Patarkatsishvili death puts question mark over Georgia rides
The fate of the new Mtatsminda Park in Tbilisi, Georgia (Eurasia), continues to look uncertain following the death of its founder, Badri Patarkatsishvili.
The billionaire businessman, whose interests spanned banks, media and utility companies, was found dead at his home near London in February. Mtatsminda Park was one of several assets seized ahead of the Georgian presidential elections, in which he stood as an unsuccessful challenger.
Mtatsminda Park project consultant John Ellis, who is now working in Dubai, told Park World recently he suspects the 20-hectare facility will reopen sometime this spring, but is unclear as to exactly who would hold they keys. The Tbilisi City Government (which owns the land) and Badri’s widow have each vowed to bring the park back to life. Yet neither would automatically lay claim to the rides as it is understood that final payments have yet to be made to the European manufacturers that supplied them.
With the start of what would have been the new season just around the corner, the people if Tbilisi will be anything but clear about the future of Mtatsminda Park. It could yet revert to being a public park, rather than the “theme park fit for the 21st Century” that Ellis and co helped create.
Profiled here, Mtatsminda Park survived just eight trial Sunday openings before its abrupt closure last November.