2017 EAS

Wednesday, 24 September 2014

Old Wine, New Bottles: What Mature Attractions Can Do To Renew and Refresh Their Facilities

Time: 12:45 - 14:15

The attractions industry needs to continually refresh its product offering to guests to remain relevant and profitable. In this the session we will consider the 5 key strategies that mature, existing parks and attractions can use to revitalize, sustain, expand and grow attendance levels. The session will begin with an overview of key trends to consider when first exploring the idea of a new capital expenditure project.

Our panel, of planners, designers, owners and operators – will use case-studies to present and discuss the steps involved in evaluating, planning and implementing any new attraction project or product and they will provide you with some useful tools and insights that you can apply to your facility.   



Michel Linet-Frion
Groupe Pierre et Vacances (Centerparcs), France

Michel is a French architect, and has worked for more than 20 years in the Leisure industry : Walt Disney Imagineering, Parc Astérix /Grévin & Cie and currently Creative & Innovation Director for the French Leisure and real estate group, Pierre & Vacances / Center Parcs. 

After his period with Disney, as part of large companies that operate leisure sites & resorts in Europe, his role has been to develop these sites to keep them as attractive as possible, as innovative as they should be to stay front runners. 

In his current position, he has put together a Creation & Innovation team. 


Steven Rhys
Executive Vice-President, Forrec, Canada

With more than twenty-five years at Forrec, Steven draws on a range of skills and a wealth of experience that includes all of the sectors in which Forrec is engaged—from theme and water parks to resorts and mixed-use developments. His talents as a master planner enable him, in all projects large and small, to grasp the big idea—overall intent, context, business goals and, especially, integration, character and identity of the whole site—considerations that ensure the creation of a memorable visitor experience. Steven also understands how visioning and storytelling can help in structuring a project, tying it together and weaving it into its larger context.

Ernest van de Voort
Manager Marketing & Formules, Albron, the Netherlands

Ernest van de Voort (Netherlands ‘68) graduated from Hotel Management School Maastricht in 1993. Consequently held several positions in national & international hospitality (retail). Currently lives in Amsterdam. 

Currently Ernest is Manager Marketing & Concepts at Albron ( Leisure) where he is leading  a full catering & retail concept overhaul on all Dutch en Belgian Center Parcs. 

Previously he worked at

Starbucks as a Senior Food Manager, at 

Franchise Friendly Concepts as a Marketing & Operations Director and at 

Center Parcs Europe as a Senior Product Manager Horeca.

Dim Hemeltjen
M2Leisure, Netherlands

In the past 10 years, Dim Hemeltjen has worked on various projects in the leisure and resort industry.  Dim’s specific areas of activity range from rebranding, upgrading and extending existing holiday parcs to project management and development of new (large scale) leisure projects and resorts, both at his career at Center Parcs and nowadays at M2Leisure.

As partner of M2Leisure, Dim is responsible for product, program and project management of different projects worldwide. He is an experienced specialist with extensive knowledge in the resort and water park business and speaks English, Dutch, German and French fluently. Dim has both an MBA from the University of Rotterdam and is graduated of the famous Hotel Management School of The Hague.

Amongst Dim’s key projects are:

- Les Trois Forêts in France, where Dim was involved in the entire development of the Center Parcs village with special focus on the Aqua Mundo tropical swimming pool.
- Bostalsee in Germany, where Dim was responsible for the project management of the complete preparation and construction phase of this new Center Parcs.
Villages Nature in France, where Dim consulted on the programming and the technical specifications of L’Aqualagon Water Park.
- La Rolland in Canada, where Dim is the overall project consultant for the development and operations of this new family destination resort.

Yael S. Coifman
Leisure Development Partners LLP, UK (Moderator)

Yael is a founding partner of Leisure Development Partners (LDP), a specialised consulting practice focused on the worldwide visitor attraction and leisure industry. LDP focuses on market and economic testing for both new projects and existing operations, providing services to the development, investment and operations communities. Prior to founding LDP, Yael was a Director at ERA based in Los Angeles, Washington DC, and London.

During her 18 years consulting in the industry, Yael has completed projects in over 60 countries, throughout Europe, the Middle East, the Americas, and Asia.  Her recent clients have ranged from the larger multinational operating groups such as SeaWorld Parks & Entertainment and KidZania, to independently driven projects such as the EarthQuest Resort and Theme park in Texas.  She is currently working on a  an expansion strategy for Liseberg Park, several KidZania locations,  an indoor branded theme park rollout, a retail and entertainment destination in eastern Europe, and several confidential projects in the UAE and Qatar.  

Yael has an MBA in international business from the Thunderbird School of Global Management and a BA in Economics & Political Science from Yale University and is fluent in both French and Spanish.