Nashville could have two bible-theme parks

June 16, 2008 at 2:53 PM

NASHVILLE, June 16 (UPI) -- Nashville could have two Bible theme parks thanks to a developing rivalry in Middle Tennessee.

The competition comes as The Holy Land Experience plans an expansion from its Orlando base to Hendersonville headquarters of Trinity Music City -- even as Bible Park USA, which has been attempting to buy land outside Murfreesboro continues its efforts to find a site. But some observers have questioned whether there is sufficient interest to support any new amusement park, the Nashville Tennessean reported Monday.

"This is not a good time to be opening theme parks," said Dennis Spiegel, president of International Theme Park Services Inc., an industry consulting firm. "And history has shown us that Bible theme parks just haven't done well."

In addition, Bible Park USA has run into other problems this spring in the face of resistance from Murfreesboro residents who didn't want a $180 million, 200-acre theme park in their neighborhood. The developers are now looking to other communities, including Lebanon, Tenn.

"There's an old Jewish saying: 'When it rains on the market, everyone gets wet,'" said Bible Park USA chief executive Ronen Paldi, explaining the developers' continued faith in moving forward.

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