Ocean Park as we know it will be around for at least another nine months. The coronavirus pandemic forced its temporary closure along with competitor Disneyland on January 26 and when it can take visitors again is for now guesswork. But should its gates swing open, those of us with fond memories of Hong Kong’s only home-grown theme park should make an effort to visit as the HK$5.4 billion funding lifeline recently approved by lawmakers is only enough to finance the attraction through to the end of next March. In that time, it has to reinvent itself and among the options are refocusing, downsizing or, if a viable plan cannot be found, shutting down. The problem is that the 43-year-old attraction is expected to be self-financing and has been unable to turn a profit for four years. Competition from nearby rivals in Guangdong province, protests and Covid-19 have put paid to mainland tourists, who comprised the majority of visitors. The mix of a conservation and education facility, aquarium, zoo and amusement park are an attempt to appeal to everyone, yet are not appealing to all. Devoting the 91.5-hectare site entirely to recreation and entertainment when the city is starved of land for community needs such as housing makes little sense. The government is eager to avoid permanent closure. Ocean Park has 2,000 full-time employees and is one of the city’s key tourist attractions. It is among just 27 places outside mainland China with pandas, the biggest draw of the 7,500 animals and fish. An initial proposal to ask for HK$10.64 billion for a revamp was ditched after widespread criticism and the revised amount will only cover loan repayments, salaries and upkeep. Several generations of Hongkongers have special memories of Ocean Park; they visited as children, as young adults and later, married and with families of their own, excitedly took their own daughters and sons. But it is now tired and well-worn, its focus having become blurred in the scramble to meet targets. Turning to conservation and education would make most sense in an era of concern for the environment and sustainability. But in sharpening the focus, sight must not be lost of the city’s need for housing, space for innovative ideas and commercial possibilities.