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Big Wheels keep on turning
New GCA rides open in Europe
the summer in nearby
In the last few months, Great City Attractions (formerly World Tourist Attractions) Windsor.
has opened new giant observation wheels in London, Paris, Copenhagen, According to Jaron
Malmö, Sweden, and the English cities of Birmingham and Middlesbrough. Duivestein of Bussink
The Paris installation is particularly prestigious, as the 60-metre structure sits Landmarks, a sales partner
on the Champs Elysee in line with the Arc de Triomphe. The 50-mtere for Dutch Wheels, many more
Copenhagen wheel appears opposite the city’s famous Tivoli amusement park, city centre attractions are in
while in nearby Malmö, the 40-metre wheel offers great views of the Öresund the pipeline for 2010,
Bridge that separates the two cities and countries) All three rides were supplied including an eagerly-awaited
by Dutch Wheels/Wheels of Excellence. 80-metre version if the
The Birmingham wheel sits proudly in Centenary Square, the site of World relevant city authorities grant
Tourist Attractions’ first ever ride in 2003. This latest construction is the same approval.
60-metre wheel that appeared in Birmingham in 2004 and 2005. It has since “A giant wheel remains one
been to the other side of the world, opening at Sea World in Australia, and of the most accessible forms
The Wheel of Hyde Park at Winter Wonderland
returns to the UK after extensive refurbishment by Dutch Wheels. of sightseeing, with no steps
in London
The wheel in London, meanwhile, appeared as part of the Winter Wonderland or other obstacles,” observes Duivestein. “We sell a lot of potential in
event at Hyde Park and is the same ride that appeared there last year. It spent Scandinavia and other European countries.”
Busy BRC
Merlin appoints new
An international portfolio of projects will keep BRC Imagination Arts busy in
the next 12 months.
The design firm will be producing two pavilions at the upcoming 2010
chairman
World Expo in Shanghai, namely The USA Pavilion and the Information &
Europe’s number one attraction
Communications Pavilion.
operator has a new non-executive
In Egypt, BRC is masterplanning Sharm El-Sheikh Entertainment City, an
chairman. Sir John Sunderland, the
ambitious, mixed-use facility covering approximately an area of around 40
former chief executive and
acres.
chairman of Cadbury Schweppes
However, even as BRC expands globally, the team is engaged in several
and president of the Confederation of
projects in the USA. Over the years, the company has played a strong role
British Industry (CBI) took up the post
in developing attractions at the Kennedy Space Center Visitor’s Complex in
in December, replacing Peter
Sir John Sunderland (in the
Florida. As part of its ongoing work masterplanning and updating exhibits
Phillipson.
background) is pictured by the
it is to produce a new attraction called Exploration Space, set to open in
“We are really looking forward to
Merlin Entertainments London Eye
early 2010.
working with John,” says Merlin CEO
with CEO Nick Varney
Also in America, BRC is developing a state of the art museum experience
Nick Varney. “His considerable experience at the top of British industry and
and several groundbreaking exhibits at Louisiana’s Old State Capital
chairing a successful multi-brand consumer business will be immensely
building in Baton Rouge.
valuable to us. Merlin is a high growth business with a balanced portfolio of
“We’re immensely honoured to be tapped for so many diverse and
uniquely branded attractions.”
interesting projects around the world,” says BRC founder Bob Rogers. “Over
Phillipson, who spent almost three years as non-executive chairman and
the past couple of decades, BRC has grown its portfolio of services to
seven years as chief executive of The Tussauds Group will pursue other
become the premier firm designing and producing world-class brand,
interests within private equity backed businesses and with the Children With
educational and entertainment experiences for leading organisations
Special Needs Foundation.
worldwide.”
“The board would like to thank Peter for the enormous contribution he
has made,” adds Varney. “His deep experience of the leisure sector and his
Six Flags contracts 5D
wise counsel were invaluable through the process of integrating Merlin and
the Tussauds business and as we have gone from strength to strength in the
Austrian multimedia attractions specialist 5D International
wake of that deal. We will miss him and we wish him well for the future.”
has confirmed that it has been chosen by Six
Flags to provide an anchor attraction as part of
the American park chain’s 50th anniversary Three theatres for Simworx
celebrations in 2011.
Simworx has three confirmed orders for special effects theatres in 2010. These
Although the exact attraction or location cannot yet be
include a 100-seat installation at the Land’s End visitor centre in England, a 48-
revealed, we are promised that it will be a “thrilling family attraction” in line with
seat theatre for the refurbished Grand Pier in Weston Super Mare, also in
Six Flags’ new commitment to cater for a wider guest demographic.
England, and a 112-seat theatre for a site in Bourgas, Bulgaria.
“I cannot imagine a better partner for the premier of our 5D approach in the
The operator in Land’s End has chosen the 3D movie Curse of Skullrock by
US,” says Dr Gerhard Frank, 5D International’s scientifically-inspired
Red Star Studio. Films for the other two installations have yet to be selected. At
CEO. “Six Flags has put together a dedicated team of young
least two more effects theatre orders are believed to be pending.
creatives and experienced professionals to make the most of
Simworx is also planning an exciting new offering for its line of Morphis
this new way of storytelling.”
simulators.
22 DECEMBER 2009/JANUARY 2010
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