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Speed Demons


Ferrari Land has opened for its maiden season. We met up with PortAventura’s chief commercial officer Mark Robinson to find out more about Europe’s latest attraction

From Attractions Management 2017 issue 2 . . BY Alice Davis, Attractions Management

In April, Ferrari Land was officially opened, a €100m ($106m, £85m) theme park and a third gate for PortAventura. The 70,000sqm (750,000sq ft) Ferrari-themed zone is the latest part of the Spanish destination resort’s €400m ($426m, £342m) expansion strategy, which hopes to boost annual visitor attendance to the 5 million mark.

Attractions Management met Mark Robinson, PortAventura’s chief commercial officer, at the new park, and asked him about the project.

What characteristics does Ferrari share with PortAventura and why did you think the two brands would complement each other?
Four years ago, we started talks with Ferrari. We’re owned by two private equity companies and they know Ferrari pretty well. One of our private equity partners is Italian, so there was a natural bond there. They started to talk and dream about putting Ferrari Land with PortAventura. We have the expertise in running theme parks in the Mediterranean, they’re an Italian brand, and they thought it would be a great fit. It was an honour to accept their offer. We made an agreement 2.5 years ago, and started building two years ago.

What is the structure of partnership?
Ferrari has been involved with the design of the project up until the opening of the park, and with all decisions of this type. We worked hand in hand with them on the designs and everything in the park.

We paid a licensing fee and the investment is all ours. It’s 100 per cent owned by the PortAventura Group. PortAventura also has exclusivity until 2030 to be the only Ferrari Land park in Europe, including Russia.

Do you hope to attract a new audience with Ferrari Land?
With Ferrari Land opening, we’re hoping to increase from 4 million visitors in 2016 to about 5 million visitors this year. Our main markets are the UK, France, Italy and Russia, but the Ferrari brand has power internationally to attract visitors from Germany, Benelux and the Nordic countries.

I’ve just done a presentation to a group of Silversea passengers who were mainly American press and major travel agents on a cruise ship here in Tarragona. The feedback they gave me was that Ferrari Land would also sell well in the US.

So yes, we want to expand our reach in Europe, but the mid-term plan is to look even further afield. There are 14 direct flights a day from the US into Barcelona. My main role when I joined was to internationalise the park, as it was traditionally a Spanish park. We currently have 48 per cent Spanish guests, and 52 per cent international.

Why did you want it to be a third gate?
We wanted to keep the area more exclusive with Ferrari so the experience is a little bit different. We’ll hold two different turns in high season, opening from 10am til 5pm and then 6pm til 1am. Each experience is completely different. In the evening when it’s dark, the lighting looks amazing, and I think that’s something we can do a lot of more of in the evening time. This also helps limit capacity and maintain the feel and the exclusivity of the place.

When we got feedback from the one-entrance-two-parks ticket at €60, the feedback was really positive and people thought it was great value for money.

Is there scope for expansion?
We achieved what we planned to do, and extended the area behind Red Force where we’ve added a stage. We learned going through the construction of the park that we could expand it, and we have got further plans and we have got some land for expansion. So yes, there is room to expand the park. Over the opening period, we’ll be gathering feedback from guests to find out if they want more family attractions, more adrenaline attractions, for example, and then we’ll be in a position to decide what’s next.

Do you have to consult with Ferrari if you expand?
No, it will be our decision if we want to add new rides, but Ferrari is great to work with.

What challenges have you encountered?
Throughout the process, timing has been the most difficult thing, as we had an opening date of 7 April that we had to meet. We’re happy with how it went in terms of the build, and we came in on time and on budget. With 50 companies and 550 people working on the project, it speaks to the success of our development team.

Now the theme park is open, it’s a bit like a new car, it needs wearing in. We will be able to gauge capacity and get feedback. What’s great is we have a lot of experienced PortAventura staff to help with the launch of the new park. Having two shifts is new to us as well, so there will be some fine tuning to do there to make sure it runs properly.

