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BigQuestion What will be your biggest challenge in 2012?


Gary Conroy, Old Town (Kissimmee, Florida), USA: As new owners of Old Town we believe our greatest challenge will be rebuilding our brand to attract a larger segment of the tourist and local population back to the park. Branding is a very scientific concept and it will be imperative we achieve a very unique and memorable experience for our guest by ensuring a high standard through exceptional guest service. We must teach all our vendors to provide the same experience so our guest has one fluid experience. We will also invest significant capital in theming and


getting the environment back to its iconic status.


Michael Mack, Europa-Park, Germany: Getting our new hotel, Bell Rock, ready on time is our greatest challenge. I think we got the season off to a nice start with out new wooden coaster Wodan, but the challenge with that could be capacity, which our operations guys think is too low compared to Blue Fire Megacoaster. Apart from this we are looking forward to a great season as a result of the biggest investment in the history of Europa-Park!


Bob Montgomery, Darien Lake, USA: Our biggest challenge this year will be educating our market that Darien Lake is more than just an amusement park. Recent enhancements to our accommodation and our waterpark make Darien Lake a destination experience for families, teens and young adults. We have added $5 million in new attractions and entertainment to make 2012 our best season ever. Communicating our value proposition will be especially important this year, as economic conditions and rising gas prices make close-to-home vacations particularly


attractive for families.


Pascal Fliche, Parc Astérix, France: Oz Iris, our new B&M inverted coaster, is the big news for 2012 at Parc Astérix. Our main challenge is to get as many visitors as possible to come and discover it! We are confident once they have ridden it they will become our new park ambassadors; flying over an Egyptian temple is definitely unique experience! The ride is part our new land Pharaonique and integrates the worlds of Astérix and Cleopatra, leading comic and movie stars in France, and reinforces Parc Astérix as one the top European theme parks.


Figures of Fun


17


number of Gentoo penguins at Polar Land, the latest addition to Legoland Billund, Denmark (see page 24)


20


per cent – increase in visitors this Easter to parks and attractions operated by Grupo Xcaret, Mexico (compared to Easter 2011)


167,000


euros ($219,587) – amount donated to charity since 1985 as a result of coins thrown into the wishing fountain at Efteling, The Netherlands


20,000,000


euros ($26m) – cost of new Pharaonique Egyptian-themed area at Parc Astérix in France (see page 28)


100,000,000


US dollars (€76m) – planned investment in new attractions over next four years at


Steel Pier, Atlantic City, New Jersey


Produced in association with AECOM. www.aecom.com/economics


Ups & Downs


Amazing Easter! - Great weather over the Easter period meant bumper business for theme parks and attractions on the Gold Coast in Australia


Drop in Standards - Eleven people, including the park’s president, have been charged with manslaughter following the death in February of a 14-year-old girl on the Eiffel drop tower at Hopi Hari, Brazil


Average Easter! - Mixed weather over the Easter period meant varied business for theme parks and attractions across Western Europe


Kentucky Comeback - The Koch family has received approval for tax credits in Louisville, Kentucky, bringing the reopening of Bluegrass Boardwalk (former Kentucky Kingdom) one step closer


Cheers! - West Miffin City Council has approved a liquor licence for Kennywood, meaning the Pennsylvania amusement park could sell beer for the first time in its history


6


MAY 2012


24 26 28 50


32 20 3841


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