There have been no new attractions at the German amusement park for years: the owner Parques Reunidos is to blame
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In the East German amusement park Belandis, time stands still: plans have been made for years for new locations, but nothing has materialized. Management blames Spanish owner Parques Reunidos, which includes Attractiepark Slagaren, Bobbejaanland and Movie Park Germany. The Spaniards cannot fulfill their promises, and this is the end.
Belantis was acquired in 2018 by Barquez Reinidos. The team has promised to invest heavily in expansions, hence the target “One of Germany’s leading parks” will become. However, till date, no new attraction has been added. The last major addition dates back to 2015, when the Egyptian family roller coaster Cobra des Amun Ra was commissioned.
In an interview with the Leipziger Volkszeitung newspaper, Belantis marketing manager Winnie Vorsatz says that future plans are systematically rejected by the parent company. The park is ready for the arrival of a new roller coaster, but the Spaniards put the project on hold. As a result, the 2023 season restarted without significant innovation.
This creates frustration for both employees and visitors. “We’re also hearing from guests that a new attraction is really needed.”Vorchatz said. “Of course we’re looking at the competition: other parks grow and we know it can’t continue like this if we stand still.” However, the destination depends on the budget available in Spain.
Due to the uncertain economic environment, Parques Reunidos has turned off the money tap, according to Vorsats. “Seasonal Unpredictability: People Want to See First-hand How Consumer Behavior Changes as a Result of Inflation.” Also, Belantis faces higher costs. For example, the electricity bill has gone up by 300 percent.
It remains uncertain when the Spanish owner will come up with the money. Over the past five years, the company has seen no reason to make substantial investments in Belantis. Lots of space: At the time of acquisition in 2018, it was reported to be built on 27 hectares of land.
Last fall, general manager Basil El Atassi indicated that he expects a new roller coaster within a few years. “Something is definitely going to happen in the next two to three years.”, he said. Marketer Worsats no longer dares to make predictions. Instead, the focus is on new programs. “We can affect it ourselves. What we lack in innovation we try to make up for in things we can control.”
A Swedish investment company
Parques Reunidos owns dozens of amusement parks, zoos and water parks in Europe, America and Asia. As of 2019, the company is owned by Swedish investment firm EQT. Vorszatz admits that Belandis is only a small player in the group: in Germany the focus is on key locations such as Movie Park Germany, the Weltvogelpark Walsrode Zoo and the Tropical Islands Swimming Paradise.
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