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Old November 18th, 2015, 08:07 AM   #121
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Outgoing Ocean Park chief confident it will ride high again
26 October 2015
The Standard Excerpt

Tom Mehrmann's 12-year ride as Ocean Park chief executive is coming to an end, and he believes he'll be leaving on a high.

Visitor numbers to the park were down for the Golden Week holiday, but the American is confident tourist arrivals will pick up " just like they did after the SARS outbreak in 2003.

Commenting on the growing resentment shown by some Hongkongers toward mainlanders " who contribute at least 50 percent of park revenue " Mehrmann said it is important to find a balance between pleasing both locals and visitors.

He witnessed the lowest ebb of the tourism industry during the deadly SARS outbreak when he signed a contract to lead the park which, he jokingly said, had only two visitors one day.

Ten years later Mehrmann saw the park reach a peak of 7.7 million visitors.

He said the main reason for the increase was the government decision to open the way for visits by mainlanders who still remain key in reversing the current dip in numbers. The continuous success of the park will be down to it being ``a uniquely Hong Kong experience.''

``If guests want a theme park with an American influence, I would be the first to send them to Disney,'' he said.

Mehrmann " who opted not to renew his contract that expires on July 31 next year " believes Hong Kong will continue to be competitive in the global tourism market.

``The food, people, city life to country life, and the pulse and energy'' will also see him staying here for the foreseeable future.

He said the magic of running a successful theme park is to keep opening new attractions, with his own personal favorite being the classic cable car from where he can get a panoramic view of the city he calls his second home.
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Old January 10th, 2016, 06:34 AM   #122
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Cost of Water World project at Hong Kong's Ocean Park soars by 26pc to HK$2.9 billion
26 November 2015
South China Morning Post Excerpt

The cost of Ocean Park's new water park has soared by 26 per cent to almost HK$3 billion - the latest setback for the theme park amid a sharp downturn in Hong Kong tourism.

Ocean Park bosses said yesterday a funding arrangement had been made to cover the HK$650 million overrun on the all-weather Water World project without seeking further funds from the government.

It was announced this month the project's scheduled completion date had been put back from 2017 until the second half of 2018. It will now cost HK$2.9 billion.

Ocean Park said the need for extra funding was due to change of design and escalating costs for building materials and labour.

The design has involved more greening elements and incorporation of a structure built along the theme park's hillside.

In the latest Legislative Council document submitted by the Commerce and Economic Development Bureau, the park remains obliged to repay HK$2.29 billion in government loans by 2021. The latest arrangement has also been approved by the government's financial consultant.

The project is expected to create 2,900 jobs and add HK$842 million to the city's economy.
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Old February 5th, 2016, 04:50 AM   #123
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Sino Land, Walter Kwok consortium win Ocean Park hotel tender
Feb. 4, 2016
Hong Kong Economic Journal Excerpt

Sino Land Co. Ltd. (00083.HK) and a consortium led by former Sun Hung Kai Properties Ltd. (00016.HK) chairman Walter Kwok Ping-sheung jointly won a tender for the development of The Fullerton Hotel at Ocean Park, the Hong Kong Economic Journal reported on Thursday.

The tender result still needs the approval of the Town Planning Board, which will assess the joint venture’s development plan. The decision will be announced in August.

Sino Land and Empire Group Holdings Ltd., Kwok’s flagship holding company, own 60 percent and 40 percent of the joint venture company, respectively. They have pledged to invest an estimated HK$3 billion in the project.

The hotel, located in Tai Shue Wan and formerly known as Fisherman’s Wharf Hotel, gives the developers an operating right of 35 years.
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Old March 16th, 2016, 03:59 PM   #124
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Hong Kong's Ocean Park goes digital in bid to attract visitors amid tourism gloom
16 March 2016
South China Morning Post Excerpt

Ocean Park is rolling out new digital services in a bid to attract more international visitors amid the downturn in mainland tourists coming to Hong Kong.

In February, the theme park began offering free Wi-fi in partnership with Hong Kong Broadband Network as well as an upgraded mobile application that provides virtual tours of attractions. The digital revamps cost the park more than HK$10 million.