How long do you predict before you see an ROI?
Obviously with €100m investment we’re expecting an ROI, and that will come quickly when the park is filled. The bookings already look very good, and that’s what gives us confidence to already be considering expansion. Bookings for the convention centre have increased dramatically because of Ferrari Land, which we can use off-season for events. We can open up the area at night, and it’s the customer’s own private park.

In the future we want to extend the season, if not becoming year-round, then pretty close. It’s not as costly to keep Ferrari Land open as the other parks, and I think with the hotels, convention centre and three golf courses, we’re on to a good thing. We feel very positive because last year was a record year for PortAventura in terms of attendance and also marked our sixth consecutive year of financial growth.

How does this park differ from Ferrari World in Abu Dhabi?
It’s a different experience because Ferrari World is an indoor theme park, and we’re a destination, an open space. We also have built up the connection with Enzo Ferrari’s dreams, so we have the Ferrari Experience which is the heart of the attraction, offering an explanation of the brand, but also their dedication to innovation and technology and what makes that brand an icon of Italy.

It fits well in PortAventura, too, as we now have this Mediterranean themed area with the trattoria and Italian heritage and so on, which complements our other worlds in the park, such as our Mexico, China, Tibet and Indonesia-themed zones.

Ferrari wanted the theming to be very close to how it really looks in the village of Maranello, where Ferrari has been based since the 1940s.

It’s a completely different park to Ferrari World. The feeling we get talking to our guests is that it’s not like a theme park – it’s cool, it’s a neat place to hang out, it’s chilled and relaxed. It’s an experience.

Rides & Games

As well as Red Force, the 112-metre rollercoaster that dominates the skyline, the park also offers twin drop towers and a 500-metre (1,640ft) race track, a child-friendly simulation of racing a Ferrari 488 Spyder. Inside the Ferrari Experience building, which is shaped like the iconic race car and in the same trademark red that characterises the brand, is the Flying Dreams immersive flying theatre, and Racing Legends, an immersive dome experience that tells the story of Scuderia Ferrari. There are also interactive exhibits in the Ferrari Land Gallery that explain the history and spirit of the brand.
 



Thrill Towers offer different rides - one is a free-fall tower and one bounces up and down

BUILDING RED FORCE
Ferrari Land boasts Europe’s tallest and fastest rollercoaster. Named Red Force, the vertical launch coaster reaches 112 metres (367ft) into the sky accelerating from 0mph to 112mph (180kph) in just five seconds


 

Sascha Czibulka oversaw Intamin’s latest coaster
 

We asked Sascha Czibulka, executive vice president at Intamin, about the design and manufacture of Europe’s most thrilling ride.

What was the hardest part of building this coaster?
The hardest part was managing to stay within the available budget in consideration of the requirements determined by the client in respect to height, speed and capacity.

How do you get a coaster to 112mph in 5 seconds?
It’s a secret combination of our latest Linear Motor technology and over 20 years’ knowhow in the field of launch coasters.

You’ve built other coasters that accelerate faster. Did you use the same technology?
We have built coasters with a higher top speed and slightly faster acceleration, such as Formula Rossa at Ferrari World Abu Dhabi, which reaches 239kph (149mph). They use hydraulic catapult technology. For Red Force, we use our state-of-the-art linear synchronous motors (LSM), so the technology is different.

What makes this coaster different?
We have done similar coasters before, both in respect to layout and speed. But the red colour of the tower structure together with the prominent Ferrari logo makes it absolutely one of a kind.


 



The coaster ride itself lasts about 25 seconds
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Theme parks
Speed Demons


Ferrari Land has opened for its maiden season. We met up with PortAventura’s chief commercial officer Mark Robinson to find out more about Europe’s latest attraction

From Attractions Management 2017 issue 2 . . BY Alice Davis, Attractions Management

In April, Ferrari Land was officially opened, a €100m ($106m, £85m) theme park and a third gate for PortAventura. The 70,000sqm (750,000sq ft) Ferrari-themed zone is the latest part of the Spanish destination resort’s €400m ($426m, £342m) expansion strategy, which hopes to boost annual visitor attendance to the 5 million mark.

