The Greek investor Alexandros Poulakis who has invested about 26 million euro in two leisure parks in Romania, Divertiland and Playland talked to Romania-Insider about his operations and future plans which include the expansion of his current facilities as well as new projects.
Photo: Romania- Insider
Alexandros Poulakis visted Romania for the first time in 2004 and that time he saw its potential. “I like the people, the history and culture are amazing, and the human potential is also a very important factor when establishing a presence in a country for the long term,” he told Romania-Insider.
Later he decided to invest in Romania in a sector that is still not very developed and that has a good potential: leisure. He opened two leisure parks, Divertiland and Playland.
Divertiland, one of the largest entertainment parks in Romania, opened in 2013 following a 25 million euro investment. The sum covers all the preparatory work on the location, rebuilding the infrastructure, setting the buildings, construction of new annexes, investment in equipment, and employee training.
Divertiland has now 22 water slides, a wave pool, and a sand beach, along with a heated pool for children, a new food corner and more leisure activities such as yoga and swimming classes. To make it more accessible for visitors coming from Bucharest as well as from the neighborhoods, Divertiland’s developers also set up train, bus, and minibus stations, and a parking lot with 1,000 places.
In just three years, the water park Divertiland has become one of the most popular summer fun destinations in Bucharest. Poulakis estimates more than 130,000 visitors in the 2015 season, 10% more than last year. He also says that because of the economic crises more people gave up to holidays and they spend quality time in the vicinity of their houses, namely going to cinemas and entertainment parks.
Encouraged by the Divertiland project’s results, the Greek entrepreneur decided to invest in another one, which would cover the winter leisure niche.
According to Poulakis, during the summer they focus on their aqua park project, located in Militari, while for the off-season (September – May), the focus moves to the indoor project, called Playland.
He has invested close to EUR 1 million in this second project, which is located in a 5,000 sq m warehouse in Pipera, in northern Bucharest. Playland which is the biggest indoor entertainment park in Romania, attracted some 60,000 visitors during its first season. The park is open between September and May.
For more information about Divertiland and Playland, visit their website http://www.divertilandplayland.ro
The Greek entrepreneur said he would continue his investments in Romania and would also seek new opportunities in the local market. “Although a second project sized as Divertiland does not exist at this moment, we are working on expanding the existing facilities, while looking at new projects in Romania, both for Bucharest and the rest of the country. More details in this respect will follow at the right time,” Poulakis said.
He has also been looking to expand to new business sectors, such as the F&B, agriculture, and retail.