Ah no back in 2017 we had highs of 11/12°C and Shambhala was massively disappointing. It was so disappointing, in fact, that Red Force was the better coaster of that weekend. Haven't been back yet in the summer to let it try and redeem itself.I think the group of CF members that were there last December would beg to differ To be fair it was still around 20 degrees at that point though.
In Europa-Park around 3,000 Christmas trees with 10,000 glittering Christmas tree balls and 6,000 fairy lights are waiting for visitors who won't come. The magical winter landscape that Germany's largest amusement park wanted to offer its guests during the high-turnover Christmas season will initially have to do without the spectators.
With the extension of the lockdown to January 10th, the Mack family's company will probably have no winter season at all. Already in summer it was only open to a limited extent. “Not knowing what's going to happen next is a situation I've never experienced in my 45 years in this job,” said 70-year-old Roland Mack in an interview with the park's own radio station a week ago. "I am not doing very well psychologically and morally."
On December 1, around 3,500 park employees were put on short-time work. The operators had avoided this step since the partial lockdown began in November and initially managed the closure by reducing vacation and overtime. Now, in their own words, they have no choice but to shut the park down completely.
After the “huge show of strength”, this hit the employees and himself very hard, especially before Christmas, “financially and personally”, explained Roland Mack when asked by the BNN. "But there is no question about it: the health of employees and visitors comes first."
The Corona year 2020 will end with a three-digit million loss for the successful South Baden company. The Macks have come up with a few ideas to keep operations going under pandemic conditions. After it was closed for months from February, the maximum number of visitors to the park was limited to 10,000 and later to 15,000 to reopen in order to reduce the risk of infection. All visitors had to pre-book the tickets in the online shop.
There was also a sophisticated security concept with disinfection, a mask requirement, virtual queues and a new distance app that measures the distance to the next cell phone owner. Guests were asked to enter the park area only if they were in good health. The measures were largely found to be effective. The park only made headlines once, when the Ortenau health department reported a visit from a “probably contagious person” there in August. The risk of infection was very low because of the hygiene regulations, it was said at the time.
"The second lockdown surprised me very much because it was said for weeks that they wanted to avoid it," said Roland Mack in a frustrated video interview with his Europa-Radio. He spoke of thousands of cancellations in the hotels. “With the Rulantica water world, an investment of more than 200 million euros is closed for the second time in one season. You go through the valley of feelings, I don't wish that to anyone. "
The leisure paradise, which has just been awarded the “European Star Award” as the “best amusement park in Europe”, will have to forego sales in the millions due to the complete elimination of the winter season. Usually around 500,000 people visit the park in winter.
In order to reduce the losses, the operators have brought the start of spring forward by a week - to March 20, 2021. But the persistently high number of infections means further uncertainty. The 7-day incidence value rose in the Ortenau on Sunday to 149 cases per 100,000 inhabitants, Lahr also had a high number of Sars-CoV-2 infections.
“So far, all of this has only been manageable because we have operated solidly for decades. But the reserves are melting away”, regrets Roland Mack. Marion Gentges, member of the state parliament from Lahr, is also concerned about the financial plight of the park. “Europa-Park, with its 4,450 jobs and the added value that arises from operations in the region, is of enormous importance for the entire region. Therefore, the consequences of the park closure extend far beyond Europa-Park, ”said the CDU politician to the BNN.
The effects on the community of Rust and the region are already noticeable: In November, the unemployment rate rose to 4.1 percent (2019: 3.4 percent). As a result of the sharp drop in tourism, Rust will only collect one million euros this year instead of the expected ten million euros in business tax.
To get by, the municipality just passed a supplementary budget with a loan of one million euros. "We need help for the companies concerned - quickly and easily," demands MEP Gentges.
Roland Mack doesn't want to give up hope yet. "If the infection process relaxes significantly, we are always ready to start our planned winter season," he says. “We have a great and effective hygiene concept that has proven itself over almost half a year. Amusement parks, water parks, hotels and restaurants are not driving the pandemic.
Compagnie des Alpes, the owner of amusement parks such as Walibi Holland, Walibi Belgium and Parc Astérix, is looking back on a disaster season due to the corona crisis. The company recorded a net loss of 104.3 million euros in the 2019-2020 financial year. This is evident from the new annual report of the French company. A year earlier, there was still a net profit of 62.2 million euros. The Compagnie des Alpes financial year runs through September, so the dramatic Halloween period of 2020 has not yet been included in the figures. The Halloween Fright Nights in Walibi Holland were stopped after only two days in October. Walibi Belgium did not celebrate Halloween at all. SEE ALSO: Director Walibi Holland remains optimistic after 'toughest season ever' The number of visitors to the amusement parks declined over the entire period - including corona closures - by 44.5 percent. In the last quarter of the financial year - July, August and September 2020 - the decrease was 37.3 percent compared to 2019. Depreciation At the same time, expenditure per visitor rose by more than 5 percent. The operational cash flow of the theme parks amounted to 1.2 million euros compared to 97 million euros a year earlier. Depreciation and interest costs still have to be collected there. Compagnie des Alpes also operates several ski areas. They fared relatively better than the amusement parks, because they were less affected by the corona virus. Painful What makes the results even more painful is that the French group has been investing heavily recently. Parc Astérix opened a new theme hotel, the Belgian Bellewaerde presented a new family roller coaster and Walibi Holland renovated an existing area. Important investments are also planned for the coming years. For example, Walibi Belgium is working on the highest and fastest coaster in the Benelux. The French theme park Futuroscope recently unveiled an impressive multi-year plan worth 300 million euros. While Walibi Holland gives the Exotic theme area a new look.
By the looks of it, you can assume Tier 4 is a complete shutdown of everything. The new Covid strain that's emerged in Southern England and chunks of the Netherlands is unfortunately more infectious than other strains around the world - up to 70% by current stats - meaning transmission is an even bigger threat for Brits. https://www.economist.com/science-a...s-variant-may-derail-pandemic-control-effortsFollowing the Tier 4 introduction in London and South East, both Chessington and Legoland are now closed (they were both able to open under Tier 3 rules, with some changes to ride availability). I can't quite figure out if Tier 4 requires theme parks and outdoor leisure places like zoos to close, but if they're not, this is still the right decision given the advice for Tier 4. Pretty much ends their respective Christmas/winter events I'd say.
Makes me wonder what Merlin will do with Annual Passes at the moment, given there's very little open that can be used, and they push on the sale for the new passes currently at the moment. The Christmas sale usually sees a lot of people buy passes, but all this might have quite a big knock on effect with numbers dropping.
Light is still there, still in same place (end of Spring) Seems some folk missed the ‘tough times ahead first’ part though.It's the oncoming train, and it's on fire.