Attractions Management met Mark Robinson, PortAventura’s chief commercial officer, at the new park, and asked him about the project.

What characteristics does Ferrari share with PortAventura and why did you think the two brands would complement each other?
Four years ago, we started talks with Ferrari. We’re owned by two private equity companies and they know Ferrari pretty well. One of our private equity partners is Italian, so there was a natural bond there. They started to talk and dream about putting Ferrari Land with PortAventura. We have the expertise in running theme parks in the Mediterranean, they’re an Italian brand, and they thought it would be a great fit. It was an honour to accept their offer. We made an agreement 2.5 years ago, and started building two years ago.

What is the structure of partnership?
Ferrari has been involved with the design of the project up until the opening of the park, and with all decisions of this type. We worked hand in hand with them on the designs and everything in the park.

We paid a licensing fee and the investment is all ours. It’s 100 per cent owned by the PortAventura Group. PortAventura also has exclusivity until 2030 to be the only Ferrari Land park in Europe, including Russia.

Do you hope to attract a new audience with Ferrari Land?
With Ferrari Land opening, we’re hoping to increase from 4 million visitors in 2016 to about 5 million visitors this year. Our main markets are the UK, France, Italy and Russia, but the Ferrari brand has power internationally to attract visitors from Germany, Benelux and the Nordic countries.

I’ve just done a presentation to a group of Silversea passengers who were mainly American press and major travel agents on a cruise ship here in Tarragona. The feedback they gave me was that Ferrari Land would also sell well in the US.

So yes, we want to expand our reach in Europe, but the mid-term plan is to look even further afield. There are 14 direct flights a day from the US into Barcelona. My main role when I joined was to internationalise the park, as it was traditionally a Spanish park. We currently have 48 per cent Spanish guests, and 52 per cent international.

Why did you want it to be a third gate?
We wanted to keep the area more exclusive with Ferrari so the experience is a little bit different. We’ll hold two different turns in high season, opening from 10am til 5pm and then 6pm til 1am. Each experience is completely different. In the evening when it’s dark, the lighting looks amazing, and I think that’s something we can do a lot of more of in the evening time. This also helps limit capacity and maintain the feel and the exclusivity of the place.

When we got feedback from the one-entrance-two-parks ticket at €60, the feedback was really positive and people thought it was great value for money.

Is there scope for expansion?
We achieved what we planned to do, and extended the area behind Red Force where we’ve added a stage. We learned going through the construction of the park that we could expand it, and we have got further plans and we have got some land for expansion. So yes, there is room to expand the park. Over the opening period, we’ll be gathering feedback from guests to find out if they want more family attractions, more adrenaline attractions, for example, and then we’ll be in a position to decide what’s next.

Do you have to consult with Ferrari if you expand?
No, it will be our decision if we want to add new rides, but Ferrari is great to work with.

What challenges have you encountered?
Throughout the process, timing has been the most difficult thing, as we had an opening date of 7 April that we had to meet. We’re happy with how it went in terms of the build, and we came in on time and on budget. With 50 companies and 550 people working on the project, it speaks to the success of our development team.

Now the theme park is open, it’s a bit like a new car, it needs wearing in. We will be able to gauge capacity and get feedback. What’s great is we have a lot of experienced PortAventura staff to help with the launch of the new park. Having two shifts is new to us as well, so there will be some fine tuning to do there to make sure it runs properly.

How long do you predict before you see an ROI?
Obviously with €100m investment we’re expecting an ROI, and that will come quickly when the park is filled. The bookings already look very good, and that’s what gives us confidence to already be considering expansion. Bookings for the convention centre have increased dramatically because of Ferrari Land, which we can use off-season for events. We can open up the area at night, and it’s the customer’s own private park.

