The Entrepreneur’s Guide to Starting a Theme Park
A new amusement park is an entrepreneurial venture not for the faint of heart. It’s an aggressive investment project because the leading theme parks are owned and operated by a handful of large corporations. You will be competing against experienced professionals who have a great deal of capital at their disposal, so it’s important to have a detailed game plan from the start. Remember that a theme park is an attractive business venture because it can make a lot of money for owners and investors, so prepare to be in it for the long haul if you’re set on making this project a success.
Laying the Groundwork
You need to start by conducting a feasibility study to determine whether or not the theme park is financially viable. The study will also identify critical threats and pitfalls to avoid. As part of the initial groundwork, you should commission the professional creation of a design. Choose an agency that’s experienced in theme park planning and treat the design as a practical mock-up that integrates concerns of safety, flow of movement and zoning compliance, in addition to the park’s attractions.
Health and safety is incredibly important, and so are the aesthetic qualities of your theme park. Think about how you will manage in poor weather and consider the need for something like Dura Deck, a non-slip, composite decking that looks like wood, but is available for a fraction of the cost. You should strike a balance between the project being cost-effective and safe for patrons and members of staff. Don’t try to save money where health and safety protections are involved.
Once the feasibility study and design schematics are complete, you can begin to pitch your concept to investors. Although many investors are sceptical when it comes to entertainment ventures, don’t give up if you’re not seeing results immediately. Make sure that you target your pitches towards individuals and businesses that have previously invested in entertainment ventures. If you aren’t able to secure the capital needed for the project, consider pitching your concept to existing theme parks. You can also use your plans as a way to demonstrate a host of different credentials to employers. Working in the front office of an existing amusement park is great for building your knowledge and experience, and creating a network of contacts that will be invaluable when the time comes for you to strike out on your own.