We did a spit take Tuesday when we saw pretty new renderings for a long-dormant mega-amusement-park called EarthQuest prominently displayed in the Chron.
We first wrote about the eco-friendly "ClusterQuest" in 2012, after two writers for a Montgomery County paper called The Tribune exposed the dubious background of former EarthQuest consultant Don Holbrook, as well as a questionable financial relationship between Holbrook and the head of an entity called the East Montgomery County Improvement District.
Holbrook responded by suing Tribune reporter and publisher Cynthia Calvert as well as The Houston Press, and approximately 18,000 other individuals and newspapers who Holbrook said were all engaged in a a complex nationwide conspiracy against him. Because that's just how important Holbrook is, apparently. (We may be slightly off on the number of defendants).
Holbrook ultimately dropped his suit against The Press and no longer appears to be involved with EarthQuest.
The new mouthpiece is Chris Brown, head of the Los Angeles-based Contour Entertainment, whose projects include a casino on Phnom Penh, a traveling Star Trek exhibit, and drawings for a Wild West-themed restaurant. (The restaurant's plans include an "immersive dining experience" where actors stage gunfights at dinner -- the awesome black-and-white rendering includes an actor dressed as a cowboy firing a gun two feet away from a little girl huddling next to her father).
Brown and Holbrook also pitched an Army tank-driving course -- featuring a separate area for a mortar firing range -- to boost tourism in the small town of Pahrump, outside Las Vegas.
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According to the Chron story, and an earlier piece in the Eastex Advocate,plans for the park's original location, just outside New Caney, fell through. But have no fear -- Brown said he plans to close on a new location by May.
"Because they are still working out all the contract details and plans, the exact location Contour Entertainment has selected has not been made public yet," according to the Advocate.
"We are not dead," Brown said at a February 20 meeting of the East Montgomery County Improvement District. "We have multiple designers adjusting the plans for the new property and are proceeding."
The amazing thing to us is the pass that the majority of local media has given this hollow EarthQuest chatter for nine years. Calvert and former Tribune editor Jeff Geiger were the only ones to actually ask questions. Hey, it's not like we doubt the nationwide tourism appeal of a racetrack for corn-fuel-powered go-karts ("We Put the 'Corn' in Cornering!") we just question Brown's ability to pull it off.