Pharaoh's Theme and Water Park could be ready to open as an amusement park by summer. Aladdin Entertainment Group, LLC, which owns the water park, went before the city's Environmental Review Committee on Jan. 18 as a first step in seeking a new conditional use permit that would allow Pharaoh's to re-open. The review committee approved recommendations to the Planning Commission on the new use permit, including a list of compliance conditions dealing with park occupancy, alcohol consumption, public safety, and off-site parking. "Obviously, one of the things we are doing right now is we're fixing some of the issues we had in the past," said Redlands city spokesman Carl Baker. "These are areas we had issues with in the past, so we are building the CUP so we mitigate all of those things."
Between late 2006 and June 2009, Pharaoh's was home to all-night electronic dance parties, known as raves. The parties were characterized by loud, pulsing music, parking disasters and drug arrests. If Pharaoh's re-opens, the city doesn't want to deal with the same problems it did when Shahvand Aryana - then the park's operator - hosted the dance parties. Baker said the Planning Commission is scheduled to consider the Pharaoh's request on Feb. 23. The dance parties - and the effects they had on the community - will be fresh in the minds of the commissioners as they consider giving Aladdin the ability to open the park.
Commission Chairman Paul Foster said the commission wants to see a rigidly-defined statement of exactly what Aladdin Entertainment plans to do with Pharaoh's if it is allowed to re-open. Foster said he and the commission want to give Aladdin the benefit of the doubt in bringing life back to the abandoned amusement park. "The people I've talked to in the community want to see the park returned to its original use or they want to see future plans for the park," Foster said. "They're tired of it sitting just the way it is." The Planning Commission is scheduled to take a walking tour through Pharaoh's next week. "We want to see what they've done to bring the park back to operating condition," Foster said. "I know they have been working very hard on the property."
Rima Badawiya, attorney for Aladdin Entertainment Group, said the company has sent work crews into the park to make improvements and get it ready to open as soon as possible. "It looks great," she said. But Aladdin's timeline on re-opening depends on how quickly the city will grant it the conditional use permit. Aryana operated Pharaoh's from April 2006 to October 2009. He said he is now focused on developments outside Redlands. Still in litigation with the city, he declined to comment directly on his lawsuit against Aladdin Entertainment Group over ownership of Pharaoh's. Instead, his company, Aryana Management Group, issued a press release Thursday addressing the possibility of Aladdin's new permit for the amusement park. "We will pursue every legal avenue to address and protect our interests," the news released said. "Actual ownership and partnership issues in relation to the business assets of the park have not been addressed by the court."
The city of Redlands filed a lawsuit in April 2009 against Aladdin Entertainment, Aryana, the owner of the land where Pharaoh's was built, and several other parties - including the production company that threw the dance parties at Pharaoh's. The city wanted an injunction to stop all of the all-night partying at the park. And the city got the injunction. San Bernardino Superior Court Judge Frank Gafkowski, Jr., granted the request Sept. 3 prohibiting any "all night dance parties" and similar events from occurring at Pharaoh's. The injunction will remain in effect until a trial is held on the merits of a lawsuit filed by the city in April which claims that the dance parties at the park violated the state's Drug Abatement Act, constituting a nuisance and are in violation of the park's old use permit.
The city is still waiting for a trial date, but it's likely that Pharaoh's could re-open before that happens. "The current litigation would not affect Aladdin's new CUP," Baker said.
-Pharaoh's Lost Kingdom opens.
December 2005 and April 2006
-Pharaoh's owner James Braswell and Shahvand Aryana discuss a partnership.
-Shahvand Aryana takes control of Pharaoh's Theme and Water Park.
-Pharaoh's Lost Kingdom is re-named Pharaoh's Theme and Water Park.
April 25, 2008
-Marianna Marysheva-Martinez, wife of Redlands City Manager N. Enrique Martinez, writes an e-mail to rave promoter Jeff Ryan Dillard, telling him he did not need a permit from the city to hold events at Pharaoh's provided he had permission from the property owner. Marysheva-Martinez also gave Dillard the name and phone number of a police commander who could be contacted for information on security.
In the same e-mail, Marysheva-Martinez informed Dillard that landscaping service for the La Habra Heights home he was renting from the Martinezes would begin "after we sign the lease."
Feb. 14, 2009
-A 14-year-old girl is reported missing from "Project Love Grove," a Valentine's Day-themed rave at Pharaoh's. She turned up two days later, stranded in a Beaumont parking lot in the pouring rain.
March 9, 2009
-Aladdin Entertainment Group sends a letter to the city of Redlands voluntarily suspending the park's conditional use permit as an attempt to put a stop to the all-night dance parties.
March 11, 2009
-Art Braswell, part owner of Aladdin Entertainment group, arrives with several attorneys and armed private security guards at Pharaoh's front gate.
March 13, 2009
-More than 6,000 people attend "Get Lucky," a rave at Pharaoh's. Polce arrest 41 people -- 31 for drug-related offenses.
March 24, 2009
-San Bernardino County Superior Court Judge Paul Bryant denied a request for a preliminary injunction filed against Aryana by attorneys for Braswell to gain control of the park.
