PARIS (Reuters) - Luxury goods giant LVMH is to lead a 60 million euros ($72 million) plan to turn the capital’s 157 year-old Jardin d’Acclimatation into one of France’s top three amusement parks.
LVMH, which has managed the park since 1984, holds an 80 percent stake in a partnership with Compagnie des Alpes, a theme parks and ski resorts developer.
Paris officials last year renewed LVMH’s concession for the 18-hectare Jardin d’Acclimatation in the west of the city, opening the way for a renovation of the garden and its attractions. The concession contract runs for 25 years.
Work will begin on Sept. 4 and last until May 1, 2018 to build 17 new attractions, some of which will be themed around ‘steampunk’, a science fiction subgenre that takes its inspiration from 19th-century industrial steam-powered machines.
Compagnie des Alpes and LVMH, controlled by billionaire Bernard Arnault, want to raise annual visitor numbers to some 3 million by 2025 from 2 million at present, which would place it behind Disneyland Paris but ahead of Parc Asterix.
“Our goal is for Jardin d’Acclimatation to rank second or third among theme parks in France,” Delphine Pons, head of development at Compagnie des Alpes, told a news conference.
In March, Arnault had also unveiled plans to renovate a disused public building near his Louis Vuitton Foundation which sits next to the Jardin d’Acclimatation in the Bois de Boulogne, near Paris’ chic 16th district.
The Musee National des Arts et Traditions Populaires was built in 1972 but has been vacant since 2005, and Arnault aims to turn it into an arts and crafts center in a 158 million euros revamp by renowned architect Frank Gehry.
Reporting by Pascale Denis; Writing by Dominique Vidalon; Editing by Sudip Kar-Gupta