In an effort to cash in on Seattle’s lost ‘final frontier’ image, the city council voted today to turn the historic Pioneer Square neighborhood into a wild west themed park and mall.
Because Pioneer Square already boasts a large amount of local historical significance it was a natural choice for a new theme park experience focusing on Seattle’s romantic frontier past.
“Today I’m proud to announce the upcoming opening of Pioneer Village,” said Mayor Greg Nickels. “A fun—and more importantly, educational—experience that Seattle is proud to call its own.”
The city will partner with King County as well as a handful of prominent local corporations such as Boeing, Starbucks, and Microsoft, to provide funding for the construction of the theme park. Proceeds from ticket sales will be split 80/10/10 between the sponsors, King County, and the city of Seattle, with the county’s portion being used to pay off the outstanding debt on the Kingdome, and the city using their revenue to buy paint for the “Greenest City Ever” initiative.
Pioneer Village features will include a number of rides and games such as the Boeing-Go-Round, a Starbucks Coffee Dunk Tank, and the Microsoft Octopus of Innovation, as well as educational activities in which participants get a first-hand experience of the challenges of building a city on a tidal mud flat.
Drawing on Seattle’s long history of environmental leadership and green policies dating back to the 1870s, the park will also make use of innovative green theme park technologies, such as using the solid emissions of the horse-drawn carriages to generate electricity via a methane digester.
In addition to making the run-down neighborhood a more desirable place for locals and tourists, the conversion will also solve the growing problem of homelessness and drug use in Pioneer Square by hiring vagrants to run the rides and concession stands. “Not only do they know the area better than anyone,” said Councilmember Jan Drago, “but they also have an extensive background in solicitation, making them the ideal candidates to trick people into playing hopeless carnival games.”
Area businesses were thrilled at the announcement. “This is great news,” said Pamela Acheson, a tour guide for the Pioneer Square-based Seattle Underground Tour. “I hope they’re able to incorporate some of our hilarious anecdotes about “seamstresses” and backed up crappers into the theme park experience.”
The council hopes to have Pioneer Village up and running by January 2010, just in time for a surge of tourism expected to pour over the Canadian border during the 2010 Winter Olympics in Vancouver.
Story Tip: Pete Newland of GameBrainSpew – Thanks, Pete!