This is the last time I will go over this with you, I told you I would be willing to answer your questions. I did not say I would put up with abuse. I am open to your ideas and yes some criticism as I know I am not perfect, however I will remind all of you that I am the one doing the work (my company) taking the risks and spending our money to try and save the park. So please again be civil.
You know there will always be a lot of he-said she-said when it comes to what happened. I can tell you my version, and the public facts that anybody can look up for themselves, and you can decide for yourselves. When we had the press conference, we had to actually threaten to do it without Nagin before he'd even agree to put us on the IDB agenda, and he publicly said it was a Nickelodeon property. Six Flags still had the lease but was going through bankruptcy. We repeatedly asked for discussions about what our lease terms would be and they kept saying "when we're done with Six Flags, we'll talk to you". We went to the IDB on blind faith that we would get the property, but even the IDB brought up the issue that how could they approve the bonds when we didn't have control yet. The Nickelodeon folks had to stand up and state their case, and even then, 2 IDB members voted no. We had a deadline in our contract with Nickelodeon that said we had to have control of the property by a certain date. The mayor knew this because they insisted on having a copy before they'd okay us for the IDB (apparently Nickelodeon meeting with them and telling them on the phone wasn't good enough). I know we're ashamed at how the city and state treated them, it was embarrassing. They are good people and a great company, and the city and state should have been bending over backwards the way they did for the steel mill, chicken or sweet potato plant instead of insulting them. Even the department of economic development at the state level said that since they weren't competing with another state to get them, there wasn't anything they could do to help.
When it came time for the state bond meeting, we were all there in the basement of the state capital, right outside the meeting room. The mayor had yet to put anything in writing that we'd ever get the property, Six Flags still had control, and we were past the deadline in the contract. We were told that someone from the mayor's office would be there to voice their support of the project, but they didn't show. Everybody was in agreement, but I made the call to pull our name from the agenda. I was going to wait until the November meeting. As everybody here knows, the PR folks were in charge of everything that was said, and I wasn't posting anything, so we had to live with all the things that were being said without being able to tell our side of things. Anybody that knows me knows how hard that was for me. A week later, we got a letter from the mayor's office that said they were pulling their support of the project because we didn't go to the state meeting the week before. Nickelodeon was copied on the letter. The next day the contract was terminated because we didn't have control of the property. I tried to fight it because I knew what it would mean for the city and I hated seeing such a great opportunity wasted. A month or so later, in December 2009, the city finally got control of the property. It has been sitting without any security whatsoever ever since. You can say "well court things just take time", and yes, you'd be right. But you can also look up all the court records and see that the city never filed anything in the bankruptcy case. Six Flags did all the filings. The city didn't even make any claims that creditors can make about monies owed. Even then, there was no valid reason not to discuss terms with us or put something in writing guaranteeing us the lease. I'll leave it up to you as to why it all ended up the way it did.