$70 Million Amusement Park Project Next Phase for Union Station Redevelopment

Tweet about this on TwitterShare on Facebook0Share on Reddit0Print this pageEmail this to someone

nextSTL has learned the highly anticipated second phase of redevelopment at Union Station will feature a $70 million amusement park along with varying retail outlets. According to documents obtained by nextSTL, Union Station owner Lodging Hospitality Management (LHM) is requesting $18.5 million in TIF money to assist the project.

LHM believes the amusement park could draw approximately one million visitors annually. The second phase of the $120 million Union Station redevelopment is expected to create 350 new full and part-time jobs.

The amusement park will cover 26 acres and include a Ferris wheel and other rides, restaurants, and live entertainment. The project is being financed by Enterprise Bank and Trust. Paric Corp. is the general contractor and Lawrence Group is architect.

{looking east on Eugenia Street toward the train shed – image by Paul Sableman}

The $50 million phase one included renovation of the historic Grand Hall, which also serves as the lobby for the St. Louis Union Station Hotel. The Grand Hall, with its sweeping archway, fresco and gold leaf detailing, mosaics and art glass windows, stands 65 feet at its tallest point.

{the immaculately renovated Grand Hall is home to a laser light show – image by Paul Sableman}

The second phase will also include historic rehabilitation. LHM intends to renovate the 11.5-acre train depot shed. Noted engineer George H. Pegram designed the enormous single-span train shed. It was not only one of the largest train sheds ever built, but it also covered the greatest number of tracks at the time it was constructed.

Earlier this year, LHM announced an excursion train billed as the Polar Express, based on the popular children’s book, would depart Union Station. The train rides begin November 22. The idea has proved to be popular. Last month, half a dozen additional dates were added to the calendar.

Union Station - St. Louis, MO

Union Station - St. Louis, MO

{imagining how a Ferris wheel at Union Station might appear}

According to the documents, LHM expects the second phase of the development will allow the City to maximize the potential of productive properties in this portion of downtown. LHM claims parking and infrastructure improvements will augment properties close by including the U.S. Post Office, Scottrade Center, and Peabody Opera House.

In October 2012, LHM purchased the nearly vacant property for $20 million. The company also intends to utilize federal historic preservation and Missouri historic tax credits along with Brownfield tax credits on the second phase of the project. More than $28 million in subsidies total to revamp the National Historic Landmark downtown anchor.

An attempt to reach LHM for comment was unsuccessful. The next scheduled St. Louis Board of Alderman meeting regarding this project is on January 7, 2015 at 8am. nextSTL will update as new information becomes available.

{the train shed has been partially developed into a hotel, restaurants, and retail shops – image by Paul Sableman}

{a small pond with boat rentals and adjacent restaurants fills part of the shed – image by Paul Sableman}

{a view of the shed looking north across the existing parking lot}

Union Station - St. Louis, MO

 

*top image by Paul Sableman – pasa47 on Flickr

Tweet about this on TwitterShare on Facebook0Share on Reddit0Print this pageEmail this to someone
  • tom

    Would be intersting to learn on the status of this post. I was definitely intrigued.

  • citylover

    Any news on this?

    • John R

      Good question. This and the large Green Street mixed-use development in The Grove are two projects I was particularly curious about here at year’s end.

  • John R

    Any idea if the Saint Louis Sports Hall of Fame is still planning for its own home, potentially at US as reported earlier? Hopefully LHM also is making progress on attracting a regional attraction along the lines of a LEGOLAND as they’ve discussed.

    • Geoff Whittington

      Good question. Will ask around.

      • John R

        Great! Do you also know the status of the VA move out of the office building next door? What a frustrating decision.

    • stldoc

      With kids that are obsessed with Legos, a LEGOLAND would be great. Although a satellite location of the museum of transportation, a giant Ferris wheel and a seasonal ice skating rink all sound like possible success stories as well.

      • John R

        I agree even if they don’t land a guaranteed home run attraction an accumulation of smaller attractions could make it successful. What we do know is LHM is working all angles to make this a relevant place again… since buying the place just two years ago they’ve already delivered a renewed Grand Hall, Saint Louis Fashion Week, a trapeze school and Polar Express and National Train Day so we know their hustling.

  • Michael C.

    Would love to see a 264′ tall Ferris wheel in honor of the 1904 World’s Fair.

