The other day, I came across a Herald clipping from 2002. This particular story was about the giant complex of museums and other amenities that a group called the New Horizons Decade group first proposed back in 2002. The complex was supposed to go directly north of the Alerus Center and stretch all the way to DeMers Avenue. In addition to a hotel and water park, the complex was supposed to include a collegiate hockey hall of fame, a collegiate aviation hall of fame, an agricultural museum, an automobile museum, an indoor golf facility, and themed restaurants. Oh yeah...and a monorail was supposed to connect all the buildings and possibly go all the way to the Ralph Engelstad Arena.
Quite a complex, huh? Now it's 2007 and I'm left wondering what happened to the New Horizons Decade group and their grand plans. I've emailed an individual who used to be involved with the group to ask them these very question, but so far I haven't had a response. I've mentioned this as a possible news story idea to people at both the Herald and WDAZ, but no reporter has followed through. Tu-Uyen Tran wrote the article back in 2002 so maybe he could do a new article on where the group and the project stand today.
I realize that the hotel and the water park proposed in the plan have finally become a reality. Still, no museums or halls of fame line 42nd Street and I can't catch a ride on the monorail when I want to travel from the Ralph to the Big Al. Have the plans for the museums and other developments been cast aside? Was an effort ever made to raise funds for any of the buildings? What about all of that land between the Alerus Center and DeMers Avenue...is anything preventing the landowner(s) from selling it to commercial developers? If they were able to sell the land, wouldn't that be the last nail in the coffin for the New Horizons Decade complex?
I have to wonder if all of these museums really would have ever been able to make a go of it in a city this size. Still, I was thrilled back in 2002 to see local leaders planning on such a grand scale. When the story came out, I poured over the above picture and practically drooled over the proposal. I would love to see some type of complimentary developments fill the land in question adjacent to the Alerus Center. The Alerus/Canad complex is already huge...I would love for it to be a sort of "super complex."