Paris/Bally’s to take the plunge!

Apr 1, 2003 7:39 AM

Now that Celine Dion has christened Caesars’ Colosseum, Park Place is eyeing a new entertainment venue behind Paris and Bally’s.

The project, tentatively titled "Aquaria,’’ involves a 57,600-square-foot water-themed stadium. In addition to a performance pool, plans call for various stages, water cascades and an ice rink to be housed in the two-story complex.

Park Place officials are mum on the details. Spokesman Robert Stewart said only that the company is "in discussion with several parties." He repeatedly cautioned that the venture is only in the early, exploratory phase.

Meantime, however, the project is proceeding through the county’s planning and review process ”” complete with schematics for mechanical lifts, accessories and even a gift shop.

Compared with the $95 million, 4,000-seat Colosseum, Aquaria is expected to be a bargain. Tickets, presumably, wouldn’t be quite so pricey, either.

Sources say Park Place is pursuing partners to help defray the capital costs of the project, which would be located next to Bally’s pool area.

The company has already signed 1940s screen star Esther Williams to create and co-produce the water show. A worldwide search is said to be under way for a "Million Dollar Mermaid" to star in the production.

Williams, a swimming star in her prime, appeared in a series of aquatically themed musicals in the 1940s and ”˜50s.