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Jun 21, 2007, 8:43 PM
Plans move forward on dinosaur park
By ROYCELYN BASTIAN, News Editor06/21/2007
An artist’s rendering shows the entrance to the dinosaur park that will be built in East Montgomery County. These drawings and other design plans have not received final approval and are subject to change before construction begins in 2008.
Imagine riding roller coasters and water slides while learning about prehistoric animals.
That is the basic theme of the new dinosaur park that is slated to be built in East Montgomery County. At this time, the latest name given to the park is Earth Quest Adventures.
When Astroworld shut down a few years ago, it left the children in Houston and surrounding areas such as EMC, Kingwood, Humble, Atascocita and Spring without an amusement park to visit during spring breaks and summer vacations.
With the new dinosaur park, parents will not have to travel to Dallas and San Antonio for a fun vacation, which will keep all economic revenue in the area.
"The dinosaur park, a $500 million project, will be built in East Montgomery County with the intention of having a dinosaur museum for children and adults to learn about the animals, a theme park consisting of roller coasters and water rides and a thematic hotel and spa that will be built within the park.


Jul 1, 2007, 11:29 PM
About time this got a response. I'm going. No two ways about it. When I was a kid, this would have been the ultimate travel destination, superceding your Disneylands, Sea Worlds, and Six Flags. I was very serious about being a paleontologist for a big chunk of my life, and this place would have been a dream come true. Can't wait. And the best part for Houston is that the thematic nature of these attractions makes it a destination for a big area of the country. Six Flags all over the place are all pretty similar, but this is unlike most amusement parks, so it should be a draw from a wide area.

Jul 2, 2007, 1:48 AM
Yeah as long as it's up to snuff as far as science goes and stays true to history, then it should be interesting. There needs to be more parks like this. People have gotten too comfortable with not learning anything about nature and science anymore.

Jul 13, 2007, 8:00 PM
State ready to give up public money to lure massive theme park
Austin Business Journal - 2:36 PM CDT Friday, July 13, 2007
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Earthquest, a massive Disney-style entertainment complex pegged for north of Houston, is a step closer to reality after Texas Gov. Rick Perry signed enabling legislation for tax incentives to lure the project to East Montgomery County.

House Bill 4015, signed on July 12, will provide the equity to leverage investment in the dinosaur theme park project by creating a special tax zone in the area and facilitating bond financing.

The project is expected to cost more than $600 million and cover 250 acres, with a $150 million spa hotel also to be built on the site.

The park would be located at Caney Creek near FM 1485 and Interstate 59 on property owned by Marlin Atlantis, a Dallas-based residential developer.

The land is part of a 1,564-acre undeveloped parcel once owned by Rice University that was acquired by Marlin Atlantis in 2004 for a proposed Whitestone residential community.

The project is the brainchild of Don Lessem, head of Exhibits Rex LLC and chief adviser to producers of the "Jurassic Park" Hollywood movie. Through his Dino Don Inc. company, Lessem has created permanent and touring dinosaur exhibits.

The project is expected to open in 2012 and attract more than 2.5 million visitors a year.

The eco-friendly project would focus on a Moody Gardens or EPCOT-style mix of entertainment and education, with a dinosaur museum, IMAX-style theater, and walking trails amid life-size dinosaur exhibits.

Jul 13, 2007, 9:10 PM
I thought I read that San Antonio was getting a Disney park....or was it Dallas...or was it Abilene....or was it Brownwood......or was it Ft. Worth....or was it...

Jul 13, 2007, 11:32 PM
ATXBoom, I've merged your thread with Boris' since both are about the same project. His was listed first since it's the older of the two.

I thought I read that San Antonio was getting a Disney park....or was it Dallas...or was it Abilene....or was it Brownwood......or was it Ft. Worth....or was it...

Well, of course this is not a Disney park, (duh), I think their mention of it being a Disney-like park was just a marketing term/pitch about what kind of park it is. Just something to rally support and interest about it. Nothing else.

