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Boris

Earth Quest Adventure

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While I appreciate the info and effort, you have been the Debbie Downer of HAIF.

Nice reputation.

Maybe so, but if being a debbie downer means the truth, then I want the truth. Stinks this might not be going forward.

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Maybe so, but if being a debbie downer means the truth, then I want the truth. Stinks this might not be going forward.

I just called the Chamber of Commerce and they said the developers were at the last board meeting and said they plan on breaking ground in 9 months. The website issue is curious though.

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I just called the Chamber of Commerce and they said the developers were at the last board meeting and said they plan on breaking ground in 9 months. The website issue is curious though.

Thanks for checking in.

Hope they get their domain back up.

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http://www.yourhoustonnews.com/atascocita/news/article_5ef868fa-ae07-580d-9212-88b5b585e1f5.html?mode=story

I think the Earthquest Institute is the only part of this fiasco that should go forward. Fake multi-billionaire Trey White and John Marlin should have been sent packing a long time ago. Where have the millions thrown at them gone???

Soapboxmom

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The Earthquest Institute website is still running and still accepting donations. There could be many reasons that the Earthquest Adventures website is TEMPORARILY unavailable.

http://www.earthquestinstitute.org/

It is no mystery. The hosting fees were not paid, plain and simple. The service provider sent reminders, but the clowns at Marlin Atlantis / Global Earthquest Ventures didn't cough up the few dollars a month needed to keep the thing up. It is beyond ridiculous!!!

Soapboxmom

Edited by Soapboxmom

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I just called the Chamber of Commerce and they said the developers were at the last board meeting and said they plan on breaking ground in 9 months. The website issue is curious though.

McCrady told me 9 months as well. The question is though will the land loans be renewed. I haven't seen an extension filed on the county site for any of the loans due on June 16th. The Whitestone property has a 19 million dollar loan due on September 1st. How are Marlin Atlantis and their numerous little LLCS and LPs going to keep funding all this with no progress on developing these tracts?

Soapboxmom

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It is no mystery. The hosting feew were not paid, plain and simple. The service provider sent reminders, but the clown at Marlin Atlantis / Global Earthquest Ventures didn't cough up the few dollars a month needed to keep the thing up.

I find it difficult to believe that a private hosting company would provide information regarding the billing status of a private account to a third party. I'm not saying you're lying but - if you're not - I certainly wouldn't want to use that hosting provider for myself.

It is beyond ridiculous!!!

Why exactly is this 'ridiculous'?

Edited by Simbha

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I find it difficult to believe that a private hosting company would provide information regarding the billing status of a private account to a third party. I'm not saying you're lying but - if you're not - I certainly wouldn't want to use that hosting provider for myself.

Why exactly is this 'ridiculous'?

My link

I clicked on the link on the page that said temporarily unavailable and I called. I simply asked why the website was down. I asked if there was a technical issue and the very nice yong man said no, ma'am. The hosting fees were not paid. I then looked up the registration on www.domaintools.com and was not surprised to find out it was Global Earthquest Ventures / Marlin Atlantis.

John Marlin, Trey White, his zero water MLM scam that was sued by the MD Anderson Cancer Center and Texas Board of regents and dozens of little phony LLCs and LPs are all at the same address in Dallas. I think folks should be asking why Trey White, who happily allowed himself to be introduced as a multi-billionaire to promote his water scam is not stepping up to the plate and contributing a lot more financially to this deal. Can't he and his buddies at least manage the few dollars a month to keep the website up? That is precisely what is so ridiculous about this.

I researched that bunch. that bunch

Soapboxmom

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John Marlin, Trey White, his zero water MLM scam that was sued by the MD Anderson Cancer Center and Texas Board of regents and dozens of little phony LLCs and LPs are all at the same address in Dallas. I think folks should be asking why Trey White, who happily allowed himself to be introduced as a multi-billionaire to promote his water scam is not stepping up to the plate and contributing a lot more financially to this deal. Can't he and his buddies at least manage the few dollars a month to keep the website up? That is precisely what is so ridiculous about this.

I researched that bunch. that bunch

Well, I can't really comment on the veracity of your interpretation. What I can say is that there may be other reasons for stopping payment on the service. For example, perhaps they chose to go with a different domain and saw no reason to maintain the hosting. Or, they might have felt that the hosting company was not providing adequate service. The hosting company wouldn't be privy to any of these thoughts (or, in the latter case, certainly wouldn't make that public knowledge) but it doesn't mean it's either ridiculous or due to financial difficulty.

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My link

http://www.networksolutions.com/web-hosting/hosting-package-comparison.jsp

http://www.networksolutions.com/web-hosting/packages.jsp

That website was linked and supplying pictures on hundreds of blogs, posts, news articles, Facebook pages and more. Why would they do something that would break all those links? The project already had to be broken into phases as they can't secure adequate funding to go forward without doing it piecemeal. So, why do anything that would rock the boat when they are still desperately scrounging for investors? Hosting fees are nominal.

Soapboxmom

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Website back up. Looking a little more detailed: http://www.earthquestadventures.com/

Uh oh, some of the images aren't loading properly in my browser. That's breaking an implicit social contract between Trey White and his investors and the public. It's clearly the end of the line for this misanthropic adventure.

He'd better watch his back, cuz mom's gonna wag her finger at him quite vigorously. He will be so very ashamed.

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Extension of the loan

There is an extension of the loan of a whopping 3 months signed by Roscoe /Trey White himself. As to what happens by the magic date of Septmember 14,2011 is anyone's guess. This is the fifth extension and unlike the others it is not for a full year.

Guggenheim was thinking of committing between 200 - 300 millioin for the project and an unnamed group was talking about putting up 85 million. Supposedly the rephasing was going to make these investors happy earlier this year. So, why the 8 months more until ground breaking?

Soapboxmom

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Extension of the loan

There is an extension of the loan of a whopping 3 months signed by Roscoe /Trey White himself. As to what happens by the magic date of Septmember 14,2011 is anyone's guess. This is the fifth extension and unlike the others it is not for a full year.

Guggenheim was thinking of committing between 200 - 300 millioin for the project and an unnamed group was talking about putting up 85 million. Supposedly the rephasing was going to make these investors happy earlier this year. So, why the 8 months more until ground breaking?

Soapboxmom

Post the loan extension document here. Or are you only interested in driving traffic to your own website?

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Extension of the loan

There is an extension of the loan of a whopping 3 months signed by Roscoe /Trey White himself. As to what happens by the magic date of Septmember 14,2011 is anyone's guess. This is the fifth extension and unlike the others it is not for a full year.

Guggenheim was thinking of committing between 200 - 300 millioin for the project and an unnamed group was talking about putting up 85 million. Supposedly the rephasing was going to make these investors happy earlier this year. So, why the 8 months more until ground breaking?

Soapboxmom

The latest article suggest that they are looking to build the original $500 million version of the resort. They have only secured $385 million so far, they are holding off another 8 months in order to try to get the last $115 million needed to build the entire resort and not just parts of it or a cheaper version of it.

Here is a direct quote from the latest release press article...

"Estimated at a cost of $500 million, Earth Quest is to include a retail shopping experience, a water park, a hotel and a family entertainment center located on 1,600 acres along U.S. 59 between FM 1485 and Texas 242 on the west side, and FM 1485 and Roman Forest Boulevard on the east.

We’re not going to put another carnival on the ground,” McCrady said after the EMCID meeting. “Nothing significant has changed.” Announcing a date for groundbreaking is nothing new for the Earth Quest project. Construction was to start sometime in 2010, but a need for investors and the economy affected the timetable. At least one of the investors involved is an independent investment banking group based in Texas, Brown said. “It’s better to shop for money and generate better returns,” McCrady said. “They (the developers) have been waiting for the economy to come around. The Texas market has started to stabilize.”

Edited by Hugh Stone
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There you go guys. The pdf for the loan extension is attached. I am pleasantly sruprised the site will allow such a large attachment. That is in fact unusual.

I take it you found this:

http://www.communitychamberemc.com/index.php/news/6-news/181-latest-update-on-earthquest-project.html

I did not realize we were back to doing the entire project at once and had nixed the plan to build it in phases. We shall see.

Soapboxmom

Dino Park Loan Extension.pdf

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Extension of the loan

There is an extension of the loan of a whopping 3 months signed by Roscoe /Trey White himself. As to what happens by the magic date of Septmember 14,2011 is anyone's guess. This is the fifth extension and unlike the others it is not for a full year.

Guggenheim was thinking of committing between 200 - 300 millioin for the project and an unnamed group was talking about putting up 85 million. Supposedly the rephasing was going to make these investors happy earlier this year. So, why the 8 months more until ground breaking?

Soapboxmom

Loan modifications are fairly common. They're not even a bad indicator. It usually means that the borrower keeps up on payments, has demonstrated the means to continue keeping up on payments, and is generally well-liked by the lender. Warning signs are things like cash management agreements. This doesn't have that or anything like it.

As for why the short duration of the modification...could be lots of things. They may anticipate refinancing the land or obtaining construction financing and/or fresh equity that will replace the land note. I don't know why you insist on jumping to negative conclusions.

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Hey Soapbox, after you cause Marlin/Atlantis to go out of business and insure that Montgomery County never becomes a tourist destination and that thousands of jobs are never created for the region, who will you go after next?

Are there any other scams out there that warrant any of your attention? Are there any people being hurt by any other large corporations? Are there any power companies or chemical plants dumping toxins into the environment that will actually do harm to people? Pyramid Schemes? Email scams? Old people giving all their money away to the Home Shopping Network or the Trinity Broadcasting System? Rape Victims, Child Abuse, Mothers Against Drunk Drivers, SPCA? PETA? PBS?

...Or do you solely exist to 'try' to stop parts of the EarthQuest resort that you don't like - such as the theme park component? I know you don't mind the EarthQuest Institute being built (you have stated this on other forums) -which is something I find odd since Marlin/Atlantis is developing both the Institute and the theme park.

There are a lot of ways to help your fellow man. Stopping jobs and helping Houston remain the only major city in America without a large theme park is NOT one of them.

Edited by Hugh Stone

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You're giving Soapboxmom too much credit, IMO. Just another internet troll.

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Hugh Stone,

You are going way too far. Knowing what I know about Trey White and Marlin Atlantis I do not believe the taxpayers should be throwing money at them. That does not mean I am against the project in any way. The question is should the taxpayers of Texas, which includes my family, be footing the bill for Marlin Atlantis to be developing this project with their track record.

Trey (Roscoe Frederick) White was on videos allowing himself to be introduced as a multi-billionaire to promote his silly MLM water that was sued by the world renowned MD Anderson Cancer Center. He has never even made Forbes list of billionaires, let alone multi-billionaires. Trey is a fraud and a complete buffoon. And, obviously if he was the multi-billionaire that he has allowed himself to be portrayed as, he would just buy the land outright and fund the project himself????

How did the officials handling our tax money not find out about Marlin Atlantis' botched development and bankruptcy discussed in the papers and in court records on PACER?

My link

How can Marlin Atlantis claim to be a commercial developer when the only projects I can find are low dollar residential communities? A large scale commercial project is not quite the same thing. Disney World was said to have costs 400 million to build in 1971 in 1971 dollars. Hong Kong Disneyland came in at 3.5 billion dollars in 2004. Disneyland Paris costs 2.5 billion to build in 1992 and had massive costs overruns. How can these guys build any kind of park for the 500 million that has been quoted?

I think after all these years of waiting it is time to be asking the hard questions. Trey White has been bragging about this 500 million dollar Dino Park himself for years on his corporate bios and Evolv water promotions. When are we going to see some progress?

What the paper wrote about the 500 million project may simply be a mistake of putting the usual explanatory paragraph in. Nowhere else have we heard that the project has changed from being built in phases to being built all at once. What is the story on that?

Soapboxmom

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Hugh Stone,

You are going way too far. Knowing what I know about Trey White and Marlin Atlantis I do not believe the taxpayers should be throwing money at them. That does not mean I am against the project in any way. The question is should the taxpayers of Texas, which includes my family, be footing the bill for Marlin Atlantis to be developing this project with their track record.

Trey (Roscoe Frederick) White was on videos allowing himself to be introduced as a multi-billionaire to promote his silly MLM water that was sued by the world renowned MD Anderson Cancer Center. He has never even made Forbes list of billionaires, let alone multi-billionaires. Trey is a fraud and a complete buffoon. And, obviously if he was the multi-billionaire that he has allowed himself to be portrayed as, he would just buy the land outright and fund the project himself????

How did the officials handling our tax money not find out about Marlin Atlantis' botched development and bankruptcy discussed in the papers and in court records on PACER?

My link

How can Marlin Atlantis claim to be a commercial developer when the only projects I can find are low dollar residential communities? A large scale commercial project is not quite the same thing. Disney World was said to have costs 400 million to build in 1971 in 1971 dollars. Hong Kong Disneyland came in at 3.5 billion dollars in 2004. Disneyland Paris costs 2.5 billion to build in 1992 and had massive costs overruns. How can these guys build any kind of park for the 500 million that has been quoted?

I think after all these years of waiting it is time to be asking the hard questions. Trey White has been bragging about this 500 million dollar Dino Park himself for years on his corporate bios and Evolv water promotions. When are we going to see some progress?

What the paper wrote about the 500 million project may simply be a mistake of putting the usual explanatory paragraph in. Nowhere else have we heard that the project has changed from being built in phases to being built all at once. What is the story on that?

Soapboxmom

Mom: you're only meeting with so much resistance because your attacks betray a naivety about commercial real estate finance and the development process.

With regard to a billionaire status, you cite Forbes. All they've got is data on publicly-held positions. They know nothing about privately-held companies. They overlook a huge number of individuals. And besides, look at Forbes' other rank-order lists. Forbes is garbage. I wouldn't trust them to tell me that the sky is blue. I'm not saying that Trey White is a saint, either, but I have yet to meet a saint in the real estate industry. If he were a saint, this deal would be DOA. And that's the truth.

You ask why a billionaire doesn't just finance the project with his own money. Well...it doesn't take a billionaire to know that if you can acquire something for $100, of which $80 is borrowed, and then sell it for $110, then you've just made a 50% return on investment rather than a 10% return without borrowing. If a so-called billionaire did this project without financing, THEN I'd be convinced that he wasn't a billionaire. Billionaires (and ten-thousandaires like myself) know that the opportunity cost of doing one huge low-yield project like you suggest would be many high-yield projects.

You point out that the guy isn't Disney Corp. So? If you decide to buy or build a $165,000 house, I'm not going to call you out because it isn't a $500,000 house. There's a market for each.

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For what it's worth, my dad ran into an old friend who has his own electrical company and he's "excited" b/c he's hoping to get some work out of it since they "got their financing."

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This sounds like it could be cool, as long as I'm not shelling out my hard earned money to have my family and myself beaten over the head with a bunch of eco-propaganda crap. I'm sick and tired of hearing about "green this and green that". If that's what it will be, count me out. I want to be able to just go somewhere and forget about everything for a while, not be constantly told that I'm "destroying the planet".

Edited by cactusneedle
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Earth Quest Adventures Houston

An update on the current state of the park from the official EarthQuest facebook page: "The Park is still moving forward now that the financial markets have begun to flow our investment banking team is seeing great interest on the financing for the project. The average theme park project takes between 8-14 years from concept to opening, so we are ahead of the curve." and "It makes no sense to throw out ground breaking dates until the phase one financing is definitively secured"

The funding for the first phase is not secured and we are still at ground zero. So, Frank McCrady's talk of groundbreaking in nine months, which would have put it in February 2012, was just idle chatter. I pointed him to all the facts about Trey White and Marlin Atlantis. I can see why investors don't want to get involved.

Soapboxmom

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The loans on the EarthQuest Property were due and payable on September 14th. There have been no releases, extensions or modifications filed. What is going on and why are we not getting updates? The taxpayers have a right to know!!! Where is Frank McCrady????

Soapboxmom

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The loans on the EarthQuest Property were due and payable on September 14th. There have been no releases, extensions or modifications filed. What is going on and why are we not getting updates? The taxpayers have a right to know!!! Where is Frank McCrady????

Soapboxmom

It's been less than a month since that date came and passed. Some lenders will let the loans float as long as payments continue to be made and as long as the borrower continues to demonstrate good faith.

Even still... You should do an open records request from the East Montgomery County Improvement District. Ask for copies of all written correspondence between them and Marlin Atlantis or any of its principals.

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It's been less than a month since that date came and passed. Some lenders will let the loans float as long as payments continue to be made and as long as the borrower continues to demonstrate good faith.

Even still... You should do an open records request from the East Montgomery County Improvement District. Ask for copies of all written correspondence between them and Marlin Atlantis or any of its principals.

This overdue loan has had 5 extensions / modifications. The most recent one was for only 3 months. That does make me wonder if the bank is tired of dealing with this.

I am familiar with open records request, but I am not sure if the correspondence of that nature is available. Checking that out is an excellent idea. If it was one would think the media would have pounced on that already and busted this thing wide open. Perhaps someone with more time will do more digging. I am just very concerned that we as taxpayers are not getting updates and reliable information. With millions of dollars spent where is the transparency and accountability?

Soapboxmom

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This overdue loan has had 5 extensions / modifications. The most recent one was for only 3 months. That does make me wonder if the bank is tired of dealing with this.

I am familiar with open records request, but I am not sure if the correspondence of that nature is available. Checking that out is an excellent idea. If it was one would think the media would have pounced on that already and busted this thing wide open. Perhaps someone with more time will do more digging. I am just very concerned that we as taxpayers are not getting updates and reliable information. With millions of dollars spent where is the transparency and accountability?

Soapboxmom

All it takes is a couple of paragraphs on paper stating what you want from them. The worst that can happen is that they furnish a letter from the attorney general saying, "Nope." If you fancy yourself some kind of investigative blogger or whatever, and you ever want to be taken seriously, then you need to take yourself seriously. You shouldn't expect the media to do the work for you. (They're in the entertainment industry, if you hadn't noticed.)

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Improvement district bolsters East Montgomery County - Your Houston News: News

“(But) everyone wants to talk about EarthQuest,” McCrady conceded.

EarthQuest is a $550 million amusement park which is scheduled to break ground in six to nine months, he said. The design of the park is essentially in four areas, all on adjacent sides of a central mountain.

“There is a huge demand for commercial development,” McCrady said.

Phase I of the development has a projected initial investment of $550 million, the bulk of which is the $389 million theme park. A resort 250-room hotel is projected to cost $77.9 million. Other areas in the design include Cretaceous Cove ($32.1 million developmental budget), Green Gadget Garage ($17 million), Earth Walk ($26.9 million), an eco-tourism area ($6.9 million) and a museum $20 million.

“Our focus is to bring in amenities to improve the quality of life,” McCrady said of the East Montgomery County Improvement District. For more information on the district, visit www.emctx.com.

We are still being strung along. The loans were renewed for a year through September 14,2012. The construction costs have been quoted higher, but I still am not convinced that the theme park can be built for anything near even the 389 million dollar figure.

When are we taxpayers going to get a real update and some honest disclosure? Is the financing finally secured? Why is ground breaking put off yet another 6-9 months? duh.gif

Soapboxmom

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Glad to hear the park still has not been cancelled. It's taking forever to get this thing going. It took 12 years for Disney to build Walt Disney World. 9 of those years it was only in the conceptual/planning phase. EarthQuest may well be AHEAD of schedule. Building a 1600 acre, half billion dollar project must be a little more complicated than building a suburban strip center.

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Improvement district bolsters East Montgomery County - Your Houston News: News

We are still being strung along. The loans were renewed for a year through September 14,2012. The construction costs have been quoted higher, but I still am not convinced that the theme park can be built for anything near even the 389 million dollar figure.

When are we taxpayers going to get a real update and some honest disclosure? Is the financing finally secured? Why is ground breaking put off yet another 6-9 months? duh.gif

Soapboxmom

What is the taxpayers' investment in this project ?

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EMCID takes one step closer to Dinosaur Park

Published: 10.14.08

The East Montgomery County Improvement District board has set a date of Dec. 12 for for its target to attain $7 million in bonds for the development of the dinosaur park. Marlin-Atlantis is the real estate developer planning the estimated $1.5 billion park and resort to be built on U.S. Highway 59 by 2011.

The EMCID board is loaning Marlin the $7 million in bonds toward pre-development costs of the construction, according to Frank McCrady, EMCID president. The expenses include fees for accounting, engineering, design and master planning.

The board will be repaid half of the bond once Marlin takes out the construction loan. McCrady said the construction loan is expected to close summer to fall 2009. The remaining $3.5 million will be paid five years after the construction loan closes in 2014.

________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

I have heard other figures bandied about, but here is one from a trusted source. I suspect that Marlin Atlantis hasn't paid back a cent. There are no construction loans filed yet that I am aware of. The Texas legislature also passed legislation to support this project. The taxpayers are very likely to get burned I would imagine. We have had no real updates or disclosure for months. Where are the two investors that were bragged of in 2010?

Soapboxmom

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EMCID takes one step closer to Dinosaur Park

Published: 10.14.08

The East Montgomery County Improvement District board has set a date of Dec. 12 for for its target to attain $7 million in bonds for the development of the dinosaur park. Marlin-Atlantis is the real estate developer planning the estimated $1.5 billion park and resort to be built on U.S. Highway 59 by 2011.

The EMCID board is loaning Marlin the $7 million in bonds toward pre-development costs of the construction, according to Frank McCrady, EMCID president. The expenses include fees for accounting, engineering, design and master planning.

The board will be repaid half of the bond once Marlin takes out the construction loan. McCrady said the construction loan is expected to close summer to fall 2009. The remaining $3.5 million will be paid five years after the construction loan closes in 2014.

________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

I have heard other figures bandied about, but here is one from a trusted source. I suspect that Marlin Atlantis hasn't paid back a cent. There are no construction loans filed yet that I am aware of. The Texas legislature also passed legislation to support this project. The taxpayers are very likely to get burned I would imagine. We have had no real updates or disclosure for months. Where are the two investors that were bragged of in 2010?

Soapboxmom

Interesting. Couldn't help but notice that the article spoke of the bonds being attained some two months in the future (after the article was dated) Any idea whether, or evidence that, the bonds were ever attained or the money made available to the earthquest folks?

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I have heard other figures bandied about, but here is one from a trusted source. I suspect that Marlin Atlantis hasn't paid back a cent. There are no construction loans filed yet that I am aware of. The Texas legislature also passed legislation to support this project. The taxpayers are very likely to get burned I would imagine. We have had no real updates or disclosure for months. Where are the two investors that were bragged of in 2010?

Soapboxmom

Soapboxmom,

I've sat around for more than a few months without responding to your posts, but I've had enough of 'em at this point.

I'm currently the highest-donating Individual (that is, non-corp-related), toward EQI, the non-profit component of this project. I'm middle-class, single, young, and have attended all of the EarthQuest Institute fundraising events I've been able. I value amusement and theme parks tremendously, and think Houston will benefit very well from a vision as thorougly-thought-out as EarthQuest. While I'm completely frustrated it's taken so long for any component of the Resort to get off the ground, I still have confidence in the current Team developing the project. I've been generally regular personal contact with one Team member (because I'm a donor), but can't mention anything that was reviewed with me.

If you and your consipiracy theorists at Real Scam did your job, you'd also know exactly what was going on, and you'd realize you've been spreading bad information around the past 6 months. I figured everything out in a Google search, but I'm not going to give you any key words. If you were really paying attention, you'd know what to type in, and what to look for.

And let me add, I only found clarifying good news, not bad news.

Let's just say, I've been told first-hand the less news we get, the better.

And if the project never gets off the ground, it will be a shame, and the "joke will be on me," but at least some alongside me have made an effort to help make something great.

In the meantime, please stop bashing this project with incorrect info. and potentially stunting collective confidence in its development.

Edited by McKnight
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Some people (SoapBoxMom, others) just hate the thought of anyone having fun anywhere near Houston. There have been people posting negative things about this project since the first day it was announced. Why- I'll never know. It's not like there is a half billion dollar tourist mecca, funzone resort themed around sustaining the planet built in Houston every day. In fact, as everyone well knows, the Houston area is the largest metro in the country not currently served by a large theme park. A travesty IMO.

Of all the nobel causes in the world to keep one occupied and things to get worked up over, it is mind boggling to me that anyone would want to try to stop EarthQuest from being built. Refineries, warehouse districts and parking lots - no problem, but try to build a place for people to have a little recreation in Houston and watch that scary shut-in scrooge element come out in full force to TRY and stop it. Not that anyone but the almighty dollar is going to stop anything from happening in this part of the country. Real Scam? LOL! Get real.

Only one question, McKnight. Why would the less news we get, the better?

I've been impatiently waiting to ride the volcano roller coaster for almost 6 years now. I don't know what soapboxmom's major malfunction is. I think she's trying to get people to visit her cheezy little no-credibilty webpage. I wouldn't worry too much about anything she has to say. But, there hasn't been any real news about this project in months and months and months - that DOES worry me. It almost seems forgotten about. Lots of grand projects announced in Houston just fade out and are forgotten about by the general public. I worry that is what is happening to EQ. I used to get regular updates from the EQ newsletter and invites to community briefings, but that stopped over a year ago.

Any more info you can provide that would give me hope that this project hasn't been cancelled would be very sincerely and most appreciated.

Thanks

Edited by Mister X
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Only one question, McKnight. Why would the less news we get, the better?

Any more info you can provide that would give me hope that this project hasn't been cancelled would be very sincerely and most appreciated.

Thanks

Sure thing, X, and I appreciated your complete notes above - I'm right there with you. If that forested land isn't developed into this Resort, it will likely become a Wal Mart or something equally awful.

Anyway, what I could gather from the last time I spoke to a Development Team member, is that there'd be little-to-no further publicized updates until a groundbreaking date is set. So the fundraising team is completely focused at this point, and all concentration is on making it happen than continuing with any more PR. This is in part to absolutely not raise any more hopes, but to also curb distracting speculation (re: soapboxmom). None of that is verbatim from the DT member, but it's what I generally inferred from the discussion.

I haven't even heard from the DT member in 6 months (likely to prevent me from outlining any note more detailed than this), and I know for sure the person is not going to be one to leave me hanging indefinitely, project or no project.

So, arguably, any next word we get will be either word of absolute groundbreaking, or a complete suspension of the project. So no news (or little news) is good news until absolute word of groundbreaking.

Get creative with your Google searches, and you can learn a lot - enough to completely shut soapboxmom up. No hints, links, or more detailed posts from me, though.

It's all a waiting game, guys. Let's see what late winter brings us. Oh, and to clarify. I'm also 'txtiger' on here - the guy who posted all the huge updates from the fundraisers, earlier in this thread. I mis-managed my login info, and locked myself out of that profile, so need to tend to getting that deleted.

(Complete side note, and I know the Landry's Corp is an entity many people in Houston love to hate: While we're all waiting for more diversions here in the Houston area to help people get their asses off the couch and instead be out in the sun, those interested can keep track of Galveston's new Pleasure Pier project on the Facebook page via the official website - www.pleasure-pier.com While I don't exactly want to see Mr. Fertitta own everything of the sort in the region, I at least appreciate his investment in gool ol' amusement-based entertainment... Latest word from www.screamscape.com is even Kemah Boardwalk will be receiving a multi-million dollar overhaul for 2013.)

Edited by McKnight
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Thanks for the info and words of encouragement McKnight. What you say makes complete sense to me. I also agree 100% about your thoughts on Mr.Fertitta. The Galveston Pleasure Pier is going to be a fantastic asset to the area. And that multi-million dollar overhaul for Kemah Boardwalk sounds really exciting. Lets hope it all works out.

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My insider source was correct. The scumbags are out!!!

EarthQuest dino-park lands in bankruptcy

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Cynthia Calvert

Whitestone Houston Land Ltd. (“Whitestone”), an entity that owns approximately 1,564 acres near New Caney, a portion of which includes the planned EarthQuest theme park and museum, has filed for bankruptcy.

The EarthQuest theme park and museum has been promoted for years as a soon-to-come entertainment center with retail shopping, a water park, hotels, an eco-tourism area, and a residential development, along with a dinosaur area. The project grew from $50 to $500 million+ with numerous delays in breaking ground. To date, no construction has occurred.

According to trollerbk.com, Whitestone filed a Chapter 11 petition (re-organization) for bankruptcy protection more than five months ago on August 1, 2011. The filing was made at the United States Bankruptcy Court, Eastern District of Texas (Sherman). The bankruptcy petition number is 11- 42400.

According to Schedule B of the petition, Whitestone has $0.00 in its business checking account. Schedule D shows a total indebtedness to secured creditors of $20,167,465.94.

Schedule F of the petition indicates that Whitestone owes another $808,179.28 to various unsecured creditors. Notably, those unpaid amounts include $123,845.13 to local taxing agencies for unpaid property taxes for the 2008 to 2010 tax years. The status of payment for the property taxes due January 31, 2012, for the 2011 tax year is unknown.

Also included in Schedule F is an unsecured $225,000 note payable to the East Montgomery County Improvement District (“EMCID”). However, more significant amounts have been funded by EMCID to Whitestone in the form of expense reimbursements.

Whitestone is a limited partnership whose general partner is Whitestone Houston Holdings LLC. The manager of the general partner is John D. Marlin. Marlin is also manager of EQ Ventures GP LLC, the general partner of Global Earthquest Ventures LP (“Global”). Global is one of the parties to the contracts executed with EMCID.

According to www.earthquestinstitute.org, Marlin is also a director of the EarthQuest Institute (“Institute”), a nonprofit organization established to apparently manage the EarthQuest Museum and Institute. Marlin is shown on their website as a director of the Institute. The Institute is another of the parties to the contracts executed with EMCID.

According to www.earthquestadventures.com, Marlin’s real estate and development company, Marlin-Atlantis, of which he is the chief executive officer, is the general partner and developer of the planned project through an entity called EarthQuest Resort. This company does not appear to be a party to the contracts executed with EMCID. Marlin-Atlantis is based in Dallas.

Marlin did not respond to a request for comment.

Frank McCrady, President and CEO of EMCID, stands behind the development. “We have a new developer who is working with the bank to take over the property and the project.

“It is not a matter of if, but when [it will be built],” he said.

According to a website at www.landadvisors.com/whitestone, Whitestone originally acquired the New Caney land for a residential development to be called Whitestone. As described in a special warranty deed dated June 14, 2004, the same being recorded in the public records of Montgomery County under Clerk’s File Number 2004-06651 and film code number 608-10-2194, the property was purchased from HS Tejas Ltd. The purchase price of the land, as stated in the first paragraph of the deed, was in the amount of $4,150,000 plus “$10 and other good and valuable consideration.”

Over time, the idea of a dinosaur-themed park and resort was developed through the principals and affiliates of Whitestone. This new concept was then planned on about 500 acres of the land that was originally intended for residential development. Due to the projected economic impact on the surrounding region, discussions were initiated with the EMCID.

Those discussions ultimately resulted in a series of complex agreements between Global, EMCID and the Earthquest Institute. Briefly stated, for the perceived future benefits of having a major theme park and other related developments, EMCID agreed to sell millions of dollars in bonds in order to provide funds to Whitestone for “pre-development” and “pre-construction” expenses.

Pursuant to a Houston Chronicle-This Week article dated August 26, 2009, the aggregate funds [then] paid by EMCID to Whitestone for the foregoing expenses totaled $7,800,000. The same article referenced a second request by Marlin for EMCID to provide another $2,800,000 to Global to pay for a “site locater fee,” the recipient of which was unnamed in the article.

McCrady said that EMCID subsequently did not advance the additional funds to pay the site locater fee.

“We do not want people alarmed and think that the project will not be built. We have Contour Entertainment from Los Angeles. They are going to take over,” he said.

McCrady said he was aware Whitestone had filed for bankruptcy some months ago.

“They have a restructuring plan – a hearing on this will be held Jan. 23 in Dallas,” he said.

The property is currently in bankruptcy but McCrady says Contour is currently working with the bank and hopes to purchase the property eventually.

“Contour is an entertainment company with experience developing theme parks all over the world. Our board thinks that is very good,” McCrady said. Contour, McCrady said, was a subcontractor of Whitestone's and performed all the design work on the EarthQuest project, he said. “Chris Brown, CEO of Contour, has been prepared to step in from the inception,” McCrady said. Owning the site would be a first for the Los Angeles-based design firm.

According to Contour Entertainment's website, www.contourentertainment.com,

the company performs many functions related to theme park management but they do not own theme parks. Contour's website states that they perform concept development and show design, project management, operational planning, market research and architectural design. EarthQuest is already listed as one of the six projects Contour is working on.

The site states that, “Contour Entertainment is the Resort Masterplanner and lead designer for all aspects of this $530 million, 500-acre (Phase 1) entertainment resort as well as providing the initial design for the conceptual direction and facility design for the $20 million, 40,000-sqare foot, not-for-profit EarthQuest Institute.”

It appears that the general plan of repayment to the EMCID was to receive about one-half of the proceeds at the beginning of construction of the theme park, with the second half being repaid after construction of the park was completed. However, there have been numerous changes and amendments to the original contracts and the current status of the repayment terms is uncertain. The filing of the bankruptcy petition has created concerns about any projected construction date and whether or not the bankruptcy filing has jeopardized the repayment of the monies funded by EMCID to Global.

“Whitestone was just a landholding company,” McCrady said. “The bond paid for predevelopment expenses, engineers, drainage, things like that all related to EarthQuest.”

McCrady said that repayments are certain, based on future sales tax recapture as well as future taxes attached to the development zone and future hotel taxes.

“We would not have issued bonds if there was any chance of the funds not being recovered,” he said.

The contracts further provide that, should the project not be constructed, then EMCID would have the right to purchase certain properties owned by the Institute. That purchase option is for the 50 acres upon which the Dino Institute and Museum would be built. The option price for that tract is $1,250,000. This amount would be in addition to the original $7,800,000 already known to be approved by the bond to Global.

McCrady said that EMCID and the bond has put up about $9 million. He said “you can add another million to the bond money” for expenses to date.

Marlin Atlantis also received approval from taxing authorities for property tax abatements to enhance the profitability of the project via Montgomery County Commissioners Court and from the passage of House Bill 4015. At the same time, the contracts between Global and EMCID would have set in motion a set of new taxes and user fees in connection with the development and operation of the theme park and museum, including Improvement Zone sales taxes and hotel occupancy taxes, along with event admission taxes and parking fees and taxes.

In fact, McCrady said,”Without a doubt, this will happen. If Contour fails, others are willing to step up. We are not putting all our faith in one developer. That is not the way we do business. We have backup plans A, B, C and D.”

“From our perspective, the board thinks the future sales tax will pay back the money. The property is well suited to retail development.

“Contour is hoping to pick up the project after the bankruptcy is complete,” McCrady said. “Houston is poised for theme park projects. We have three different economic reports that say that.”

List of creditors and amounts owed listed in the bankruptcy filing:

Creditors holding secured claims, according to Schedule D:

J.R. Moore, Jr. Tax Assessor, $15,970.81; County of Montgomery Tax Office, $61,943.94; Hillcrest Bank, $20,043,611.21; J. R. Moore, Jr. Tax Assessor, $45,939.98.

Creditors Holding Unsecured Claims, according to Schedule F:

Anco-McDonald Waterworks, $5,385; Bracewell & Guiliani LLP, $952.50; Cindy A Schmidt, $2,521.57; Coasts, Rose, Yale Ryman & Lee, $3858.83; East Montgomery County Improvement District, $225,000; Hayne and Associates PC, $155; Hesse & Hesse LLP, $225; Ryan & Company PC, $1025; Sammons Realty Corp., $275,683.88; Texas Commission-Environmental Quality, $2,565.38; Thompson & Knight LLP, $11,978.74, and WMA Whitestone Land LP, $278,828.38.

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This is great news. I couldn't be happier to hear that Contour is driving the project. Contour is a strong developer with many successful projects under their belt. Also glad to hear that other landholding companies are willing to step in to make this project happen.

McCrady said,”Without a doubt, this will happen. If Contour fails, others are willing to step up. We are not putting all our faith in one developer. That is not the way we do business. We have backup plans A, B, C and D.”

Edited by Mister X
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This is great news. I couldn't be happier to hear that Contour is driving the project. Contour is a strong developer with many successful projects under their belt. Also glad to hear that other landholding companies are willing to step in to make this project happen.

McCrady said,”Without a doubt, this will happen. If Contour fails, others are willing to step up. We are not putting all our faith in one developer. That is not the way we do business. We have backup plans A, B, C and D.”

With John Marlin and fake multi-billionaire, scammer Trey White apparently out, there is hope the project can go forward. McCrady should be sent packing as well. The taxpayers and business people who have invested in projects in the area have a right to know what is going on. I have had enough of the clown show antics going on! I hope the truth about what was going on behind the scenes will finally be told. My source was right all along. Marlin Atlantis was allowed to play games for way too long!

Soapboxmom

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Who cares who the hell builds EarthQuest. It could be built by Osama Bin Ladin for all I care. Houston needs a theme park. I like McCrady's attitude and commitment to the project. It sounds like he is very confident the park will be built. As long as I keep reading that he is confident - I will remain confident the EQ will be built.

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Soapboxmom,

I've sat around for more than a few months without responding to your posts, but I've had enough of 'em at this point.

I'm currently the highest-donating Individual (that is, non-corp-related), toward EQI, the non-profit component of this project. I'm middle-class, single, young, and have attended all of the EarthQuest Institute fundraising events I've been able. I value amusement and theme parks tremendously, and think Houston will benefit very well from a vision as thorougly-thought-out as EarthQuest. While I'm completely frustrated it's taken so long for any component of the Resort to get off the ground, I still have confidence in the current Team developing the project. I've been generally regular personal contact with one Team member (because I'm a donor), but can't mention anything that was reviewed with me.

If you and your consipiracy theorists at Real Scam did your job, you'd also know exactly what was going on, and you'd realize you've been spreading bad information around the past 6 months. I figured everything out in a Google search, but I'm not going to give you any key words. If you were really paying attention, you'd know what to type in, and what to look for.

And let me add, I only found clarifying good news, not bad news.

Let's just say, I've been told first-hand the less news we get, the better.

And if the project never gets off the ground, it will be a shame, and the "joke will be on me," but at least some alongside me have made an effort to help make something great.

In the meantime, please stop bashing this project with incorrect info. and potentially stunting collective confidence in its development.

......

Get creative with your Google searches, and you can learn a lot - enough to completely shut soapboxmom up. No hints, links, or more detailed posts from me, though.

If you are in fact the largest indiviual investor you may have just been burned. I have known for months the project was having financial problems and bills were not being paid. In order to protect my sources I never give out information that could give away their identities. This bankruptcy is no surprise to those who were following this closely. Marlin Atlantis' Trey White is no multi-billionaire. That oily John Marlin has his hand in every pie related to this fiasco. They have run other projects into the ground and never had the experience or qualifications to be involved in this in the first place.

The real disaster now will be sorting out the many contracts and agreements made with Frank McCrady's gang. McCrady has also known for months that he was dealing with dishonest buffoons and he just kept rambling on about how wonderful everything was going. Time to send that boy packing! The property LLC is in bankrupcty. Many other LLCs signed contracts related to this. The question is will the Marlin Atlantis scammers sign off and allow the project to go forward or will there be months of costly litigation to extricate them from the project and send them packing? Here is a listing of LLCs

The documents related to the charity, The Earthquest Insitute, are quite telling as well. Marlin Atlantis' Deborah Thomas was paid $140,000.00 in 2008 for working part-time for this Insitute. That is beyond ridiculous! It is high time this sham of a project gets exposed. Why is the local media not all over this???

Soapboxmom

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Here is the link to the actual bankruptcy docs:

http://www.realscam.....html#post14855

I have only briefly perused them, but several things stand out. Whitestone claims the property is worth around 25 million. They owe the bank around 21 million and the bank's appraiser valued it at around 10 million.

The bank also argues in a bunch of legalese that the bankruptcy is improper for an entity that holds only a non-income producing piece of land. They want the court to grant them relief from the automatic stay so they can foreclose on the property immediately.

It appears the Whitestone bunch does not have any buyers for the property and no reasonable way to pay what is owed.

Soapboxmom

Edited by Soapboxmom

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