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Ripley's attractions closing at Alamo Plaza marks the 'end of an era' for owners

The Ripley's Haunted Adventure and Tomb Rider will be shutting down, which leaves mixed emotions for the family who ran the business for 20 years.

SAN ANTONIO — Labor Day marks the end of an era for some of Downtown San Antonio's long-standing attractions.

The Ripley’s Haunted Adventure, Tomb Rider and Guinness World Records museum are closing to make way for a new Alamo museum.

There’s some mixed emotions, and the owners are sad this fixture of Alamo Plaza for the last twenty years is closing down.

But the future of this space has the owners and others excited for what’s coming.

When going to downtown San Antonio--some destinations are usually the first on the list for tourists.

“We go to the Riverwalk, we go to the Alamo,” Marisela Tran said her and her daughter plan to visit the closing attractions. Tran says she’s visited years ago.

“Like growing up of course we’d come here for road trips with the family. As an adult I think the last time I came out here was before her,” Tran says as she nods to her child.

Phillips Entertainment has been a fixture on the Alamo Plaza since the late 1980’s.

“To see them closing down at this point is that it’s almost like losing a member of the family, but we’re going to move forward, Phillips Entertainment will continue on,” Davis Phillips told KENS 5. Phillips says the attractions in the Woolworth building laid the foundation for a successful Alamo Plaza.

“It was the first in modern time, the first series of businesses that were successful and lasted. And my father and grandfather started the Wax Museum in Ripley's in 1987,” Phillips said.

The current attractions are moving out for the new Alamo museum which is expected to open in 2025.

“I think if its done the right way, it could really be a big win for San Antonio and for Texas and the travel and tourism industry,” Phillips said.

It could be something that Tran hopes will have a lasting impact.

“I’m an educator, so having a museum or something like that we’re talking about, with the artifacts so people can learn from it and it still being family friendly [would be nice],” Tran said.

Phillips says his company is still operating the Buckhorn, the Texas Ranger Museum and the Mirror Maze. Phillips Entertainment also has two escape room locations outside of downtown, and they plan to open a 90’s themed bar called ‘Be Kind and Rewind.’

For Ripley’s attractions' last day, Phillips will be there to savor the final moments.

“Just like I was the first day we sold our first ticket. And 20 years later, we’re selling our last ticket, I’m going to be there for that and we’re just going to be together as a team and, you know, understand that this is the end of an era,” Phillips said.

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