By Roger Chou, PgMP
Thirty years ago, Mr. Lin bought land on the nearby Guan Yi Mountain. He purchased it not for a short-term commercial plan, but as a long-term investment. And E-DA Theme Park was just the investment to build on the land. To help him realize this ambition, Mr. Lin found a program manager, Chi-Hwa Yang, who had been very successful in retail, restaurants and construction. After visiting and studying different kinds of tourist centers across the world, Mr. Yang formulated a strategy. To make the best use of the remote and enclosed mountain landscape without disturbing the existing economy of the city, Mr. Yang calculated that two tourist attractions, a theme park and a shopping mall, would fulfill Mr. Lin’s vision. The shopping mall would bring in major brand outlets and customers, while links to the theme park and shopping mall would be through the nearby international airport and the existing transportation infrastructure. Tourists drawn to the theme park and the shopping mall would have to use Kaoshiung’s hotels, restaurants and other local businesses, safeguarding existing jobs and creating new ones.
Due to the limited land available, about 3.7 hectares (9 acres), Mr. Yang folded most of the 50 theme park attractions into several buildings, which allowed the creation of a controlled, comfortable environment for tourists despite the often-scorching sun of southern Taiwan. Mr. Yang also thought the theme part needed something distinctive and decided on a Ferris wheel — but where it was situated was as important as the iconic attraction. The Ferris wheel was placed directly in front of the hotel, so tourists and hotel visitors could clearly see each other. This initially sparked controversy over lack of privacy for hotel visitors — but Mr. Yang solved the problem by limiting the wheel operation to the daytime and installing “blackout” curtains for the hotel rooms facing the ride. It worked. When the theme park opened in 2009, the Ferris wheel’s glorious, iconic image helped attract a large number of visitors and investors.
The views expressed within the PMI Voices on Project Management blog are contributed from external sources and do not necessarily reflect the views and opinions of PMI.
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