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Plans for cultural theme park unveiled

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by Lannie Walker

Guam - Coming soon to a beach near you: something Guam has never seen before, as plans for a cultural theme park were showcased by one of the island's local developers.

A first on Guam was unveiled today at gun beach. Local developer Mark Baldyga presents plans for a culture and eco-adventure park on twenty-five acres of beach front property just off the main tourist strip of Tumon. Plans that may wow many including a zipline thrill ride, a beach bar/restaurant, and a Chamorro cultural park. "I think that package of attraction as a collection is really very powerful as a destination driver not just us but collection of attraction and we put them together as a bundle," he said.

Baldyga calls his favorite part of the project a replica of an ancient Chamorro Village. And Ron Acfalle from the Tasa organization told KUAM News people are actually going to be living there. He said, "There will be a real living display of our ancestors back in the times when they lived together we will have chiefs we will have warriors have macanas making medicine or practicing spiritual healing they will be cooking there will be people coming in with fish we will have the other warriors coming out from the jungle with fruits and vegetable its going to be a living display of what our ancestors did."

A heritage Baldyga was careful to preserve - extensive archeological work was done to avoid any disturbance at the site, testing which yielded precious archeological finds many of which will be presented at the park's visitors center.

Project manager Ernie Galito says they also paid close attention to preserving the environment. "We are going to try to have things like banana-lined plates for beach bar coconut fronds; a lot things people can she and use and actually see how we are recycling what nature has provided," he said.

A special tour of the site is provided to Governor Eddie Calvo, who says is very impressed and believes the park will benefit the entire community. "I think this is definitely an addition what tourist want to see when they come her aside from our beautiful beaches blue skies and clean ocean is the unique experience of Guam and what is more unique than our Chamorro culture," the governor stated.

Baldyga says his latest development is a way of giving back to the island he has called home for the last twenty-two years. "It think it means an opportunity to preserve, to experience the culture, I mean we are all about interactive immersive engagement so its an opportunity to experience 3,000 years of history, people may not realize its actually 3,000 years of history here," he said.

Phase I of the park is set to begin in June, and Baldyga plans to continue giving back after the doors open the profits of all local ticket sales - $10 for adults and $5 for children - to go toward a special foundation established to foster Guam's unique heritage.

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