Part 2 of 4
Part 1: The Current Generation
Floraland is expanding aggressively, with plans to make a splash by rolling out both Asia's largest water park and Asia's largest roller-coaster park this year. Both parks will be located adjacent to Floraland, in Wenjiang's Wanchun Town. The RMB370 million investment covers both of these parks as well as two additional theme parks, a five-star theme hotel, a 1.5-kilometer shopping street and a 3.3-hectare artificial lake. The water park was originally slated for a summer 2012 opening, and the roller-coaster park is expected to be completed by the end of the year. The company expects 25 million visitors to the attractions annually within five years.
Chengdu will have its own "twins" landmark by the end of the year, if all goes according to schedule. By all appearances, construction is moving along quickly on the New Century City World Center, the Central Plaza, and the New Century Contemporary Art Center—the triage of buildings dubbed the world's largest standalone complex. The mammoth structure will house two 1,000-room five-star hotels and 300,000 square meters of shopping centers encompassing an ice-skating rink, a luxury IMAX theater, game arcades, and a 20,000-capacity marine park with 400 meters of "coastline" and 5,000 square meters of "beach" replete with "coastal town," a fisherman's wharf, and hot springs. The building is developed by the Exhibition and Travel Group, which also owns the Century City Conference and Exhibition Center. Together, the pair will be called the "Southern Gemini."
And what about the Smurfs Theme Park? It was widely reported in 2010 that developers Chengdu Teda Sino-Europe Construction had inked an RMB20 million deal with Smurf-brand owner IMPS to open a Smurf theme park in Chengdu within three to five years. But late last year, new reports surfaced that Teda's plans had hit red tape, that the government had issued a mandate to temporarily halt construction on new amusement parks, including the Smurfs park. Speculation arose that Teda's investors had pulled out of the deal, but a Teda spokesperson denied this was the case. Teda was also accused of falsely announcing the plans for the park in order to drive up real-estate prices in the area. Whatever the truth is, Chengduers will have to content themselves with other amusement-park options for now.