City officials have denied that the defunct Six Flags New Orleans theme park is scheduled for demolition, claiming that an offer to redevelop the site is still under consideration.
Teddy Smith, the creator of a video shot inside the park in October, claimed last week that Six Flags New Orleans would be demolished in January 2011. With the video and the associated claim having spread across dozens of websites, the city has acted to quell the rumors - saying that "there is no plan" to dismantle the park's rides.
Eric Granderson, the chief of staff for New Orleans council chairman Arnie Fielkow, told nola.com: "We have heard that rumor. But it isn't true." Instead, the council claims that a deal to hand the park over to a new operator is still in the offing, although it declined to give further details.
Smith's claim to have had permission to shoot the video has also been disputed, with city spokesman Ryan Berni saying that while Smith had permission to capture footage as part of the crew for the movie "The Courier", no such permission had been granted for the shooting of his own video (which is embedded below).
Six Flags New Orleans closed follow Hurricane Katrina in August 2005, and the site has been out of use ever since. In October 2009, former operator Six Flags reached an agreement with the City of New Orleans to terminate the remainder of its lease for the site.
Southern Star Amusement Inc. tried to revive the site in 2009, after reaching a deal with entertainment group Nickelodeon to license its characters for use in the park. However, it failed to secure financial backing for deal, and Nickelodeon subsequently pulled out blaming Southern Star for failing to meets its obligations. It later said it would still consider a theme park project on the site if another developer came forward, but the park's fate now looks sealed.
The total cost for redeveloping the New Orleans park had been estimated at $165 million by Southern Star. A large proportion of this would have come from a government bond scheme set up to encourage rebuilding of Katrina-hit areas.