magazine Kirmes & Park Revue English Edition - epaper

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Meeting - IAAPA Spring Forum At Tayto Park
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With this editorial, the editor or editor-in-chief of the magazine Kirmes & Park Revue English Edition - epaper initiates the current issue 5/2018. Here you can find out which articles are especially readable or where the suggestions came from.

THE NEXT OR LAST FRONTIER

For decades I have watched the Russian leisure market struggle to develop a strong foothold in the serious theme park leisure industry. When I was President of the International Association of Amusement Parks and Attractions (IAAPA), we made an earnest attempt to bring Russia into the IAAPA. This was in 1990, 28 years ago, before the Russian Association of Amusement Parks and Attractions (RAAPA) was founded in 1995.

At the time our IAAPA delegation went to Russia to meet and explore the leisure market, there were no theme parks. Gorky Park in Moscow was the closest attraction we could find that attempted to provide some rides and attractions. Pavel Kiselev was President of Gorky Park and he and a representative of the Ministry of Culture toured our IAAPA contingent around the country. For ten days we visited cities, universities, cultural events like the Moscow Circus, and the Bolshoi Ballet. We saw Le Hermitage, one of the most beautiful museums outside of the Louvre in Paris. We toured the Kremlin and were taken in the bowels to see incredible treasures from the period of the CZAR. I was amazed by the enormous amount of artifacts and art treasures that were in Moscow and St. Petersburg. Keep in mind this was at the time that the Berlin Wall had just been taken down and there was not a lot of progress yet in Russia as it relates to the change over and detente between the United States and Russia. In fact, it was hard for us to find food which we felt was truly consumable! Meat was almost non-existent and there were still bread lines where people lined up everyday just to get a single loaf of bread. I remember the building exteriors were gray and dusty and they had not been cleaned in 75 years. There were potholes in the streets that could swallow a car, which very few people owned. It was an eye-opening experience for me and the others who joined us to evaluate the state of the leisure industry in Russia. At that time, there were fledgling companies who were attempting to manufacture rides. None were of the quality that you find today in Russia. Most of the rides in the civic park settings were imports from Europe. In the last 28 years, Russia has forged ahead with their tenacity to build a world class theme park.

Typically, after a country has gone through a metamorphosis of stabilization and rebuilding after wars and economic growth, it takes approximately 30-35 years to emerge and allow the working-class people to begin to recreate. We only have to look at Japan, Korea, and Vietnam to understand that it takes time for societies to rebuild to the point that they can take a breath and enjoy the leisure activities. The one common denominator I have found around the world since I entered this industry 50 years ago is: "People, all people, want to have fun." We may be different in so many ways, but people and families want to have fun, no matter where they live. Russia is at the point where the emergence of leisure is on track with the timelines discussed above. There has been activity over the last 15 years, but not on par with the rest of the developed world. The Sochi Theme Park, which opened in 2014, is Russia’s first theme park.

It is themed based on Russian history and culture and it features an adventure park and hotel complex. The park opened with the Sochi Winter Olympics to a spate of controversy, many saying it opened prematurely. The park offered standard basic complements of rides and attractions, nothing really special. The park was reported to be late on opening and over budget. Nevertheless, it is Russia’s first park and has opened the door for the other projects to follow. Russia is a new frontier for our industry. I thought 10 years ago it would be our next frontier. Russia was eclipsed by both China and the Middle East. Russia could not get necessary funding and support to build a major world class park in Moscow or St. Petersburg, markets which could both support theme parks similar to major United States and European regional parks. Development of this type of leisure entertainment is coming to Russia. It will not be Disney, it will not be Universal, but some major global operator or Russianbacked organization will seek to develop a world class park. It may be a few more years, but Russia will come into its own as it relates to theme park entertainment, the next frontier.

Dennis Speigel
With this editorial, the editor or editor-in-chief of the magazine Kirmes & Park Revue English Edition - epaper initiates the current issue 5/2018. Here you can find out which articles are especially readable or where the suggestions came from. …
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Profile of Kirmes & Park Revue English Edition - epaper

Delivery time single issue immediately
issue 5/2018 of 18.04.2018
Published monthly , 12 issues per year
Language German
Access after registration read online in the library & download as PDF
Category Hobby Magazines, Tourism Magazines and Sports Trade Magazines

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