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The company behind the proposed Nickelodeon theme park to be based in New Orleans have missed a deadline for putting up funds needed to secure a crucial $100 million government bond.

Southern Star Amusements had been required to put up half a million dollars by October 26 in order to qualify for the Hurricane Katrina Business Development bond. However, they failed to do so and subsequently asked the state bond commission to withdraw ithe bond application.

There is still hope for the project, with Southern Star's Chief Financial Officer, Dan Kyle, saying that the company will have the money in place prior to the next bond commission meeting (on November 18). The money is required as a "good faith" payment and will be refunded in the event that the bond is approved.

The planned Nickelodeon park would sit on the site of the former Six Flags New Orleans park, which closed following Hurricane Katrina in August 2005. The project received a boost earlier this month when Six Flags reached an agreement with the city of New Orleans to terminate the remainder of its lease for the site.

Southern Star has a licensing agreement in place with Viacom's Nickelodeon to use its characters in the proposed park, though no opening date or construction timetable has yet been announced. The total cost of the project is estimated at $165 million, with a large proportion to come from the government bond scheme - set up to encourage rebuilding of Katrina-hit areas.


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