Jul 14, 2007, 12:33 AM
Very cool as long as Adam and Eve are not walking along with the Dinosaurs like the one in Kentucky. ;-)

Feb 3, 2008, 7:22 PM
A brief blurb from a Chronicle article on East Montgomery County developments...


Bulldozers are clearing land at nearly every intersection along U.S. 59, making room for new shopping centers and restaurants.

New hotels and motels are in the works, spurred by the dinosaur project. Five are slated to begin construction this spring, McCrady said.

The dinosaur park/theme resort and a dinosaur institute are projected to bring 1,000 new jobs to the area and more than 1 million visitors each year, he said. The park site is on the west side of U.S. 59, just north of FM 1485.

East county beat out 72 other sites across the country, said Don Holbrook, site adviser for the park.

The earth-friendly park will be designed by Don Lessum, paleontologist, author and adviser on the blockbuster movie Jurassic Park. It will offer education through entertainment and will include dinosaur exhibits, an IMAX theater, an aquarium and a hotel. The institute will be a separate research and educational facility. Construction on the park is slated to begin late this year, Holbrook said.

Feb 3, 2008, 8:28 PM
The area is going to really grow. I am glad, too. US 59 is going to see a lot more traffic though, but at least it is wide enough now.

Mar 7, 2008, 2:38 AM
These maps were posted on a Six Flags Astroworld tribute forum (http://www.sixflagshouston.com/forums/viewtopic.php?t=1818&start=120) earlier today.




Mar 7, 2008, 5:19 AM
The thread title should be changed to "[Houston] Earth Quest Adventures", or something like that.

Mar 7, 2008, 5:44 AM
Yabba dabba do

Mar 7, 2008, 4:19 PM
Excellent news! This is one more recession-combattant for the Houston area. Always a good thing to invest in kids and education.

May 15, 2008, 4:12 PM

Plan for dino park project grows



Outlet malls, hotels and housing have been added to the EarthQuest Adventures Dinosaur Park project, according to the East Montgomery County Improvement District.

Initially, the project was proposed to just be a museum and theme park with a net ad valorem base of $700 million. After further discussion and additional planning, more activities have been added to the scope of the project.

“Since that time, we further discussed other components that will be contained in the development. Particularly a hotel site as well as other retail opportunities,” said Frank McCrady, president of EMCID. “With the investment group and developers that are looking at the project, they have gone far and above the initial concept of just a theme park.”

Along with the theme park and museum, developers are now looking into putting an eco-hotel component in the project that will offer treetop lodging. On the west side of the area will be the tourism attraction where there is room for four hotels in the development.

One of the biggest significant changes of the project is the ad valorem base of $700 million has increased to $1.5 billion, which includes hotel sites, outlet malls, outlet retail as well as low-, mid- and high-density housing.

“If you break apart the project, the majority of the housing development is contained for the Roman Forest community and the retail and outlet side is contained in the transportation corridor of U.S. Highway 59 on both sides,” McCrady said.

The theme park and museum will be on the further west part of the development. The project also includes space for future retail expansion and office space.

With changes to the dinosaur park, EMCID feels it has increased the investment in the community and diversified the base of the project instead of a single-purpose development.

The EMCID board of directors approved a memorandum of understanding on EarthQuest Adventures. This document outlines reimbursement procedures regarding the developer to reimburse EMCID for the amount of expenses that has been incurred on the front end of the project.

“Initially, we (EMCID) funded money in the beginning towards the project in the amount of $650,000 and our developer has agreed to reimburse us,” McCrady.

Beyond the $650,000 that the improvement district put in, it also committed to put in $4.5 million and is receiving consideration in the re-investment in the project.

“By the time we get to November, we are looking at doing a bond issue just to fund the developer $4,150,000,” he said.

The memorandum of understanding also covers the repayment by the for-profit once it receives its construction funding in 2009 and breaks ground. A portion of the construction fund will go back to EMCID.