The park also collaborated with board game Monopoly to introduce an animal discovery feature available from Saturday. It will last until mid-April. It includes an activity called "Animal Monopoly", which invites visitors to do a real-life treasure hunt in the park. There are also more interactive exhibits on animal conservation.

"Southeast Asia is another key part of our market. But clearly mainland tourists are [still] our largest source market," park chief executive Tom Mehrmann said. "We want to continue to make it more convenient and easier for them to visit. And I think these [new programmes] will do."

Visits from mainland tour groups to the park suffered a double-digit fall during the recent Lunar New Year holiday. The park saw a 14 per cent drop in overall attendance last year.

Mehrmann said the park had good attendance from tourists from countries like South Korea, the Philippines and Japan. Meanwhile, locals now represent around 30 per cent of visitors, which was "quite good, based on experience from other theme parks," said chairman Leo Kung Lin-Cheng.

With a new MTR station expected to open at the end of this year, Kung said they were planning to invest more in events, games and facilities as "a continuous revolution" to attract more international tourists while keeping local ones from leaving.
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Old November 20th, 2017, 07:30 PM   #125
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Cable Car moving forward to the adventure land, Ocean Park, Hong Kong by Anil Bisht, on Flickr
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Old February 8th, 2018, 04:55 AM   #126
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Hotel to bring sea change in Ocean Park bid to stay afloat
The Standard Excerpt
8 Feb 2018

Ocean Park aims to open the doors of its first hotel on June 13, which will not only cater to tourists but business travelers and wedding banquets as well.

Hong Kong Ocean Park Marriott Hotel will consist of three towers, offering 471 guest rooms at an average price of HK$2,000.

A minute's walk from the MTR station, the hotel will have a lush green look as plants will adorn its exterior. With nature as the theme, there will be green rooftops and a smoking ban. Visitors will be greeted by a 16-meter aquarium in the main lobby.

Rooms at both Pier Wing and Marina Wing will be 258 to 312 square feet, while a suite will be 635 sq ft.

At the Club Wing - a tower of executive floors - rooms will be 301 to 355 sq ft, while the presidential suite will be 1,646 sq ft.

There will be an outdoor pool, spa, restaurants, nine meeting rooms and a grand ballroom that can fit 80 tables.

More projects are in the pipeline as the year-round, all-weather Water World will launch next year, while The Fullerton Ocean Park Hotel Hong Kong will be completed by 2021.

Edmond Hung Hin-wing, general manager of Ocean Park Marriott Hotel, said the opening date may be pushed back as it has yet to receive all its permits.

The hotel allows guests to spend multiple days at the park, which will be transformed from a day attraction into a premier resort destination, he added.
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Old May 14th, 2018, 06:20 AM   #127
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Hong Kong’s Ocean Park mega project and luxury Marriott Hotel to launch later than scheduled as ‘demanding’ construction cited
Delayed completion of new water park and Marriott hotel means attractions will miss summer peak of visitors
South China Morning Post Excerpt
May 13, 2018

Two core attractions at Hong Kong’s Ocean Park meant to help revive the city’s tourism sector will each miss their planned debuts in the peak summer season, the Post has learned.

Construction of the HK$2.9 billion (US$369.4 million) water park – billed as Southeast Asia’s first and only one to be built on a waterfront – will not be completed until “November next year at the earliest”, according to a source familiar with the situation.

In addition, Hong Kong Ocean Park Marriott Hotel, a luxurious 471-room hotel, will not be ready to receive its first guest until the third quarter of this year, another source said. This means a delay of “at least three months” from its original scheduled opening date of June 13.

“The water park is in an awkward situation,” a source close to Ocean Park said. “It’s odd to be launching it either in the middle of the winter or waiting till next summer. “But the management did well in keeping both projects within the budget so far.”

Facing rising competition from Hong Kong Disneyland’s ongoing HK$10.9 billion expansion as well as new tourist attractions in the region, loss-making Ocean Park has pinned its hopes for fresh growth on the all-weather water park and two high-end hotels. The idea is to transform from a 41-year-old theme park into an international resort. The other is a high-end Fullerton Hotel being due for completion in 2021.