In the future we want to extend the season, if not becoming year-round, then pretty close. It’s not as costly to keep Ferrari Land open as the other parks, and I think with the hotels, convention centre and three golf courses, we’re on to a good thing. We feel very positive because last year was a record year for PortAventura in terms of attendance and also marked our sixth consecutive year of financial growth.

How does this park differ from Ferrari World in Abu Dhabi?
It’s a different experience because Ferrari World is an indoor theme park, and we’re a destination, an open space. We also have built up the connection with Enzo Ferrari’s dreams, so we have the Ferrari Experience which is the heart of the attraction, offering an explanation of the brand, but also their dedication to innovation and technology and what makes that brand an icon of Italy.

It fits well in PortAventura, too, as we now have this Mediterranean themed area with the trattoria and Italian heritage and so on, which complements our other worlds in the park, such as our Mexico, China, Tibet and Indonesia-themed zones.

Ferrari wanted the theming to be very close to how it really looks in the village of Maranello, where Ferrari has been based since the 1940s.

It’s a completely different park to Ferrari World. The feeling we get talking to our guests is that it’s not like a theme park – it’s cool, it’s a neat place to hang out, it’s chilled and relaxed. It’s an experience.

Rides & Games

As well as Red Force, the 112-metre rollercoaster that dominates the skyline, the park also offers twin drop towers and a 500-metre (1,640ft) race track, a child-friendly simulation of racing a Ferrari 488 Spyder. Inside the Ferrari Experience building, which is shaped like the iconic race car and in the same trademark red that characterises the brand, is the Flying Dreams immersive flying theatre, and Racing Legends, an immersive dome experience that tells the story of Scuderia Ferrari. There are also interactive exhibits in the Ferrari Land Gallery that explain the history and spirit of the brand.
 



Thrill Towers offer different rides - one is a free-fall tower and one bounces up and down

BUILDING RED FORCE
Ferrari Land boasts Europe’s tallest and fastest rollercoaster. Named Red Force, the vertical launch coaster reaches 112 metres (367ft) into the sky accelerating from 0mph to 112mph (180kph) in just five seconds


 

Sascha Czibulka oversaw Intamin’s latest coaster
 

We asked Sascha Czibulka, executive vice president at Intamin, about the design and manufacture of Europe’s most thrilling ride.

What was the hardest part of building this coaster?
The hardest part was managing to stay within the available budget in consideration of the requirements determined by the client in respect to height, speed and capacity.

How do you get a coaster to 112mph in 5 seconds?
It’s a secret combination of our latest Linear Motor technology and over 20 years’ knowhow in the field of launch coasters.

You’ve built other coasters that accelerate faster. Did you use the same technology?
We have built coasters with a higher top speed and slightly faster acceleration, such as Formula Rossa at Ferrari World Abu Dhabi, which reaches 239kph (149mph). They use hydraulic catapult technology. For Red Force, we use our state-of-the-art linear synchronous motors (LSM), so the technology is different.

What makes this coaster different?
We have done similar coasters before, both in respect to layout and speed. But the red colour of the tower structure together with the prominent Ferrari logo makes it absolutely one of a kind.


 



The coaster ride itself lasts about 25 seconds
 
 
ADVERTISE . CONTACT US

Leisure Media, Portmill House, Portmill Lane,
Hitchin, Hertfordshire SG5 1DJ Tel: +44 (0)1462 431385

©Cybertrek 2017

ABOUT LEISURE MEDIA
LEISURE MEDIA MAGAZINES
LEISURE MEDIA HANDBOOKS
LEISURE MEDIA WEBSITES
LEISURE MEDIA PRODUCT SEARCH
 
ATTRACTIONS MANAGEMENT
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ATTRACTIONS HANDBOOK
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FREE DIGITAL SUBSCRIPTIONS

Theme parks
Speed Demons


Ferrari Land has opened for its maiden season. We met up with PortAventura’s chief commercial officer Mark Robinson to find out more about Europe’s latest attraction

From Attractions Management 2017 issue 2 . . BY Alice Davis, Attractions Management

In April, Ferrari Land was officially opened, a €100m ($106m, £85m) theme park and a third gate for PortAventura. The 70,000sqm (750,000sq ft) Ferrari-themed zone is the latest part of the Spanish destination resort’s €400m ($426m, £342m) expansion strategy, which hopes to boost annual visitor attendance to the 5 million mark.

