Entech’s Client List includes Universal Studios and Warner Brothers
By SCOTT MCKIE B.P./ONE FEATHER STAFF
The Cherokee Fun Park property, one of the first sites visitors see when they enter Cherokee through the Great Smoky Mountains National Park, has sat dormant to the point of falling into disrepair. That will change soon as a world-renowned theme park development firm is planning to reopen the Park.
Entech Creative, based in Orlando, plans to revamp the property into the Cherokee Family Fun Park utilizing state-of-the-art design and fabrication that has been used in theme parks around the world. Entech’s list of clients reads like a “Who’s Who” of attractions including: Universal Studios, Six Flags, Paramount Theme Parks, Sea World, Ripley’s, and others.
“We are very excited about the re-opening of the Fun Park,” said Principal Chief Michell Hicks. “Our Economic Development Office has worked very hard to find a tenet and we are pleased that Entech Creative Industries will be revitalizing this attraction. Entech is anticipating re-opening the park within the year, and over the next several years Entech will be expanding the site and the entertainment opportunities for our youth and visitors. This is an excellent example of the attractions that will lure visitors and entice them to stay a little longer in Cherokee.”
The exact nature of the attraction hasn’t been finalized, but the Park will be family-oriented and will contain a Miniature Golf Adventure, a Speed Challenge, and others.
“The process of recruitment for this caliber of designer and theme park operator during these tough economic times was very hard,” said Dr. Mickey Duvall, director of EBCI Economic Development who also related the lease was signed by Entech for the property on Dec. 22, 2009. “It took a lot time and energy from our staff, and I want to thank our entire staff.”
Dr. Duvall related that Chief Hicks made the initial contact with Entech and gave him credit for initiating the project. “I want to thank the Chief for his direction in helping us and the Tribal Council and Planning Board. It took a joint effort to get this caliber of operator into Cherokee. We’ve been able to attract one of the number one theme park developers in the world.”
He said the new Park will be culturally-sensitive and correct and related that Entech will work closely with EBCI cultural advisors. “They want to be culturally correct in everything that they do. They want to create a class A park.”
Dr. Duvall said the Park, like other ventures of the Tribe, will try to employ as many EBCI tribal members as possible with the goal being to eventually have tribal members in managerial positions.
An exact opening date has yet to be established, but Dr. Duvall related it could be as early as May. To view more information on Entech, visit their website at www.entechcreative.com.