Ocean Park's new water world to be ready for all seasons

PUBLISHED : Monday, 18 March, 2013, 12:00am
UPDATED : Monday, 18 March, 2013, 4:44am

Ocean Park is bringing back its water world - this time with an all-weather design that will welcome visitors all year round.

The new attraction - set to open in Tai Shue Wan in 2017 - will avoid making the mistake of the old water world, which closed in the late 1990s after making losses in the colder seasons of the year, said park chief executive Tom Mehrmann.

The old water world made money only in summer. "We were seeing a market reluctant to go out and get wet after mid-September," Mehrmann said.

Now the park can finally build a new water world given its brisk business in recent years and the space available to expand, said the park's chief executive.

The attraction was also allocated a HK$2.3 billion government loan in this year's budget.

"People kept asking, 'when are you going to bring back the water world?'" he said.

The new water world has 25 attractions planned, including 13 water slides. A hot-spring feature is also on the list, he revealed.

The water world will have indoor areas and a translucent roof so that it can remain open in any weather, all year round, although its outdoor areas may be closed off season, Mehrmann said.

It may also remain open in the evenings during peak season, with shows and live entertainment planned.

"This model worked well in Korea and other cold areas," said Mehrmann. The park has been studying Seoul's Carribbean Bay water park as well as Sentosa's Underwater World and Marine Life Park in Singapore, he said.

The new attraction can take up to 15,000 visitors daily and up to 7,000 people at a time, said the chief executive. It would target both locals and tourists, with "fairly priced" tickets sold separately from those to the main park, he added.

Mehrmann is confident the new water world will be a success.

"International tourism comes all year round. We have people travelling to Hong Kong throughout the year," he said.