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17 May 2012

Merlin to open two new attractions in Oberhausen, Germany
BY Tom Walker



Image: Merlin already operates a Sea Life at the site

Visitor attractions operator Merlin Entertainments will invest 15m euro (US$19m, £12m) in developing two new attractions at the CentrO mixed-used complex in Oberhausen, Germany.

Merlin already operates a Sea Life centre at the complex - Germany's largest shopping centre - but is now planning to open its first ever Ocean Adventure Park at the site, as well as a new Legoland Discovery Centre.

Both attractions are scheduled to open by April 2013 and Ocean Adventure Park will be built on the site of the old CentrO.Park amusement park, which closed in 2010. Merlin secured the management of the site in March 2011.

The new attraction will operate as an extension to Merlin's existing Sea Life aquarium, and according to Glenn Earlam, managing director of Merlin's Midway Attractions, will "take the marine experience to the next stage".

"This is a major investment for Merlin but one in which we have enormous confidence," Earlam said.

"Our creative colleagues in Merlin Magic Making have come up with some exceptional ideas for the new Ocean Adventure Park, which cannot fail to please."

He added that the location was perfect for Merlin to operate all three attractions.

"Our experience has shown that bringing together an exciting mix of retail, dining, and quality leisure attractions like these, creates a whole new element to a family day out, delivering significant incremental business to both the shopping centre, and to the area as a whole.

"We are particularly delighted to be so closely associated with CentrO Mall, which has all these elements. Such projects also play an important part in Merlin's future growth strategy for our 'midway' or indoor city centre attractions."

The Legoland Discovery Centre in Oberhausen - Merlin's eighth worldwide and second in Germany - will replace the one currently operating in Duisburg.

According to the Earlam, the move to Oberhausen offers many significant benefits - such as the ability to offer joint ticket offers and other special activities to encourage visitors to visit all three attractions.

For more details on Merlin and its brands, click here to visit the company website



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