Benidorm’s large and controversial theme park Terra Mítica is on the verge of becoming bankrupt and auditors say that it may have to close.
Terra Mítica is one of the most controversial projects undertaken by the Valencian Regional Government during their 8 years in power. Political sectors opposing the project questioned the demand for and viability of a major theme park in this area – although Benidorm does fill up with families and young people in the high season, most of its tourists throughout the rest of the year are old age pensioners who are unlikely to get excited at the prospect of having a ride on Europe’s largest roller coaster. Despite the negative results of feasibility studies commissioned by the Government, the project went ahead and was financed with enormous amounts of public money, some private investment, and massive loans from the two big regional savings banks. A company was formed to oversee the running of the Benidorm theme park with the participation of all investors, including the Valencian Government, and the banks.
Five years after opening, Terra Mítica has financial debts of 114 million Euros and liabilities of 387 million euros. Visitor numbers fall far below those required for the theme park to be a viable business venture and, according to the Levante, this year’s audit (made public yesterday) warns that the financial state of Terra Mitica reflects uncertainty about the capacity of the company to continue in business.
Last year the theme park had losses of over 71 million euros, even worse than the losses registered each year ever since Terra Mitica was opened, and this year it is unable to keep up with payments of loans owing to 22 different banks.