Regional Update - Europe, Middle East, Africa | March/April 2021
Therme Manchester Remains on Track in the UK
Therme Group is still aiming for 2023 as the opening date for Therme Manchester, the well-being and water park resort coming to Manchester, United Kingdom. The £250 million, 28-acre destination is designed to meet the growing demand for staycations.
The attraction, which has already received planning permission, will include a large family zone with water slides, a wave pool, indoor and outdoor pools, sauna and steam rooms, relaxation areas, and leisure activities. An adults’ area will have warm-water lagoons among botanical gardens, swim-up bars, and thermal pools. Tropical landscaping will add to the escapism.
“Therme Group is based on a belief that well-being should be accessible for all. The events of 2020 have shone a light on the necessity of this mission, especially for those in cities. Therme Manchester will redefine city well-being. It will offer a unique holiday at home that acts as a catalyst for healthy lifestyles,” says Richard Land, chief development officer of Therme Group U.K.
Therme Manchester is part of Therme Group’s global rollout of well-being resorts. The group plans to develop further sites across the U.K.
Koezio Founder Bets on Lucky Folks in Europe
Bertrand Delgrange, founder and CEO of the Koezio family entertainment center (FEC) chain in France and Belgium, continues to innovate. His latest food and beverage (F&B) venture is Lucky Folks, a playful, themed restaurant and game brand, which he considers the “perfect F&B offer” for FECs. He plans to roll out the brand in Koezio parks, stand-alone sites, and potentially other FECs.
Conceived before the pandemic, “Lucky Folks is a new destination for fun, conviviality, immersive experiences, and outstanding moments together,” says Delgrange. Lucky Folks combines freshly cooked food with multiple activities, including pétanque, shuffleboard, electronic darts, karaoke, board games, escape rooms, quizzes, and virtual reality (VR). “Eat. Drink. Play.” is Lucky Folks’ mantra.
Delgrange launched the prototype Lucky Folks at the Koezio park in Carré Sénart, Lieusaint, France. “The first location opened and closed a few weeks after due to the pandemic,” says Delgrange. However, with vaccinations now taking place, he expects a brighter summer ahead. Delgrange remains confident that families, friends, and companies will have an appetite for Lucky Folks. “We have plans to develop in other cities in France and Europe in the next three years,” he says.
Delgrange also wants to develop the Koezio brand, adding new games and experiences for children and adults. These include “Icecube Protocol,” a free-roaming VR mission with special effects and haptic feedback.
He urges FEC operators who face threats from COVID-19 to “stay strong” and use this time creatively and strategically. Staying in close contact with employees is vital, according to Delgrange. He also believes in inspiring them. Every two weeks, Koezio Group invites a guest speaker to its Microsoft Teams meeting. “It can be an entrepreneur, a sports person, an artist, or an author. It’s very important to give your team hope for the future,” he says.