Attractions Management met Mark Robinson, PortAventura’s chief commercial officer, at the new park, and asked him about the project.

What characteristics does Ferrari share with PortAventura and why did you think the two brands would complement each other?
Four years ago, we started talks with Ferrari. We’re owned by two private equity companies and they know Ferrari pretty well. One of our private equity partners is Italian, so there was a natural bond there. They started to talk and dream about putting Ferrari Land with PortAventura. We have the expertise in running theme parks in the Mediterranean, they’re an Italian brand, and they thought it would be a great fit. It was an honour to accept their offer. We made an agreement 2.5 years ago, and started building two years ago.

What is the structure of partnership?
Ferrari has been involved with the design of the project up until the opening of the park, and with all decisions of this type. We worked hand in hand with them on the designs and everything in the park.

We paid a licensing fee and the investment is all ours. It’s 100 per cent owned by the PortAventura Group. PortAventura also has exclusivity until 2030 to be the only Ferrari Land park in Europe, including Russia.

Do you hope to attract a new audience with Ferrari Land?
With Ferrari Land opening, we’re hoping to increase from 4 million visitors in 2016 to about 5 million visitors this year. Our main markets are the UK, France, Italy and Russia, but the Ferrari brand has power internationally to attract visitors from Germany, Benelux and the Nordic countries.

I’ve just done a presentation to a group of Silversea passengers who were mainly American press and major travel agents on a cruise ship here in Tarragona. The feedback they gave me was that Ferrari Land would also sell well in the US.

So yes, we want to expand our reach in Europe, but the mid-term plan is to look even further afield. There are 14 direct flights a day from the US into Barcelona. My main role when I joined was to internationalise the park, as it was traditionally a Spanish park. We currently have 48 per cent Spanish guests, and 52 per cent international.

Why did you want it to be a third gate?
We wanted to keep the area more exclusive with Ferrari so the experience is a little bit different. We’ll hold two different turns in high season, opening from 10am til 5pm and then 6pm til 1am. Each experience is completely different. In the evening when it’s dark, the lighting looks amazing, and I think that’s something we can do a lot of more of in the evening time. This also helps limit capacity and maintain the feel and the exclusivity of the place.

When we got feedback from the one-entrance-two-parks ticket at €60, the feedback was really positive and people thought it was great value for money.

Is there scope for expansion?
We achieved what we planned to do, and extended the area behind Red Force where we’ve added a stage. We learned going through the construction of the park that we could expand it, and we have got further plans and we have got some land for expansion. So yes, there is room to expand the park. Over the opening period, we’ll be gathering feedback from guests to find out if they want more family attractions, more adrenaline attractions, for example, and then we’ll be in a position to decide what’s next.

Do you have to consult with Ferrari if you expand?
No, it will be our decision if we want to add new rides, but Ferrari is great to work with.

What challenges have you encountered?
Throughout the process, timing has been the most difficult thing, as we had an opening date of 7 April that we had to meet. We’re happy with how it went in terms of the build, and we came in on time and on budget. With 50 companies and 550 people working on the project, it speaks to the success of our development team.

Now the theme park is open, it’s a bit like a new car, it needs wearing in. We will be able to gauge capacity and get feedback. What’s great is we have a lot of experienced PortAventura staff to help with the launch of the new park. Having two shifts is new to us as well, so there will be some fine tuning to do there to make sure it runs properly.