April 10, 2009
-Mayor Jon Harrison and Councilmen Pete Aguilar and Mick Gallagher authorize the city's Community Development Department to start proceedings to revoke Aladdin Entertainment Group's conditional use permit at Pharaoh's.
April 20, 2009
-Almost 11,000 people attend "420 Fest," a rave at Pharaoh's. Police arrest 51 people -- 40 for drug-related offenses.
April 28, 2009
-The city of Redlands files a complaint in San Bernardino Superior Court against Pharaoh's Water and Theme Park, Inc., Pharaoh's operator Shahvand Aryana and Aryana Management Group; event promoters Jeff Ryan Dillard and Motive Media, Inc.; land owner The California Gateway, L.P. and conditional use permit holder Aladdin Entertainment Group LLC.
April 29, 2009
-Attorneys for Aladdin Entertainment Group level a lawsuit against Shahvand Aryana, suing him for possession of the defunct amusement park.
May 15, 2009
-Rave promoter Jeff Ryan Dillard, owner and CEO of Motive Media, informs Shahvand Aryana that he will no longer throw raves at Pharaoh's.
May 23, 2009
-Shahvand Aryana files lawsuits against the city of Redlands and Aladdin Entertainment Group. Aryana is seeking a restraining order against the city, which he claims the city is infringing on his first amendment rights. He is seeking $8 million in damages from James Braswell's Aladdin Entertainment Group. The lawsuits are still open.
May 26, 2009
-By a 6-0 vote, the Planning Commission directs city staff to prepare a resolution to formally revoke Pharaoh's conditional use permit. Commissioner Eric Shamp was not present for the vote.
June 13, 2009
-About 1,800 people attend the last rave at Pharaoh's. Police made two arrests for sales of the drug Ecstasy, and two others for possession of the drug. Police arrested one person for auto burglary, one for the arson of a portable restroom, one for being drunk in public and one for malicious mischief.
June 23, 2009
-The commission vote unanimously to revoke the defunct amusement park's conditional use permit during the first 40 minutes of its meeting. The official vote was 5-0, as Commissioner Ruth Cook was absent and Commissioner Eric Shamp abstained.
July 13, 2009
-Aladdin Entertainment Group and Shahvand Aryana file appeals of the Planning Commission's revocation of the conditional use permit.
Sept. 3, 2009
-San Bernardino Superior Court Judge Frank Gafkowski Jr. grants the city's request for a preliminary injunction to stop any all-night dance parties.
Sept. 14, 2009
-Aladdin Entertainment Group reclaims occupancy of Pharaoh's Theme and Water Park under escort of San Bernardino County sheriff's deputies after San Bernardino Superior Court Judge Christopher J. Warner denied Aryana of his claim of right to possession of the property.
Oct. 6, 2009
-Aladdin Entertainment Group and Shahvand Aryana drop their appeals to the Planning Commission's revocation of Pharaoh's conditional use permit.
Jan. 18, 2010
-The Environmental Review Committee approves a recommendation to the Planning Commission on a new conditional use permit for Pharaoh's. The new permit would allow Aladdin Entertainment to re-open Pharaoh's as an amusement park. The Planning Commission is set to discuss the new conditional use permit Feb. 23.
When you're talking 11,000 people, it's not really a rave so much as a 100% legal concert with permits, security, insurance, fire marshal inspection, etc. They're using "rave" as a marketing term, but I imagine this event bore little similarity to the illegal warehouse events of yore.
Frankly, there is a LOT of money to be made. The flyer says that presale ticket prices ranged from $30 to $55. I'm sure it was more at the door.
This would bring bad PR, but I imagine the temptation to make big, quick cash is immense when you have an otherwise idle property.
"There's nothing wrong with it. It just needs some tweaking,"
^Yes, they were still raves and they were annoying, more so for the traffic on small streets more then anything. And yeah I'm sure they made a ton of money off of them but not all of them were that expensive, I saw flyers for quite a few that were as little as $15-20 at times.
That said, I'm not really excited to see this come back, the rides they had before were literally dangerous and in poor condition and I doubt the rest of the property was actually kept up with maintenance wise the last few years it's been rotting away. I don't even remember them running the waterpark or mini golf they had for quite a while too. Very poor management before and after the raves.
But if they do plan on bringing it back, I'll be there with a camera, it's literally just down the street lol.
lol I didn't actually! That episode was filmed before I moved to Redlands and I was already at Cedar Point for the year by the time it aired. I have a few friends that said they are already re-painting and re-landscaping some stuff. I'll take a quick drive by tomorrow and see what I can see.
The Planning Commission did not give Pharaoh's Theme & Water Park a new conditional use permit Tuesday, although its members were clear about what they wanted to see if the park reopens. Aladdin Entertainment Group - the company that owns the park - appeared in front of the commission Tuesday to present its plans for a revamped Pharaoh's. The commission must grant a new conditional use permit for the park if it is to be reopened. "It's our intent to re-establish the family theme park here at Pharaoh's," said Pat Meyer, the development consultant representing Aladdin Entertainment Group. The commission continued the vote to its March 9 meeting.
