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Cover story www.parkworld-online.com


Pioneers of indoor entertainment


As KCC Entertainment Design turns 20, CEO Yannick Maes tells Park World how it all began.


We consider our clients


as our partners in creating memories for the visitors. This means we always go the extra (s)mile


T


he Belgian company was initially founded in 2000 with the aim of designing and creating karting entertainment centres. “Our fi rst contract


was for a karting entertainment centre in Hong Kong followed by several locations in the USA,” says Yannick. “Quickly the ‘karting entertainment centres’ business got extended with other entertainment offerings. We designed and built our fi rst Middle East karting entertainment centre in Jeddah, KSA – IN10SO is in the large shopping mall Serafi Mega Mall. The owner of the mall then invited us to design and build an indoor entertainment park in a different part of the mall. We took this opportunity, strengthened our team and designed and built, in a record time, our fi rst family entertainment centre, Moon Toon. We were rookies in the business, but the park was immensely successful and had a return on investment in approximately nine months.” This was the starting point for a lot of great entertainment centres and parks designed and built by KCC worldwide. Today, its history is still refl ected in our name: Karting Concept Company. “We kept KCC as our brand name and this is now worldwide associated with distinctive entertainment projects,” Yannick says proudly.


A changing landscape Asked what the entertainment industry was like in the early noughties, Yannick continues: “It was mainly theme parks and large indoor entertainment centres built by visionary people. Indoor Entertainment and Family Entertainment Centres were still at their early stages. Developers in the MENA region were among the fi rst to integrate entertainment in shopping malls to differentiate and to offer new types of entertainment for their visitors.” KCC was one of the pioneers at integrating fully


themed high-level entertainment parks in retail environments or as standalone destinations. “It was an exciting time with a lot of opportunities but also pitfalls (we learned several things the hard way),” says Yannick. By his own admission, it was through hands on learning and a visionary approach that the company learned what was needed to turn an entertainment centre into a success story. Pioneers of integrating fully themed, high-level


entertainment parks into retail environments or as standalone destinations, some key KCC projects over the years have included Go Planet in Riga, Latvia; Tekzone in Avenues Mall, Kuwait; Angry Birds in Doha Festival City, Qatar and Smurfs Theme Park in Shanghai, China. “Every project of every client was (and is) special! Each


24 SUMMER 2020


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