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Ocean Park’s Mehrmann reveals waterpark plans

Ocean Park’s Mehrmann reveals waterpark plans
March 19, 2013

Hong Kong theme park Ocean Park is to open an all-weather waterpark, with Chief Executive Tom Mehrmann telling the South China Morning Post that the new attraction will begin operating in 2017.

To be located at the attraction's waterfront area, the waterpark will replace Ocean Park's former water world, which closed in the late 1990s after making losses in the colder seasons of the year.

Mehrmann told the South China Morning Post that the old water world made money only in summer, stating "we were seeing a market reluctant to go out and get wet after mid-September."

Following highly successful operations in recent years and with ongoing expansion plans, the new waterpark, with an all-weather design, will be backed by the Hong Kong Government which has allocated HK$2.3 billion ($26.6 million) loan in this year's budget.

The new waterpark will feature 25 attractions including 13 water slides and a hot-spring feature. It will feature an extensive indoor area under a translucent roof so that it can remain all year round - although its outdoor areas may be closed off season.

Mehrmann explained "this model works well in Korea and other cold areas."

Here, Ocean Park management has been studying Seoul's Carribbean Bay water park as well as Sentosa's Underwater World and Marine Life Park in Singapore.

The new waterpark will be developed to accommodate up to 15,000 visitors daily and up to 7,000 people at any time.

The new waterpark attraction is part of a series of ongoing developments at Ocean Park, with a new shark aquarium and a new koala exhibit set to open in 2014 and Ocean Park having also recently unveiled plans to develop a new hotel.

To be built on a site in front of Ocean Park's main entrance, the 495-room Ocean Hotel is expected to be completed by 2016.

The park is currently seeking submissions from potential developers, with a contract for the work due to be signed by the fourth quarter of 2013. The hotel is expected to be completed by 2016.

Introducing the hotel concept, Ocean Park Chairman Dr Allan Zeman recently stated "we are now ready to transform Ocean Park into a premier international resort destination and further fulfill our role as a major pillar of Hong Kong's tourism industry.

"With the completion of the MTR South Island Line in 2015, the new hotel will also enhance Southern District's position as a new base for travellers."

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