Honestly, the operative part here is "with some work."
The domain name is largely irrelevant. In fact, in the wake of Google's Exact Match Domain update, it's potentially possible that the exact match domain might even take more work to rank for that specific keyword than if it weren't an exact match.
That said, in this case, I think the matching domain makes sense, since the site is about that attraction and only about that attraction. So if it were me I'd go with the .net, as it doesn't have a hyphen and it's fewer keystrokes. YMMV.
As to optimizing the site once you have a domain... when the people at my office ask me if some online result or another is possible, my answer is always the same: "Anything is possible if you have enough money and enough time." The question is whether one will have enough of either for the effort to pay off.
When making your plans, keep in mind that an exact match domain is not going to give you any significant advantage, and may actually make an optimization job slightly harder.
If those "old websites" have used their long tenure to accumulate a lot of strong links and build a lot of good relevant content, you've got a real tough row to hoe ahead of yourself. You'll have to do better than they're doing in terms of creating content, and you'll be working with a newer website that (at least to start with) won't have the strong links they've got. If that's the case, you shouldn't plan on any sort of quick/easy win.
If on the other hand, when you say they're "old sites" you mean they're stocked with outdated information and are seldom updated, you may have a somewhat easier time of it. Populate your site with more timely, relevant, high-quality content. Then find out who's linking to them and contact all those webmasters to let them know there's a newer, more frequently updated, kid in town. See if you can get at least some of them to move their links to point to your site, or at least give you links alongside those older sites. It still won't be quick or easy, but it at least has the possibility of being somewhat quicker than if those older sites are active and strong.
As to the article rewriter: Don't. Just don't. Write original high-quality content. Google's Penguin update is about two years old now and they're refining it all the time. You are not going to gain good rankings for the long run with copy that doesn't make sense. (Not to mention I'm not sure how you're going to make any money on a website that's full of nonsensical content. Do you really think you're going to be able to position yourself as an authority on this topic that way?) Seriously. Please don't even consider this.
If you want the results, you've got to do the work.
Edited by torka, 25 February 2013 - 11:31 AM.