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There's a Plan to Build an Aztec Theme Park Near Palm Springs

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The Coachella Valley has a festival for hipsters, one for country music fans, professional golf and tennis tournaments, but what it and so many other regions do not have is an Aztec theme park and movie studio with a 200-foot pyramid. A company called Aztlán Development has volunteered to fix that with a Return to Aztlán park, named for the ancestral homeland of the Mesoamericans and packed with rides (like "Quetzalcoatl flying serpent slide"), a river walk, a hotel, restaurants, shopping, a 1,000-person "beach amphitheater," 10,000-person concert plaza, a 12-screen movie theater, and that pyramid, plus a movie studio and soundstage. As the firm puts it, they're "Bringing the story of the Meso-Americans to life and discovering the mystical Aztlán through the creation of the most advanced Entertainment Complex in the world!"

According to Aztlán's website, the park "will initially be used as the movie set for the feature film 'Moctezuma Rising'," which they say has legit names attached: Albert S. Ruddy, who produced The Godfather and Million Dollar Baby, and Skip Woods, who wrote Swordfish.

Return to Aztlán would sit on 48 acres on the 10 Freeway, by the Eagle Fall Golf Course and between Fantasy Springs Resort Casino and Spotlight 29 Casino, all of which would be connected via sub-freeway tunnel. Aztlán's website says they've already lined up some financing and that the land owners have agreed to an 80-year lease. They also apparently have the "Architect of Record for the world's tallest water slide and the world's longest water attraction" on the team.

Coachella leaders have looked at some conceptual plans and are interested in the project, according to the Desert Sun; they're set to discuss more tomorrow. City approvals may take about six months, and work could start by April 2016, with phase one opening in 2018.

· Aztlan Development [Official site]
· Hollywood-style theme park discussed for Coachella [Desert Sun]