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Construction begins on Ferrari’s first theme park in Europe, expanding Catalan resort PortAventura

Sebastian Vettel, Ferrari Formula One Team Driver, together with the President of the Catalan Government, Artur Mas, have set on Thursday the symbolic first stone of the company’s first theme park in Europe, which will be an expansion of PortAventura, the main amusement resort in Catalonia, located on the Costa Daurada and near Tarragona. Ferrari Land is expected to be ready by the end of 2016, after an initial investment of €100 million. It is likely to become PortAventura’s main attraction and is expected to make the Catalan holiday and amusement resort reach 5 million visitors per year. Once Ferrari Land is operational, it will employ about 150 people, in addition to PortAventura’s staff. The project also includes a 5-star hotel themed around the Ferrari brand, but this will be built during a second stage.

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07 May 2015 11:21 PM

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ACN

Barcelona (ACN).- Sebastian Vettel, Ferrari Formula One Team Driver, together with the President of the Catalan Government, Artur Mas, have set on Thursday the symbolic first stone of the company’s first theme park in Europe, which will be an expansion of PortAventura, the main amusement resort in Catalonia, located on the Costa Daurada and near Tarragona. Ferrari Land is expected to be ready by the end of 2016, after an initial investment of €100 million. It is likely to become PortAventura’s main attraction and is expected to make the Catalan holiday and amusement resort reach 5 million visitors per year, strengthening its strategy to have visitors all-year round. Once Ferrari Land is operational, it will employ about 150 people, in addition to PortAventura’s staff. The project also includes a 5-star hotel themed around the Ferrari brand, but this will be built during a second stage. Catalonia’s Ferrari Land will become the brand’s second theme park after the one it already has in Abu Dhabi. The new space’s “jewel” will be Europe’s tallest rollercoaster, reaching 112 metres high.  The attraction should allow visitors to feel the acceleration experienced by a F1 driver, reaching 180 km/h in 5 seconds. Ferrari Land will also include simulators, shops, restaurants, as well as replicas of Italian buildings.


The initiative to build Ferrari Land was announced in March 2014 and came after a broader project had been announced in September 2012: BCN World, a $6 billion Las Vegas-style casino, hotel and theatre resort also to be built near PortAventura. At this stage, it is not clear whether BCN World will ultimately be built or if it will be built as  originally announced. The project is continuing its administrative and legal approval and defining process, with several world-leading investors having presented initial offers to build parts of the project, such as Hard Rock, Melco, Melià, Value Retail, Grup Peralada and Veremonte. The latter was also the main promoter of the initiative, but it took a step back last December, leaving the Catalan Government to take the main initiative, though without abandoning the project.

Ferrari Land’s symbolic first stone ceremony

On Thursday, PortAventura held the symbolic kick off of Ferrari Land’s construction work, whose first stage should be completed by the end of 2016. The theme park entirely devoted to the world-famous prancing horse brand will have an independent entrance, although visitors will also be able to enter the area from within PortAventura. However, the company has not disclosed the price for the combined ticket, since the final commercial strategy has yet to be approved.

Ferrari Land will become the resort’s third independent amusement park after PortAventura itself and the water park Costa Caribe. The new area will initially occupy 75,000 square metres, which are currently occupied by a car park. It will be next to PortAventura’s main entrance and its themed area devoted to the Mediterranean Sea..

PortAventura’s Director General, Luis Herault, emphasised that the new area devoted to the car brand represents the Catalan park’s “most important” project over its 20-year history. PortAventura’s President, Arturo Mas-Sardá, stated that the new area will help the resort to “open new markets”. “I have previously mentioned the case of the German, Scandinavian and Dutch markets; markets where we have now a lower penetration. With this project and Ferrari's plan, we believe that [PortAventura] will be tremendously powerful”, he said.

The President of the Catalan Government, Artur Mas, highlighted the fact that having such a world-leading brand such as Ferrari investing in Catalonia is “good news, really good news”. The Catalan President emphasised how Catalonia is able to attract top investments such as this one. Mas also stressed the job creation aspect as well as the future new opportunities that such an investment will bring to the area of Tarragona and the Costa Daurada, as well as to the whole of Catalonia.

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  • Sebastian Vettel, Ferrari's Formula One Driver, at the first stone ceremony together with the Catalan President, Artur Mas (right) (by R. Segura)

  • Sebastian Vettel, Ferrari's Formula One Driver, at the first stone ceremony together with the Catalan President, Artur Mas (right) (by R. Segura)
Construction begins on Ferrari’s first theme park in Europe, expanding Catalan resort PortAventura