Sneak peek of rides and slides at funds-starved park

Business | Sophie Hui 22 Jan 2021

Colorful rides and wave pools at Ocean Park's new water park came to light during a look at the soon-to-open attraction.

As the struggling theme park seeks lawmakers' support to approve HK$2.79 billion for its transformation, Executive Council members were invited for a tour.

Legislator Regina Ip Lau Suk-yee posted pictures of her visit on Facebook featuring attractions at Water World, which is set to open this summer - depending on the pandemic situation.

Among the attractions is a rainbow-colored eight-lane mat racer. Other facilities included a man-made beach, a surf rider, an infinity pool and indoor water attractions like the "Whisker's Splash."

The park on Monday announced its development plan, which requires a one-off HK$1.67 billion injection from the government to help it stay afloat while closing its doors during the pandemic.

It would need to inject HK$280 million into the park every year for four years from 2022, totaling HK$1.12 billion. The park proposed to outsource most of its facilities and to transform its downhill area into a 42-hectare retail, dining and entertainment zone that visitors can access for free.

Ip said she will decide whether to support the funding after hearing details of the plan from park chairman Lau Ming-wai and officials from the Commerce and Economic Development Bureau at the Legislative Council's economic development panel meeting on Monday.

She said the park received HK$2.29 billion in government funding in 2013 to build the Tai Shue Wan water park but it has encountered serious cost overruns. However, she believes the water park will be popular when it opens. Ip added: "Although it is not the biggest water park in Asia, it has a unique design."

The park also plans to build two piers, with boats running between the Hong Kong Country Club in Deep Water Bay and the Fullerton Ocean Park Hotel Hong Kong.

Ip said people could also take boat rides from other places in Southern District like Ap Lei Chau and Aberdeen.

"I think it is worth giving Ocean Park the opportunity to give it a try, to return to its original intention and become a park for Hongkongers again," she said.

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