Tuesday 11 December 2018

Merlin takes Legoland to New York in global expansion bid

The owner of Madame Tussauds and Alton Towers said the new Legoland will open in 2020 in Goshen, Orange County, 60 miles north-west of the Big Apple.

Legoland Windsor
Legoland Windsor

By By Ravender Sembhy, Press Association City Editor

Merlin Entertainments is to invest £265 million in opening a Legoland theme park in New York as it presses ahead with global expansion.

The owner of Madame Tussauds and Alton Towers said that the new Legoland will open in 2020 and be located in Goshen, Orange County, 60 miles north-west of the Big Apple.

The resort will create over 1,000 US jobs, in addition to 800 construction jobs in its development phase.

The move comes after Merlin also said it would build Legoland parks in South Korea with plans for further parks in China.

Boss Nick Varney said: “Legoland New York is the first new major theme park in the North East of the US for several decades, and is perfectly located for visitors from New York, Boston, and Philadelphia and beyond.

“At $350 million it is our largest investment in a single park to date, and our third Legoland Park in North America, the world’s largest market for theme parks and the LEGO brand.

“This investment reaffirms our commitment to further diversifying Merlin’s portfolio of attractions internationally.”

Earlier this month Merlin’s stock dived after it revealed a “difficult” summer for the company’s London attractions and UK theme parks following a spate of terrorist attacks, which saw group like-for-like revenue growth almost grind to a halt.

Its London attractions – which include the Coca-Cola London Eye and the London Dungeons – saw a marked drop-off in visitor numbers after the recent spate of attacks, while the group’s theme parks also suffered in a “difficult” market after the UK’s threat level was raised.

Poor late summer weather across the UK and Northern Europe and extreme weather in Italy and Florida were also to blame, according to Merlin.

The stock market hammering came despite the group unveiling a deal to roll out new Peppa Pig attractions worldwide.

Press Association

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