Aerial pictures taken by the Post on May 10 showed the water park project was still in the middle of construction. Four gigantic cranes sit on the 400,000 sq ft site, with concrete terraces lining the tranquil bay, Tai Shue Wan, and a green valley. When built, the concrete layers will become terraced platforms, with wave pools and indoor and outdoor slides attached with shops and restaurants.

“The construction work is demanding because the site is very hilly,” the source said. “The management is considering whether to kick it off at the end of 2019 or officially launch it in the summer of 2020.”

Known as Tai Shue Wan Water World, the project is expected to attract 1.5 million visitors in its first year of operation and contribute HK$842 million to the economy in 2018, according to Hong Kong government submissions to Legislative Council in 2013.
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Old July 31st, 2018, 01:26 PM   #128
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Ocean Park Amusement Park front entrance Hong Kong by Jamie Lloyd, on Flickr
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Old August 4th, 2018, 06:40 AM   #129
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Troubled Ocean Park hotel now set for October launch while water attraction due to be completed by end of 2019
Red tape in obtaining government permits cited as reason for Marriott’s delayed debut
South China Morning Post Excerpt
August 1, 2018

A new hotel at Hong Kong’s Ocean Park is set to be launched in October, while a water park will be completed by the end of next year, according to the project chiefs.

Peter Lam Kin-ngok, chairman of Lai Sun Development, which owns and develops Hong Kong Ocean Park Marriott, said the HK$5 billion (US$641 million) hotel’s opening would happen in October due to red tape in obtaining various government permits.

“We have many tests to pass and the procedures are complicated,” he said.

The building works for the luxurious 471-room hotel were expected to conclude last year, but the debut was pushed back to June 13 this year. In May, the Post learned the hotel would not be ready to receive its first guest until the third quarter of this year.

Earlier this month, the parent company of the project’s main contractor, Hsin Chong Construction (Asia) Limited, came under scrutiny after it was found to be in financial trouble. Media reported that the West Kowloon Cultural District Authority had helped Hsin Chong – the main contractor of the hub’s M+ visual culture museum – pay its subcontractors. The authority said the payments had been deducted from the contract sum payable to the construction firm.

Asked whether the hotel’s delay stemmed from Hsin Chong’s financial woes, Ocean Park's chief executive Matthias Li Sing-chung on Tuesday said that was internal business between Lai Sun and Hsin Chong. While stating the hotel would be launched before the end of this year, Li did not specify a date, and said he did not know whether the delay would increase the project’s costs, noting it was owned by Lai Sun.

Another core Ocean Park attraction, a HK$2.9 billion water park, would be completed before the end of next year, Li added.

Known as Tai Shue Wan Water World, the project was expected to attract 1.5 million visitors in its first year of operation and contribute HK$842 million to the local economy in 2018, according to government submissions to the Legislative Council in 2013.

But Ocean Park has not decided on the launch date, saying it depended on marketing and preparatory arrangements.
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Old November 1st, 2018, 02:53 PM   #130
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Luxury Marriott hotel at Hong Kong’s Ocean Park set to open in early 2019, developer Lai Sun says
HK$5 billion Hong Kong Ocean Park Marriott will undergo testing and trials in the next two to three months before its grand opening
Lawmakers hope hotel will help boost visitor numbers at the 41-year-old loss-making theme park

Oct 30, 2018
South China Morning Post Excerpt

A luxury hotel at Hong Kong’s Ocean Park will receive its first guests in early 2019 after being delayed for about six months, according to its developer.

Peter Lam Kin-ngok, chairman of Lai Sun Group, which developed the Hong Kong Ocean Park Marriott, said on Monday the HK$5 billion (US$641 million) hotel would undergo testing and trials in the next two to three months before its grand opening.

The 471-room hotel was meant to have opened in June but was delayed because of a number of reasons including its cash-strapped contractor, Lam said without elaborating.

“It would be a bit of a rush to launch it in December,” he said, adding that the hotel would be a handy option for those who wanted to visit Ocean Park and Admiralty, a four-minute train ride away.