  • tdulle

    Denver. New York. Kansas City. Los Angeles. Chicago. Washington D.C. All have great old train stations. K.C. is one of the few to be mixed use. Here’s an idea. Turn it into a train station!!!!!! Enough with the Am “shack”! Once the largest, busiest train station in the world and some developer wants to turn it into a Mall of America! Enough already! Rail travel is needed. St Louis deserves a world class train station again! No more shopping mall meets carousel meets historic structure! Clean it, and restore it to its original grandeur like NYC did with Grand Central station! Nobody is going to bring their family down in February to ride a Ferris Wheel! Like the last time Union station was “reopened” it may have its shiny new grace period, but once the newness of it wears off its still a train station. I remember the 80’s when it was packed and had stores like Banana republic, a comedy club and a couple nice places to eat. Just stop it. They need to quit trying to reinvent the perverbial wheel. Walt Disney wanted an amusement part in St Louis 50 years ago. It didn’t happen. Put some quaiity restaurants in there, the kind of places someone wants to go on a special date, fix up the shed, put in viewing platforms for people arriving for passenger service. make it a destination again. A shopping mall with a ferris wheel isn’t going to impress anyone, and it won’t last more than a year. Come on, lets get a better plan than this.

    • Adam

      St. Louis had small amusement parks like this before Walt Disney ever proposed one, Forest Park Highlands (1896–1963) probably being the most popular. Whether they died off due to loss of interest or population loss I don’t know, but there’s definitely precedent.

      That being said I’d rather see it revert to a train station as well. I was under the impression that track orientation is the main think keeping that from happening; that Amtrak requires straight-through alignment as Alex mentioned below. But I looked at aerial views of the stations you mentioned. None of them have straight-through track alignments and yet they’re clearly still serviced by Amtrak. So I’m guessing that’s not the real reason. I’m guessing the real reason is that the City doesn’t own Union Station and has already dropped a bunch of money on the new multimodal station.

      • jhoff1257

        Actually, Alex is correct. Amtrak won’t use Union Station because it is a terminal stub. New York, LA, DC, and Chicago are terminals. That is where Amtrak lines begin and end. St. Louis doesn’t have any terminal lines nor is it a passenger rail hub like the aforementioned cities. That is why Amtrak requires a pass through station since it’s lines don’t end and begin here. KC is also a pass through station.

        • Adam

          Ah, I see. Thanks for the info. And, yeah, KC is a pass-through. It wasn’t clear to me from aerial images that I looked at on Google, but it’s obvious on Google Maps.

        • John Patterson

          I do believe Denver to be an exception. Amtrak trains have returned to Union Station, although the western section of the tracks no longer continues and thus it is no longer a ‘pass-through’ station. I have only seen the trains parked there, but I’m assuming they pull in and back out before continuing on their way. The setup as it is today is not that much different compared to Union Station in St. Louis.

    • jhoff1257

      We all want it to be a train station again. The problem is we’d need a commuter rail system first. Or at the very least Amtrak would have to move a significant amount of terminal lines into St. Louis, which would mean reworking their entire system since Chicago is their main hub. St. Louis Union Station won’t work for the service Amtrak provides here because it’s a stub end terminal. Stub end terminals only work in cities like NYC, Chicago, LA, and DC because those are hub cities where lines begin and end. St. Louis isn’t one of those cities as Amtrak lines just pass though here. KC still has Amtrak service at their Union Station because it’s a pass though station, not a terminal. And while the Gateway Station may be small and uninspiring compared to Union Station it serves it’s purpose very well. It’s a well functioning multimodal hub that ties in buses, local trains, intercity trains, and taxis. Union station would work if St. Louis had a Metra or LIRR type commuter system that ended in a Downtown terminal. But we don’t have that system and most likely won’t have one for many, many years…if ever. I’d rather put our scarce transportation dollars into a North/South LRT line.

  • Benjamin Aronov

    What would everyone’s thoughts be if this developer teamed up with the History Museum and created the 1904 world’s fair version of Williamsburg’s Busch Gardens? I bet you could get all the GOP/Libertarian tourists here in a heartbeat, “come experience the good ole days”. But seriously, could be kinda cool.

