To bring Detroit back to life, entrepreneur Mark Siwak is looking to the undead. Specifically, to a 200-acre theme park starring zombies.
Siwak is attempting to raise $145,000 to fuel his concept for Z World, which seems a bit like the post-apocalyptic amusement land in the film “Zombieland” or the Halloween haunt events set up each year around Southern California.
Detroit has been in steady, sprawling decline for years. As the city’s population flees and blight spreads, large swaths of Detroit have begun to crumble.
Siwak wants to raise funds for engineering studies of such empty structures, where he plans to site his park.
Think of it as an immersive camping trip or a video game sprung to life, set in an abandoned, walled-off sector of Detroit. Participants would be chased by a zombie horde through derelict factories, stores and homes.
Humans and undead alike would wear tear-away patches, in the spirit of flag football. Once all their patches are gone, humans turn into zombies and zombies are eliminated from the game. The objective of the experience is to collect as many patches as possible.
For now, the grass-roots project is far from a definitive development, though Siwak is aiming for a tentative opening next summer.
“It turns perceived liabilities into assets that will bring a renewed vitality to a struggling neighborhood,” he wrote in a description of his brainchild on crowd-sourced funding platform Indiegogo. “When done right, Z World Detroit would be transformative for part of the city, it would create jobs for Detroiters and become a legitimate destination.”
So far, though, zombies aren’t proving as effective as other Detroit champions such as Eminem and Clint Eastwood. With about a month remaining for donations, Siwak has only garnered $5,400.