Rooms will cost about HK$2,100 on average.

Contractor Hsin Chong Construction, which started work on the project in late 2014, faced financial problems early last year. It was also the contractor on the city’s visual art museum M+ in the West Kowloon Cultural District art hub until it was fired in August.

The Ocean Park Marriott would help boost visitor numbers at the 41-year-old loss-making theme park, which was searching its soul for a new position in the increasingly competitive tourism sector in the “Greater Bay Area”, lawmaker Yiu Si-wing said.

The Greater Bay Area is the central government’s scheme to link Hong Kong, Macau and nine cities in Guangdong province into an integrated economic and business hub.

The addition of the Marriott would help the park raise its game as rival Disneyland on Lantau Island added its third hotel earlier this year and was on a HK$10.9 billion expansion drive, Yiu added.

More : https://www.scmp.com/news/hong-kong/...ocean-park-set
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Old March 7th, 2019, 07:23 PM   #131
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Hong Kong’s ailing Ocean Park launches lucky draws worth HK$13 million in total in run-up to opening of Marriott hotel on site
Theme park’s ‘Frenzy Instant Win’ will feature more than 500,000 prizes ahead of the February 19 grand opening of a 471-room hotel
The attraction has struggled, recording losses of HK$236.5 million in last financial year

25 Jan 2019
South China Morning Post Excerpt

Hong Kong’s embattled Ocean Park is launching a series of lucky draws worth HK$13 million (US$1.7 million) in total as it seeks to drum up sales in the run-up to the opening of a luxury hotel at the attraction.

The move comes ahead of the official opening on February 19 of the HK$5 billion (US$637 million) Hong Kong Ocean Park Marriott Hotel, which is expected to boost visitor numbers for the loss-making theme park in an increasingly competitive tourism environment in the city.

The park in Wong Chuk Hang recently reported losses of HK$236.5 million for the last financial year, its third straight year in deficit. Revenue grew 4 per cent last year while total visitor numbers remained flat at 5.8 million. The park blamed the losses partly on higher maintenance costs, operating costs, financial expenses and depreciation charges.

...

The 471-room hotel, located beside Ocean Park MTR Station, includes a ballroom of about 14,000 sq ft which can hold at least 80 tables for a banquet. That would make it one of the largest and newest hotel facilities for meetings, incentives, conferences and exhibitions.

More : https://www.scmp.com/news/hong-kong/...es-lucky-draws
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Old July 7th, 2019, 11:32 AM   #132
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Ocean Park hits emission targets
The Standard
5 Jul 2019

Ocean Park achieved its 10-year carbon reduction targets four years ahead of schedule in the last fiscal year.

The carbon reduction targets were set in 2012, where it aimed to reduce absolute carbon emissions by 10 percent before 2021/22.

"Ocean Park strives to achieve sustainable development. Through the park's industry-leading carbon footprint reduction plan, we are committed to optimizing energy efficiency of all facilities to achieve energy savings," Ocean Park chief executive Matthias Li Sing-chung said.

"The park will continue to reduce its carbon footprint through various initiatives and create a world-class, eco-friendly theme park experience."

The park has also installed its first solar power system on the rooftop of Polar Adventure, a wintry-themed attraction with Arctic and Antarctic animals.

The park was also the first organization to participate in Hong Kong Electric's Feed-in Tariff Scheme in August.

It spent HK$3 million installing solar panel systems at Polar Adventure.

The park is developing the second phase of the solar power system and will start construction in the fourth quarter this year. It plans to complete construction by the end of next year.
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Old December 8th, 2019, 04:15 AM   #133
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Ocean Park, Hong Kong by Qureshi Asif, on Flickr
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Old December 22nd, 2019, 04:09 AM   #134
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Ocean Park needs to ride wave of change
SCMP Editorial
21 December 2019

Hit with a ballooning deficit four years in a row, the city's theme park is under growing pressure to reinvent itself in an increasingly competitive entertainment market

With the business environment deteriorating abruptly over the past six months, many companies are struggling to survive, let alone make money. While some are actively seeking a way out, others may just hope that the turmoil sparked by the extradition bill crisis and the US-China trade warwill end eventually. But the problems facing Hong Kong's Ocean Park go beyond that. Hit with a ballooning deficit four years in a row, it is under growing pressure to reinvent itself in an increasingly competitive entertainment market.

