New theme park for Tennessee?

The Tennessean recently reported that a Las Vegas company is plannning to open a themepark, Festival Tennessee, outside of Nashville in Spring Hill, Tennessee:

“SPRING HILL — Las Vegas-based Big International Group of Entertainment Inc. announced plans this afternoon to build a theme park, restaurants and hotels on land in northern Maury County east of Interstate 65.

CEO Dennis Peterson said his company hopes to be ready for a soft opening of the complex by November 2012.

Peterson described a water park, movie studios, roller coasters, restaurants, outlet centers and a sports complex. He said the $750 million project is being designed by ITEC of Orlando, Fla.

Plans now call for two large hotels on the site, which now is rural. Peterson said the development eventually could bring 15,000 to 20,000 jobs.

The announcement was made at the project site, part of 725 acres off Jim Warren Road east of Saturn Parkway.

The city Planning Commission approved, in a 3-2 vote Tuesday, a change to the master land use plan that would allow the most open commercial zoning for the project.

The land is in Maury County. Spring Hill lies both in Maury and Williamson counties.

Alderman Amy Wurth said the complex could transform the town, which has seen a slowdown since boom times were interrupted by the recession and the idling of a GM assembly plant.

“I’ll be happy for the public to understand how this could be shaping Spring Hill,” she said.

Alderman Rick Graham confirmed that the theme park could be a 1,200-acre project developed in phases over the next several years.

“It’s going to be big: an amusement park, hotels, a lot of shopping centers. It’s the east side of Spring Hill that we’ve all been talking about. It’s really going to boom now.”