New Bible Park Location Confirmed

After being chased out by the community surrounding the first proposed location in Tennessee, the Bible Park has finally found its new home in Wilson County.

The $175 million Bible Park USA will be built on about 110 acres fronting Interstate 40, the Nashville Post reported Thursday.

The "edutainment" theme park that boasts a mixed offering of education and entertainment through visual exhibits of Bible stories from both the Old and New Testaments will be located 30 minutes from downtown Nashville.

Some of the featured attractions will include a Bible Land Fly-Through indoor ride, an indoor Exodus Experience featuring the parting of the Red Sea with high-tech standing 25-foot waves and image projection, recording studios for church choirs and a recreation of Noah's Ark, according to Bible Park USA's Web site.

Lebanon and Wilson County officials are officially announcing the details Thursday afternoon, according to the Murfreesboro Post.

The announcement comes just a week after the original developer of Bible theme park, New York-based investment firm SafeHarbor Holding, passed the reigns of the massive project over to Hollywood-based Entertainment Development Group.

EDG is an entertainment consulting and management firm that guides the development of large-scale projects, including hotels, water parks, theme parks, entertainment retail centers, according to the company's Web site.

The park was originally planned to be built on 275 acres in Rutherford County's Blackman community but the project faced fierce opposition from residents in the area who worried the park would bring a host of unwanted problems to the community such as traffic congestion, noise, and unwanted commercialism. The Bible Park was subsequently denied a rezoning request by the Rutherford County Commission.

Additionally, some pastors had also expressed theological concerns about how the stories in the Bible would be depicted in a "non-denominational" manner as SafeHarbor Holding's Armon Bar-Tur had promised.

Following the rejection by Rutherford County, Bar-Tur said in a statement the company was "overwhelmed" with offers from multiple counties.

Although developers will probably have to extend the original Easter 2010 deadline of the attraction, everything has worked out so far for the Bible Park.

Lebanon Mayor Don Fox has said the attraction would boost the area's tourism market, potentially drawing 2.5 million people to the area.