To be fair, the park's revenue grew by 2.9 per cent to HK$1.7 billion in the past financial year, despite a slight drop in visitor numbers - from 5.8 million to 5.7 million. But that was offset by a 14 per cent jump in operating costs to HK$1.5 billion, including repair and maintenance expenses incurred after the onslaught of Typhoon Mangkhut last year. The HK$557.3 million deficit this year is more than double those experienced in the past three years.

The impact of the ongoing social unrest on the park has yet to be fully reflected because its financial year ended on June 30, soon after the extradition bill protests erupted. With tourist arrivals falling by more than 40 per cent in recent months, prospects are even gloomier with the number of tour groups to the park plunging by 56 per cent in the first half of the current financial year.

The prolonged sluggish performance has raised questions as to whether the 42-year-old attraction is losing its appeal. The opening of the cross-border high-speed railway and the mega bridge to Macau and Zhuhai in the final quarter of last year was supposed to bring more visitors to the park, but usage of the two transport links has fallen short of original forecasts.

More : https://www.scmp.com/comment/opinion...de-wave-change
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Old January 14th, 2020, 01:32 PM   #135
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Ocean Park bailout plan by Hong Kong government will help fund attraction’s revival, not just ‘stop the bleeding’, tourism commissioner says
South China Morning Post Excerpt
Jan 14, 2020

Hong Kong’s tourism commissioner has defended the government’s plan to pump HK$10.6 billion into struggling Ocean Park, saying it was not simply a short-term move to “stop the bleeding”.

Joe Wong Chi-cho said on Tuesday the proposal would allow the theme park to make money and reinvent itself as a top attraction.

In a paper to the Legislative Council on Monday, the government outlined a HK$10.6 billion (US$1.4 billion) plan for the “strategic repositioning” of the city’s home-grown resort.

The park said on Monday it would not be able to repay HK$2.3 billion in commercial loans within the next two years.

It also borrowed HK$3.67 billion from the government to build two hotels and a water park, with the money due to be repaid in 2021.

The government also considered it necessary to release further funding to help the park transform into an adventure-themed resort by 2027, the document reads.

More : https://www.scmp.com/news/hong-kong/...overnment-will
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Old January 18th, 2020, 01:53 PM   #136
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Ocean Park reimagined
Jan 14, 2020
The Standard Excerpt

Ocean Park is bound to deplete its cash balance within the year as it appeals for a HK$10.6 billion funding from the government and asks to defer repayments of two loans for eight years.

The park, which has been in financial difficulties for four consecutive years, said the funding would allow for plans to build more than 20 new attractions and revamp 10 existing draws to debut from 2023 to 2027.

The park also sought to defer the commencement date for repayment of the two government loans - for a redevelopment plan in 2005 and a Tai Shue Wan development project in 2013 from September 2021 to September 2029 while keeping the repayment period unchanged at 10 and 12 years respectively.

It also asked the government to waive the interest for the two loans starting from the first day of the calendar month pending the Legislative Council's finance committee's approval.

In a paper submitted to the Legco panel on economic development for a discussion set for Monday, the park's outstanding loan balance would reach HK$8 billion by the end of the 2028-29 financial year if the interest rates for the two loans remain unchanged.

The park said the high interest would "significantly affect its capability to sustain its business operation and carry out the improvement works" under the new repositioning plan.

Several rides are set to be demolished under plans that would offer more than 100 attractions following the expansion's completion.

The new attractions, together with refurbished ones, would be organized into seven zones. Among them, the Ocean Square zone with its dining and retail facilities, as well as live performances, would be open to the public for free.

The park hopes to build a new 10,000-square-foot education center for more comprehensive programs in collaboration with other institutions.

More : https://www.thestandard.com.hk/secti...ark-reimagined
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