GOSHEN—A steady stream of vehicles brought several thousand area residents to an open house at the Palacio Catering and Conference Center in Goshen on July 7 to hear more about the proposed LEGOLAND New York theme park.
Merlin Entertainments PLC, the owner of LEGOLAND, is considering building a 153-acre LEGOLAND theme park and 250-room hotel on Rt. 17 in the Town of Goshen.
Children played with LEGOs while adults listened to LEGOLAND representatives talk about what the park will bring to Goshen and the County.
John Ussher, senior divisional director, and other consultants, explained the concept of the park, and talked about job opportunities.
LEGOLAND is projected to create 800 construction jobs, 500 full and 300 part time jobs, and another 500 seasonal jobs, LEGOLAND representatives say.
LEGO models were everywhere, and some were themed to the area: there was a “Keys of Goshen,” piano made of 2,500 LEGOs, the emblem of Orange County made of 5,000 LEGOs, a giant ninja created from more than 50,000 LEGOs, and more.
Christopher Harris and Randy Harris stood next to a LEGO knight at the ballooned entrance with their parents Philip Harris and Angela Harris. Angela, an educator, said she supports the park because it’s educational and entertaining. The park is something for parents to do with children and will bring jobs to Orange County, she said.
Angela researched other LEGOLAND parks around the world, like Japan and England, when she learned it might come to Goshen. “I think that it’s a smart move for us,” she said.
Tiffany Riley brought her three sons to the event “because these boys love LEGOs.” Whether Goshen should have the park, Riley was fifty-fifty.
“I live in Goshen so I of course am concerned about the traffic,” she said.
Jennifer Burke listened to the presentation while keeping an eye on two year old daughter, Katie Jean. Burke says she supports the park, “so far from what I see.”
“[Katie] will be about five when it arrives, so she’ll be at a perfect age to play there,” she said.
Monica Akinrele, a resident of Westtown, wanted to find out more about the traffic patterns. She hasn’t decided whether she supports the park yet.
“It really depends on traffic because that is our biggest concern right now,” she said.
Phil Royle, a manager of community and project relations for LEGOLAND Florida, said he plans to move to Goshen if plans for the theme park go forward.
He said he wants to make sure “people in the community are happy and they are getting questions answered.”
He estimated about two thousand residents attended the event.
To contact this reporter, email [email protected]