Comcast Corp’s Universal Parks & Resorts division is planning two new regional developments in Texas and Nevada to capitalize on the growing popularity of outdoor recreation.
The company plans to build a family-oriented resort aimed specifically at young children on 97 acres of land it acquired in the Dallas suburb of Frisco, Texas. YoIt will include rides, shows and a hotel as well as meet-and-greet characters from the company’s library of film and television properties, including Minions and Shrek.
The company also announced plans for a year-round horror-focused destination in Las Vegas. At 110,000 square feet, it will be the primary tenant in a 20-acre expansion of Area15, an entertainment district that opened in Las Vegas in 2020. The city’s famous Strip, near and off the 15 freeway, already includes themed restaurants. and entertainment attractions such as Meow Wolf’s Omega Mart, an immersive arts experience.
Universal has long offered seasonal Halloween Horror Nights that draw young adults to its theme parks in the fall. The company’s movie studios featured films based on classic characters such as Frankenstein and Dracula. More recently, he has carved a niche for himself, working with a new generation of horror filmmakers and directors such as Jason Blum, Jordan Peele, and James Wan. Historical and upcoming film material will be displayed at the Las Vegas property.
“Horror is no longer just for Halloween at Universal,” Mark Woodbury, president of the company’s resorts unit, said in an interview.
Universal declined to share costs or projected opening dates for either project. The two smaller developments are a new market segment for the company, which like arch-rival The Walt Disney Company has historically focused on large tourist destinations. More cities may be coming, both in the US and internationally.
theme park business Tourism has been booming lately, as American consumers have returned to domestic resorts amid concerns about the easing of the pandemic.
Park operators have raised ticket prices and used technology such as online ordering to cut costs. Comcast reported the most profitable quarter ever at its theme parks unit for October, with earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization of $819 million on sales of $2.06 billion.
The Philadelphia-based cable TV giant is investing heavily in its resort division, which includes theme parks in Florida, California, China, Singapore and Japan. A Nintendo-themed land opens next month at its Universal Studios Hollywood Park in Los Angeles. The company is also building an entirely new theme park in Orlando, Florida, a multibillion-dollar complex called Universal’s Epic Universe that is scheduled to open in 2025.