Remember Fanplex, the family-friendly miniature golf course in the middle of a rough neighborhood, er, the bustling plaza outside Turner Field.
Built for $2.5 million in 2002, (Fanplex) was supposed to attract Atlanta Braves fans who, after forking over $42 for a bag of peanuts and warm beer, wanted to play miniature golf and video games with the kiddos. But Fanplex never found any, well, fans. The 11,000-square-foot facility on Hank Aaron Drive burned through cash and, after less than two years of business, shut its doors. It’s sat vacant or been used as a gameday parking lot ever since.
That’s nothing compared to the $30 million boondoggle built on the premise tourists would flock to middle Georgia to learn more about fishing. So they built it, and few have come.
Five years after then-Gov. Sonny Perdue’s Go Fish Education Center opened down the road from his home off a quiet highway in Houston County, the facility is still having a hard time attracting one-tenth of the visitors officials originally expected.
Department of Natural Resources figures show 21,101 people visited the Perry facility in fiscal 2015, which ended June 30. It generated $102,077 in revenue, or about 11 cents for every dollar it cost to run the center in years past.
That doesn’t include the millions borrowed to build the facility, which Georgia taxpayers will be paying off until December 2027.