Sharing an update for this post. From Gold Coast Bulletin 2 days ago.
Gold Coast theme parks: Giant rides, slides resorts and hotels
Surfing through an artificial wave pool in Parkwood, diving on a giant underwater attraction off the coast and kicking back in one of two theme park hotels: Welcome to the Gold Coast of 2032.
SURFING through an artificial wave pool in Parkwood, diving on a giant underwater attraction off Narrowneck and kicking back in one of two theme park hotels: Welcome to the Gold Coast of 2032.
Hundreds of millions of dollars will be spent on revitalising the city’s tourism offerings in the next decade to re-establish the Coast as the nation’s tourism capital.
By 2032, tourism bosses say the city will have recovered from the Covid pandemic and again become a favourite location for domestic and international visitors – but only if it has new, expanded and out-of-the-box attractions to act as a magnet.
Gold Coast City Council is already planning a significant expansion to its $5m WonderReef dive site, which will open in early 2022. Providing it is supported by the state government, Stage 2 is expected to open by the mid-late 2020s.
A few kilometres north, Parkwood Village will spend $300m to build its giant Endless Surf Wave Lagoon. It will be surrounded by an integrated resort, a series of towers, 225 residential units and a health, sports and recreation project.
The more traditional theme parks also have big plans.
Dreamworld will build a $75m resort hotel at its Coomera precinct on unused land. Ardent Leisure theme parks CEO Greg Yong said planning was progressing rapidly.
“We believe that, particularly with the return of interstate and eventually international tourism, the resort project has enormous potential and will have incredible demand,” he said.
“We’re certainly planning for the resort to come to life across the next 11 years, offering the service and experience that guests know and expect from Dreamworld.
FROM OUR PARTNERS
Stream instantly with Foxtel Now New customers get a 10 day free trial
“We would love to offer guests travelling for the 2032 Olympics a theme park resort experience near so many event venues.”
Greg Yong Picture: Supplied
Dreamworld announced the resort project to the ASX in mid-2021 and has already secured Evolution Group as its accommodation provider.
Village Roadshow is planning its own resort at Movie World and will refresh its existing rides while developing new attractions.
Village CEO Clark Kirby said his company had invested more than $240m in upgrading its three parks since 2016 and planning was underway for more in the next decade.
“We are very excited about the future of our properties and already have a number of plans in place for new attractions, but unfortunately we’re not quite in a position to announce these just yet so all I can say is watch this space,” he said.
Boston the California sea lion with Sea World CEO Clark Kirby. Picture: Jerad Williams
“In the emerging technology space, we are seeing some incredible advancements in VR and AR around the world and I believe there is opportunity for this technology to supplement some of our existing experiences across our parks.
“I still believe the thrill of physically experiencing a rollercoaster or water slide along with the pure joy of meeting our characters or animals will continue to be the essence of our properties.”
Australia’s tallest slide tower will be built at Wet’n’Wild in the next year, while Sea World’s $50m New Atlantis precinct will finally open at Easter 2022.
From left, is three new thrill rides The Vortex (blue), the Trident (gold tall thing) and the Leviathan wooden roller coaster with world-first pair of backwards seats at rear.
Destination Gold Coast CEO Patricia O’Callaghan said renewal of the existing theme parks was critical to the future of tourism, but warned the next decade would require significant work for the city to recapture lost visitors.
“The private sector is leading the reinvigoration of products and experiences as our
theme parks invest heavily in new experiences in their parks,” she said.
“Our smaller operators are also working on smaller and more personalised experiences including the city’s natural assets.”
Patricia O'Callaghan Photo: Scott Powick
$50M precinct: When Sea World’s new rides will open
SEA World will finally open its $50m New Atlantis precinct in early 2022 to coincide with the expected flood of international travellers and the city’s emergence from the Covid pandemic.
The two new rides, which have been under construction for more than a year, will headline the Main Beach theme park’s push to re-establish itself as an international player.
As Sea World this weekend marks 50 years since founder Keith Williams first opened the gates, Village Roadshow revealed how it plans to celebrate its past while showcasing its future.
Park chief operating officer Bikash Randhawa said it was critical for tourism operators to provide new attractions to lure visitors back to the Gold Coast in an increasingly competitive market.
“With the opening of the Leviathan and the Trident at Easter next year it will put us in pole position to provide world-class entertainment to the domestic and international markets and beyond,” he said.
“We are going to be at the forefront of driving visitation and as we come out of a pandemic, we will probably be the only major operator which has a significant line-up of new attractions coming.
“The Gold Coast is the gateway to tourism for Queensland and these rides will be critical to bringing more people here.”
Tourism, a $6bn mecca before Covid struck, lost $1bn in the three months to September compared to the same period in 2019.
Destination Gold Coast forecast losses of $326m in September alone, down 68 per cent on pre-pandemic numbers. The sector lost more than $4bn in 2020.
Village Roadshow CEO Clark Kirby said the park was celebrating its past and future.
“Sea World is an iconic part of Australia’s tourism industry and we are excited to be able to celebrate this major milestone with a host of delegates and our long-serving team members,” he said.
“Since opening, we have seen over 50 million visitors come through the gates, employed over 30,000 team members and conducted over 10,000 marine rescues, which is something we pride ourselves on.
“One of our biggest accomplishments is becoming a global leader in marine conservation with our team conducting thousands of marine rescues of all different species over the years and playing an integral role in many marine research efforts all with the goal to better understand, protect and conserve the marine environment for generations to come.”