Theme Parks = OUT
Urban Attractions = IN
We can help you turn your shopping mall or social area into an Urban Attraction
What are Urban Attractions?
There is a trend of puting attractions in shopping malls, casinos, resorts, destinations, around parks, in populair open city spaces. These attractions are not the main cause of all the people going there at the start. The areas were already populair. They are the places in any city where the people gather to socialise. Or they are populair holiday destinations where people go to for more than a theme park. Therefore you can also find many shops and restaurants in these places. All these open and public areas are now becoming privately owned. And to please all these people, keep them longer in the mall or around the square, and therefore spending more money while there, these owners install large attractions within the faccility. Of course there have always been attractions like cinemas in malls. But what you can see now is that the attractions become grown up and stand alone places with their own unique feel. Instead of some merry-go-round and laser game attractions you can now also find complete museums, 5D experiences, rollercoasters and even dark rides in shopping malls. Some shopping malls already have more attractions than small amusement parks. And it is also about entertaining people while being in the mall or casino. Food entertainment, a bar with great theming and interactive ordening system, an exhibit in the formerly boring areas…
Especially in Asia and the Middle East you can find more and more FEC’s (Family Entertainment Centers). Indoor entertainment and leisure complexes for the whole family. FEC’s create an escape from daily life for several hours for everyone by offering playgrounds, arcades, cinemas and attractions like midget golf and relatively small footprint attractions including small rollercoasters. Most FEC’s are beautifuly themed as places of fantasy so that you truly feel outside your daily life, giving you more a vacation feeling. They are build in areas with large amount of people. Not especially tourists but the people who live in the area and want more entertainment than just (window) shopping. With the trend of Urbanism you can see that shopping malls, parks, populair places…. they all start to become their own FEC’s.
Now the shopping malls don’t want to have an FEC anymore; they are FEC’s by themselves. They become places where you can leave your kid at the fenced playground where professionals watch over your kids, while you go out to buy the latest fashion. The malls are divided into themed areas where the streets are as earth-wind-fire-water, fairytales, movies, adventures, history… Inside the mall shops look like houses in an outside street; very often the ceiling is painted as beautiful sky with clouds and birds are projected to give it a live and realistic feel. There are streets that look like Paris, Italy or New York. You can have a drink on a fake ship on an artificial ocean complete with waves and the sounds of seagulls and pirates. The same with populair squares where fountain shows are made in the middle of the square and the whole area becomes a small town themed in the middle ages with knights and dragons. You can go watch a medieval puppet show and go on a 5D pirate adventure. And also here you can savely leave your kids at certain areas where they can have fun with climbing, riding a rollercoaster, watching a magic show and go home with a balloon made by a clown. Cars are no longer allowed, they can go into underground parking areas. The open spaces are not public anymore. In return you get well maintained areas with security and the feeling of entering another world. More and more public areas are turned into encloses spaces because people want to feel more safe and want to escape from reality.
Unfortunately many companies are still in the mode of midget golf and bumpercars. And they still believe that a lasergame maze is already too much of a thrill. We are convinced that todays society wants more than that. An interactive experience. Simple but cool thrills. People want to escape daily life.
That is the urbanism of attractions. Attractions not perse to attract more tourists to certain areas but to create safe places for the crowds who live around the place and finding the place so nice that in return they are willing to spend more of their money inside the faccility.
Themeparks such as Disneyland, Universal Studios, Happy Valley and Fantaland are not (only) focussing on the people around their park. They have a much larger catchment area, wanting to attract people also for more than 50 miles away. Urban attractions basically almost don’t have any catchment area. They are placed at already populair areas and take advantage of what is already there. If you play by certain rules, any urban area can become a great urban attraction destination. We had great successes already in Asia and South America.
Feel free to contact us and we are more than happy to discuss possibilities and opportunities.