Theme Park, Amusement Park and Attractions Industry News

How’s business been this season?

Rudi Rasschaert, Bobbejaanland, Belgium: 2008 has been a really strong season for Bobbejaanland. Our most recent attraction, the Banana Battle, and our efficient marketing and sales strategy have contributed highly to that success. April was however catastrophic due to extremely bad weather and Easter Holiday came exceptionally early this year, when it was raining and snowing in Belgium. Some of our water attractions even had to remain closed due to frost and ice! May and June brought us back to an acceptable level, but it was the summer months that really did it for us: During July and August, Bobbejaanland welcomed over 316,000 visitors – 7% up on last year.

Jim Miller, Story Land, USA: Business really has been very good this season. Families still need to take time to play together. Our park and other attractions in New Hampshire’s White Mountains continue to be an affordable and attractive destination for New Englanders. Attendance was even with last year, and our revenue is just slightly ahead. Our new circus show proved to be very popular, as have a new game and a souvenir photo stand. These helped entice people to come and visit in the rain and offset a decline in spending in the gift shops, where our biggest selling single item this season – honestly – has been our Story Land rain poncho.

Sergio Cazes, Vulqano Park, Ecuador: The business is doing great and this year we have a 10% increase in sales. We might have done better but the weather has been terrible. We have had eight months of rain from January to August!

Dennis Vourderis, Deno’s Wonder Wheel Park, USA: Business has been OK. We had a rough start because we opened so early that the weather was still in winter mode. After that, we were full speed ahead. Coney Island is in a bit of a transition, but will survive. It always has. Our Friday night Fireworks shows have been a great success with strong crowds towards the end of August. The special event days such as the Mermaid Parade were just as crowded as ever. Overall we are around 8 or 9% behind compared to last season, but remember, last year the public thought Coney was closing for good, and everyone came down to ride one more time, making 2007 our best year ever.

Wouter Dekkers, Movie Park, Germany: As of October we were about 15% up on last year, which was already well up on the year before that. If others are complaining then we are not seeing it here. Although September was bad, we were expecting a strong attendance over the last few weeks of the season for Halloween, as we were one for the first parks in Europe to celebrate this. Our Nickland children’s extension has been very well received, it’s increased the number of families and the length of stay. I have never seen so many strollers in the park!

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