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Industry Influencer


Industry Influencer www.parkwor w. wo ld-online.com


Pursuing a policy of continuou s expansio n


Until the late 20th century Mack Rides was famous for trailers and caravans for showmen. But as early as 1921 Mack created the first rollercoaster and later on, other carnival attractions. Today Mack Rides supplies 95% of all Europa-Park attractions and has built hundreds more for theme parks around the world.


in 1972. At the same time, they wanted to create an exhibition space where they could present the different rollercoasters in the Mack Rides portfolio to their customers and the public. It took three years to implement the project and Europa-Park opened its doors for the first time in 1975, located just 30 minutes away from their first factory. “The development of Europa-Park is a textbook success story,” says Roland in an exclusive interview with Park World Under the leadership of him and his father and later Roland’s brother Jürgen, it had the optimum combination of parks, entertainment, culture and the thrill of fun rides – almost all of them constructed by their parent companyMack Rides inWaldkirch.


R . ,


But not everyone believed in it right away, “there was a lot of scepticism in the beginning,” says Roland. “Headlines such as ‘The vultures are hovering over Rust’ and ‘What will happen to the ruins of the theme park in Baden’s fishing village?’ were some of the initial, not exactly euphoric reactions of the press to our idea of building a theme park in Rust.”


The visitor numbers, however, proved them wrong: 250,000 visitors came in 1975, as many as 700,000 descended a year later, and the million mark was met for the first time in 1978. One key step was the opening of the Italian themed area in 1982, and the implementation o f th e


44


oland Mack and his father came up with the idea of opening their own theme park with


entertainment for all ages during a tour of the USA


European theme concept in collab ro ation with ts age designer and film architect, Ulrich Damrau.


Roland explains: “Our idea of the European theme


concept was pursued systematically, with careful attention to detail: Holland, England, France, Scandinavia, Spain and the German Alley were added in 1984, 1988, 1990, 1992, 1994 and 1996 respectively. The concept proved to be visionary, particularly in view of the political reorganisation of Europe going on at that time.”


The family’s hard work was beginning to pay off. “Whether in the catering, rides, gardens or shows, the priority was always utmost quality. Euro pa-Park was the only German theme park to be graded as ‘very good’ by consumer organisation Stiftung Wa vis-ited the park in 1991. ”


Warentest in 1990. Two million peopl e Tw A new era A new er


‘Castillo Alcazar’, another 4* hotel was then built in 1999. Demand was enormous: total hotel occupancy in the year 77 per cent. A new record was achieved in the


2000 was 97. park: three million visitors.


In 2001/2002 the Roland family decided to open Europa-Park for a winter season. 180,000 visitors cam e


APRIL 20 APRIL 2019


A new era began in 1995 with the opening of ‘El Andaluz’ - the first hotel in a German theme park. Longer stays, resulting from the park having more and more to offer, led to an increase in the pressure on accommodation. The 4* hotel was booked up at a rate of 87 per cent in the first year. The ,


Pursuing a policy of continuous expansion


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