The $175 million Bible theme park is to be constructed on a 113-acre tract fronting on Interstate 40 between Cainsville Road and Tater Peeler Road.
Wyatt also said the park would employ 250 people full time and would need about another 1,000 seasonal employees.
Wyatt said the theme park should be open to the public in 2-1/2 to 3 years.
Financing, according to Lebanon Mayor Don Fox, will come in part from investors and in part from bonds to be repaid by Tax Increment Financing (TIF).
Fox explained the plan as follows:
TIF uses increased taxes from an area surrounding the new development to repay the portion of the funding not covered by the private investors.
Essentially, this means if the value of property increases because of the new development, the city or county still receives the entire original tax amount, but the added tax goes to pay back the bond issue. And if the project fails for any reason, the taxing authority (the city or county) is NOT liable to finish paying off the bond. Instead the holders of the bond are responsible.
The Hard Rock Park’s closing on Wednesday was directly tied to the economy.
"The park which opened in April, never had enough money for promotion to begin with, and the credit crisis that unfolded across the country over the summer made it impossible to get more," said Jim Olecki, a Hard Rock Park company spokesman.
The 55-acre, $400 million theme park plans to re-open in 2009.