Voyages set for Baltimore debut

BALTIMORE -- PassPort: Voyages of Discovery, a multimedia entertainment attraction, will open here in July and in Atlantic City, N.J., in 2004.

The first major U.S. endeavor of International Tourist Attractions (ITA), Passport will be located in an $8.5 million, 10,000-square-foot entertainment complex at Baltimore's Inner Harbor, adjacent to the National Aquarium, and will feature the following 40-minute journeys:

• TimeElevator America, in which the theater becomes a virtual time machine following the country's pathway to freedom through a combination of film and special effects.

• Oceanarium, in which viewers take a virtual dive into the Chesapeake Bay and swim through the world's oceans. The attraction incorporates panoramic screens, surround-sound and motion-based seating synchronized to the action of the film.

The Atlantic City PassPort site will offer an additional attraction, called Amazing World, in which visitors will explore the world from the beginning of time to the present with the help of virtual imagery, motion-based seats and 3D effects.

The 17,000-square-foot Atlantic City complex, with a cost estimate of upwards of $10 million, will be located at the Walk, the city's first upscale retail, entertainment and dining complex, and across from the Atlantic City Convention Center.

Paul Comiskey, managing director of International Tourist Attractions for the U.S., said the success of the firm's first ventures here depend on its ability to partner with other organizations to develop tourism.

"There's not just one solution [to building tourism]; there's a blend," he said.

Comiskey said he believes in cross-promotion and will "work with hotels, restaurants and other organizations in Baltimore and Atlantic City to provide experiences for their guests."

Comiskey said he also is looking to develop packages with hotels in both cities.

ITA, which operates similar projects in Rome, Cyprus and Jerusalem, won the International Themed Entertainment Association Award for the exhibit it created for the millennium celebration at Walt Disney World's Epcot Center and the Gold Camera Award at the Chicago International Film and Video Festival in 2001 for Amazing World.

For more information, call (410) 468-0700 or visit www.passportvoyages.com.

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