Reengineer expert takes crucial role at Ocean Park

Top News | Wallis Wang 29 Jul 2021

Ivan Wong Chi-fai, former managing director of the now-defunct UA Cinemas, will replace tourism commissioner Joe Wong Chi-cho as chief executive of Ocean Park.

The "customer-focused and innovative business leader" will start work on August 16 to facilitate the transition, the park said.

Wong is an expert in business reengineering, marketing and digital business across multiple sectors, it said, adding he was chief operating officer of Lark International Group, parent company of UA Cinemas.

Park chairman Lau Ming-wai said of Wong: "His market-driven mindset and remarkable business experience, from product development to business reengineering, make him well suited for the role. Ivan will work closely with me and the board to lead the transformation of the park under the new strategy."

Separately, developers were invited to submit bids to run a part of the park that will open free to the public.

The development will adopt the build-operate-transfer model, with developers entrusted to build attractions at a 600,000-square-foot retail and entertainment area, according to Sing Tao Daily, sister publication of The Standard.

The model means the developer will bear the cost of all construction work, operate the new business and entertainment area for a while, and then return it to the park, sources said.

It is understood that the developer will have to share its future commercial income with the park, apart from paying the signing bonus.

The total investment amount could reach HK$5 billion and it would take the developer decades to recoup its profits, sources added.

Developers are said to be waiting for the park to release more details, including floor space available for commercial development, before submitting bids.

The park could grant a 50-year lease, giving the developer entrusted with the project sufficient time to recoup its investment, sources said.

It is understood that the project will be put out to tender at the end of the year and the park will announce its result mid next year.

A senior executive of a developer said it is not a simple business project, which would include buildings for environmental protection and education purposes, reducing profit.

Two more themed areas that are planned on hills will cover 2.3 million square feet.

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