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Park News
Pony power!
Slagharen brings back animal friends
Visitors to Slagharen in the Netherlands are being
promised a “new” park when it reopens for the season on
March 26. Owners the Bembom family are investing in
new attractions, new holiday homes and new live
entertainment to keep guests happy. They also plan to
bring back a fondly remembered tradition: Ponies.
Timo the
Located outside the town of Hardenberg, Slagharen
New accomdation now awaits
will have new competition in 2010 from Plopsa Indoor
Slagharen guests
Coevorden, just 15km away. To remain attractive to local families,
Bemboms are introducing a new dynamic pricing structure, believed to be the first
three times daily audiences can enjoy a Wild West show, meanwhile the local
of its kind in Europe. Modelled on the same system used by the airline and hotel
premiere of Turtle Vision is planned for the 4D movie theatre. A new “Air Parade”
industries, guests will no longer pay a fixed entrance fee. Instead the charge will be
will be staged in place of a traditional park parade, and guests are promised new
set according to date, demand and weather forecast.
circus acts, entertainment and live shows, even in low season. Families can extend
Known for years as the ”Pony Park,” Slagharen used to provide the animals as an
the fun by booking one of the new luxury holiday homes at the Slagharen resort.
added attraction for guests staying at its holiday village, who could even take them
Mums and dads can stop worrying about what their children eat at the park
for a ride. Animal rights protestors objected, however, and the horses were
thanks to healthy menus implemented across more than 20 food and beverage
removed. Now, after more than a decade, the miniature horses are back. Around
outlets. All menu items are now certified with the Dutch “Ik kies bewust” health
20 ponies will be introduced as part of a new petting paddock where young guests
living standard. “Sure, in some of our outlets we will still serve French fries,” says
can hug and cuddle the creatures.
the park’s commercial director Angelique Klar, “but those fries will be fried in oil
A brand new 700-seat theatre also awaits Slagharen visitors in 2010, where
certificated with the Ik kies bewust logo.”
Wild West Fraud
Yak & Yeti Restaurant
A jury has found Thomas Etheredge, 55, founder of
The new Yak & Yeti Restaurant alongside at Disney’s
the failed Wild West World theme park in Wichita,
Animal Kingdom in Florida has been recognised by the
Kansas, guilty on seven of nine counts in his securities
International Council of Shopping Centers for its
fraud trial. Sentencing is March 12. He faces up to 14
innovative design.
years in prison and an appeal is expected.
The food outlet features Asian cuisine in a spacious,
Etheredge was charged with convincing investors to
250-seat dining room, with an adjacent quick-service area
give him nearly $750,000 (
and outdoor seating. Décor is inspired by the architecture
€550,000) for the park by
either providing false or incomplete information about
of the western Himalayan foothills with eclectic artefacts.
his past. He had served three years in prison for
The project was conceived by Landrys’ Restaurants and
another securities fraud conviction in Kansas in 1987.
Schussler Creative and designed by Cuningham Group
Religion was a constant theme throughout the trial as
Jailed: Thomas
Architecture. Yak & Yeti Restaurant complements the
Etheredge and all but two of the investors listed on the
popular Expedition Everest coaster attraction.
criminal complaint, including two pastors, attended the same church.
Wild West World opened in May 2007, but closed and went bankrupt two
months later. The park had supposedly been built for $30 million, but industry
DEAL offers double
observers could only account for about half of that in the 24 rides, 12 retail
shops, 18 food outlets, 18 games and four music venues. Buildings, for
education opportunities
example, used economical barn-pole construction.
Visitors to next month’s DEAL trade show in Dubai will be able to soak up
knowledge at two associated seminar events.
After postponing last year’s forum, the World Waterpark Association (WWA) will
hold its Middle East Symposium on Saturday and Sunday, April 24 and 25 at the
Dubai World Trade Centre. A speaker programme had yet to be published at the
time of writing.
Over the same dates, the Middle East Attractions Forum (MEAF) takes place
at the neighbouring Novotel hotel, organised by Gerry Robinson of Trade
Shows International. This particular conference was originally due to take place
as a standalone event in February, but Robinson made the sensible decision to
combine it with DEAL. Speakers at MEAF will include architect Ray Hole, Wolf
Vierich and Ahrania Platten from the Vitala
Group, Randy White of White Hutchinson and
Claudia Haberts from Abu Dhabi’s European
International College.
Industry observers claimed the park
DEAL itself runs from April 25 to 27 at the
lacked the stated investment
Dubai World Trade Centre.
10 MARCH 2010
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