SMALL AMUSEMENT PARK COMING TO GUAM

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Tuman Bay attraction to open in February

By Arvin Temkar

HAGATNA, Guam (Pacific Daily News, Dec. 26, 2011) – An unassembled Viking ship is sitting empty on a Tumon hill. By early next year, Hong Soon Im hopes the ship will be full of screaming customers.

Im, owner of Miki Taxi, is building Tumon's first amusement park, set to open Feb. 17.

Three rides

The small park, which will be next to his Bayview Hotel office, will offer three rides when it opens: bumper cars; the Viking ship, which will swing like a pendulum; and a spinning wheel, similar to a giant, off-kilter roulette table.

Im is planning to open another attraction later in the year, though he hasn't decide what yet. One idea is a balloon that will lift riders 500 feet into the air.

The amusement park will provide a new evening activity for families visiting the area, said Im, who sometimes counsels the governor on economic issues and is active in the Guam Visitors Bureau.

Family fun

Im had been wondering what families could do at night, other than go shopping. His solution: an amusement park.

The idea was inspired by the Guam Slingshot, a ride that has enjoyed years of activity in Tumon. Unlike the Slingshot though, which caters to the daring and only serves two at a time, his amusement park will be accessible to a wider range of customers, he said.

Investment

But the investment is risky. The banks he approached wouldn't help him, so he turned to Japanese investors. At $2.5 million, the project already is over budget, and he doesn't expect to make back his money for another six years. This is his first venture into the amusement park business, so he isn't sure what to expect. Even something like a very wet rainy season could dampen the popularity of an outdoor park.

Im remains optimistic, however. If successful, he will continue building similar parks.

Im believes there's still room for innovation on Guam.

"This is not everything we can do," he said. "This, I hope, is the beginning."

Pacific Daily News: http://www.guampdn.com

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