Universal pacts for theme park

Studio signs deal with USKOR

SEOUL — Universal Parks & Resorts has signed an Exclusive Option Agreement (EOA) with Korean company Uskor & Associates to pursue the opening of a Universal Studios theme park resort in Korea.

Launched in May 2006, Uskor is headed by Frank P. Stanek, a veteran of Disney and UPR who oversaw the development of Disneyland Tokyo and Universal Studios Osaka.

Uskor will launch consortium USK Holdings to oversee the development, construction and operation of the park and has already recruited a local construction firm to join the consortium as a strategic parter.

UPR prexy Thomas L. Williams said that a theme park and accompanying resort could be opened by 2012.

“We plan to devote the next year and a half to selecting a site and gaining approval from local authorities, with the next 3½ years devoted to construction of the park and preparation for its opening,” he said.

“In Korea, all the global theme park development projects announced so far have revolved around selection of a specific site before creation of a consensus with citizens, often resulting in the derailment of such projects,” said Stanek. Uskor is also considering the creation of themed content based on Korea’s reputation as a center of information technology and will explore partnerships with the local film industry.

In recent years, several Hollywood studios have explored the option of building theme parks in Korea, most recently when Paramount formed a partnership with Korean conglom Daewoo for a planned $1.03 billion site in the city of Incheon.

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