FAQs about IRMS, Theme Park Design, and Working Together
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Good question! The answer depends on how big the project is, how complex you want it to be, and how many rides and attractions, WOW features, and other elements you would like in your entertainment destination. If you would like a "theme park" with immersive, all-encompassing environments, that is more costly to create than a less immersive "amusement park." It all depends on the economics of your particular market, what type of attraction will appeal, and of course the budget. We are masters at creating a strategy that meets your needs. Contact us.
Our studio's focus, where we can bring the most economic benefit, is through creating great concepts that get noticed, sell tickets and are inherently repeatable -- that's the basic formula for entertainment success. This is our core competency. For engineering, we can partner with a local design institute in your project's location so as to seamlessly integrate local codes and conditions into our designs.
IRMS offers two levels of service, "Investor Express" and "Owner Select."
Investor Express is primarily intended for investors who want a project designed, built and operating in the shortest timeframe possible, so as to primarily achieve their investment goals. At this service level, Investors rely exclusively on IRMS' expertise to create a design that meets the project parameters in a less-customized, speed-sensitive manner. As such, IRMS uses our proprietary ThemePartstm, modular, kit-of-parts master plans, facility, and ride designs to speed up the process. Goals and themes are established in a kick-off session, and from that point forward client involvement is minimal in the design process. Add-ons to this service level include project management, procurement resourcing, and other services to make Investor Express a smooth, seamless process that gets into construction, operations, and revenue generation as soon as possible. Projects of this scale have budgets below US$800 million.
Owner Select is intended for experienced owner-operators who are interested in taking themed entertainment to the next level. Typically Owner Select clients want highly detailed, customized experience, completely immersive environments for their customers and "Wow Factors" throughout. This service level is targeted to clients who want to create a destination that gets attention on a world-wide scale, and seeks to compete with the top 25 theme parks internationally. Projects of this scale have budgets from US$800 million and up.
Any travel costs can be determined in advance and structured so as to minimize expenses, maximize value in isolating travel for only key presentations or site studies. Using web-based communication and transfer platforms, we can communicate easily around the globe. Our Asia-based creative team is located to be in or near the same time zone as most project sites.
IRMS's team members have worked on or for the most successful theme parks in the world. Our resumes include Universal's Islands of Adventure, Universal Studios Hollywood, Universal Studios Japan, Universal Studios Singapore, Six Flags Theme Parks, Disneyland, and a major, world's first studio-branded theme park now under construction. Our record of success was earned while working with the most demanding organizations that operate at the highest levels of creativity and management. We bring that knowledge and experience to every project we work on.
Our studio project teams expand and contract as project needs dictate. Our core creative team is 20 people. As of this writing, seven additional team members are on assignment in South-East Asia building the next great studio-based theme park.
Team and Document Organization is the key to staying ahead of the paperwork curve when designing theme parks. IRMS uses databases and document storage systems so as to secure the intellectual property we create, as well as to make it readily available to clients and authorized parties. We work hard to put detailed information into informative design packages that can communicate design intent, can be tendered easily, and become useful roadmaps for the next phases.
After spending resources to get a fantastic design that will drive ticket sales, it's likely to have unusual elements that contractors can't imagine how to build. Our art directors and site specialists will work with Client's project team and contractors on-site to ensure that what was envisioned as a creative and financial strategy to generate a financial return, will be built appropriately, with nuance, to ensure the final product delivers on the creative premise and reaches its financial zenith.
The answer to this question is complex and simple at the same time. The simpler the project, the less time it will take and the less money-making potential it will have. The more complex the project, the longer it will take, and the potential for greater money-making opportunities is higher. There are countless variables that underscore this immutable law of theme parks. But to answer the question, an Investor Express level park can be designed in 8-10 months, and built in 12-18 months. An Owner Select level park, can be designed in 15-21 months, and built in 18-24 months.
Greatness can be defined in many ways, but let's take the most direct route: making people happy. It doesn't matter how big your park is, how much you spent on it, what color your coaster is painted. What really matters, and what makes a good theme park great, is making people happy. If your planning, design, marketing, operations, and team members are truly committed to making people happy, then you will achieve greatness.
There are many formulas that can be used to generate success in the them park business. But there are a few overriding rules of thumb that you must keep in mind when designing for greatness:
1. Location - must be easily accessible to a nearby large population (5 million or more within an hour's drive)
2. Appeal - the park must appeal to the widest demographic audience possible. Narrow appeal will mean flat or declining attendance.
3. Experience - offer an experience your customer cannot obtain in the real, everyday world. If you give them an escape into an immersive, refreshing, upbeat, imaginative, colorful environment, you will be rewarded.
4. Repeatable - the experience your park offers must be imbued with repeatability, elements that can be enjoyed over and over again without going stale. If your park isn't repeatable, economic doom will follow.
Keep these rules in mind to ensure guest satisfaction and financial success.
RD&E stands for "Retail, Dining & Entertainment." This is commonly used in reference to an outdoor shopping/dining street that is located between a theme park's entrance and the parking or transportation center. Universal's CityWalk complexes are the first and so far best RD&E complexes as they capture the millions of guests per year walking from parking to theme park entrances, and provided owners with a chance to capture more revenue outside of the gates. Every master plan should allocate room for an RD&E complex.
Building a theme park is like creating a little city. It has a fire department, energy plant, postal service, shops, restaurants, streets, vehicles, hospital, and even hotels and offices. Creating one is complex. The industry is littered with failures. Don't be one of them！Commission a competent organization to provide a feasibility study and listen to the recommendations for capital expenditure. Hire experienced planners and designers ( yes, IRMS! ) as they have encountered every potential challenge in their careers and can steer you away from repeating the mistakes that others have made, but only if you listen!
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