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Title Gwangwon-do Plans to Establish ‘Lego Land’ in Jungdo, Chuncheon

The Problem of Buried Cultural Heritages in Jungdo Needs to be Resolved


(Chuncheon=Yonhap News) Bo-Yeon Im, Hae-Yong Lee Reporter = There are plans to construct a comprehensive ‘Lego Land’ theme park in Jungdo, Uiamho, Chuncheon-si, Gangwon.


   On Nov. 3rd, Gangwon-do announced that it is negotiating with the U.K.’s Merlin Entertainment Group, which owns the Lego brand, to establish a Lego Land in Jungdo.


   The negotiations between Gangwon-do and the Merlin Group involve the establishment of a 1.322 million (about 400,000 pyeong) Lego Land in the Jungdo and Chuncheon areas. Also planned is a spa complex in upper Jungdo and a maritime sports complex, a condominium, a water park, a hotel, etc., in lower Jungdo.


   Also, there are plans to establish a retail facility in the area surrounding Chuncheon Station, which will be the final stop of the Gyeongchunseon Bokseon Subway, which is expected to open in December, so as to allow visitors to enjoy shopping.


   The entrance road will cost 80 billion won to build, and a monorail will be constructed instead of a bridge to make sure the landscape is not destroyed.


   The total project cost is estimated to be around 500 billion won, and the Merlin Group and Gwangwon-do will invest 100 billion won and 10 billion won, respectively, to establish a Special Purpose Company (SPC).


   Additionally, Gwangwon-do is reviewing the plan to lease a 1.322 million area in Jungdo and Geunhwa-dong, which is owned by Gwangwon-do and Chuncheon-si, to the Merlin Group for free.


Lego Land is a theme park for families with children based on the concept and materials of the block toy Lego. Currently, Lego Lands can be found in the U.S., Denmark, England and Germany, and two others are expected to open in Dubai in 2011 and Malaysia in 2013.


   In addition, Merlin Entertainment is the world’s second largest tourism facility enterprise and manages fifty-eight tourism facilities and six hotels in twelve countries, on three continents, around the world.


However, the Cultural Properties Protection Act is a major obstacle to carrying out this project, since many cultural heritages are buried in these areas. Also, the area has attracted much attention because of the many big projects that have been announced for Jungdo, which have subsequently made no real progress.


   Am-Shik Park, the head of the Investment Promotion Business Division said, “It is true that we are consulting with a foreign investment company to attract a world-class theme park to Jungdo, Chuncheon-si, but nothing has been decided yet. We plan to receive legal advice from global lawyers regarding the specific conditions as the investment environment for foreign investors is too strict.”


   He added, “In order to prevent the project from falling in to insolvency, we are considering making it a priority to invest first in the core facilities of the theme park. If this project goes well, Chuncheon will become a world-class tourist attraction.”

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