Theme Park, Amusement Park and Attractions Industry News

How was business this season?

Paul Nelson (pictured), Waldameer Park, USA: Thank goodness I was not asked this question last year – you could not have printed my answer! The 2009 season sucked because of the weather but 2010 was excellent because of good management. In fact, this was the best year in the history of the park! For 2011 we will be adding a new section to Waldameer called Northend. At the entrance will be a large fountain surrounded with beautiful gardens and several statues. Once you pass through the archway you’ll find that Zamperla left many Christmas presents – a Rockin’ Tug, Flying Carousel and mini teacup ride..

Gary Smart, Harbour Park, UK: We got off to a great start, but August really let us down, when the weather really turned. June and July were much better, but we had the World Cup to contend with. As a coastal park, the weather is by far and away the most important factor affecting us, but now as we approach the autumn we are seeing a change in spending patterns; everyone’s being very cautious and looking for a deal. However, I do think the British are staying at home more, and we offer a value for money product. I expect that the rise in VAT [value added tax] will affect us in 2011. We are still investing, just not as much as we would like to.

Brad Thomas, Silver Dollar City, USA: Silver Dollar City is up 4.5% on last season. Though we are not yet back to pre-recession attendance levels, we are certainly ahead of 2008 and 2009. In March we opened the highly themed River Blast water ride. On-site spending has recovered; folks have always loved our unique food. In addition, our 50th anniversary souvenirs performed strongly. Craftsmen throughout the park also created limited edition items, which sold well. The anniversary celebrations continued throughout the year, with concerts, special events and $50,000 in prizes. Our hugely popular Christmas event, which runs November through to December, continues to grow in importance to our guests and our overall attendance.

Jos Faaij, Drievliet, The Netherlands: We had a very good summer season. The weather was just fine for the park and we had a great TV campaign that worked very well. We also had some shows from the very popular girl band KUS – they even made a special hit for Drievliet named after our coaster Formule X! Now it is the autumn

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