I don't know how this story slipped by me last week:
Llewellyn Werner admits he is facing obstacles most amusement park developers never have to deal with—insurgent attacks and looting.
When you are building an amusement park in downtown Baghdad, those risks come with the territory.
Mr Werner, chairman of C3, a Los Angeles-based holding company for private equity firms, is pouring millions of dollars into developing the Baghdad Zoo and Entertainment Experience, a massive American-style amusement park that will feature a skateboard park, rides, a concert theatre and a museum. It is being designed by the firm that developed Disneyland….
A $1 million skateboard park, the first phase of the development, will open in July. Parts for 200,000 skateboards and materials to build ramps will be shipped from America to Iraq for assembly at state-owned factories and distributed free to Iraqi children along with helmets and knee pads.
If the attraction does open as planned, I'd be curious to learn how many of its costs are being borne by private investors who actually expect it to be a profitable park, and how many are being subsidized—via government factories, government security, or any other means—by leaders eager to establish a Potemkin Disneyland.