Theme Park, Amusement Park and Attractions Industry News


September 2007

A seasonal employee at Loudoun Castle theme park in Scotland died in July – just as the summer season was about to take off. Eighteen-year-old Mark Blackwood was working on The Rat (a Maurer Wild Mouse) on Sunday, July 15, but fell from the ride after grabbing hold of a car. He later died at Crosshouse Hospital in Kilmarnock. Park owner Henk Bembom told Park World he was devastated by the incident. “The staff here are very close,” he remarked. As a mark of respect, the park remained closed on the day of the funeral. The Health & Safety Executive is continuing its investigation.

A new amusement park being planned in New Zealand has met with predictable complaints from local residents. The Crystal Mountain theme park in Swanson, West Auckland, will be much smaller than the country’s existing and moderately-sized Rainbow’s End but has nevertheless received objections from 212 of 216 people that made submissions to Waitakere City Council. We can assume then that thousands of those that made no submission at all are happy to see the park built. Including a mini rollercoaster, rapid river and tea cup ride, the council insists the park’s design minimises environmental impact and noise limits will not be breached.

Efteling, the famous Dutch park in Kaatsheuvel, hopes soon to begin adding more overnight accommodation. In 1992 the park opened the Efteling Hotel, but slow planning decisions have stopped it building anything else until now. However, “now we see that most of the traffic lights are on green and we hope to lay the first brick next year,” confirms the park’s Henk Groenen. The new development will comprise a series of bungalows to the south of the park, close to the wooden coaster Pegasus.

Kings Dominion in Virginia, has been named as vice-president and general manager of the Doswell-based park. She will oversee and direct all aspects of the business including the neighbouring waterpark. Pat replaces Richard A Zimmerman who was recently promoted to regional vice-president, a newly created position within parent company Cedar Fair, where he will oversee several of the group’s parks, including Kings Dominion.

Tivoli is reported to have ended a co-operation agreement with Kurashiki Tivoli Park in Japan, as the park did not adhere to the standards required by the classic Copenhagen attraction. “If a park carries the Tivoli name, it must respect the norms that we have established in Copenhagen in all areas,” says the Danish park operator’s managing director, Lars Liebst. “Unfortunately this is no longer the case with the Tivoli garden in Japan.” Tivoli AS signed a 10-year co-operation accord in 1998 with management of the Kurashiki park, but it apparently refused to implement a development plan drafted by the Copenhagen attraction.

Don McCoy has been named president of The Great Escape & Splashwater Kingdom, Six Flags Great Escape Lodge & Indoor Waterpark and Martha’s Dandee Crème in Queensbury, New York. Don has nearly 25 years of experience in the park business and 12 years with Six Flags.

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