  • Kitty

    Am I the only one who thinks of Union Station, and my first thought is, “Tate Modern”? Honestly, there are beautiful precedents for repurposing huge transportation and infrastructure palaces into new and fascinating places. I don’t know really what StL’s market is for yet another museum of some kind, but the potential is exciting! I don’t think “amusement park” but hey, maybe they’ll pull off something worthwhile.

    • John R

      That’s a beautiful thought, Kitty. But I think like the idea of a world-class acquarium or other transformative attraction that would cost 100’s of millions of $$ to build it would be extremely difficult to pull off at this point in our city’s recovery. Same thing with re-making it as a high-density, mixed-use TOD on the scale like Denver recently accomplished. I look forward to details on this much more modest plan being proposed, but I’m optimistic that it can bring this wonderful building back to relevance.

  • Guest

    When it closed as a train station in the 70’s I thought US would be the ideal place for the Museum of Transportation. With that incredibly huge shed I’m sure the whole collection could easily fit under it, plus easily set aside a few tracks that could be utilized by Amtrak.
    After US was revamped in the mid 80’s it looked great and was fun, but I wondered if it would last. I felt at that time that if market rate residential were built nearby and possibly within US it’s success would be secure.

    I still think residential is the key and that those huge parking lots to the south and west would be best turned into basically market rate mid and high rise housing and US transformed into something with venues to serve both residents and tourists.

  • Alex Ihnen

    (deleted a few comments – happy to answer why if you’re interested: alex at nextstl dot com)

  • Alex Ihnen

    (deleted a few comments – happy to answer why if you’re interested: alex at nextstl dot com)

    • STLEnginerd

      Little disappointed that I was deleted here. My comments might have been a little snarky but they were far from uncivil. Some others were not so I get why those might have been deleted. I realize as moderator you have to keep the conversation respectful and to a degree on topic but our freedom to take the conversation in directions we choose and to self moderate is of great importance as well. So with respect I disagree with the breadth of your censorship.

      • Alex Ihnen

        You’re right. The problem here was that it was a thread of replies with some a problem and some not (yours). Only deleting alternating comments would have left replies that meant nothing. It’s never a lightly considered, or fun, decision. One question I ask is whether a reader would learn more or be better informed by reading the comments. Thanks for your reply & thanks for adding to the community here.

    • Adam

      i understand and concur with the deletion. no worries.

  • Alex Ihnen

    (deleted a few comments – happy to answer why if you’re interested: alex at nextstl dot com)

  • Rocky StevySteve

    I have lived near St Louis my entire life and I would much rather see buildings torn down that are a danger to the community surrounding them and the graffiti removed. Who wants to come to a huge train station amusement park with falling buildings and gang art just around the corner.

    • STLEnginerd

      Everyone is entitled to their opinion. Did you have a particular building in mind or should they just bulldoze downtown and move to “near” St. Louis.

    • marvin gardens

      hahaha this comment is so stupid it’s funny.

      You live “near” St. Louis. You’re not a St. Louisan. Stay in your suburb.

      • Rocky StevySteve

        Yes I live in the suburbs, big deal. At least I’m not an ass like you. Get a life!

      • Guest

        And I grew up on Hadley so f off!

        • Adam

          Can you maybe understand why people who actually, currently, live IN the city and care about the city might take offense to your “Bulldoze it all!” sentiment, particularly when it’s not even related to the discussion at hand?

      • Chiefs Fan

        So if I live in St Louis county am I not in St Louis? Also the strange sense of entitlement the city dwellers have these days is astounding. You do realize if the people in the county stop coming to the city the city would fall apart right?

        • Adam

          I would love to hear how city dwellers feel more entitled than suburbanites. Please elaborate.

        • Adam

          You do realize that without the city you’d have no cultural institutions or professional sports teams, right?

    • Adam

      that you think any of the buildings involved in this development are a “danger to the community” suggests that you’ve never been anywhere near them. perhaps you could share with us exactly which buildings you have in mind?

      • Rocky StevySteve

        I’m talking about the many buildings in St Louis that need to be bulldozed I never said union station was a danger. Maybe you could read my comment a little better and stop attacking me.

        • John R

          Maybe you could have said that some of the blight and graffiti in the area needs to be tackled to make the most of a plan like this rather than talk about knocking down unspecified buildings? Anyway, I’m not sure what buildings you have in mind, but keep in mind thousands of families already come to Downtown West for the amazing City Museum attraction; and that is in an area that is near much more blight than Union Station.

