It has been recently announced that The London Resort, one of the most ambitious theme park projects in Europe, will open its doors in 2024. According to its specifications, the park will occupy 90 hectares of land and will consist, in the first phase, of a theme park, a hotel complex and an additional services area with an entertainment plaza and facilities for conferences and congresses, whilst an indoor water park and a second theme park are planned for future phases.
Pierre-Yves Gerbeau, the newly appointed general manager of the London Resort Company Holdings (LRCH), promoter of the project and owned since 2013 by Kuwaiti European Holdings, says that, when developing the park’s attractions, he and his team will work with three guides: “Firstly, we are innovators, it makes no sense to copy what has been done before, no matter how much of a great success it was; the second thing is that we have to be relevant: today’s customers are not going to be customers in 2024; and third, is flexibility: we need a product that can evolve and change easily”.
PY Gerbeau also considers the location as unbeatable: on the south bank of the River Thames, east of London, on the Swanscombe Peninsula, Kent, just 17 minutes from the city centre by high-speed train. “We have a dock, so it would be quite exciting to arrive from the centre of London by boat,” or even that the transportation to the London Resort was part of the show.
Regarding the profile of the public, Gerbeau anticipates a very broad spectrum of ages. “We should offer something that satisfies [users] from 3 years to 70 years of age.” On the other hand, “there are 2 million people at our door (…) and we have a population of 46 million inhabitants,” adding, “it turns out that we are on the Eurostar line, so I would say that internationally this will be very useful”.
With an expected investment of 1.14 billion euros in the first phase, the LRCH states that the total cost of the project, in its two phases, will be 3.4 billion euros. In fact, the LRCH has reached agreements with several hotel firms, as well as with Paramount, the BBC and ITV Studios, which will provide intellectual property to create attractions based on their main films and successes. “Having a project of this size, not only because of its socio-economic impact, but also because of its impact on marketing and as a brand, could be quite good in these times of pessimism.”