Back in October, Futuroscope signed a new shareholders’ agreement committing to a major investment plan worth €300 million (US$339 million) over the next ten years, with a majority to be invested before 2025. This 2020-2030 investment plan was unanimously approved by Futuroscope’s financial partners (the departemental Council and SEML patrimoniale de la Vienne, La Compagnie des Alpes, Banque des Territoires-Caisse des Dépôts), and aims to increase the content at Parc du Futuroscope as well as develop a resort covering more than 22 hectares (54 acres), as a means of consolidating the site’s appeal and positioning it as a top holiday and short-break destination.
Futuroscope is one of a group of major theme park operators continuing to invest in their properties despite the pandemic, showing a bright future for attractions on the European continent.
Over the next five years, the park is planning to add three major attractions — each with a budget of €20 million (US$22.6 million) — and extend the renewal of its current entertainment output while further broadening content through “interval” experiences (restaurants, boutiques, landscape design) that are designed to boost the overall visitor experience.
Spring 2022 will see the launch of “Tornado Chasers,” a new immersive adventure featuring backdrops, live performance and a dynamic 120-seat rotating platform. This will be followed in 2024 by the “Bermuda Mission” indoor and outdoor water flume. An unannounced third major attraction is due in 2025.
Building a resort for Europe
The teams at Futuroscope have also been designing theme-based hotel content adjacent to the park, which will include “Station Cosmos,” a high-end, space-themed 76-room experiential hotel that is due to open in spring 2022, along with the only roller coaster restaurant in France where the food is delivered on a loop-the-loop track, and an unusual and eco-friendly accommodation option featuring 120 family lodges with terrace which will open in 2023.
In 2024, “Aquascope,” Futuroscope’s themed indoor waterpark, will give visitors even more reason to stay longer, with a series of aquatic activities in a new setting that maintains the immersive technological identity of Futuroscope. All of these areas will require an investment of €104 million (US$121.5 million), to be provided by the new Futur Resort company (owned by the SEM Patrimoniale de la Vienne and the Banque des Territoires).
This proactive investment strategy is already bearing fruit: the ZerOGravity indoor free fall simulator opened this summer, to be followed in spring 2022 by the Arena amphitheater, which will host cultural, sporting and entertainment events, as well as conferences and events run by Futuroscope, with modular seating for 1,372 to 6,000 spectators.
“All of the Park’s partners are united behind this ambitious vision that positions Futuroscope as one of the most attractive destinations in France. It sends a strong signal that in the current highly uncertain climate we are confident about the future,” says Rodolphe Bouin, Chairman of the Futuroscope Board of Directors.
When the program is complete, Futuroscope hopes to increase current visitor numbers by 650,000 to over 2.5 million a year, and to increase turnover by 75%. A plan committed to energy transition. This plan commits Futuroscope to an environmental program aimed at zero carbon emissions and zero use of fossil fuels, 70% self-produced energy consumption in the park and resort project, 100% waste recovery, and a fleet of zero-pollution site vehicles. Finally, the development plan brings with it a new share ownership structure, with La Compagnie des Alpes strengthening its stake at 55% of the capital, the Vienne Departemental Council, through the SEML Patrimoniale, at 18%, and the Banque des Territoires (and various shareholders) holding 27%. A new lease has also been signed with the owner until 2050.