        • Adam

          Oh, I read your comment. It has nothing to do with the above blog, which is about the redevelopment of Union Station, specifically, and not about “the many buildings in St. Louis that [you think] need to be bulldozed”. You might consider saving your opinion on that matter for a more applicable conversation.

  • Mark Groth

    As a resident of St. Louis, I would prefer a Target and/or a Walgreens/CVS in US than a ferris wheel and roller coaster. We need residents more than visitors/tourists. St. Louis has the most kick ass amusement park in the country just north of here at the City Museum…this will pale in comparison. I wish all the best to those who invest in this city, so cheers to those putting $ in this project; but, we need to make downtown easier to LIVE in as opposed to a downtown that you visit, park and then leave. Could be a cool addition, but I’d rather buy a pair of socks closer than Hampton/Chippewa or Manchester/McCausland.

    • STLExplorer

      Have you visited Sock it to me on Jefferson? The Ballston wool socks are incredible.

      • Mark Groth

        ^ha! Indeed, i live very close…and if you need a bike with those socks that’s the place.

    • John R

      iirc, O’Loughlin studied a retail-orientation for US and it seems the numbers just don’t work out for downtown as a whole yet. A larger retailer like Target may be more likely in Midtown Station, imo, but I wouldn’t be surprised by a drug store landing in the CBD before long…. being near OPO would be attractive with the Arcade-Wright bringing in lots of energy.

  • A Union Station development article? Leaving this here…

  • A Union Station development article? Leaving this here…

  • imran

    Like others have said, the real impact of Union Station will be as an active transit station. You can weave in hotel, amusement, restaurants etc but without an actual transit function, it just seems forced.

  • imran

    Like others have said, the real impact of Union Station will be as an active transit station. You can weave in hotel, amusement, restaurants etc but without an actual transit function, it just seems forced.

    • Doug

      You imagine that hundreds of people are using trains. They are not. Perhaps if you could get to Chicago in under 3 hours they would

      • Presbyterian

        Amtrak St. Louis passenger count for 2013 were 378,146. That’s not enough to fill a big station, but it is substantial. It’s the busiest station in Missouri at about a thousand daily passengers.

      • imran

        Every time I have taken the train to Chicago and back it is packed. Definitely hundreds of people.

  • jy

    Waste of Money, terrible plan! Union Station will suck once again two years afterwards…..

  • JEMc

    When we visited Union Station this summer we were dismayed to find the Grand Hall inaccessible from the mall portion of the station. This beautifully renovated area is a main draw for visiting Union Station, and should be available to everyone. It would be nice if that were part of the plan.

    • RufusSpewfus

      Hhhhmm… Grand Hall is open to everyone and easily accessible.

      • Imran

        He is correct. You can access Grand Hall from Market street but not from the mall portion unless you are a guest of the hotel and have a Key card.

    • RufusSpewfus

      Hhhhmm… Grand Hall is open to everyone and easily accessible.

    • Geoff Conrad

      Dismayed you had to walk around to the hotel entrance? Most hotels don’t have rear public entrances. Smh.

    • Geoff Conrad

      Dismayed you had to walk around to the hotel entrance? Most hotels don’t have rear public entrances. Smh.

  • JEMc

    When we visited Union Station this summer we were dismayed to find the Grand Hall inaccessible from the mall portion of the station. This beautifully renovated area is a main draw for visiting Union Station, and should be available to everyone. It would be nice if that were part of the plan.

  • T-Leb

    Is there craft beer and/or tacos on this ferris wheel?

  • RBB

    The whole ‘WE HOSTED THE WORDS FAIR IN 1904!’ thing is still a bit overdone, but it would be a nice nod if the new ferris wheel were 264′ tall – the same height of the original.

    And I may be pushing 40 but the kid in me is still giddy about the idea of an amusement park.

    -RBB

    • John R

      RBB,
      if we go WORLD’S FAIR let’s go whole hog! 264′ tall replica ferris wheel and a partial recreation of parts of the World’s Fair buildings. Character actors in 1904 Washington Ave Garment District’s finest fashions selling fancy inventions like ice cream in a cone! A step back into time.

