Vladimir Putin backs $4 billion theme park 'The Magical World of Russia'

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Vladimir Putin, the President of Russia, has given his blessing to plans for a $4 billion theme park in the country called The Magical World of Russia, which is being developed by two Los Angeles-based companies, Moschanko Investment Group and Goddard Group.

The theme park, which will be built on 220 hectares of government-owned land on the border of the Kaluga and Moscow regions, was presented to Putin for his approval by the governor of the Kaluga region, Anatoly Artamonov, last week, according to the Kremlin. The project will be entirely funded by private investors, including Moschanko.

The theme park has as its theme Russian folklore, culture and history, and will include hotels, a waterpark, and a number of other attractions, including a recreation of several of St. Petersburg’s best-known historic buildings.

Gary Goddard, founder and chairman of Goddard Group, said in a statement: “Using Russian folklore, legends and history, we are actively working to make this a theme park that will reflect the culture and lore of Russia — and one that will be built to a quality level equal to, or better than, any other world-class theme park today.”

Goddard Group also designed the $3.2 billion Studio City resort in Macau, China, which launched in October, and a yet to be completed Cirque du Soleil resort in Mexico.

Plans for the Russian theme park first emerged in 2011, when it had a lower projected cost of $2.5 billion, and a different intended location.

“I am happy to see my long-held dream of creating a true theme park and resort for Russia finally becoming a reality,” said Gene Moschkovich, the founder of Moschanko Investment Group, who heads the consortium developing and managing the project.