullish that more investors will still come in. That is our continuing mandate in PEZA,”



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