Henrik B Nielsen, Djurs Sommerland, Denmark (pictured): We welcomed more than 660,000 guests during 2011, a new attendance record for the fifth consecutive year.
Our “Magical Halloween” in October attracted more than 53.000 guests and we were up by approximately 82,000 over the season, a growth of more than 15%. This positions Djurs Sommerland as Denmark’s second largest tourist attraction outside of Copenhagen – only exceeded by Legoland Billund. Skatteøen, our Mack water coaster, has been an outstanding success and is already challenging our rollercoaster Piraten as the park’s most popular attraction. Furthermore we have been able to attract visitors from a larger geographical area and have experienced a significant increase in foreign guests.
Anthony Catanoso, Steel Pier, USA: Business was down. Aside from the late start due to Easter falling later we were down across the board. We had a heatwave that hurt our day business and we do not have a waterpark. That was the story for July. In August we had more rain than normal. This was all topped off by our new sweetheart, Hurricane Irene! Five days of being closed, tear down expenses and enough damage from the storm to hurt but not enough to trigger an insurance recovery basically nailed the lid shut on the season. Our high point was the opportunity to be able purchase Steel Pier after 20 years of hard work as a tenant.
Peter Ronchetti, Legoland California, USA: I am pleased to say that our record of gradual volume growth over the last five years continues. This is encouraging because our rate of growth has not slowed in line with general market conditions during these turbulent economic times. We got off to a flying start with the launch of Star Wars Miniland for Spring Break. On Memorial weekend we launched Splash Zoo at Legoland Water Park, aimed at younger guests. This winning formula of Duplo animals and water helped drive attendance through a perfect California summer. Overall, our resort positioning with Legoland California, Sea Life Carlsbad Aquarium and Legoland Water Park creates a two to three day experience, witnessed by our research and continued growth of multi-day ticket sales. All of this gives us great confidence as we start work soon on North America’s first Lego themed hotel, opening in 2013.