Progress continues in plans to renovate Mud Island River Park

Progress continues in plans to renovate Mud Island River Park
(SOURCE: WMC Action News 5)
(SOURCE: WMC Action News 5)

MEMPHIS, TN (WMC) - Progress is being made toward a possible Mud Island River Park makeover after leaders have eliminated half of the possibilities originally proposed.

It could still be a long time before an actual river park renovation is a reality, however.

Some said they are looking forward to the options.

"If they had more to do over there, we'd go over more often," Tia Jackson said.

Memphis leaders said they are in the beginning phases of the progress, but it is moving along.

"This is kind of like round two of a four or five round process," Memphis Convention & Visitors Bureau Chief Kevin Kane said.

Kane chairs the Riverfront Development Corporation's redevelopment selection committee and believes that everyone is on the same page when it comes to what they want to see in the future.

"I think what we all want to see eventually is some increased animation and activity in a wonderful city amenity," Kane said.

Out of the four original proposals, two companies have been given the go-ahead to proceed in the process. One of those companies included Memphis-based RVC Outdoor Destinations.

RVC included a significant financial component in its plan, but it also included abandoning the park's iconic monorail.

The monorail was prominently featured in the 1993 Tom Cruise classic "The Firm."

RVC's plan would retain and upgrade both the scale-model Mississippi River replica and amphitheater.

"I'm a little biased because I have a small child, but I think it should be something that everybody can benefit from," Jackson said.

Jackson said she wants everyone to benefit without seriously overburdening Memphis taxpayers in the process.

The other redevelopment finalist is from Branson, Missouri.

Kane said he was surprised Bass Pro didn't go beyond the initial interest in the project, given The Pyramid's proximity, but he is hopeful the best days for the River Park are ahead.

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