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L.A. company to help build martial arts theme park in China Los Angeles Times
December 7, 2011 – A Los Angeles company is teaming up with a Chinese investment group to build a $3.1-billion martial arts-themed park and leisure resort in central China.
Los Angeles Major Antonio Villaraigosa, who attended a signing ceremony in Beijing as part of a 12-day mission to Asia, said the project could create hundreds of jobs in Los Angeles and may mean millions of dollars in revenue for the theme park designer, Ikonic Entertainment Group.
The project would be built south of the manufacturing city of Shiyan in the Wudang Mountains, known as the birthplace of the Chinese martial arts form known as kung fu.
The announcement of an agreement between Ikonic and the Shiyan-based Taichi Lake Group is only the first step in the development of what the two companies are calling the largest theme park and resort in China.
Ikonic was founded last year by Tony Christopher, chief executive of Burbank-based Landmark Entertainment Group, and Jack Chen, CEO of Transworld Capital Group, a Los Angeles investment firm specializing in business developments in China.
“The cooperation agreement signed today represents the future: We are combining our strengths, investing in one another, and fostering greater tourism and business between the U.S. and China,” Villaraigosa said in a statement.
Under the plan, Ikonic will provide master planning, concept creation and construction oversight for the theme park, a live show and other elements of the project. No one could be reached Tuesday at the offices of Ikonic, Landmark Entertainment or Transworld Capital Group.
Founded by Christopher and attraction designer Gary Goddard in the 1980s, Landmark helped design several popular theme park attractions, including Jurassic Park: the Ride at Universal Studios Hollywood, Terminator 2: 3-D at Universal Studios Florida and the Amazing Adventures of Spider-Man at Universal’s Islands of Adventure in Orlando, Fla.
Martial-Arts Theme Park Planned for China The Wall Street Journal
December 6, 2011 – A Los Angeles-based entertainment group plans to co-develop a $3.1 billion theme park and resort in China’s Hubei province with a local investment firm, two people familiar with the project said.
Ikonic Entertainment Group will plan and design a martial-arts-themed park, as well as a $50 million live show, one of the people said.
The development, if it receives the necessary approvals, will be located at Wudang Mountain in Hubei, which is famous as a center of Chinese martial arts.
Ikonic is a new entity co-founded by Tony Christopher, head of Landmark Entertainment Group LLC, an entertainment production company. Landmark has a history of creating amusement-park attractions, including “Terminator 2: 3D” for Universal Studios Florida and “Jurassic Park—The Ride” for Universal Studios Hollywood.
The China project is being developed with Hubei Wudang Taichi Lake Investment Group Co., which invests in local cultural and urban development projects, said one of the people familiar with the project. Media and entertainment companies are battling for a stake in one of the world’s fastest-growing markets. Earlier this year, Walt Disney Co. broke ground on Shanghai Disneyland, part of a $4.4 billion Disney resort which is planned to include hotels, restaurants, retail shops and other amenities.
The park plan, reported by at least one Chinese media outlet in recent weeks, would constitute one of the largest foreign investments ever in China. The ambitious plan would require numerous central government approvals, including of a framework agreement that in Disney’s case took more than a year to pass muster with authorities in Beijing after it was approved in Shanghai.
In addition to the Wudang Mountain project, Ikonic and Taichi Lake plan to develop an oceanfront amusement park in Qingzhou, Shandong province, and an Ikonic-produced videogame featuring tai chi kung fu legends. The companies will also develop a traveling martial-arts show, featuring Taoist and taichi kung fu culture that is expected to tour U.S. college campuses.
Ikonic Entertainment Group Launches Major Design and Development Project in China: LA Mayor Villaraigosa Attends Signing Ceremony in Beijing
BEIJING, December 6, 2011 – Ikonic Entertainment Group is pleased to announce that it has reached a comprehensive cooperation agreement with Shiyan, China-based Taichi Lake Group to design and develop what is to become China’s largest theme park and world class leisure resort project, set in Hubei Province’s Wudang Mountain region, with a total investment of $3.1 billion.
Ikonic will provide master planning, concept creation, schematic design, design development, and construction oversight services in support of the project’s entertainment-related components, which include a Taichi Kung Fu-themed park, a $50 million live show, and related media production and publishing, totaling over $300 million. The Wudang Mountain area is the birthplace of Taichi Kung Fu, an important center of Chinese Daoist culture and also a thriving commercial hub.
Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa today personally attended a signing ceremony in Beijing as part of his 12-day trade mission to Asia in support of L.A. exports, job growth, increased investment and tourism. Others in attendance included Vice Governor of Hubei Province, Zhang Tong, Shiyan City Mayor, Zhou Ji, former U.S. Trade Representative and Secretary of Commerce, Mickey Kantor, as well as over 60 members of the Chinese and international media.
“The cooperation agreement signed today represents the future: We are combining our strengths, investing in one another, and fostering greater tourism and business between the US and China,” Mayor Villaraigosa said. “Ikonic and Taichi’s partnership will bring out the best of both cultures while generating economic prosperity for Los Angeles and China.”