If the project does not move forward, the agreement will allow EMCID to purchase certain tracts of land. The district started the project by committing to the museum, a 50-acre site.

“This is a binding document. Once we get to November, regardless of the economy, it puts the burden on EMCID to allocate the funding toward the developer for the reimbursement of their expenses,” McCrady said. “With economic development projects, there are inherent risks. A risk of $4 million in relation to a $1.5 billion investment in our community is a good return on your investment.”

For more information on EarthQuest Adventures, call the East Montgomery County Improvement District at 281-654-4419.

May 15, 2008, 4:30 PM
^Hotels?? Yes. Residential?? NOOOO. Why do we want residential up there, except for the people that work in the park. Just take that money and pay METRO to build a rail line from downtown to EQA (which will obviously stop at IAH), then everybody wins. Don't create another super-burb just b/c of the theme park:order: :eviltongue: :order:

May 15, 2008, 4:49 PM
cool, a dino park

Texas Tuff
May 15, 2008, 7:08 PM
This is really good news! And besides, dinosaurs are really cool. I do, however, agree that it would be best to keep development other than the park itself to include only tourist related businesses such as restaurants and hotels. Anyway, congrats Houston, I hope to see it in person someday!


May 15, 2008, 7:30 PM
When I first read this I was disappointed about the housing element. However now I am thinking the housing and hotels will be on the east side of 59 North and the Park will be on the West side of it, totally separated, correct?

Double L
May 16, 2008, 1:05 AM
Wow, this is going to be perfect for New Caney!

May 16, 2008, 1:27 AM
There has been word at another forum that Universal may be getting involved with this park. Mostly to stake a claim in Texas (Six Flags and Sea World do). That, and the guy who designed Universal Studios Island of Adventure theme park in Orlando, as well as the guy behind Universal's Jurassic Park movies, is designing this theme park.

Universal Studios Texas or Universals' EarthQuest sound like some good names ;).

Oh, and this thread title needs a change. Maybe something like:

[HOUSTON] - EarthQuest Theme Park.

May 16, 2008, 1:49 AM
Wow, this is going to be perfect for New Caney!

New Caney is only 5 miles from Houston. About 30 from DT. Not bad.

And yeah, the title sounds a bit vague since the project does have a name...

BTW, where are the forums/threads talking about Universal's involvement? I'd like to check them out.

Double L
May 16, 2008, 2:25 AM
A nature themed theme park with themes such as "Earth", "Sky" "Water" "Land" and "Life" is perfect for a rural area.

May 16, 2008, 2:49 AM
New Caney is only 5 miles from Houston. About 30 from DT. Not bad.

And yeah, the title sounds a bit vague since the project does have a name...

BTW, where are the forums/threads talking about Universal's involvement? I'd like to check them out.

Some some small talk here: http://www.sixflagshouston.com/forums/viewtopic.php?t=1818&start=105

Jul 23, 2008, 5:20 PM
Can we please change the thread title to "[Houston] - Earth Quest Adventures"?

Anyway, welcome to the largest theme park in the South outside of Disney World.

"Will occupy some 1,500 acres and include the Earth Quest Institute, a theme park,
retail centers, hotels, as well as residential."

http://products.rednews.com/base/member/mw...ties_July08.pdf (http://products.rednews.com/base/member/mw_files/SoutheastTexasDevelopmentProperties_July08.pdf)

The March update:

Don Lessem, a leading paleontologist and an advisor to Jurassic Park and Disney Dinosaur films, has chosen to bring EarthQuest Adventures to New Caney, Texas. This is a fifty million dollar project, including hotels, an IMAX, a theme park and a museum. The IMAX will be 4D. Dill says, “If a dinosaur sneezes, you’ll feel it. Water will spring out from your seat.” The 155,000 square foot non-profit museum will be an all green facility with a 200 foot observation center. The plan is to begin moving dirt on the museum either late summer or early fall of this year and will take an estimated 18 to 24 months to build. After museum completion, construction on the rest will follow. The project should be finished by the summer of 2012 at the latest.

