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Park People
Q Lines
Mattias Banker Parks & Reso
Please give a brief For the 2009 season you added a new
history of Parks & coaster at each park. Was this a defensive
Resorts Scandinavia move in light of the economy or would you
The group was founded in have done it anyway?
2000 with Kolmården zoo and It was always part of our plan when Johan and I
hotel, and a year later they bought the parks, but then all hell broke loose. I
added Gröna Lund and Skara don’t know if we would have decided to buy the
Sommarland. Gröna Lund is coasters if we were in the economic climate we were
Sweden’s oldest park, it’s 126- in a year later, but to be perfectly honest I am really
years-old, and until then it had glad we did.
always been family owned. This has been a fantastic season; I think we were
However the new owners up over the group by about 20%. Now we can have
faced a few issues and in a little slower year in terms of new attractions. There
2006 they sold everything to will be something new, but I think it’s important to
Johan Tidstrand and his sister spend some money renovating our parks too.
Helena, who fought bravely
against Parques Reunidos. How did each of the parks perform in
After that they acquired a 2009?
small aquarium in Stockholm Gröna Lund attendance was up by 23%. The park
called Aquaria. smashed its daily attendance record on August 2,
Johan and I have been when 23,000 guests packed the park for a Lady
friends for a long time and GaGa concert. The same week we smashed our
recently he asked me to join weekly attendance rate with 120,000 visitors!
him. Just a few months ago At Skara, they had really lousy weather in that part
we bought 20% of a project of Sweden but it was still one of the best seasons
called ABBA World. ever. Tranan [the new S&S Freefly Coaster] was key
Before this I was just a to their success. It’s a good ride. Weird, but good!
normal park visitor and had a At Kolmården, attendance was up by 16%. This year
company selling surgical we put a coaster into our marine area. It’s a just a
Amid all the European implants. Johan had a tattoo business, he is a tattoo family coaster from Vekoma but it’s a huge step for
consolidation of recent years, artist. Now Johan is the majority owner, I am minority the park and as its shows it’s possible to have
one group that has been owner and Helena is a silent partner; she is not attractions and animals in the same park.
quietly doing its own thing is working at the parks.
Parks & Resorts Scandinavia Did the “stay at home” trend help?
(PRS). This Swedish chain How will you ensure the parks retain a In Sweden we are “easy” people. If it says in the
entertains around 2.5 million family feel? newspaper you don’t need to travel, 80% of us
annual guests and includes First I must say that we still have sons and daughters don’t. People are doing their vacations at home, and
Gröna Lund and Aquaria in from the old owner family working here and they are I think a combination of this, some good attractions,
Stockholm, Skara doing a fantastic job. I think my approach to keeping and a lot of PR actually, put us in a good position
Sommarland and the animal that old atmosphere going is just be here, to live it. compared to previous years.
park Kolmården. Since 2006, PRS previously had its office in the centre of
PRS has invested over Stockholm, but we said ‘this is stupid,’ so as I speak What are your plans for Gröna Lund?
SEK500 million to you now I am in my office in the centre of Gröna Our big goal is to develop the parking lot at Gröna
($70m/ Lund and put a real top 10 rollercoaster and maybe€50m) in attractions Lund, and Johan sits just across from me. It was
and infrastructure. At the end great when we moved in, we found all these posters a Star Flyer or something on there. I think we can
of a record-breaking season, of some of the concerts artists that have played here, absolutely do this. We aim to have a building permit
Owen Ralph caught up with people like Roxy Music and Bob Marley. There’s a within a year-and-a-half, so maybe in three years we
36-year-old Mattias Banker, fantastic heritage here. can move ahead with new projects.
one of PRS’ three young If you start planning exit strategies and looking at The parking lot will add about 10,000 square
owners EBITDA all the time you loose that feeling. We do have metres of extra space to the park. At the moment we
people looking at the figures, but personally I am not have something like 38,000 square metres. Actually
PICTURED ABOVE: Mattias Banker
as interested in that. It’s important to look at what our we will only be loosing about 220 parking spaces,
(left) at Gröna Lund with PRS
majority owner Johan Tidstrand. In
customers want and ask, “How can we make this the and most of our people come by boat or by bus
the background is Insane, the new
best park possible?” I think I know what it’s like to be anyway; this is a city park. I still have my parking
Intamin coaster added for 2009 a visitor to this park, and I know what I want. space though!
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