Detroit eyed for zombie theme park

Posted by Shane McGlaun

Zombies are seriously popular right now, perhaps due to shows and books like The Walking Dead and World War Z.

And now an entrepreneur named Mark Siwak wants to cash in on the craze with a zombie apocalypse theme park set in derelict areas of Detroit. This does make a certain amount of sense, as Detroit has seen a massive population reduction over the last several decades with more than 1.1 million people leaving the city since 1950.

In 1950, the Detroit population stood at a height of 1,850,000, but plummeted to just 714,000 by 2010.

The massive population reduction means there are wide swathes of  abandoned territory in Detroit. Siwak sees this as the perfect opportunity to set up a theme park named Z World where visitors can be chased by actors in full zombie garb.

Yes, visitors will be chased by zombies and forced to seek shelter in the abandoned buildings and homes inside the theme park area. 

Personally, I think this is the most awesome idea I've heard in a long time, but I can hardly imagine safety inspectors actually allowing such a theme park to use real abandoned buildings.

I'm sure some buildings are in better condition than others, but many are undoubtedly in very bad shape.

Critics of Z World say that the plan is nothing more than a way to capitalize on Detroit's problems. However, Siwak claims his theme park will breathe life into the rundown city and provide jobs to hundreds, if not thousands of people. Indeed, Siwak envisions a park of about 200 acres with a perimeter wall around it. Siwak has somehow come up with a figure of $140,000 to fund at least part of the project, and so far has only raised $2200 through a funding website called IndeGoGo. Why he isn't using Kickstarter to raise the money is beyond me.

Siwak told CBS Detroit, "The city can only have so many urban farms or similar uses for vacant plots."

Siwak also says he's already received resumes from hundreds of residents who want to work at the tourist attraction.

"While zombies are great, the real neat thing about this project is the potential to inject some life into a forgotten neighborhood - with the opportunity to work with neighborhood groups and organization," he added.