Wednesday, 27 May, 2015

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April 17 2015
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This Week's News

New theme park set for Malaysia

Parkson Retail Asia (PRA), the Singapore-listed subsidiary of Parkson Holdings, has inked a joint venture agreement with Malaysia-based Studio Kingdoms Network (SKN) to develop a theme park business in the country.

Earlier this month, RPA executive director and chief executive officer Toh Peng Koon said in an announcement to the Bursa Malaysia stock exchange that the proposed joint venture company - named Parkson Edutainment World - would also see the development of education and nursery centres, food and beverage (F&B) as well as merchandise outlets.

Toh said the MYR11m ($3m) project would be located at Maju Junction Mall in the Malaysian capital, Kuala Lumpur.

"The principal business activities of the joint venture company will include the operations of the theme park, education and nursery centres, F&B and merchandise outlets," he said.

Toh said the theme park would be operated within shopping malls and feature up to 35 'Happy Toon World' characters from the US.

The news of the new theme park comes on the heels of Six Flags Entertainment Corporation's announcement in April that it is keen on entering the Malaysian theme park industry.

CEC 'making progress' in 2015

Despite the challenging trading conditions, CEC Entertainment - operator of 590 Chuck E. Cheese's family entertainment centres and 140 Peter Piper Pizza stores in North America - made progress in a number of areas during the first quarter of 2015.

In the three months to March 29, CEC said revenues increased 3.8 per cent to $265.5m. The increase primarily related to additional revenues of $18.8m resulting from acquisition of Peter Piper Pizza, which closed in October 2014, partially offset by a decrease in same-store sales at its Chuck E. Cheese's stores.

Discussing the company's strategy in 2015, Tom Leverton, chief executive officer for CEC, said: "Working together, we introduced a new menu nationwide in April at our Chuck E. Cheese's locations to enhance our dining offering for kids and adults, and we launched an initiative to add Wi-Fi to all of our locations.

"The enhancements we are making at our Chuck E. Cheese's stores coincide with changes we are making in our marketing strategy, including a change in our primary marketing agency," Leverton added.

"We believe these efforts, along with other projects currently being implemented, will drive future revenue growth."

Camelback opens indoor waterpark

The much-anticipated Camelback Lodge and Aquatopia Indoor Waterpark officially opened its doors in Tannersville, Pennsylvania, on May 1, welcoming guests to the biggest indoor waterpark in the Northeastern US.

The $163m, eight-storey Camelback Lodge, located at the base of Camelback Mountain, transforms Camelback Resort into a year-round family and adventure destination.

Designed to complement Camelback Resort's existing seasonal outdoor recreation, including Camelbeach outdoor waterpark, skiing, snowboarding, snowtubing, zip-lining, a treetops obstacle course, mountain coaster and more, Camelback Lodge will serve as the largest ski in/ski out indoor waterpark resort in the US.

Aquatopia Indoor Waterpark sprawls 125,000sq.ft, and is the largest indoor waterpark in the Northeast, boasting seven pools, 13 waterslides and a multitude of thrilling water attractions.

"Camelback Resort has been a place for friends and family to gather for more than 50 years," said Camelback Resort co-owner, Arthur Berry.

"With the opening of Camelback Lodge and Aquatopia Indoor Waterpark, we now offer more year-round adventure in one mountain location than anywhere else in the country."

Nestled in the heart of the Pocono Mountains, an area that welcomes 22 million leisure travellers annually from New York, New Jersey and Philadelphia, Camelback Lodge has wide appeal to a broad audience including families and seasonal outdoor enthusiasts.

New contracts for Innovative Leisure

Sky Tykes Junior Ropes Courses from adventure attractions specialist Innovative Leisure have been installed in two more UK woodland locations, following the success of the Center Parcs Longleat Forest installation in 2014.

Center Parcs Sherwood Pines has opted for another Mini Trek adventure course as installed at Longleat Forest, which became the UK's biggest Sky Tykes course last year.

As with Longleat, the course will provide younger guests from two-years-old with a ropes attraction to experience as part of the 'action challenge'.

Through a series of rope and draw bridge challenges, participants will improve balance, co-ordination and decision making skills with the help of their chaperone, who is able to hold their hand every step of the way by walking alongside on the ground.

Innovative Leisure managing director Phil Pickersgill said of the project: "It's really pleasing for us to install another Sky Tykes course for Center Parcs. The Mini Trek course has been a success at Longleat so we're delighted they wanted the same for Sherwood Pines."

New African exhibition announced

A new exhibition for the African amusement and leisure industry has been announced for 2015.

Taking place at the Nasrec Expo Centre in Johannesburg, South Africa, on August 13-15, the inaugural Amusement and Attractions Africa event has been created to help operators capture growth in the market.

As Africa's only event for the amusement and attractions industry, Amusement and Attractions Africa will showcase a comprehensive range of products from various sectors, including coin-operated machines, arcade games, lottery equipment, cranes, vending machines, photo booths, simulators, touchscreens, park rides, kiddie rides, water rides, 3D and 4D shows and animatronics.

