Franz Mack, amusement ride entrepreneur and founder of Europa-Park, died on October 3 at the age of 89.
Together with his sons Roland and Jürgen, Franz was the driving force for the opening and continued success of Germany’s largest theme park. In 2006, he was honoured by the International Association of Amusement Parks and Attractions (IAAPA) as a member of its Hall of Fame.
Franz Mack was born on March 7, 1921, as the fourth son of Heinrich and Theresia Mack, marrying Liesel in 1948. The same year he and his brothers Hermann and Willi took over the responsibility of their father’s company. Founded in 1780, it had become famous for the construction of stagecoaches and carousels and was later relocated to the beautiful Black Forest town of Waldkirch, Baden-Wuerttemberg.
The Mack company product range included caravans, catering trailers and special vehicles required for travelling rides. As the company began manufacturing theme park attractions, numerous innovations, including the steel Wild Mouse and Swiss Bob Run, were sold all over the world.
Europa-Park opened its doors in 1975 in Rust near Freiburg. Together with Mack Rides, the two family businesses employ over 3,100 people. Thanks to his passion for technology, numerous rides at the park bear the hallmarks of Franz Mack. Among others he designed the dark coaster Eurosat (opened in 1989) and the spinning coaster Euro-Mir (1997).
Franz was a proud grandfather of five grandchildren. His wife Liesel passed away in 2004m but today his sons Roland and Jürgen together with his grandsons Michael and Thomas manage the Mack companies Europa-Park and Mack Rides, both highly respected enterprises within the amusement industry.
“Our father was a great role model for all of us until the last days of his life,” says Europa-Park managing partner Roland Mack. “He had character attributes such as humbleness, diligence, endurance, sincerity, emotionality and frankness and thus deeply influenced our family and our company.”
The funeral took place on October 7.