Saturday, February 25, 2017
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Would you loan Dennis W. Peterson $750M?
Dennis W. Peterson

Would you loan Dennis W. Peterson $750M?

Dennis W. Peterson missing front teeth

Dennis W. Peterson missing front teeth

Yesterday the Tennessean reported Spring Hill Mayor Michael Dinwiddie said “If Dennis W. Peterson turns out to be a con man and this is a scam” and he’s been completely duped, he wouldn’t have lost anything.

Sorry Mayor Dinwiddie, but we respectfully disagree.  How about losing respect, credibility and any chance of being re-elected?

Recently discovered information by Cool Springs TN News about Dennis W. Peterson and his company Big International Group of Entertainment Inc. greatly question whether the $750 million Spring Hill theme park “similar to Disney” is reality or a big joke.

Peterson has never registered the “Festival Tennessee” trademark at either the state or federal level.

He never registered the domain name  The domain was actually registered the day of the press conference by Joe Walker, a TPA Licensing Analyst in the Financial Affairs Section of the Tennessee Division of Commerce and Insurance.

His company Big International Group of Entertainment Inc. has no website and the address listed for the company in Las Vegas is the home of Roger T. Kidneigh.

Roger T. Kidneigh, the president of Big International Group of Entertainment Inc. filed for personal bankruptcy in 2009.

All business licenses for Big International Group of Entertainment Inc. in Nevada have been revoked.

Peterson’s email address is a free “Yahoo email address”.

When asked Peterson would not reveal any of the financial backers.  He claims to have $750 million but has not shown proof of funds.  Peterson says he does not have to disclose details about his financial backers for the Spring Hill theme park since he is not asking for any state or local tax incentives.

Peterson also claims to have 450 investors, which according to an attorney we spoke with would necessitate a  filing with the SEC (U.S Securities and Exchange Commission).  No documentation supporting any such legal filing with the SEC has surfaced. Cool Springs TN News did however find records of a administrative proceeding and cease and desist proceeding against a “Dennis W. Peterson” by the SEC back in 1998.  We’re waiting on confirmation to determine whether this is the same Dennis W. Peterson currently involved with Festival Tennessee and Big International Group of Entertainment.

The previous accusations were of ignoring high margin interest and numerous margin calls in the accounts of single elderly women, and failing to ensure trading restrictions were followed. Four retired Dean Witter customers were defrauded with losses totaling $320,000 (which generated commissions of about $277,000) by engaging in a pattern of fraudulent sales practices that included churning, unauthorized margin trading, unsuitable trading, and material misrepresentations and omissions.  In response to the institution of administrative proceedings, an Offer of Settlement was submitted which the Commission determined to accept.  An order contained in the decision dismissing the proceedings against Dean Witter Reynolds Inc. and Dennis W. Peterson was declared effective.  Again this may be a different Dennis W. Peterson from the one currently associated with Festival Tennessee.  We’re currently waiting to hear back from the SEC to determine.

A Google search of “Dennis W. Peterson”  also turns up a #1 result of a posting about Dennis Peterson and Sailor Productions.  BJ from Lakewood Colorado claims Peterson “enticed us to loan him money to invest in the production of a movie titled the “The Last Unicorn” starring Michael Jackson”.  It goes on to say “We believe this was fraud and would like to hear from anyone else who might have been involved in what we believe to be a scam”.

Dennis W. Peterson’s company, Big International Group of Entertainment Inc., was evicted in Boynton Beach Florida last year on May 26.  On July 7 they were ordered to pay $19,200 for back rent for a 3,000 square foot home.

Responding to criticism of how could a man (Peterson) missing his two front teeth has $750 million Dennis W. Peterson said, ” I bit into a crispy chicken wing at Hooter’s and haven’t been to the dentist yet”.

The Tennessee Department of Transportation said no one has ever contacted them about constructing an exit from I-65 to connect to the project, to replace the current two-lane road in Spring Hill.  The process takes years and would cost millions of dollars.

The  decade old cartoonish image of Festival Tennessee displayed at the press conference with Mayor Michael Dinwiddie was not Disney-esque, but more reminiscent of a Pigeon Forge carnival type amusement park.

Festival Tennessee theme park

Festival Tennessee theme park

Dennis W. Peterson made some extraordinary statements about Festival Tennessee at the press conference with Mayor Micheal Dinwiddie:

“80 restaurants coming in with clubs”
“Tennessee has a high meth problem, maybe with a park like this with something to do and the staff we have, we can help to solve this problem”
“Charter school that will deal in arts, music, graphics”
“Television production studio that will have a summer program for the local kids to learn the business”
“A water park, one of the largest in the United States”
“2 resort hotels with 4,000 rooms each”
“We’re in talks with Gaylord to relocate the Grand Old Opry to Spring Hill”
“There are eight corporations. We do film production, animation. We are publishing two music magazines”
“We are contacting the NBA to bring an NBA team here to Spring Hill with a stadium we’re doing”
“The company in Orlando Florida that is doing everything for us, they designed and built Disney World, Universal, Six Flags, Hard Rock, House of Blues, all which will be here at Festival Tennessee”
“We’ll be bring a minimum 15,000 to 20,000 jobs here”
“”It’s like a mini Disney World”
“We are going to be building Niagara Falls”
“We’ve never done this before but will have 3 theme parks under construction at the same time but can’t say where the other two will be”

Many people we’ve spoken with believe the press conference with Mayor Michael Dinwiddie was a dog and pony show intended to leverage credibility and buy Big International Group of Entertainment Inc. time in order to raise cash.

