Gran Scala is a €17 billion entertainment city to be built on 2,025 hectares in the Aragón desert and will include 32 casinos, hotels and five theme parks. This location was chosen because of a possible 25 million catchment market (excluding foreign tourists) and its proximity to Zaragoza Airport, an important hub in the low cost air network. Zaragoza is also one of NASA’s Shuttle Tactical Abort Landing Sites (STAL).
The project was initiated by a British-based consortium, International Leisure Development, whose major shareholders include Aristocrat Technologies, UFA Insurance, Alea, Darlen Ltd, Finidusco Holding, Europtima, Ultragoup, BM Parks, Havilla Partners, Architects Association, Hot games UK and Thibault Verbiest. ILD is a “joint venture” constituted in the form of a PLC (Public Limited Company), based in London. It brings together an experienced team of professionals and investors – major players on the European market – who pool their knowledge and resources, with the purpose of developing and successfully completing real estate, tourism and leisure projects.
Here it isthe ILD Press Release::
Gran Scala will be a leisure city in the heart of Spain that will be a historical journey thru Time, Civilization & Cultures.
Since the conception of this project, the idea which has been the central theme of this project was the creation of “a destination city of leisure for all ages”. It will consist of 32 hotel-casinos, five (5) major theme parks, a conference center, several other hotels, hundreds of retail shops, restaurants, a golf course, a horse race track, an opera, museums, and residential development. Gran Scala is a grand scale project of International Leisure Development (ILD).
This project will be located in Spain and more precisely in the desert of Los Monegros, an hour away by car from Zaragoza, the capital of the autonomous region of Aragon. Aragon occupies a strategic place in Europe in-between 2 zones of high economic development: the Atlantic and the Mediterranean regions. Aragon is a central place of communication that is constantly being renewed due to the intensification of the exchanges in the country. Situated half way between Madrid and Barcelona, Zaragoza is the 6th largest city in Spain.
Gran Scala was first announced in Las Vegas and then in Orlando during the IAAPA (International Association of Amusement Parks and Attractions). Furthermore, the project was presented to the press and to the public on the 12th of December in Zaragoza (capital of Aragon).
This project will stretch for 4.5 km² in each direction. The clock at the heart of the project will carry the heartbeat – the journey thru time. It will articulate 16 historical eras. Each historical period will be composed of two museums dedicated to the period, 2 complexes which will include a hotel and casino representing the historical theme for an impressive grand total of 32 casinos. A visitor’s journey may start in Greek antiquity, continue through the Middle Ages, travel through the Renaissance era and explore the future. Five theme parks will be implanted at the heart of Gran Scala: Two of them – Spyland and Aquantica. The first one will be a high tech park that combines the history of secret agencies and fiction with an educative and adventurous rhythm. The second park will be a homage to the Aquatic life that is so vital to us and will be decorated with a blend of different styles and periods that combine impressive sensations and decors.
This project, which will cost approximately 17 billion Euro, is considered to be the largest leisure complex in Europe. It is expected to welcome up to 25 million visitors yearly.! Gran Scala will create 60,000 direct jobs and will be a benediction for the region.
This region, currently has a population of approximately 1.2 million. It was chosen for its strategic location and accessibility from Madrid and Barcelona. The climate and excellent natural conditions were also major contributing factors.
A major objective of this project is to promote this region while upholding and respecting the highest standard of environment awareness. ILD has made a strong commitment to respect environmental concerns for the balance between the environment and tourism. ILD’s investors promise that the infrastructures will be mainly supplied though solar and wind energy. (http://ild-plc.com/en/project.html )
SpacePortLeisure, a South African company headquartered in Cape Town, is the visionary and developer of the space-themed leisure and entertainment concept and has a vision to build a global business around space-themed urban city lifestyle developments, location-based entertainment and hospitality (theme parks, entertainment centers, hotels and dining destinations), digital entertainment and electronic media. The initial geographic focus has been China, where SpacePortLeisure is establishing a significant footprint, and now Western Europe with SpacePortGranScala. (Zaragoza, Spain, PRWEB, December 13, 2007)
Imagine a global business built on futuristic learning and entertainment, and based on the wonders of the Universe and Mankind’s interaction with Space – that’s an international team of specialist experts, including an award-winning Disney imagineer, trusted consulting groups, talented designers and skilled animation experts, who together are building these lines of businesses: Virtual (Games and Online Animation and Content Development), Live (Theme Parks and Entertainment Centers, Hotels and Dining, Research, Innovation and Education), Lifestyle (Mixed-use Urban Lifestyle Development).
SpacePortLeisure was born out of Raoul Katovsky’s vision for a futuristic experience that would blend 100% entertainment and 100% education and a desire to communicate and share with everyone the wonders of the universe and mankind’s interaction with space. Over the last 11 years SpacePortLeisure has grown from this vision and today is the result of very extensive international investigatory market research and in-depth concept and business development and team building.
SpacePortLeisure and International Leisure Development sign Binding Letter of Intent for SpacePortGranScala, a futuristic space city at Gran Scala in Aragón, Spain, a Planned €17 Billion Entertainment Tourism Destination.