  • Ashley

    Someone mentioned it on the reddit page for St. Louis but it is worth mentioning here: Union Station could be a phenomenal space for an aquarium. And I mean a big one that is a dedicated aquarium, not like the city museum’s.

    • John R

      The problem is world-class aquariams are very expensive propositions…. modern ferris wheels on the other hand can deliver a strong return on a relatively cheap budget. I look forward to the details, but this could be a pretty cool addition to downtown and return Union Station to relevance as a solid downtown contributor.

      • Alex Ihnen

        I recently visited the Newport Aquarium across the river from Cincinnati and was completely underwhelmed. It’s not a huge place, but it’s not tiny either. Aquariums are very expensive, and with more and better interesting habitats (sea lion tunnel, coming polar bear exhibit, etc.), it seems our zoo is such a better experience. It would be great if they could add more aquarium attractions, of course. Now if were something like the Atlanta aquarium, count me in. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Georgia_Aquarium

        • John R

          True that. I know something like the Georgia Acquarium likely would be several hundred million $$, but I’d rather taxpayers partner to build a truly world-class attraction like that than a stadium.

        • John R

          True that. I know something like the Georgia Acquarium likely would be several hundred million $$, but I’d rather taxpayers partner to build a truly world-class attraction like that than a stadium.

      • Alex Ihnen

        I recently visited the Newport Aquarium across the river from Cincinnati and was completely underwhelmed. It’s not a huge place, but it’s not tiny either. Aquariums are very expensive, and with more and better interesting habitats (sea lion tunnel, coming polar bear exhibit, etc.), it seems our zoo is such a better experience. It would be great if they could add more aquarium attractions, of course. Now if were something like the Atlanta aquarium, count me in. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Georgia_Aquarium

    • Mathew Chandler

      I was thinking the same thing while reading this article.

    • Doug

      Ashley – the proper place for an aquarium would be south of the PSB, or south of where the Tums factory is. Close to the arch, close to hotels. If you want tourists to come here, stay and pay the hotel tax you have to give them a reason to come here and stay a couple of days.

  • This whole idea is nuts. The idiots should have done the same thing that was done with K’S Union Station included Amtrak for starters.

    • STLEnginerd

      It’s so obvious it’s painful. Instead the city shoe horns their transit hub in a place that can’t leave rage the extra traffic, and union station as a mall stagnated and died. The two together could have been amazing but the severe absence of vision prevailed and we are constrained by the misguided investments of our predecessors. *sigh*

      • Alex Ihnen

        This is one argument that I hear a lot, but can’t agree with. I think that STL’s multi-model transit station is great. Amtrak must use through tracks, which wouldn’t really work near/at Union Station. The current station is a well designed bus terminal, and excellent connection to MetroLink.

        • Daron

          It’s a horrible building. Kunstler even profiled it as one of his architectural abortions of the month. There is no reason why the money could not have instead been spent on a facility betweeb 18th and 20th streets utilizing the same through tracks with the same sort of elevated walkways. A new station at the southern end of the train shed would have given closure to space and anchored the station it as part of union station or at least a union station complex. Though with the same budget and architects, it would still be pretty uninspiring.

          A station between18th and 20th streets would have been further from the metrolink, but not impossibly far.

          • Geoff Conrad

            A station without the metrolink right there isn’t a station at all.

          • STLEnginerd

            Union station has a Metrolink. It should have been built under the shed (another mistake) but it is there. The distance would have been barely noticeable and would have taken long enough that many would have decided to checkout the mall while they were there.

            The multimodal hub COULD have been built at Union Station, with far more amenities, attractions and room for expansion in the immediate vicinity. Hell they could have done all that AND built a Ferriis Wheel.

          • Geoff Conrad

            Right. I’m sure the Union Station owners back then would’ve gladly given up their parking lot for Greyhound lol. The multi-modal station was built on land already owned by Amtrak and Metro and the arrangement/financing was 10+ years in the making. What part of “private property” don’t you understand?Just stop.

          • STLEnginerd

            What I understand is that either the owners, or the public leaders at the time or both lacked both vision and the fortitude to get big things done. Public private partnerships are negotiated all the time. They are just more complex and take longer. The end product would have been significantly better for both the owners of Union Station and the city.