Aladdin Entertainment Group plans to make changes to the park before it reopens, Meyer said. The indoor arcade - which used to occupy the ground floor inside the park's pyramid structure - will be transformed into a pizza buffet restaurant. A 21,000-square-foot wave pool will also replace the park's carnival midway area, he said.
But commissioners balked at Aladdin Entertainment Group's plans to make alcohol available - not just in the restaurant and banquet areas. Planning Commission Chairman Paul Foster said he would not support a new CUP if alcohol would be available on the park floor. Commissioner Eric Shamp questioned the appropriateness of alcohol consumption in close proximity to Pharaoh's water rides. "Drunkenness and water play don't seem to go together terribly well," Shamp said.
Commissioner Carol Dyer was concerned about the image the potential sale of alcohol could give Pharaoh's and the city. "We go to Disneyland or Knott's (Berry Farm) and they keep their image very clean, and we want a clean image too," she said.
Pharaoh's was the site of all-night dance events from late 2006 through June 2009. Police made arrests - many for drug-related offenses - and were forced to deal with parking problems and other issues as a result of the events. Commissioners expressed concerns Tuesday about similar problems at a reopened Pharaoh's.
Aladdin Entertainment Group is working with city staff to develop an operational manual that will be tied to the new CUP. The manual will lay out strict guidelines for what kinds of uses and activities will be allowed at the park, to avoid any problems, Boatman said.
Dyer wanted to know what will make a reopened Pharaoh's successful. "This facility was open for 10 years and the Braswells and Aladdin Entertainment did not manage it after 2006," she said. "I really need to know - did Aladdin choose to leave managing the facility because they were tired of doing it? Did they leave because it wasn't turning a profit? "And if there wasn't a profit being turned, why are we receiving this back for us to review?"
Change the scheme, Alter the mood! Electrify the boys and girls if you would be so kind!
Pharaoh’s Lost Kingdom has been found…and given new life.
The City Planning Commission voted Tuesday to grant the owners a Conditional Use Permit that allows the amusement park to reopen as soon as April 23rd. The CUP lists a number of conditions that include shutting down all electronic sound equipment by 10pm and approving special events on a case-by-case basis, according to Assistant Planning Director Robert Dalquest.
For more than 2-years, Pharaoh’s hosted all-night raves. The city went to court a year ago over the dance parties declaring them a public nuisance. There were 99 arrests for drug-related offenses at five of the raves early last year.
Change the scheme, Alter the mood! Electrify the boys and girls if you would be so kind!
The amusement park near Interstate 10 is slated to re-open in early June with a brand new name. Pharaoh's Theme and Water will be dubbed Pharaoh's Adventure Park when it re-opens. "There's not a real big reason for the name change," said David Simon, revenue manager for Pharaoh's. "We felt the need for a new name that goes with a new direction."
Work crews are making repairs and improvements on the park grounds. Aladdin Entertainment Group - the company that owns the park - cannot provide an exact opening date because of the ongoing work, Simon said. "We're working diligently to get everything up and running and ready to go for June," Simon said. "We're painting and making everything look new. "We're going back to the family theme park atmosphere."
The 20-acre entertainment complex will feature a full water park, three go-cart race tracks, bumper boats, miniature golf course, arcade and a pizza buffet. "It's great to see the park come back to life," said General Manager Rich Woodhouse.
The park, arcade, and miniature golf course will be open to the public all year and the water park will be open from early June to Labor Day, Simon said. Pharaoh's will be open to the public for the first time since June 2009 - the last time the park's former operator, Shahvand Aryana, allowed a promoter to throw an all-night dance event there.
The Planning Commission unanimously approved a new conditional use permit April 13 that will allow Pharaoh's to re-open as an amusement park. The permit includes 32 conditions of approval outlining how the business will operate. The document was prepared to avoid any all-night events at the park in the future.
Aladdin Entertainment Group wants to change any negative public opinion that may have been brought on by the dance events, often referred to as "rave" parties. "We're bringing back the core values and goals that we had in the beginning when the park first opened," he said. "We want to provide full family entertainment where families can come and have a great time. "We want families to make memories here."
Pharaoh's looks to offer jobs to more than 250 seasonal and full time employees. Many of the full time positions have been filled, but Simon said the park will hire most of its workforce through a job fair Saturday. "We're guessing that between 2,000 and 3,000 people will be there," he said. "With this economy, a lot of people will be looking for work and we're excited to give that to them."
Pharaoh's Adventure Park job fair
The park will hold a summer job fair Saturday, seeking new employees to fill job openings for lifeguards, ride operators, parking attendants, ticket sellers, admission hosts, cash control, food cooks, food cashiers, park services and retail cashiers. The park is also looking for employees to fill supervisory positions.
When: 9 a.m. - 2 p.m. Saturday Where: 1101 N. California St., Redlands Information: 909-335-7275
Change the scheme, Alter the mood! Electrify the boys and girls if you would be so kind!
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