Korea's Legoland to open in 2016Updated: 2013-11-04 22:50:20 (KST)
The popular chain of Legoland theme parks spans across five countries and six cities from the United Kingdom to Malaysia.
Each international park is filled with rides and attractions made from more than 50 million Lego blocks.
Korea has now been chosen to be the first country in East Asia to host a Lego-themed amusement park.
Legoland Korea will be built on Jungdo Island in the city of Chuncheon, Gangwon Province.
The 1.3 million square-meter park is expected to cost about 470 million U.S. dollars, with the British theme park company Merlin Entertainments agreeing to chip in 94 million dollars to fund the project.
"It sits in the middle of this beautiful body of water, surrounded by mountains and clean fresh air. It's ultimately beautiful. It's one of, if not the most beautiful Legoland park that we have."
However, the local city government and civic groups say the current contract to establish the theme park is unfair and poses considerable financial risks.
Under the agreed terms, Gangwon Province would be leasing the park's land to Merlin free of charge over the next century, while covering the construction costs for bridges and other infrastructure.
"It won't become a large-scale investment. Since the Merlin firm is making a direct investment, our government will also come up with measures to attract foreign investment."
Construction for Legoland Korea is set to begin next month with an opening scheduled for mid-2016
Once completed, the theme park is expected to bring in up to 2 million tourists per year.
Paul Yi, Arirang News
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