SUDIPTA DEV – Mumbai
|Pooja Shetty Deora|
The city of Mumbai is finally getting a mega attraction, albeit on its outskirts, that is expected to be a big draw for visitors from across the country. Adlabs Entertainment’s international theme park, Adlabs Imagica, will be open to public by the end of March this year. The project is coming up in Khalapur on the Mumbai Pune Expressway after Panvel. “We are looking at three million people in the first 15 months and after that the number will increase once the water park is added and the hotel comes up,” said Pooja Shetty Deora, joint managing director, Adlabs Imagica. The total investment on the integrated tourism project (theme park, water park and hotel) is Rs 1650 crore, of which the theme park is itself an Rs 1100 crore project.
The theme park is coming up with 21 attractions including one of Asia’s largest roller coasters and 4D simulation rides, while the water park will have 14 rides. The total area covers 300 acres. There are spaces for live events also outside the park. The theme park is ready to open with 18/19 rides. “Everything is in place. There is place for more expansion where we can add more attractions in the future as well. We are also building a 300 rooms hotel. It will near completion a year from now. In the meantime because the hotel is not ready we are tying up with a lot of partners around – people can book hotel stay with tickets on the website,” stated Deora, pointing out that the design work for the water park is also complete. The actual work will start once the first phase of operation is over.
Giving details of the underlying concept of the theme park, Deora said, “If you look at the underlying theme of Universal Studios it states ‘Ride the Movies’, in Disney it is about fairy tales and the magic of Disney. Here we are telling you five or six different stories in a format you have never experienced before. We are loosely allowing you to experience different world themes as well – you will go through zones like the African area, old American area (old Texan mine train which is a roller coaster, a 70s diner style restaurant). We are not staking claim that we are showing you every aspect of Europe or Asia or Africa or America, however you will get a sense of stories and experiences from around the world in a multidimensional format. It is an immersive experience.”
The Maharashtra government has given Adlabs Imagica a mega tourism status. Currently 800-1000 people are already employed in the project and the number will finally go up from 1800 to 2000.
The initial focus is the domestic market, as Deora pointed out there is nothing of this scale in India. “Our positioning is to make the theme park an important destination for India, if fact an aspirational destination for every Indian family,” asserted Deora. There will be an all-India marketing campaign that will continue for three years.
There is concerted effort on involving the travel trade community. “We are expecting at least 40 per cent of our attendence number to come through this network. We have got a very positive response from them. For us to feature as an important part of Mumbai travel plan, this is a very important collaboration for us,” stated Deora.
Accommodation and F&B
Acknowledging that the hotel industry is a very important aspect of any theme park in terms of financials, events including MICE and weddings are all taken into consideration, Deora stated that the hotel is being built for large conferences and weddings. “The F&B strategy, the rooms are being planned liked that. The accommodation options will range from standard rooms that are perfect for a two days stay for an average family who want to enjoy the theme park to high-end ones for MICE/wedding clientele. The 300 rooms give that scale.”
There are six restaurants in the theme park. Four are already complete, while the other two will be launched in April. The first restaurant on entering the park is Pablos Food Circus – it is a food court with five types of cuisines. All restaurants are 275 to 300 seaters. Next is is African themed bar and grill. Then there is the boat called Armada, which will initially be a coffee and biscotti place but after getting the liquor license Deora has plans to introduce champagne, beer, wine, etc – it will be a wine and tapas place. There is also the American diner in QSR format. The other two dining options are – a large Indian buffet restaurant (menu will change according to states), and a high-end 100 seater Italian restaurant. There will of course be food carts and kiosks everywhere with ice creams and sandwiches, candy floss, etc.
The ticket price will be Rs 1500 for all the rides. The visitors have to only pay for food and merchandise. “At this stage we are great value for money product. The inaugural rate for the first few weeks will be lesser,” stated Deora.
The theme park is a vision of Deora’s father Manmohan Shetty, founder of Adlabs Entertainment. She acknowleged that the processes and offerings will get enhanced with time. “It is new as a business, there are no benchmarks,” reminded Deora.