Welcome to Bible Park USA

 

Bible Park USA is a one-of-a-kind themed story park that brings the Bible to life through well-loved, familiar stories and ancient historical experiences.

FAQs

1. Can you describe the Bible Park USA?

The Bible Park USA is a “story park,” offering visualizations of well-loved Bible stories and representations of history as it was in ancient times in the Holy Land. The Park is truly based on a unique concept, combining education and entertainment to provide a cultural, educational and fun experience of the Bible through well-loved, familiar stories and the ancient customs and culture of the times. The Park’s designers are planning many features of special interest, including:

  1. Bible Land Fly-Through indoor ride that boasts the newest generation of IMAX-like technology with surround imagery
  2. Exodus Experience, an indoor experience featuring the parting of the Red Sea with high-tech standing 25-foot waves and image projection
  3. Entire Teen area with an enclosed ride, coffee house, sports arcade and retail shops;
  4. State-of-the-art recording studio where teen choirs and church choirs will be invited to record;
  5. Recreation of Noah’s Ark and a play where animals from the Ark will act and
  6. Places for youth groups and Bible study groups where they will be surrounded by the full text of the New Testament inscribed on a stone wall.

    Key features of the Park include a Williamsburg-style authentic working Galilean Village, an outdoor covered amphitheater for live concerts, and a museum with traveling exhibitions.


2. How did you develop the idea for a Bible Park?

The Bible Park USA is the idea of Ronen Paldi, an Israeli-born American citizen who lives and works in Portland, Oregon. Through Mr. Paldi’s work as the owner of a travel company taking American Christian pilgrims on trips to the Holy Land, he has come to know hundreds of people and clergypersons at churches throughout the U.S. for the past 30 years. Mr. Paldi observed that while many people want to visit the Holy Land, often they do not or cannot because of financial or time constraints, or security fears. He began to dream of bringing an experience of the Holy Land to the U.S. for those people who would never get a chance to see it and experience it, and that is where the idea of the Bible Park USA began.

3. How many jobs will the Park bring to your County?

In addition to seasonal jobs that will most likely be filled by State students (most of whom need good part-time jobs to help fund their college expenses), we are planning for some 250 full-time and professional jobs that include Park’s top managers as well as full-time professionals in accounting, human resources, security, park operations and other disciplines necessary to keep the Park open and functioning year-round.

We believe these 250 jobs will provide a significant boost to area employment and are exactly in line with goals set by officials and leaders for adding professional, white-collar jobs to the region.

Additionally, a Bible Park University will be created to train every employee, from the janitor to the CEO, on how to be an entertainment professional. This will not only maximize the experience of our visitors but provide all our of employees with a strong foundation for their careers.

4. Why is the Bible Park USA for-profit instead of not-for-profit?

As we began to work the feasibility of the idea of the Bible Park USA some three years ago, we learned that some Bible-based projects around the country were struggling because their not-for-profit nature limits what experiences they can offer due to inadequate funds.

Having a well designed, state-of-the-art, topline “edutainment” experience will sustain our park over the very long term. By designing the Park as a largely private investment, we have the necessary funds to employ the best professionals in the fields of design, construction, traffic management, engineering, marketing, management, operations and other necessary disciplines to ensure the long-term health and success of the Park, as well as to continue to maintain and upgrade the Park over the long term to continue to attract repeat visitors and new visitors.


5. Some people are concerned about locating the Park close to homes. Can you explain why you believe this will work?

Many, if not all, themed parks are located close to residential neighborhoods throughout the country. Busch Gardens in Tampa, Universal Studios in Orlando, Dorney Park in Allentown, PA, and Knotts Berry Farm in Anaheim, to name a few, are located close to residential areas. If well-planned, parks — especially quiet parks like the Bible Park USA — and neighborhoods can peacefully co-exist and complement one another. The way to make this work includes establishing an adequate buffer zone, developing a solid traffic management plan, and maintaining noise and light controls, all of which are an integral objectives of the master planners currently at work on the master plan for the Bible Park USA. The Bible Park USA most closely resembles a zoological park or botanical garden since it is very passive in nature without roller coasters and other tall thrill rides.


6. Can you provide the details of other successful religious theme parks in the U.S.?

Actually, there is no other similar park to the Bible Park USA in the U.S. or anywhere else, according to our research. Many mention the Holy Land Experience in Orlando, the Passion Play and adjacent park in Eureka Springs, AR, or the Sight & Sound Theatre in Strasburg, PA, but those parks are all very different from the Bible Park USA with some being non-profit ministries and some much smaller in focus, scale and attendance. We believe the Bible Park USA will be a leader in its own niche and very successful in its own right.


7. Can you explain how the Bible Park USA will be funded?

Preliminary plans call for the majority of the funding for the Bible Park by private investors which are already committed to the project. The remainder of the funding may be provided by tax incremental financing (TIF). TIF uses the additional property taxes paid as a result of development to pay for part of the development costs. When a new building is constructed, the market value of the property and its property taxes typically rise. Classic examples would be building a new store on an undeveloped parcel or replacing one or more old buildings with a new, larger building. In both of these instances, the market value of the property will rise because the improvements add value to the parcel. With the Bible Park USA, TIF would involve temporarily using a portion of any new property and sales taxes generated by the Park itself to fund bonds that would pay for a portion of the Park. These funds are entirely new taxes that currently are not being collected on that property. These funds do not represent a single dollar of appropriation by the county; all taxes currently being generated by the property, primarily property taxes, would still be collected; and all revenue earmarked for schools would be retained for the schools from the day the Park opens. Once the bonds are retired, 100% of the new taxes would flow directly to the county and state. The county would never be responsible for any bond payments on behalf of the Park for any reason, even if the Park failed. That is a risk the bond-holders fully assume. Tax increment financing is used in all 50 states.