If you’;re a Ferrari fan and are looking for the place to plan your next vacation, Italy is surely the place to go. There’;s the headquarters, factory, museum and test track in Maranello, the new Enzo Ferrari Museum in neighboring Modena, and the circuit named for Enzo and Dino Ferrari in the nearby Bolognese suburb in Imola. The thing is that, aside from looking at collections of classic cars – which we wouldn’;t thumb our noses at, mind you – you might not find that much to do there. Especially if you’;re traveling with your family.
That’;s where Ferrari World comes in. The Abu Dhabi theme park is built around the Ferrari brand and lets kids and adults alike ride on Ferrari rides, shop in Ferrari shops, eat in Ferrari restaurants (prancing horse meat, anyone?) and take in Ferrari shows. It may be a far more artificial an experience than a pilgrimage to northern Italy, but for the family-minded, there’;s more to do.
When Ferrari World in Abu Dhabi was first being built, there was already talk that it wouldn’;t be the last such theme park, and now the racing team turned automaker turned worldwide branding powerhouse has announced another. Not unlike the difference between Disneyland in California and Walt Disney World in Florida, the second Prancing Horse theme park will be called Ferrari Land.
It is to be built as part of the PortAventura resort on eighteen and a half acres of land outside Barcelona by PortAventura Entertainment SAU, a subsidiary of the same Investindustrial that acquired over a third of Aston Martin late in 2012; previously owned Ducati and maintains strong ties to Mercedes-AMG. In other words, it’;s a company that knows a thing or 2 about European performance brands. The project involves an investment of some 100-million euros – $ 139M US – and is set to open in 2016. When completed, the complex will include a Ferrari-themed 5-star hotel with 250 rooms as well as restaurants and a driving simulator. Scope out the details announced thus far in the press release below.
13th March 2014 – PortAventura Entertainment S.A.U., a subsidiary of Investindustrial, has signed a licencing agreement with Ferrari to build Ferrari Land, a new Prancing Horse theme park, inside the PortAventura resort and theme park outside Barcelona in Spain.
Ferrari Land will cover 75,000 square metres and include a variety of new and exciting attractions for Prancing Horse enthusiasts of all ages, including Europe’;s highest and fastest vertical accelerator. An opportunity for the whole family to experience and discover the world of Ferrari.
More good news is that the first Ferrari-themed hotel is also to be built inside PortAventura and will be a luxury 5-star establishment with 250 rooms, restaurants and a driving simulator.
The project will involve an overall investment of 100 million euros and the Ferrari theme park itself officially opens in 2016. PortAventura already welcomes 4,000,000 visitors a year, of whom 50% come from outside Spain.
Acquired in 2009 by Investindustrial, PortAventura has been going from strength to strength and is now the Mediterranean’;s top amusement park as well as the second-ranked in Europe, thanks in large part to an investment of over 125 million euros spread over a 4-year period in addition to the initial sum invested in the purchase.
Andrea C. Bonomi, Senior Partner Investindustrial, explained the motivation behind the partnership with Ferrari thus: “PortAventura is one of the leaders in Europe’;s tourism sector, while Ferrari is an iconic company that represents the very best of Made in Italy. The synergy between the 2 groups creates a powerful combination that means we can offer clients of both brands a unique experience. We are proud to be able to make this contribution to fostering the growth of the Ferrari brand and Made in Italy across the world. This partnership has been made possible by Investindustrial’;s ongoing investment plan and the talents of the Italian management team brought in from Gardaland who have turned PortAventura into Europe’;s best destination resort. Our recent collaboration with Cirque du Soleil, this new agreement with Ferrari and our partnership with KKR will help us expand PortAventura even further in the longer term. The agreement with Ferrari is another essential stage in our strategy of positioning PortAventura as one of the best family destination resorts in the world.”
Andrea Perrone, CEO of Ferrari Brand, the Ferrari subsidiary company that manages the Prancing Horse’;s brand-related activities, added: “After the success of Ferrari World in Abu Dhabi, we received many, many requests to develop new amusement parks. We carefully sifted through the various proposals and decided to accept Investindustrial’;s because it is a very solid plan developed by competent people that will bring the magic of Ferrari to Spain, a nation where we have many supporters and enthusiasts, and to which large numbers of tourists flock each year, in part thanks to PortAventura. This new licence further underscores our brand’;s presence in this area. Ferrari Land will delight the whole family and not just Formula 1 fans. We will continue to evaluate other proposals for theme parks outside Europe at our leisure: the brand is our most important asset and we have to enhance its value without diluting it.”
Sergio Feder, Executive President of PortAventura, also declared: “After our successful experience with Gardaland (Italy’;s leading amusement park with almost 3.5 million visitors a year), we developed a long-term business development plan with Investindustrial to make PortAventura one of the best family destinations in Europe. Right from the start we have always been clear about our desire to develop the resort with high-profile international brands to ensure we achieve our target of around 5 million visitors a year. Ferrari was an obvious choice for this, not merely because of what the brand itself represents but also because of its experience with the Ferrari World Park at Abu Dhabi. It is also a source of great pride to us to be able to support such a world-famous and internationally-respected brand.”