http://products.rednews.com/base/member/mw...mercialBuzz.pdf (http://products.rednews.com/base/member/mw_files/RN_0308_CommercialBuzz.pdf)

The H-GAC April 2008 Montgomery County Transit Plan had this:

In addition, as development of the Earth Quest Adventures theme park near US 59 continues, consideration should also be made for public transport linkages between that theme park and other tourist attractions throughout the county. Some of those attractions include the Lone Star Convention Center, the Spring Creek trail system, Lake Conroe, the Woodlands and the higher density residential and commercial developments along IH-45 North Freeway throughout the central core of Montgomery county and into the adjacent counties, Walker, Harris, Liberty and Waller counties.

http://www.h-gac.com/taq/plans_programs/re...nal_4-24-08.pdf (http://www.h-gac.com/taq/plans_programs/regional/documents/MCTP-Final_4-24-08.pdf) (p. 21)

Texas Tuff
Jul 23, 2008, 6:06 PM
This thing is going to be awesome.


Jul 23, 2008, 7:44 PM
50 Million dollars?

Jul 23, 2008, 7:59 PM
50 Million dollars?

Yeah, I think there's at the very least a 0 missing if not a number of other, different, larger numbers.

Even then a smaller, more tightly placed project like The River Oaks District has a projected price tag of about $630 Million.

Somehow I think this Amusement Park + Resort + Extras would be a bit more costly. Especially if there's 1500 acres total. Just sayin'.

Jul 23, 2008, 10:07 PM
Just imagine how much money METRO could rake in with a comprehensive rail system that goes from EQA to the airport, on down to Downtown, then to NASA, and to Galveston. It could be one of the most successful rail projects of the 21st century.

Sep 7, 2008, 12:56 AM
I live just around the corner from the site that is being developed for this park, just off TX 242. I am glad to see the development as I am sure it will be good for the community in many ways. However, something concerns me that no one has mentioned, and that is the lack of infrastructure in the area, especially in the matter of adequate surface roads to handle the additional traffic that will be generated by this park. Different sources quote various estimates for possible yearly attendace, ranging from one to three million visitors. I have lived in the area since 2000, and let me assure you that unless some huge improvements are made, the surface streets in this area will be completely overwhelmed by this influx of vehicular traffic, assuming a large portion of the visitors come in POV's. The construction being done on US 59 is still in progress, and no where near completion. And, if the stories are accurate, a large portion (maybe one billion dollars) of the funding for the highway has been lost (misappropriated, pocketed, who knows).
The access to the park site, and to the other future projects, is extremely limited. From what I have been able to determine, acreage on both sides of US 59 is involved. The road on the east side (Loop 494), and the road to the south (FM 1485) will be congested beyond belief unless some other access is provided. There are currently no access roads on the west or north sides of the proposed facilities (hopefully some are planned), so all traffic will be funneled through these two routes, and in their current state will be inadequate to handle the traffic effectively.
If anyone has any information regarding the plans for handling the traffic or increasing the capability of the surface streets please post it. Thanks.

Sep 8, 2008, 8:39 PM
Maybe it will finally encourage Montgomery County officials to finally start addressing their undersized roads. This is a problem even in the western park of the county near The Woodlands, Conroe and north of Spring.

Sep 8, 2008, 10:31 PM
Anyone know if they have they actually started construction yet?

Sep 9, 2008, 12:57 AM
I live very close to the proposed site, and as of last week I have seen no evidence of any activity. I have been in Taiwan since then, so there may have been something started since then; however I read where the actual construction is scheduled to begin in the first or second quarter of 2009. These dates have been consistently been pushed back since I first heard of the proposed project several years ago.

