July 27, 1999
New Orleans, LA -- Now in its 12th month of a scheduled 22-month construction effort, Jazzland Theme Park continues to take shape. And perhaps the most exciting part of the construction is taking place this summer: the foundation and delivery of seven of Jazzland's 31 rides.
And counted in this number is Jazzland's signature Wooden Coaster-a 4,000-foot roller- coaster with a 110-foot lift that will thrill riders at 65 mph.
The other rides on tap for the summer are: the Pirate Ship, the Aviator, Shoot the Chutes, the Big Wheel, Space Shot/Turbo Drop and the Scooters (Bumper Cars). Work has also begun on the foundation for the Boomerang Coaster, which was delivered to the site in late December 1998.
According to Phil Clark, vice president/general manager of Jazzland Theme Park, "Jazzland is really beginning to have an identity. Visitors can actually envision the park plan from parking lots to the themed areas."
He adds, "Now that framing has begun, the progress is rapid and highly visible; in fact, some buildings already have roofs."
No longer simply a wooded area off Interstate 10 adjacent to Bayou Sauvage, the site of Jazzland Theme Park has been cleared, infrastructure work is pretty much done and 11 buildings are near structural completion, including gathering halls, gift shops, restaurants and restrooms. Additionally, the rides add an element of fun to the construction site.
Roy Mouledous, project manager for Broadmoor Construction Company, says, "This is the first theme park I've been involved in, and every time I talk about the different rides, I begin to get excited! Believe me, this park is going to be fun!"
Concrete: 4,800 yards of concrete have been poured out of a job total of 12,400 yards.
Pilings: In addition to the 383 Wooden Coaster pilings already driven, 7,460 of the 12,000 pilings on site have been driven.
There are hundreds of full- and part-time workmen employed by Broadmoor Construction and the subcontractors on site. This work force includes those assigned to the rides, the parking lot, the utilities and other specialty areas. The work force will peak at approximately 300.
Unlike any park in the United States, Jazzland is being built on a four-foot raised platform. Because New Orleans is below sea level, the park needs to be raised above its soft-soil setting. "The deck will be beautifully landscaped, and guests will have no idea they are actually on an enormous platform," explains Clark.
These are the common walkways throughout the park. Presently, workers are roughing in all electrical and special systems conduits under the midways. There will be literally miles and miles of wiring throughout the park.
Food and Beverage
The park will have food for all tastes and price ranges. Fare includes traditional festival food like hot dogs, hamburgers and funnel cakes as well as food reflective of Louisiana like gumbo, crawfish and beignets. Visitors can dine in at several restaurants, grab a bite at food kiosks or graze at food carts scattered throughout the park.
Jazzland has three parking lots. The employee lot was the first one to be finished, and it holds 400 cars. The main visitor lot, whose entrance is off Lake Forest Boulevard, is 30% complete; it holds 4,111 cars. The overflow lot, which accommodates 490 cars, is now complete.
Jazz Plaza is the main entrance to the theme park. Here, visitors will be able to rent strollers; buy cameras, hats and sunscreen; and purchase anything they need to make their visit more enjoyable.
This second themed area is the most complete to date. Of particular note are the Cajun Crafts building (a gift shop) and the Cajun Dance Hall.
Perhaps the most exciting part of Cajun Country is the Pirate Ship, one of the first major rides under construction. The slab for the Pirate Ship, which is 320 yards of concrete, was poured in the beginning of July. Delivery of the ride to the site is scheduled for August 1.
Reminiscent of New Orleans' beloved Pontchartrain Beach Amusement Park, this area is full of fun. Currently under construction are the Aviator Ride; the Scooter Building which will house the bumper cars and the Games Building; and the Giant Wheel which will tower high above the treeline.
Another feature in the Pontchartrain Beach section is really two "sister rides": the Space Shot and Turbo Drop. Placed side-by-side, these rides take the patrons 185 feet high, then power them downward. The Turbo Drop is the tallest ride in the park and offers a fantastic view while building up anticipation. Jazzland is one of the first parks to have a Turbo Drop.
These sister rides will be delivered the beginning of August.
A central part of Pontchartrain Beach is Jazz Lake which will be the setting for the remote control boats.
This fourth area is home to the Custom Wooden Coaster, Jazzland's signature ride. To date, 383 of 600 pilings have been driven. These also serve the queue and walkways. Another ride under construction in this area is Shoot the Chutes.
Festival Hall, made primarily of steel, is one of the central gathering places for the park. The steel structure will be delivered mid-July along with
the steel for the nearby gazebo and for an outside dining facility.
The Children's Area is the next area planned for construction. Work should begin there this fall.
Jazzland Theme Park will open in May 2000.