How the attraction market in Russia works

The market for amusement parks in Russia was two years ago more than 200 billion rubles, according to Arena Space. The industry gives jobs to more than 100,000 employees, 20,000 of them in outdoor parks, 50,000 in indoor parks, 20,000 in quests and lasertags, 10,000 in other types of entertainment. More than 5,000 objects are open in Russia, more than 30 million people per year visit amusement parks. Moscovites are ready to visit offline entertainment up to 12 times a year and to spend up to 5,000 rubles per person on condition that entertainment will impress.

Artur Lebedev / RIA Novosti

By the nature of development and the features of geography, attractions in Russia can be divided into three different sections. The first section represents attractions in parks and on territories that are located in the resort area on the Black Sea. The second one are central parks in large cities and regional centers. The third section represents covered year-round parks, such as, for example, Citipark in Voronezh and Dream Island in Moscow.

The attraction market in Russia is preparing for growth after the pandemic. In 2020, many experts agreed that the entertainment market is waiting for a recession during 2 years. Nevertheless, in Russia, growth began back in 2021. And this year many Russians will not go on vacation as planned, and will remain at home for whole summer: this will allow the entertainment industry to grow to 50%.

Attractions on the Black Sea coast will grow regardless of economic status. Large customer flow helps market participants at resorts to have high speed, updating attractions every 5-7 years.

If before the latest events the attraction could cost 10-13 million rubles, now it costs 20-30 million rubles. But even such a price will allow to pay off: with the right choice of location, with proper management and promotion< it is possible to reach even in a small city from 700 to 2-3 thousand people a day with the ticket price of 250-300 rubles. Such an attraction will pay off in a year and a half.

Market Problems

The development of the entertainment industry is associated with certain problems. First: not all owners of attractions will be able to renew their fleet this year: technology and design are becoming obsolete, and few players will be able to purchase new carousels.

Of course, attractions in Russia will not turn into a pillar with a rope, as it was several centuries ago, when the first carousels on Russia just appeared for folk festivities and holidays. A surge in reconstruction of attractions is expected, old devices will be redesigned and repainted, but mechanics will remain the same: swans from the 90s will be converted into fashionable multi-heroes and reused.

Another point: attractions increased in price cosmically. In early March entrepreneurs from Yekaterinburg bought 4 Humster scooter attractions for $40 thousand, having already paid at a new rate. Entrepreneurs will have to find funds for the purchase of new attractions at new prices or limit themselves with what they already have.

From the same problem, the trend for resale of attractions will increase. For example, attraction with cars “Autodrom” cost $200 thousand a year ago, in rubles this amount now multiplied by 2. Owners will decide – either they continue business and pay off for another 2-3-4 years or now it is profitable to sell the devices and earn twice as much at once. Some players will leave the market because for them it is more profitable to sell than to continue the business.

Another problem is the rental of municipal space for attractions in regions. Even if there is an investor who wants to enter the market, there are always difficulties in negotiating a long-term rent with the municipal park. There are regulations for leasing space, and often compliance with it is associated with legal problems: the risk of unilateral exit from the contract remains. Business talks about similar situations in Smolensk, Kursk and Krasnodar: entrepreneurs received court orders so that they immediately dismantled the attraction or removed the Ferris wheel from the park. Though the contract was drawn up correctly and signed by both parties, the city can break the contract at any time.

Business strives to have connections in the management of the park, but this is not a guarantee. New management will come, everything can change, and a huge investment has already been made. An entrepreneur can stay with nothing. It is clear that this does not add optimism to investors and negatively affects the market.

Development factors

Of the factors that will affect the entertainment market positively, this is that people in the regions will rebuild plans for rest and, most likely, will not go to sea. Covid seasons showed that if people do not go on vacation, then a surge appears in visits in regional parks, even in cities that are not very large. This year in Russia, the entertainment market is collapsing: cinemas will not work, shopping centers will stop attracting buyers. Consumers will face the most affordable remaining way to entertain – parks and attractions. Parents will still need to lead the children somewhere.

Attraction-type activity parks continue to gain popularity, for example, “Zamania.” In addition, in 2021 more than 100 rope parks opened in Russia, investments range from 5 to 20 million rubles, and the payback is not very long – only 1.5-2 years. Upward trend in activity-parks will be preserved. All players who will develop street attractions, will have a tremendous effect. Still great popularity remains with street trampolines, as well as different quests.

Another big trend is the discovery of authentic parks. Art Park “Nikola-Lenivets, “created around a tiny village in the Kaluga region, collects works of modern art and architecture. Thousands visitors visit the park, and on holidays, reservations are closed ahead of time. St. Petersburg entrepreneur Alexander Pruzhansky invested 300 million rubles in his unique park “Mischievous squirrels,” which is built on an abandoned wasteland, with attendance of up to 10,000 people per month and monthly profit of 3 million rubles.

Attraction museums are a steady trend in the industry. Since 2015, none of inverted houses in Russia has closed, and the payback period is less than a year even during the pandemic. There are other factors promising popularity growth of this type of entertainment. The all-season facility can be visited any season, sales do not stop with the arrival of autumn and winter.

Inverted houses have themes that attract both children and adults. Previously, in museums of this type you could just see the house in which there was “turned” furniture, now they are becoming multifunctional containing game spaces, coffee points, places for holding events.

The Russian amusement park market is in its infancy. Local parks with activity parks will be in demand more and more and will surely be a success. “Kudykina Gora” in Lipetsk, park “Loga” in Rostov region – all private parks are creative, interesting, they are all rapidly developing. Owners do not disclose numbers, but by indirect signs, we can guess about enormous profitability because there is a large attendance and very good real reviews (and fake reviews are easy to distinguish).

Parks in the regions are promising. The soul of this process are extraordinary people, entrepreneurs who want to make parks on their own native land, because they decided not to go anywhere and develop their territory. They do this not only for the sake of money, but because of love.

By Daniel Krylov, Art Manager of “CULT-STROY”

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