Tuesday, July 24, 2007

Medieval World, USA

About a week or so ago, Modern Medieval included a link in this post to Medieval World, USA, a theme park being built in Colorado. Though there is plenty of information on the site, I wasn't satisfied, and so decided to be a good little scholar and do research; i.e., I called them up on the phone and talked to Mr. Roger Gomez about this project.

Middle Age Productions isn't new to medievalism; they've been putting on the Colorado Medieval Festival for some time now. Many of the Renaissance Faires around the country are for-profit enterprises, and others are put together by groups such as the Society for Creative Anachronism, but this group is an independent not-for-profit, which is part of what makes their vision so bold.

That vision, according to Gomez, is to create a living history site based on the European Middle Ages. He compared it to Colonial Williamsburg in style. In order to create a more authentic atmosphere, the plan is to set it at a particular period, the Twelfth Century. Because they did not want the park to be restricted in terms of nationality, though, they are conceiving of it as a 12th-century trade center, a place where various cultures might come together to exchange goods and services. Their craftors will have period knowledge, and they even envision some type of apprenticeship programs.

At the moment, though, the park is still just a concept, as they still lack the most important element of all: land. The plan calls for 640 acres, 400 of which will be covered in crops typical of the Middle Ages, 35 acres for the castle and village, 60 acres for the tournament field, and 80 acres for parking. The idea is that a family in the US that might not have the time or resources to head to Europe might be able to get in the car, park in that 80 acres, and then immerse themselves in the 12th Century. Without that land, though, nothing can be developed. At the moment, that appears to be the first priority.

If you're interested in getting involved, or just want to find out more about the project, you can contact Medieval World, USA at 2007.info@medievalworld.us.

4 comments:

  1. I wouldn't hold my breath waiting for this approach to succeed. The original Medieval Times in Florida had a significant educational component (a medieval village with artisans at work) but later versions were just cliched entertainment.

    You'd need big money and dedication to make this work.

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  2. Mr. Muhlberger,

    If you want to see this succeed, you should get involved through either active participation, instead of making comments of discouragement. The staff of this project is indeed dedicated and has been actively working since 2000 with the knowledge that it will take time and effort to produce this project. If you do not want to become actively involved, send a donation to the NPO. At least that would be somewhat helpful.

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  3. RG,

    I have been involved in various recreation/reenactment projects for over 3 decades, from cleaning up after the horses to running ambitious events on my own property. My direct and indirect experience suggests that most people who have ambitions of this sort do not have a good business plan or sufficient capital. Evidence to the contrary would be welcome. In the meantime I stand by my observation.

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  4. Medieval11:42 PM

    You, by the most part are correct. Most people do not have either. We do have a good business plan. What we have found out is that most individuals with the adequate funding are not interested in this type of project. You show us that the funding is available and I will present you with a solid multifaceted business plan.

    Roger G, MW, USA Founder

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