Oct 16, 2008, 8:14 PM
I recently wrote Mr. Lessem, the man responsible for the project. Here is the correspondence:

From: Paul Kleven
Sent: Monday, October 13, 2008 1:24 PM
To: dinodon@dinodon.com
Subject: Earth Quest Adventure

Mr. Lessem,

I live within a very short distance of an area that I understand is a proposed project of yours, to be constructed near New Caney, Texas starting sometime next year. I have read some conflicting reports regarding the scope of the project, as well as the time frames for beginning and completion. I am very interested in the concept. Is there somewhere on the internet, or elsewhere that has would allow me to access accurate information regarding the project? If so, would you provide me with that link. Thank you, and best of luck in this venture, it sounds very promising.

He responded:

From: Don Lessem [dinodon@dinodon.com]
To: ‘Paul Kleven’
Subject: RE: Earth Quest Adventure

nope, nothing public yet, but thanks for inquiring Paul. We are to open in 2011 and it indeed is much larger than originally forecast and publicized - it's now a 5,000 person state of the art sustainable community, a huge environmentally themed entertainment destination and a nonprofit educational center for energy and wilderness conservation - on 1600 acres on both sides of 59.

Not much more I can tell you at this time - there will be a public meeting on Nov 13 at EMCID you are most welcome to attend. If so, I look forward to meeting you then.
Best Wishes,

He since then informed me that the public meeting is now scheduled for sometime in February, 2009, but he didn't have the exact date. Hope this is some good info for those interested.

Jan 15, 2009, 1:49 PM
I have not seen any postings on this topic since last year. Has everyone lost interest in it? There are no signs of any activity in the area to be developed, so possibly the economic situation has this project on hold or delayed.

Jan 15, 2009, 4:23 PM
There's lots of signs actually... They're expanding the lanes up at US59 so that it will be an eight lane freeway up past New Caney. There's also a growing area of forest clearing and inroad building right where the park should be.

Jan 15, 2009, 4:24 PM

Dinosaur Park - Coming Soon . . . - Kingwood

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By: Pat Martins
Back to Kingwood News

If you are a Kingwood resident who always makes a left-hand turn onto Highway 59 South when looking for entertainment venues and great shopping – that may be changing in the not too distant future. In a couple of years with the opening of EarthQuest, you will find that East Montgomery County, specifically the New Caney area will be exploding with new options.

What is EarthQuest? Well it will be much more than just a dinosaur museum or themed amusement park. It is a massive project encompassing a variety of entertainment venues including both gated and free entry areas, retail stores, an outlet mall, a multitude of dining options, hotel facilities, convention center, corporate office space, research facility, and “green” single and multi-family homes. Oh yes, did I mention the zoo?

If you were one of the lucky few who attended the East Montgomery County Improvement District’s (EMCID) Open House on December 8, 2008, you saw a 3D representation of the designer’s vision. I sat down with Mr. Frank McCrady, CEO of EMCID to talk about this behemoth project and get the current status on how plans are proceeding.

As revealed in previous articles, the EarthQuest Project will be divided in two parts, both geographically and financially. EarthQuest Ventures will be the for profit entity operating the theme park and assorted entertainment venues. EarthQuest Institute is the non-profit entity overseeing the museum and various education components operating in conjunction with the “green” vision of this endeavor. Geographically, The EarthQuest Resort will be located off of highway 59 between FM 1485 and FM 282 on the west side and FM 1485 and Roman Forest Blvd on the east side in New Caney, Texas.

Let’s take a visual tour of the layout for EarthQuest. Starting on the far west side inside the gated EarthQuest theme park, there will be a zoo where visitors will be able to ride through and observe animals in a natural habitat setting. Keeping with the “green” theme, you will not be driving through this area in your SUV but riding a train like passenger vehicle boasting energy efficiency instead.

As we move east you will come to the center point of the theme park; a massive mountain structure which will feature three very distinctive environments. One side of the mountain will focus on the artic / ice element, the second will focus on volcanic / heat element and the third will feature a rainforest aspect. Each side of this mountain will contain a roller coaster type ride thematically appropriate for the element.

Surrounding this gigantic mountain there will be individual “worlds” which focus on the four basic elements – Earth, Water, Fire and Air.

