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Industry newsletter I / 2012

Bonn, 02-Apr-2012

Dear parkscout|PRO member,

Spring not only awakens amusement parks and other outdoor facilites from their beauty sleep - just in time for the open air season Parkscout comes along with exciting news. Not only did we dress up our site in a fresh spring dress, hosting loads of new functions and info, but starting now we offer our brand new parkscout|PRO industry newsletter to all members of the leisure industry, to inform them of the latest industry developments and trends.

So let us welcome you to the first edition of our newsletter, which we'll put under the headline "Higher, faster and greener", linking directly to the trend which can be observed with the newest leisure facilities. While the direction set in the last few years was rather "higher", "faster" and "more extreme", the course set in times of ecological responsibilities leads to more environment-friendly technology. This "green" way of getting things done does not necessarily contradict the wish for fast and spectacular ride experiences, as can be witnessed with the green coasters of Maurer Rides. Future industry investments will have to deal with keywords like "energy efficiency" and "energy recovery technologies" the same way as any other industry has.

 © Bayern-Park
© Bayern-Park
"Freischütz" at Bayern-Park

Big momentum with green coaster

On german television, the show "planet e" featured a report about flywheels and efficient energy consumption in coasters at the end of February 2012. The potential of this technology was underestimated for a long time and is not yet exhausted for sure. By using this principle in a modern way, Maurer Rides reactivated the idea of storing the excess energy in flywheels - this technology has been used successfully in the 50s in Switzerland as an autobus technology - and continued the development by creating the linear synchronous drive. With this, flywheels act as an intermediate storage for energy, which is then passed to a generator for a magnetic drive. Especially with small coasters and its light-weight trains this technology can be quite worthwhile when compared to hydraulic or pneumatic drives, saving a lot of energy.

This new and environment-friendly technology premiered 2007 at Netherlands' Drievliet near The Hague. Launch coaster "Formula X", 316 meters long and a speeding at 70 kilometers per hour, has a four ton heavy flywheel, which is powered by a 125 kilowatt engine and reaches a nominal speed of 1500 revolutions per minute. When launching, a generator converts the rotational energy of the flywheel to electricity, eliminating the need to pull energy from the power grid. Maurer Rides further cements the fact that green coasters don't need to be party poopers with its 2011 coaster "Freischütz" at Bayern-Park. At this southern German amusement park near Dingolfing, the brake energy of the launch coaster is stored loss-free in so-called "supercaps" and is being reused for the next catapult start (launching to 80 km/h in 2.5 seconds!).

Press news this is based on
Maurer Söhne [Press news 3.2012]

 © LEGOLAND® Deutschland
© LEGOLAND® Deutschland
Interactive Ride by Gerstlauer: Sky Fly

Interactivity in fashion

Besides more and more thrill-inducing and energy efficient developments, the most successful and relevant locomotives of the industry are interactive facilities - like the dark ride "Maus-au-Chocolat" at Phantasialand near Cologne, Germany. Interactivity is also the key to Gerstlauers Amusement Rides newest ride; when riding the innovative "Sky Fly", which was developed on the base of the "Sky Roller", passengers make a whole new experience when piloting their capsules with breath-taking maneuvers using the wings which are attached to the sides. 360 degree somersaults and speeds of up to 50 km/h ensure a maximum thrill. In Germany, visitors can experience this adrenaline-pumping ride starting on March 24th, 2012 at Legoland® Deutschland - "Flying Ninjago" is the name of this Sky Fly at the amusement park in Günzburg. Of special industry note is the construction, as it took Gerstlauer less than a week to build the ride on-site due to exact pre-planning.

Press news this is based on
Gerstlauer Amusement Rides [Press news 3.2012]

Attracting visitors with looping slides

Investment push at water parks

In the segment of water attractions, industry has made vast advances lately with its adventure and super slides, some of which are even interactive. For example - did you know what Plettenbergs Aqua Magis, Colognes Aqualand and Osnabrucks Nettebad have in common? Insiders of the water park industry will know: the looping slide, with its more or less vertical steep turn right at the start. This is a trend that doesn't seem to come to a halt, especially in Germany which its traditionally large number of public pools and baths, where water parks have to face a much larger competition. So it was not a question if, but when the first double looping slide would be produced. Miramar in Weinheim/Baden-Wurttemberg didn't just invest in said "AquaDoubleLoop" (starting July 2012), but also in the turbo slide "AquaRacer" and "Evolution", a sinkhole slide with connected boomerang. About 3.7 million Euro is the cost of Miramars investment, which extends the total length of tube found there to 400 meters. This, of course, sounds like nothing compared to major player "Therme Erding", which ups their tube park by eight tubes to a total of 20, including - of course - also a looping slide as well as a sinkhole slide. Therme Erdings extended slide paradise, named GALAXY GX 2.0, will boast even more slide novelties, which will attract more visitors with high speed and numerous sound and light effects.

Putting that aside, the east european and the asian leisure market still have a lot of development potential left, as recent events showed. Climatic spa Anaklia at the eastern shore of the black sea saw the construction of "AquaPark Anaklia" in the luxurious "Anaklia City Resort", which opened just recently in August 2011. WhiteWater West sold a whole lot of rather extreme water and slide attractions there, including the Constrictor™, one of the newest water slides of the canadian company. Opening of the water park is being scheduled for August 2012. Just at the start of this month it became known that amusement park Lotte World ordered WhiteWater to construct a water park in South Koreans Busan. The order volume has been estimated at about 22 million dollar; it is planned to open the "Lotte World Waterpark" sometime in 2013.

Looking even further: 2015-2016 will see a theme park resort for Abu Dhabi by Las Palm - just in January this year it became known that they also plan a theme park resort named "Adventure World Warsaw" in Poland.

Press news this is based on
WhiteWater West [Press news 3.2012]

 © ZOOM Erlebniswelt Gelsenkirchen
© ZOOM Erlebniswelt Gelsenkirchen
ZOOM Erlebniswelt launches facebook profile

Not without my facebook

No matter if water park, amusement park or animal park, almost no member of the leisure industry can afford to not have a profile on the largest social network (about 900 million users at the time speaking). Advantages are obvious; current and important news reach the visitor faster, and contests, events and promotions are easier to launch. Additionally, you have a larger audience and facebook commerce may be a new way to open future business opportunities. Just recently, a whole lot of german animal parks and zoos seem to have realized this: Zoo Cologne, Zoo Heidelberg, Zoological garden Magdeburg and Zoo Leipzig all have their own facebook account. Since March 2012, ZOOM Erlebniswelt from Gelsenkirchen have joined their german counterparts at the virtual communication host facebook. Visitors of ZOOM can now "like" their animal favourites and read all the latest news about the Gelsenkirchen animal park. It's kind of a golden thread in this newsletter, but interactivity is once again focussed by the operators - own comments can be posted to the parks' wall as well as pictures taken there, allowing them to share what happens at the zoo virtually.

Press news this is based on
ZOOM Erlebniswelt Gelsenkirchen [Press news 3.2012]

Last words - The nominees are...

Following an intense selection process, the candidates for the Applause Award 2012 have just been nominated. Introduced in 1980, the award is being presented bi-yearly on the IAAPA Attractions Show by an international jury hosted by amusement park Liseberg. This years candidates include Ocean Park in Hong Kong, Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk from the US, and Puy du Fou from France; three parks with widely different concepts. The winner will be presented to the publich at the opening event of the IAAPA Expo in Orlando in November 2012.

With kind regards, your

Sascha Nendza

© SN


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