Attractions Review 2019: March
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Attractions Review 2019: March

Job opportunities
Leigh Sports Village
£18,950 - £22,302
location: Leigh Sports Village, Wigan, UK, United Kingdom
training opportunity
Les Mills
location: Nationwide, United Kingdom
Kirklees Active Leisure
£22,079
location: Kirklees - Dewsbury/Huddersfield, United Kingdom
more jobs

It's been another momentous year in the attractions industry, and Attractions Management has been there reporting the big news, good and bad, all the way. After yesterday's look at the events of February 2019, today we move on to March 2019, considering some of the biggest stories that made the headlines.

SeaWorld said goodbye to a long-serving executive, as former chief operating officer John Reilly decided to move on. In South Korea, a major theme park project was unveiled, while the Queenslanders of Australia were concerned to improve safety following a fatal waterpark accident in 2016.

Queensland cracks down on safety

The government of Queensland, Australia, announced a number of new regulations for any visitor attractions operating rollercoasters or rides, following a tragedy at Dreamworld in 2016 that took the lives of four people.

Under the regulations, which came into effect on 1 May 2019, all rides at theme parks, carnivals and county fairs in Queensland are subject to pull-apart inspections every decade, while ride operators have to undergo more stringent training to perform their duties.

Workplace health and safety inspectors can carry out checks that could potentially see rides and attractions closed for weeks at a time, while rides must also now have detailed logbooks that display records of annual inspections and any maintenance issues incurred throughout the year.

Korean theme park progresses

A US$4bn (€3.6bn, £3bn) new theme park development in Korea moved forward in March 2019, with Shinsegae Property Consortium saying it expects to break ground on the Hwaseong International Theme Park in Hwaseong, Gyeonggi Province, in 2021.

The attraction will boast a huge K-pop and natural history theme park as its centrepiece, and will also feature a hotel, shopping centre and golf course. It could open in 2026, with construction outlined to fully complete on the 3.15sq km (1.21sq mi) site in 2031.

Twice before, plans to build a theme park on the land stalled, firstly in 2007, when Lotte Group failed to agree with landowner K-Water on the price of the land, and then in 2016, K-Water and another consortium could not agree on terms to build a Korean version of Universal Studios after funding issues.

SeaWorld COO leaves after long tenure

SeaWorld's long-serving chief operating officer, John Reilly, left the company at the end of March 2019, following a 34-year career that started in August 1985.

Reilly was chief parks officer until February 2018, when he was named interim CEO following Joel Manby's departure. With the appointment of Gus Antorcha as SeaWorld CEO in February 2019, Reilly took the role of chief operating officer.

Under Reilly's brief leadership, attendance at SeaWorld surged following a dramatic restructuring both behind the scenes and in its parks. This included an extensive rebranding effort that included the elimination of theatrical orca shows and the promise that the operator’s current generation of orcas would be its last.

There was more tumult to come for SeaWorld though: Gus Antorcha himself left the company unexpectedly in September 2019, with Sergio Rivera being announced as his replacement in November.

Check back with Attractions Management tomorrow for a look back at the highlights from April

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It has been another momentous year in the attractions industry, and Attractions Management has been there reporting the big news, good and bad, all the way. After yesterday's look at the events of February 2019, today we move on to March 2019, considering some of the biggest stories that made the headlines.
TAW,VAT
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