Each world will include themed rides and educational attractions which both entertain and educate park visitors. Here is where the Disney comparison comes in. EarthQuest should not be thought of as a place you visit for “distraction”, but as precisely the opposite. People will visit EarthQuest for entertainment “attractions” and the educational element that will be infused.

Do you remember visiting Epcot Center or Animal Kingdom at Disney World? Although you were having fun and the kids were entertained, everyone was also learning something new. That’s the idea here, except that at EarthQuest you are learning about our planet, both its past dating back to the dinosaur age, and its future focusing on how “green” technologies and conservation must be a factor.

Ok, now let’s move outside the gated area for some food. Oh yes, there will be food inside the gated area, but lots more variety available in an area featuring restaurants and nightclubs outside the theme park itself. Here again, I see a parallel to the Downtown Disney area where someone may just go for a great night out without ever entering the park itself. The area will certainly be a draw for a visitor looking for theatre options and live music or comedy.

The EarthQuest Institute will be our next stop. This area features the much discussed dinosaur museum. Since “Dino” Don Lessem, world renowned dinosaur paleontologist is the principle driving individual behind this part of the development, you can be sure no corners will be cut. Dr. Lessem is the creator of some of the world’s largest and most popular natural science exhibits, and is also the co-founder of the two largest foundations for paleontology: The Dinosaur Society, and the more recent Jurassic Foundation, raising millions of dollars for international science research. The EarthQuest Institute will also house research facilities where “green” technologies will be developed, tested and introduced.

Located next to the EarthQuest Institute Museum will be a hotel and convention center, but don’t think of it as your classic box like convention center. This hotel will be appropriately themed similar to the Wilderness Lodge Resort at Disney or the Jasper Park Lodge in Alberta, Canada. There will be an emphasis on a “green” partnership program which seeks to minimize the hotel’s impact on the planet.

Located on the north side of the EarthQuest closer to highway 242 will be a water park. This will be a gated venue, but will have a separate entry ticket, so a family may choose to visit just this attraction on a day trip. More details are still to come on this part of the entertainment complex. There will also be a non-gated area similar to the Mountasia Family Fun Center which will include Laser Tag, rock climbing wall, miniature golf courses, go karts, bumper boats and an arcade.

Did I mention the 4000 car parking garage? There will be a main parking facility which will allow a central parking location where you can either walk to or ride a shuttle to each venue.

There will be an area directly on either side of 59 which will act as a buffer and is reserved exclusively for retail space. The front of EarthQuest will have “big box” stores, so it is likely to anticipate that you might see a Best Buy or Target before you get to the dinosaur exhibit.

All of the development that I have described so far will be located on the west side of 59. Across the highway on the east side, there will be a row of retail stores; however space is also reserved for an outlet mall.

There will be a “technology transfer center” which will offer office space for businesses supporting “green” technology and construction. Think of this as a corporate office park for businesses from around the world who are working on sustainability issues developing products and services to achieve this goal. Want to reduce the “carbon footprint” of your business? Chances are the technology transfer center will be where you will find the answers.

Dr. Matthew Gardner was recently hired to spearhead project development. Dr. Gardner is a Founding Director of Sustainserv, Inc. He formerly was the Executive Director of the Earth System Initiative, an environmental research and education center at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in Cambridge, Massachusetts. In this role he oversaw a $40 million research and education portfolio, and was responsible for the development of new environmental research and education programs.

The remainder of the land on the east side will be for residential use. There will be both multi-family and single family structures, and all will boast the most energy efficient and eco-friendly construction products. It will be a living laboratory where scientist can study different aspects the master planned community of the future. No, not like the Jetsons, they used way too much fuel.

When can we expect ground breaking on this mammoth project? Frank McCrady anticipates fall of 2009. Mr. McCrady stated that he does not foresee any delay in construction plans as a result of the recent economic slowdown in the economy. The key players involved in this project were well positioned financially and do not interpret the current economic climate as an obstacle. On the non-profit side of things, representatives from Sage Fundraising Solutions have established potential contributors and have received a warm welcome so far. Sage will be making full presentations in early 2009 regarding the EarthQuest Institute and museum and do not anticipate any major difficulties.

