Over the last few years much has been written about the possibility of the major Paramount Theme Park in the Murcia region but 3 years down the line will it ever be a reality?
Paramount Pictures began a feasibility study in March 2010 investigating the possibility of building a theme park at Alhama de Murcia that would rival Disneyland Paris, becoming both a flagship resort for Paramount in Europe and a world class business, exhibition and conference centre.
By October 2010 the huge scale of the operation was confirmed, all 3.5 Million Sq mts site - equivalent to 2'500 football fields . It was decided that Alhama was perfectly suited to house the Paramount Theme Park, Murcia and an agreement was quickly made between Paramount Pictures, Investors and the Regional Government of Murcia that construction should commence as quickly as possible.
Paramount made an announcement in March 2011 that the Paramount Theme Park, Murcia would be divided into differently themed zones each with movie inspired themes, such as Star Trek, Titanic and Mission Impossible. In addition there would also be a ‘Lifestyle Centre’ with 2 five-star hotels, 3 four-star status and a number of three-star hotels. The resort was also planned to benefit from themed shopping malls, restaurants, bars and clubs, a 3'000 seat conference centre and an open-air auditorium to accommodate 15,000 people.
Paramount Theme Park alone is expected to boost the economy and result in the creation of 20'000 jobs for the region, this in itself has necessitated investment in improving infrastructure in the area. The New Corvera International airport is located less than 30km from the park and new Motorways and connections to the national AVE high speed rail network will ensure that Paramount Theme Park,Murcia is a convenient location to access.
The Corvera International Airport, and the Paramount Theme Park are both expected to result in an increase in interest and investment in the region of Murcia. The Paramount Theme Park has already acquired additional land adjacent to the existing plot and is seeking investors in an extension to the park, which could begin as early as 2018.
Although this week more amendments were made to the plan and published in the regional BORM – questions are still being asked regarding how this project will be financed. Whilst agreements had been made with investors, the current lack of investment in relation to the scope of the project is a cause for concern. This is not deterring Jesus Samper, the Paramount theme park boss, who remains adamant that construction will begin this Autumn.
Mr Samper is not unfamiliar with this kind of financial situation and has voiced his plan to implement ‘financial engineering’ for the Paramount Theme Park build, the same strategy he used in the building of the Neuvo Condomina project on the outskirts of Murcia. The financial and economic climate was rather different back then and concern is he will struggle to get building companies to finance such a large project in this market. This may also be compounded by the on-going row between the constructor Sacyr and the Corvera International Airport.
So whilst the Paramount Theme Park project may be a long and bumpy ride, there may be a happy ending in the distance.. how close they are to the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow is still unclear!