B.C. ride maker to help build $600m theme park in China

Dynamic Attractions signs deal with China’s Altair Space Technologies to build space-themed amusement park

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Theme-park ride maker Dynamic Attractions is partnering with the China-based technology company Altair Space Technologies, to build and co-own a $600 million, outer-space-themed amusement park.  

“It will be a game changer,” said Dynamic Attractions president Guy Nelson. “It’s fairly significant because we would be delivering them six attractions for $150 million.”

Roughly half the value of the park’s six rides will be created in Vancouver, Nelson said, explaining that half of the value for any amusement park ride comes from the mechanical system that controls how it moves and operates, which Dnamic Attractions develops in Vancouver. The other half comes from the multi-platform story that comprises the themed aspect of the theme park, which Dynamic Attractions handles at the company’s Orlando office.

The deal was announced at the Canada China Business Council gala on September 1 in Shanghai, a high-profile event with representatives from both countries.

Prime Mister Justin Trudeau spoke at the gala, recognizing 56 business agreements made between the two countries. Trudeau is making a large push to strengthen business ties between the two countries.

The park is planned to be built in Hangzhou, the capital city of China’s Zhejiang province, and has a projected attendance of between three million and five million people per year.

The agreement is tentative, hinging on the Chinese company’s ability to purchase the land. It signed an agreement giving it a reserve bid on the land, meaning if no one else places a bid, the land becomes Altair’s.

If this hurdle is passed, Nelson is confident that their park will appeal to a large segment of the Chinese population.

“A gut feeling tells me that space, as a theme, will be an incredibly strong, competitive offering compared to some of the other stuff I see over here, including Disney,” he said. “There’s a lot of western export culture coming here that people think will fit; I’m not as convinced that’s the case, so I think a space theme is pretty universal.”

Of the six rides that are planned for the Space themed park, half are expected to be products currently offered by Dynamic Attractions. The other half are planned to be new rides that incorporate either virtual reality or augmented reality technology, a system similar to Niantic’s Pokémon Go game.

As part of the agreement, Dynamic Attractions has an option for 20% stake in the amusement park’s equity. Nelsons says that Dynamic Attractions is likely to exercise the option.