As local residents this means in about six months we will see construction jobs being posted; that will be the first major financial benefit we will see from the EarthQuest Project.

Mr. McCrady summed up our conversation by sharing that he envisioned EarthQuest as “a place not only where you can go somewhere for entertainment, but come away learning something which you take with you”. “This project is dynamic, serving both an educational value as well as economic development.”

Jan 15, 2009, 5:41 PM
I have not seen any postings on this topic since last year. Has everyone lost interest in it? There are no signs of any activity in the area to be developed, so possibly the economic situation has this project on hold or delayed.

No worries: http://www.chron.com/disp/story.mpl/nb/humble/news/6208918.html

The theme park is still moving forward.

Jan 16, 2009, 12:32 AM
yay. all the kids with droopy pants have a new place to hang out at.

Jan 17, 2009, 9:17 PM
Latest Rendering of EarthQuest


Link: http://www.houstonarchitecture.info/haif/i...ost&id=1150

I think its 1,600 acres now instead of 1,500.

Jan 20, 2009, 9:27 PM
^Hey ()T, welcome to the forum!!

Jan 20, 2009, 10:27 PM
^Hey ()T, welcome to the forum!!


I've been lurking around but, I wanted to discuss about developements in anaround Houston now.:cool:


Feb 20, 2009, 12:16 AM
New info on EarthQuest from: http://www.hcnonline.com/articles/2009/02/13/kingwood_observer/news/08realtor.txt

The plans for the much anticipated Earth Quest Adventures, slated to be constructed in East Montgomery County, are closer to reality with the fast-approaching ground breaking scheduled for the fall.

East Montgomery County Improvement District President and CEO Frank McCrady discussed the plans for the dinosaur-themed park and museum with the Kingwood Realtor Advisory Board Feb. 12.

“We have had board meetings and developer meetings; in two weeks the EMCID board will be issuing bonds on the project,” McCrady said. “The Houston market is ready, willing and able to accept a thematic theme park and destination place to go in regards to any type of recreational activity.”

The Earth Quest Adventures project will be located north of Kingwood, at Roman Forest Boulevard and U.S. Highway 59.

The design process for some of the rides and areas of the park are still in the design process but for the most part, the schematics for Earth Quest are complete.

“The project is moving forward and we are expected to break ground on Earth Quest either the end of this fiscal year or the first quarter of 2010,” McCrady said.

The park is scheduled to open for the public in 2011 or 2012.

The dinosaur theme park will be situated toward the rear of the park and will feature several roller coasters that will go in and around the mountains constructed as a part of the theme.

There will be a temperate side of the mountain which will simulate a rain-forest like atmosphere, another side will showcase volcano-like activity and yet another side will feature a snowy climate.

“There are different components for each side and a centerpiece connecting all the different parts, which is like the center of the park,” McCrady said.

The actual park itself is around 200 acres and several hotels are already slated to be built around the park including a hotel featuring rooms situated in the tree tops that offer a view of the park.

Additionally, McCrady discussed the development of Valley Ranch where there is current retail development that will further enhance the theme of the community, a lifestyle center.

The retail centers in Valley Ranch will feature an outdoor shopping experience and offer shoppers outdoor places where they can relax and interact with friends and fellow shoppers.

Kyle Bauer, owner of QLS Family Fitness Health Complex, also addressed the luncheon, explaining the recent additions and expansion of their facility and the center’s dedication to the community.

Feb 20, 2009, 12:57 AM
I think it is cool. I hope it gets built.

Feb 20, 2009, 1:08 AM
Please get this built Houston!!!! This would be a cool attraction!!!

Apr 22, 2009, 5:25 AM
Who said Mountains don't exist in nor around Houston? :banana:


Apr 22, 2009, 5:42 AM
Still not as bad as that fake ski slope in North Texas that was proposed a few years ago though.