            The parking they would have had to give up (if any) would have been mostly under the interstate similar to the current transit hub. In my imagination the buses would have re purposed the old rail platforms to the West of the shed so no parking would have be consumed. Even if some parking was displaced structured parking could easily have been (and should still be) built on the lots to the east and west of the station. The outdoor space under the shed can and should be put to much better use than surface parking.

            At some point in the future they should still explore moving the transit hub to Union Station but that said some amusement park types rides and a transit hub are not mutually exclusive. As I have thought on it, I am fine with the ferris wheel/roller coaster concept (even if it is stealing a little bit of the City Museum’s thunder). I just don’t think by itself its enough to keep Union Station relevant.

        • Shelly Walter

          And it’s only about two blocks, or one metro stop away.

        • Doug

          Car to rail isn’t very multi-modal, especially when it’s not easy to get to for a car. If you want true multi-modal the amtrak station should be at the airport.

          As long as you pay to park, and I mean PAY, not much will work here. Since it’s location work as destination space, not central hub/living space, an amusement park here makes sense.

          An aquarium is fine, as long as you’re either willing to expand the Zoo/Science Center/History Museum district to include it. Otherwise you pay like you do at the Georgia Aq, which I think is about $40/visit.
          The location sucks for walking for tourists. Other attractions are too far. The arch is some 20 blocks, about twice that to the zoo & science center. You want to concentrate tourists.

      • Alex Ihnen

        This is one argument that I hear a lot, but can’t agree with. I think that STL’s multi-model transit station is great. Amtrak must use through tracks, which wouldn’t really work near/at Union Station. The current station is a well designed bus terminal, and excellent connection to MetroLink.

      • Guest

        Agree 100 per cent. I thought that before they revamped it in the 80’s. And I also thought that it would also be a great location for the Museum of Transportation.

      • Guest

        Agree 100 per cent. I thought that before they revamped it in the 80’s. And I also thought that it would also be a great location for the Museum of Transportation.

    • RyleyinSTL

      Exactly. Why oh why couldn’t we have had a Greyhound/Amtrak/LRT/metro bus, transit center at Union Station?

      • Geoff Conrad

        What?! Good grief, there is just such a facility a block away! New construction. On a metro bus thoroughfare, nestled right between I64/40 On/Off ramps, with its own parking lots. Large public/quasi-public facilities are rarely located on private property and it makes much more sense to be closer to the two stadiums and Peabody.

    • Geoff Conrad

      Who are the idiots? The new Union Station owners who purchased it after the multi-modal hub was built? Or the City who didn’t own Union Station?

  • moe

    I wonder what the current draw is for Six flags and what will differentiate the two. I think the bottom line is that this will be a big draw and plus for the region….IF they can keep it up. This is what, the 3rd reincarnation over the years? They are local and have a diverse portfolio of properties, so those are plusses for long-term success. Maybe they can put Amtrak back under the shed as well!

  • Presbyterian

    According to Wikipedia, the tallest ferris wheel in the U.S. outside of Las Vegas is 212 feet high. Hopefully LHM will go for the gold and do a 213-ft wheel!

  • Alex Devlin

    Million a year? If you take off the first two and last two months of the year thats about 5000 a day. I cant tell if thats to small or large of a number.

    • John R

      Surely attendance would drop off in winter; however, I can see this as a fun place year-round. The modern ferris wheels are heated and can even offer special dinners, etc. Along with the Polar Express, throw in a skating rink and fire pits under the shed and you can have a rather unique urban Winter Wonderland. It would be nice to get a window model train display a la the old department store era as well.

    • Geoff Conrad

      For comparison, 2013 approx. attendance:

      City Museum 703,000
      MoBot 1,135,000
      Arch 2,400,000

      • John R

        Thanks for posting City Museum numbers… I’m not sure I’ve seen them before. That’s substantially higher than Rams attendance, btw.

  • Presbyterian

    Very cool. If they’re talking about a $10 million 200-foot tall ferris wheel, then that will be about as tall as the top of the station’s tower… twenty stories tall.

    • Geoff Whittington

      Bob Cassilly would have had the balls to put it on top of the tower.

      • Presbyterian

        Same size and cost as this one in Atlanta…

        • Geoff Whittington

          It’s more of a Shelbyville kind of idea…

          • Andrew

            Now just wait a minute. We’re twice as smart as the people of Shelbyville. Just tell us your idea and we’ll vote for it!