Televangelist Proposes Christian-Themed Resort in San Diego
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Well-known televangelist Morris Cerullo is planning a Christian-themed resort in San Diego, the San Diego Union-Tribune reported.
In addition to 127 timeshare unit suites, the resort would boast attractions including an interactive Biblical museum, hologram-filled catacombs and a 20-foot-high replica of Jerusalem's wailing wall.
The $125 million project still requires San Diego City Council approval.
If approved, the resort would be built on 18 acres at the site of the former Mission Valley hotel, which was foreclosed on and purchased by Cerullo several years ago.
The completed tourist destination would bring in an estimated 400,000 visitors per year, according to Cerullo's ministry. Meanwhile, San Diego real estate consultant Gary London estimated that the resort could generate as much as $86 million in annual revenue.
The Union-Tribune reported that Cerullo and his minstry are calling on Visioneering Studios to assist in developing the unique attractions.
Despite the obvious hurdles, Morris Cerullo Legacy Center's Executive Director Jim Penner expressed confidence in the project, telling the Union-Tribune that "this idea of themed entertainment is going to start reaching into...museums, the waterfront. It's a business model. It's just based around religious themes rather than secular themes."
Existing religious-themed attractions include the Holy Land Experience in Orlando, Florida and the Creation Museum in Kentucky. While both attractions receive positive reviews on TripAdvisor and other websites, their appeal tends to be limited to a smaller audience.
Therefore, it remains to be seen whether a Christian-themed resort will be able to generate the widespread allure to thrive in a competitive tourist destination like San Diego.
Nonetheless if Cerullo's ministry is able to gain San Diego City Council approval, they hope to break ground on the project some time in 2016.
In that case, the resort could open as soon as late 2017 or early 2018.
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