Apr 22, 2009, 6:01 PM
Additional info:


To be called EarthQuest, the development include a for-profit entertainment park complete with rides and other attractions, and a nonprofit educational institute, according to Don Lessem, creator and founder of the park. “It’s a $500 million project with about 50 different rides, including several ‘E-ticket’ rides,” he said, “like going inside a volcano, going through an actual ice cave, launch rides, coasters, and technologies that haven’t been used before.”

The park will be divided into sections— one devoted to sky, one to water, one to land, and one to prehistory, which will be called Pangaea. There will also be a waterpark and an animal park featuring creatures from Africa, South America, and Texas.

At the center of the park, said Lessem, will be the EarthQuest Institute, a $100 million research and educational center comprising 58 acres. “It’s a very interactive environmental presentation,” said Lessum, “and a lot of that is about how we change the way we live. It’s going to have 4-D theaters, reconstructed environments from the past, and lots of very enterprising interactive presentations of new research.”

Lessem said the reason the park has been mischaracterized is because of his reputation for creating traveling and permanent exhibitions featuring dinosaurs, his work as an adviser on the original “Jurassic Park” movie and theme park ride, and his creation of the two largest charities for dinosaur research, all of which have earned him the nickname “Dino” Don.

Lessem noted that Marlin Atlantis is the company behind EarthQuest, and its principal, John Marlin, is a developer who owns the project’s land. Contour Entertainment of Van Nuys, California, has been brought on board to design the project, and Lessum said they’ve already chosen the suppliers they’ll be using for the project. The institute is slated to open in the fall of 2011 and the park in the spring of 2012. Anticipated attendance for the entire project is 3 million annually.



Jul 13, 2009, 12:27 AM





Earth Quest Adventures | Website (http://www.earthquestadventures.com/)

Jul 13, 2009, 12:49 AM
I have high hopes for this project! :yes:

Aug 6, 2009, 9:32 AM

EarthQuest Institute will be located inside the property. It is the building in the last rendering posted by T.

Double L
Aug 6, 2009, 6:58 PM
I hope this becomes a nationally popular park.

Aug 7, 2009, 4:14 AM
Looks like it could use a few more coasters.

Aug 9, 2009, 2:14 AM
I hope this becomes a nationally popular park.

I hope that is their vision. IMO, it would be a mistake to make this a "local" park. Houston doesn't have enough attractions geared toward both locals and national visitors. One way to do that is to make quality and details a priority instead of focusing mostly on simplicity and what's cheapest.

I also pray they stay mindful of the future of the park and save land for expansion. One of Astroworlds biggest faults was selling land to the point of becoming landlocked hindering their abiltiy for what I call large attractions.

Aug 9, 2009, 12:50 PM
Looks like it could use a few more coasters.

Well, it's just starting out. More will come.

Mar 30, 2010, 1:38 AM
The EarthQuest website is now active. Here are some renderings and photos of the model.

























May 15, 2011, 4:04 PM
For those of you interested, the project has been delayed due to the original developer being far less than he represented. The project is pursuing different funding within the entertainment industry, but this will delay the start of the project for several years. I live less than a half a mile from the site, and am anxiously awaiting the commencement and completion.

May 18, 2011, 3:03 AM
Not surprised. I certainly had an exceptional suspicion about this developer. He could be very inconsistent and vague, even in his public pitches.

Jan 20, 2012, 5:33 PM
In the East Montgomery County Observer, 1/18/2012, county official Frank McCrady stated " It is not an if, but when EarthQuest will be here." In the same article it was stated that the land portion of the project is in bankruptcy, but the EarthQuest plans are separate and have been taken over by Contour Entertainment. As of this date there has been no activity at the proposed site, although the sign has been there for a very long time. I have written Don Lessem, the originator of a portion of the planned development and will post any information I receive from him.

Jan 21, 2012, 4:58 PM
Well.... at least some graphic designer/artist out there got paid:)

Project didn't look serious, but you never know.