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Park News

Snow Village Coming soon to Saudi Arabia

Opening summer 2011 at the Mall of Arabia in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, Snow Village will mark the realisation of a decade-long dream for Dutch designer Kees Albers.

The 5,000 square metre facility will feature around 10 attractions pitched at families with children including snow tubing, snow mobiles, snow diggers, a snow ball zone, curling, a high ropes course and bumper cars on ice. The mall already boasts attractions including an ice rink and a small FEC, but its owners, the Al Hokair Group, hope Snow Village will help drive footfall to a forgotten corner. Developer Unlimited Snow is projecting an annual attendance of around 300,000. Albers, owner of Unlimited Snow, first dreamt of creating an indoor snow park around 10 years ago, and twice came close to realising the project, first in The Netherlands and then in India, but ultimately his investors went cold (excuse the pun). Since them, several other developers have created similar projects, giving Albers time to watch and learn.

“I always thought the market for this would be theme parks but now there is a

Snow VIllage at the Mall of Arabia

lot of demand from shopping malls, where rival operators want something to make them stand out,” he tells Park World. “However, if you look at Ski Dubai [at the Mall of the Emirates], 90% of the money went into sport, whereas 85% of revenue comes from play. That’s because people in Europe like to go skiing to practice for their holidays, but that is not the case in the Middle East.”

An Arctic World concept

Unlimited Snow’s core competency is “in the plant room” (snow-making), but the company is working with up to 50 other firms to realise the park’s facilities, in many cases adapting existing products and technologies for the ice-cold environment.

Albers adds that he is in conversation with a further two shopping malls in the Middle East, as well as exploring opportunities in the UK, USA and India. His company also has a larger concept called Arctic World Resort, where skiing does play a major part. As well as a number of interconnecting slopes, each resort would also include snow play, igloos and guest accommodation.

SkyWheel at Myrtle Beach

May 2011 will mark the grand opening of the newest attraction in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina. Standing 187 feet (60- metres) tall, The SkyWheel at Myrtle Beach will be supplied by Chance

Morgan to a European ‘R60’ design and feature 42 glass-enclosed, temperature-controlled gondolas that can hold up to six people each, plus an LED Lighting package. The attraction will be located on the north side of Plyler Park as part of a project being developed by Myrtle Beach SkyWheel LLC.

SkyQuest at Indianapolis Zoo

Attraction inventor Bill Kitchen has unveiled a new ride, which will open in 2012 at the Indianapolis Zoo in the American state of the same name. Scheduled to break ground sometime next year, the two-acre SkyQuest people mover by US Thrill Rides will crown the zoo’s new Orangutan jungle habitat exhibit and give each rider a bird’s eye view of the animals. Guests will embark and disembark the cable-car style ride via a covered platform. Up to four passengers can ride in each basket-themed gondola. Moving at 1mph, each ride will last 15 to 20 minutes, providing an hourly capacity of 1,000. The $2 million attraction is expected to become a highlight of the zoo.

Kitchen has delivered over 200 rides in the past 20 years including the SkyCoaster swing, and SkyVemture indoor skydiv- ing attraction. 10 DyMoRides

Dynamic Motion Rides (DyMoRides) is a new company headed by David Vatcher and Michael Prager, both formerly of 5D International/Explore 5D.

Based in Vienna, Austria, the firm is marketing a number of multimedia concepts including the Flyboard multi- sensory simulator and various new 3D/4D attractions and interactive experiences. Unveiled at the Prater park in 2008, Vienna Airlines takes riders on a breathtaking virtual ride over the city. Although the accompanying film is incredibly realistic, DyMoRides now plans to offer a 3D version too. The integral Flyboard ride system, in which passengers stand leaning forward, was developed together with partners including Bosch-Rexroth. During its first three seasons of operation, the attraction has used less than €500 of spares, with minimal downtime. Talking to Park World after launching DyMoRides at IAAPA Attractions Expo in Orlando, Vatcher, who will act as CEO of technology and projects, remarked that he is “very excited” about prospects for the new company. 5D International’s Dr Gerhard Frank and Andreas Kornprobst will now focus on a “scientific approach to 5D” as they explore other opportunities. The two parties will collaborate on one outstanding project, due to be delivered to Six Flags in 2012. DECEMBER 2010/JANUARY 2011


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