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23 Oct 2012

Village Roadshow plans marine theme park for China
BY Tom Walker

Australian operator Village Roadshow is to expand its visitor attractions business into China after agreeing a US$550m (383m euro, £312m) deal with Guangzhou R&F Properties (RFP) to build a theme park on Hainan Island.

To be designed as a marine animal attraction, the Ocean Paradise will be similar to the company's Sea World park on the Australian Gold Coast and will include a Wet 'n' Wild-themed waterpark.

The contract between Village Roadshow and RFP has two separate stages. The first agreement covers Village Roadshow's involvement in the design and development of the project, and positions Village Roadshow as the lead consultant in a team that will draw on specialist expertise from around the world.

The second agreement appoints Village Roadshow as the exclusive operator of both Hainan R&F Ocean Paradise and Hainan Wet 'n' Wild for a period of up to 20 years. Village Roadshow will not have any ownership interest in the Park.

The total project cost of the entertainment resort will be around RMB3.5bn (AU$550m, US$560m, 430m euro, £350m) and is scheduled to open in 2015.

Village Roadshow executive chair Robert Kirby said: "Our key involvement in every aspect of this project represents significant reward and recognition of our Village Roadshow Theme Parks branding and world class capabilities.

"We look forward to working closely with RFP, who are one of China's leading property developers, to deliver a world class destination theme park to the people of Hainan Island, its many tourists and of course all of China."

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