How long do you predict before you see an ROI?
Obviously with €100m investment we’re expecting an ROI, and that will come quickly when the park is filled. The bookings already look very good, and that’s what gives us confidence to already be considering expansion. Bookings for the convention centre have increased dramatically because of Ferrari Land, which we can use off-season for events. We can open up the area at night, and it’s the customer’s own private park.

In the future we want to extend the season, if not becoming year-round, then pretty close. It’s not as costly to keep Ferrari Land open as the other parks, and I think with the hotels, convention centre and three golf courses, we’re on to a good thing. We feel very positive because last year was a record year for PortAventura in terms of attendance and also marked our sixth consecutive year of financial growth.

How does this park differ from Ferrari World in Abu Dhabi?
It’s a different experience because Ferrari World is an indoor theme park, and we’re a destination, an open space. We also have built up the connection with Enzo Ferrari’s dreams, so we have the Ferrari Experience which is the heart of the attraction, offering an explanation of the brand, but also their dedication to innovation and technology and what makes that brand an icon of Italy.

It fits well in PortAventura, too, as we now have this Mediterranean themed area with the trattoria and Italian heritage and so on, which complements our other worlds in the park, such as our Mexico, China, Tibet and Indonesia-themed zones.

Ferrari wanted the theming to be very close to how it really looks in the village of Maranello, where Ferrari has been based since the 1940s.

It’s a completely different park to Ferrari World. The feeling we get talking to our guests is that it’s not like a theme park – it’s cool, it’s a neat place to hang out, it’s chilled and relaxed. It’s an experience.

Rides & Games

As well as Red Force, the 112-metre rollercoaster that dominates the skyline, the park also offers twin drop towers and a 500-metre (1,640ft) race track, a child-friendly simulation of racing a Ferrari 488 Spyder. Inside the Ferrari Experience building, which is shaped like the iconic race car and in the same trademark red that characterises the brand, is the Flying Dreams immersive flying theatre, and Racing Legends, an immersive dome experience that tells the story of Scuderia Ferrari. There are also interactive exhibits in the Ferrari Land Gallery that explain the history and spirit of the brand.
 



Thrill Towers offer different rides - one is a free-fall tower and one bounces up and down

BUILDING RED FORCE
Ferrari Land boasts Europe’s tallest and fastest rollercoaster. Named Red Force, the vertical launch coaster reaches 112 metres (367ft) into the sky accelerating from 0mph to 112mph (180kph) in just five seconds


 

Sascha Czibulka oversaw Intamin’s latest coaster
 

We asked Sascha Czibulka, executive vice president at Intamin, about the design and manufacture of Europe’s most thrilling ride.

What was the hardest part of building this coaster?
The hardest part was managing to stay within the available budget in consideration of the requirements determined by the client in respect to height, speed and capacity.

How do you get a coaster to 112mph in 5 seconds?
It’s a secret combination of our latest Linear Motor technology and over 20 years’ knowhow in the field of launch coasters.

You’ve built other coasters that accelerate faster. Did you use the same technology?
We have built coasters with a higher top speed and slightly faster acceleration, such as Formula Rossa at Ferrari World Abu Dhabi, which reaches 239kph (149mph). They use hydraulic catapult technology. For Red Force, we use our state-of-the-art linear synchronous motors (LSM), so the technology is different.

What makes this coaster different?
We have done similar coasters before, both in respect to layout and speed. But the red colour of the tower structure together with the prominent Ferrari logo makes it absolutely one of a kind.


 



The coaster ride itself lasts about 25 seconds
 


ADVERTISE . CONTACT US

Leisure Media, Portmill House, Portmill Lane,
Hitchin, Hertfordshire SG5 1DJ Tel: +44 (0)1462 431385

©Cybertrek 2017

ABOUT LEISURE MEDIA
LEISURE MEDIA MAGAZINES
LEISURE MEDIA HANDBOOKS
LEISURE MEDIA WEBSITES
LEISURE MEDIA PRODUCT SEARCH
PRINT SUBSCRIPTIONS
FREE DIGITAL SUBSCRIPTIONS