Is Festival Tennessee all smoke and mirrors?

If so, attention to anyone coming to Middle Tennessee with the assumption that we’re a bunch of dumb rednecks – You’re in for a rude awakening.  You may have fooled Spring Hill Mayor Michael Dinwiddie and Maury County officials, but the rest of us have a hard time believing a word of this.

Spring Hill doesn’t need or deserve to be made the laughing stock of Middle Tennessee.  They’ve been through enough with the Saturn plant closing and a real estate downturn that has affected Spring Hill more so than other areas of Nashville.  The people of Spring Hill deserve more than to have their hopes raised and then crushed by the promise of Festival Tennessee.

Dennis W. Peterson, you need to show us the money.  Otherwise we have found no reason to believe any of this is possible.

Have you invested with Dennis W. Peterson or Big International Group of Entertainment Inc.?  We would love to hear from you!

And if they really do have the $750 million, what is the harm is proving it?

  • Grant Hammond

    As I have thought more and more about this, I am just supremely disappointed in the Spring Hill officials who did not vet Mr. Peterson or his company. What was the Mayor’s office thinking? That an unknown entertainment company would waltz into Middle Tennessee, not ask for a penny in public assistance and build a three-quarters of a BILLION dollar theme park? And to call a Mayor’s office sponsored press conference with so little information, research or consideration is simply ludicrous. Did the Mayor of Spring Hill really think that Maury County could attract a NBA team? Really? How do your demographics support such a franchise when the city of Nashville’s cannot? Did you even check with ICG to see if this toothless wonder had a contract to design such a pipe dream? No! Did you check to see if this dental nightmare even had a license to conduct business in Tennessee? No! Did you check with any of the alleged 450 investors to see if they had invested money with this poster child for meth abuse? Come on now. I’ll bet the Mayor’s office is the next subject of New Channel 2’s, “That’s Messed Up!”

  • Steve

    I live across the street from the proposed theme park site. My concern, is that the Mayor is using this as an excuse to rezone the property from Agriculture and Rural Residential to High Density Commercial, so it can be taxed at a much higher rate! Also, Tennessee is one of four states that still allows involuntary annexation, which means the 9.5 acres that my wife and I live on could be next!

  • Keef

    Based on the SEC link (thanks for including), I very much doubt that it’s the same Dennis Peterson. From the bio in the link: “Peterson earned a bachelor’s degree in psychology from Stanford University in 1973, and a master’s degree in education in 1976. In 1979, he became an account executive in Dean Witter’s Cupertino, California branch office. In 1984, he was promoted to assistant branch manager for that office. In 1985, he became the branch manager of Dean Witter’s Modesto, California branch office, a position he held until 1987 when he became branch manager of Dean Witter’s Maritime Plaza branch office in San Francisco, California. He remained at the Maritime Plaza branch until he took over as Hayward Branch manager on September 13, 1994. (Tr. 584-85.) ‘

    The Dennis Peterson who was in the field with Mayor Dimwiddie, at least to my eyes, did not appear to have this kind of background. If he had ANY semi-legitimate past business experience, I’m sure it would have been touted.

    This is beyond crazy. For Mayor Dimwiddie to continue with this farce is unconscionable. Every day that goes by, he is facilitating fraud, and making it easier for Peterson to fleece Middle Tennesseeans. Before the announcement, when Dimwiddie was still keeping the investors a “secret”, he said he had been to Florida and seen their facility. Seeing as they have NEVER BUILT ANYTHING, I’m curious to know what he did to determine their legitimacy while he was in Florida.

    Dimwiddie needs to stop trying to save face, and start acting like a responsible elected official. It’s one thing to get duped–that’s regrettable and most unfortunate. To aid con artists is reprehensible.

    Thanks for the reporting, I hope that you or another media outlet can file an open records request to see exactly what the communication was with Dennis Peterson that started this whole debacle, and what subsequently was presented that led Mayor Dimwiddie and other elected officials down a primrose path.

  • Anonymous

    Dimwiddie? The jokes just write themselves.

  • dan from spring hill

    The price tag for such an endeavour would likely be twice that amount. The last gaylord hotel with no where near 4,000 rooms cost $1b. You can not even build an NBA class arena for that much without hoping to attract an NBA team (which you have to contact the NBA first). Throw in a theme park, water park, 4000 room resort…. $750 million…. laughable.
    Plus we do not have year round theme park weather here…. there is no way possible to recoup $2 billion in investments.

  • Kevin Slaten

    If this falls apart, Mayor Dinwiddie is going to suffer. He is framing as if there’s nothing to lose, but if a mayor allows a conman to walk into his office and make public announcements with little more than some nice posters, then the mayor looks beyond gullible — he looks completely incompetent. Here’s hoping that Peterson is for real (and does good things for Spring Hill) and is not the con that some are suspecting him to be…

  • Alex Patin

    You’re being far too kind for describing it as ‘nice posters’. I’d say more like 1979 cheesey theme park concept!

  • Dantana

    “As I have thought more and more about this, I am just supremely disappointed in the Spring Hill officials who did not vet Mr. Peterson or his company.”

    Gee, ya think so Grant?

    The Mayor and the City Government are idiots.

    Nothing more; nothing less.

  • 2monkees

    So where is the “toof-less” wonder now? Are you feeling a little silly now Mr Mayor. There is a little service called Dunn & Bradstreet rating that could of saved middle Tennessee all the embarassment. Hey want to buy a bridge in Arizona?