"Amusement and Attractions Africa will be the continent's first and only exhibition focusing on the game and amusement industry," said event organiser, Grandeur Exhibition Services.

"It will be a showcase for introducing suppliers and manufacturers into the African marketplace, helping exhibitors and project partners to grow their business on the African continent and connect with existing and potential customers easily and cost-effectively."

The show has already gathered industry attention, with international exhibitors currently including Moser Rides, Technical Park, IE Park, Sacoa, Rocky Water, Coin Tech, ICE, Eurasian Amusements, PremierWorld, Classic Amusement, CapeStone Amusement, Xtraice, Golden Horse, Sealy and Universal Space.

For more information on exhibiting at Amusement and Attractions Africa, please email Lily at lily@leisureandattractions.com.

Golden Horse facility tour

Golden Horse Technology Entertainment Corporation has invited existing clients and potential new customers to visit the group's headquarters in Zhongshan after this year's Asian Attractions Expo (AAE) in Hong Kong.

One of the biggest ride manufacturers in China, Golden Horse is renowned for producing a full range of attractions, including carousels, Ferris Wheels, bumper cars, carnival rides, raft rides, roller coasters, suspended coasters, tea cup rides, chute rides and launch towers.

After exhibiting on booth 1923 at AAE this year, June 20 will see Golden Horse executives take customers on a tour of the company's large facility in Zhongshan.

The tour will also include a visit to XingZhong Shopping Mall - on the roof of which lies an 83m-high Ferris Wheel developed by Golden Horse - and Galaxy Amusement Park.

"All the cost related to these activities - including transportation from Hong Kong to Zhongshan and back - hotels and meals are paid for by us," the company stated.

For more information or to book your place on the tour, please contact Aggie at sales@jinmarides.com.

Dubai resort to open in 2016

One of the world's most talked about leisure projects over recent months, Dubai Parks and Resorts (DPR), is on track to open its doors in October 2016.

The eponymous operator of the Dubai mega-resort said more than 40 per cent of infrastructure work is now complete, with cumulative project expenditure by the end of the first quarter of 2015 amounting to AED3bn ($820m).

Located in Jebel Ali, a port town just 35km southwest of Dubai, the 2.3 million square metre site will include three theme parks with branded rides and attractions: the Hollywood-themed Motiongate Dubai, Bollywood Parks Dubai and Legoland Dubai.

It will also feature Riverpark - a grand entrance plaza with cafes, restaurants and shops - and Lapita, a Polynesian-themed family hotel operated by Marriott International.

"It is clear there is an untapped market with no existing multi-themed park destination on offer in the Middle East," said Raed Al Nuami, CEO of Dubai Parks and Resorts.

"Dubai is not only attracting a growing population but is expected to attract 20 million visitors per year by 2020."

He added: "We have made considerable progress in the first three months of the year as we build the Middle East's first premier year-round leisure and entertainment destination."

DPR signed three additional agreements in the first quarter of 2015. Hollywood studio, Lionsgate, will bring Hunger Games attractions as well as a live stage show to Motiongate Dubai.

Nintendo partners with Universal

Nintendo, the iconic Japanese video game developer, has partnered with Universal Parks and Resorts with the intention of bringing its brands to life at Universal theme parks around the world.

The agreement brings two icons of entertainment together and represents a significant partnership for Kyoto-based Nintendo, as it expands the reach and popularity of its characters and intellectual property.

The immersive experiences will include major attractions at Universal's theme parks and will feature Nintendo's most famous characters and games.

Second season for SplashTown

Wet 'n' Wild SplashTown in Spring, Texas, has opened its doors for the summer season.

The waterpark re-opened last year after a multi-million dollar transformation that was completed under new ownership.

New rides include the FlowRider simulated surf experience; Big Kahuna, a family ride that allows family members to ride on a raft together through alternating tunnels; and Wet 'n' Wild Jr, a new area for the youngest children under 50 inches.

Sentosa launches MasterCard promo

Sentosa, the sprawling mixed-use leisure resort in Singapore, has partnered with global payment services provider, MasterCard, to offer exclusive deals to MasterCard cardholders when they visit the attraction.

Cardholders of the 2.1 billion MasterCard and Maestro-branded cards in circulation worldwide can expect to receive special privileges at Sentosa Island's exciting array of themed attractions, award-winning spa retreats, golden sandy beaches, resort accommodations and world-renowned golf courses with the new tie-up.

The two-year partnership will see the island resort's businesses collaborate with MasterCard to provide attractive deals for guests to enjoy on the island.

"Whether they choose to escape with a 'staycation', indulge in good food, gear up for adrenaline-pumping activities or party the nights away, there will be a deal for everyone holding a MasterCard card," the companies said in a joint announcement.

With over 30 attractions and 120 food and beverage establishments on the island, Sentosa receives more than 18 million local and foreign visitors annually.