The developers who announced plans in Fort Worth for a $3.5 billion theme park and resort said they are financed through an Alabama company that was formed less than one week ago, according to documents obtained by NBC 5 Investigates.
The financial company’s lack of a track record adds to other questions, including where the park will be located and whether the developers have the experience to pull together such a large project.
The founder of the development company, DreamVision, said on Monday they would build a 5,000-acre theme park and resort, complete with “a man-made mountain that will tower over the metroplex.”
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"This magical place will feature one of the largest indoor winter vacation experiences ever conceived, hidden deep within a man-made mountain,” said DreamVision CEO Rick Silanskas. "It is truly a fantasy come to life.”
NBC 5 could find no record that DreamVision has built anything, large or small.
Silanskas said he has surrounded himself with experienced people, including a former executive of the Walt Disney Company.
Silanskas said he has the $3.5 billion in funding lined up.
“It's all being funded through private equity,” he said.
He said he's partnering with a financial company, Provident Global Capital, headed by Bryan Robinson.
Robinson also spoke at Monday’s announcement.
"To say I'm excited about our partnership with DreamVision is a massive understatement,” Robinson said.
But NBC 5 Investigates has learned Robinson's firm has a very short history.
In fact, state records in Alabama show it was just formed last Tuesday.
Yet, according to its website, Provident Global Capital is a 20-year-old "private equity asset management firm with a very diverse portfolio."
The firm's website also was set up last week, according to its Internet domain registry, using what appears to be Robinson's home address in rural Alabama.
State records show Robinson founded a second financial firm, Robinson Capital Investments, about seven years ago.
On Wednesday, DreamVision plans to announce a second $3.5 billion park near where Robinson is from.
The project has raised doubts there, partly because it's an hour from the nearest interstate and even farther from the nearest large airport.
A nearby mayor said he was unfamiliar with the company’s plans.
“I haven’t seen any formal or any type of specific information about this,” Muscle Shoals Mayor David Bradford said in a telephone interview on Friday. “(I know) nothing more than has been reported.”
Meanwhile, NBC 5 Investigates also has learned that Silanskas has been named in six lawsuits in his hometown in Florida.
In one case, transferred to Tarrant County, he was ordered to pay $109,000 to Bank of America for not repaying a loan.
Asked about the lawsuits, he said all of the claims have been settled.
"It's personal business,” he said. “It's over. I have nothing."
Despite the questions, the theme park announcement is attracting interest.
Fort Worth Mayor Betsy Price attended Monday’s announcement.
She said she doesn't know many details but added it sounds great.
"Well, you know, they're optimistic it'll happen and we'll just follow along and see what happens here,” Price said.
She said she did not want to put odds on whether the project will be built.
Silanskas admitted it all almost seems too good to be true.
"It does, doesn't it?” he answered.
Asked if it was, he responded, “No, absolutely not. It's real. We're doing it. That's why we're here."