Where? In Freaking Eloy?

JD Tuccille has a roundup on the state boondoggle that won't die, the proposed 3/4 of a Billion dollar state subsidy for an amusement park. 

Now, this seems like an awful lot for an amusement park, particularly considering that the Arizona desert has been the death of many theme parks.  The reason is that no one wants to be outside for extended periods of time in June-Sept in the Phoenix or Tucson areas.  Because it is freaking hot.  The average daily forecasts is generally for 108-112F for these summer months.  But theme parks live and die in the summer, when kids are out of school.  Even though they have milder weather and a large population base at Magic Mountain in LA, they still only open for weekends and holidays during the non-summer months.  My guess, from running a similar seasonal business, Magic Mountain loses money most of the year and make 100%+ of their profit in the summer.

So spending $750 million of taxpayer money on a theme park in the Arizona heat would be a bad idea if located in Phoenix.  But what happens when we put it in Eloy, Arizona?  Eloy is just as hot, but is in the middle of nowhere, as shown below at the point of the "A" balloon.


People will come here, from where?  Tucson folks in the summer will want to go someplace even hotter than Tucson?  Phoenix folks will want to drive 2 hours to spend their time in the hot sun, when the same distance north puts them in the cool mountains?  And here is beautiful downtown Eloy, brimming with wealth enough to repay over a billion dollars of principal and interest.


This project is absolutely guanteed to fail, leaving the bill with taxpayers.  I mean, seriously.  Never have I seen such a lock.  I wish there was a way to short this.

This is only the most eggregious of a laundry list of proposed government pork being pushed under the banner of "job creation" at a time when the state budget is over a billion dollars in deficit.


  1. George Weinberg:

    Have you looked into prediction markets? I think it's theoretically possible to short just about anything, although you probably won't be able to make much money since you'll find few takers for the other side of the contract.

  2. BobH:

    All you need to know about Eloy is summed up by the fact that the high school sports teams are known as the Dust Devils.

    My college roommate, who was from there, used the desire to escape as sufficient motivation to propel him through med school.

    Is this the "rock 'n roll" theme park they were touting a few months ago? I thought that was a bit farther north on the reservation nearer Phoenix. In either case, it's a loser.

  3. Yoshidad:

    For the record, I'm down with Coyote on this one. Sounds like the kind of project that only a pathetic opportunist, or a state senator could love: great photo ops, crap job-creation results. (So few great photo ops at the improved water treatment plant, though...Dang!) And what are they paying at amusement parks now, anyway? Is it more than minimum wage?

    Any bets about whether somebody has received favors from an amusement park equipment manufacturer? Lobbyists, gotta love 'em.

    But what should the banner at the ribbon-cutting say: "Amusement Park Accomplished!" ?

  4. Doc:

    What I would like to know is, cui bono? Who had the juice to get this thing moving in the legislature in the first place?

  5. mr natural:

    Where can I buy stock in this thing. I lost my shorts in Salton Sea real estate and need to recoup.

  6. linearthinker:

    Thinking outside the box. Looks like a perfect site to view those elusive "Phoenix Lights" and maybe catch a glimpse of the mother ship. Capture the dinner crowd. Give the kids something to remember.

  7. melissa:

    I lived 45 minutes from Magic Mountain L.A. and I much rather have Hot and dry summer wheather at the park than Hot and humid. It gets to be 108 at the park in summer add that with 50% humidity. I think its a great idea and will create more jobs here in the desert.