The underlying core offer of SpacePortGranScala will be “Explore”, “Experience”, Innovate” and “Live”, themes that will be carried through SpacePortGranScala’s theme park, hotel, retail, and lifestyle real estate.
“Using space as a theme together with our human desire to explore, and with technology as the enabler, SpacePortLeisure will provide intelligent, stimulating, and fun-filled lifestyle, entertainment and learning experiences that will give freedom to transcend language and culture, thus creating dynamic new ways of learning and of building new communities across the globe. Our creativity will be as expansive as the Universe” says Danny Naidoo, SpacePort Leisure’s recently appointed President & Chief Executive Officer, who, for the last five years, was a Microsoft South Africa Director, thus bringing a vast amount of knowledge and expertise to SpacePortLeisure.
Only a privileged few will be able to experience a real flight into space. In conceiving the SpacePortLeisure concept, the goal is to give visitors and residents alike, an experience of “Stepping into Space” at our SpacePort destinations says Raoul Katovsky, SpacePortLeisure’s Executive Chairman, who announced SpacePortGranScala at a major international media briefing by the Aragón Government in Zaragoza today.
Visitors to a SpacePortLeisure theme park will be whipped away from Planet Earth for the day on an awe inspiring adventure normally only experienced by a select few space tourists. From the moment they arrive, they will start the illusion that they are departing for a journey into space and throughout this journey will be entertained by attractions for all to enjoy from educational interactive displays and simulations to the wildest roller coasters for the true thrill seeker. (http://www.spaceportafrica.com/news_granscala.html)
Visitors to a SpacePortLeisure theme park will be whipped away from Planet Earth for the day on an awe inspiring adventure normally only experienced by a select few space tourists. From the moment they arrive, they will start the illusion that they are departing for a journey into space and throughout this journey will be entertained by attractions for all to enjoy from educational interactive displays and simulations to the wildest roller coasters for the true thrill seeker.
The mission of our SpaceportLeisure destinations is optimistic, future oriented and involving in a unique way. Everyone really is an explorer, and explorers really will make incredible discoveries about the cosmos in the next century. This place will be the rightful home of those explorers. Our “A to A Prime” narrative story paradigm involves transforming the guest from a mere observer/tourist into a participant in the story. Just about everyone wants to be an explorer — this place is the home for these daring, courageous adventurers explains Hans Deuze, SpacePortLeisure’s Acting Chief Executive Officer for Location Based Entertainment & Hospitality.
Deuze is a former Euro Disney Imagineer. Whilst working at Euro Disneyland, Deuze had vast experience and training in live show operations and special events. In 2000, Deuze was the operational producer for Walt Disney Studio’s world renowned spectacular stunt show called “Moteurs:…Action” involving specially designed cars, motor bikes, jet skis and a large cast of actors, stuntmen, technicians and support staff.
SpacePortLeisure is set to break ground late next year for SpacePortGranScala, a 95 hectare destination with a development cost of some €500 million. “BRC Imagination Arts, of Burbank, California, who have done major projects for NASA’s Kennedy Space Center and Disney, to name but a few, will generate the SpacePortGranScala Master Plan” says Katovsky. (PR Web)
Most of the money will go on building 32 themed casinos, 70 hotels and five theme parks, taking advantage of Spain’s good weather and transport links, and the fact it is the world’s number two tourist destination with 50 million visitors a year. The local government has agreed to invest 250 million euros in transport links, power and telecommunications for a project that could earn it 700 million euros a year in gaming taxes. The Madrid government could get about 1 billion euros a year from gambling taxes, a source of funding that has huge potential for growth thanks to freer legislation introduced this year. The extra tax takes and the prospect of 65,000 jobs being creaeted to build and run the complex could win over locals around Zaragoza, whose major economic engines at the moment are preparations for Expo 2008 and a General Motors factory. (Guardian)
The Gran Scala complex will fill 20 square kilometres of the Los Monegros desert, located about half-way between Madrid and Barcelona, with 32 casinos, 70 hotels, 232 restaurants, 500 stores, a golf course, a race track and a bullring, according to plans unveiled Wednesday by a group of investors. To top it off, the complex, which is due to start being built next year, will include replicas of the Egyptian pyramids, various Roman temples and a mock-up of the Pentagon that will become home to Spyland, the first of several planned theme parks. “There is not, nor will there be, another entertainment complex like this in Europe,” argued Nicholas Khin, a spokesman for Aristocrat Technologies, one of 12 international groups behind the project. “This is going to be Aragon’s calling card to the world,” regional premier Marcelino Iglesias declared at Wednesday’s presentation.
Not everyone is happy, however. Environmentalists and leftist lawmakers are up in arms over the project, which will require bringing vast energy and water resources to what until now has been a sparsely populated, arid area. “We may seem like killjoys, but this is madness,” exclaimed Adolfo Barrena, the head of the United Left party in Aragon. (EL PAÍS)
Official presentation of Gran Scala project in Spain: