A Cebu businessman has said the lack of entertainment facilities in Cebu has led him to “invest substantially” in an amusement park, which will be open for the Christmas and New Year holidays.
James Abilla, chief executive officer of St. James Amusement Masters Inc., said his company will open the St. James Amusement Park on the FF Cruz property in the Mandaue City reclamation area the weekend before Christmas.
Abilla, who is also behind the St. James premium drinking water, said the one-hectare park will feature five major rides, a marquee show, game booths, a kids’ play area, bazaar and food stalls.
Unlike the neighborhood “peryahan” that comes to barangays during fiesta celebrations, Abilla assured people that safety and quality are top priorities for them and that the foundations of their rides passed international safety standards for amusement parks.
He said European engineers flew in to install the foundation of the rides.
He said that while the amusement park is a temporary operation, which will run until the end of February, the foundations are built as if the structures are permanent.
Abilla said he wants to put up a permanent park in the future, but added that the timing has to be right for permanence to be viable.
He said he prefers to reopen toward the end of next year once again with new rides so that patrons will have something to look forward to during the Christmas holidays and in the run-up to Sinulog and Chinese New Year.
If the market demands it, Abilla said they have a six-month lease on the property and can extend their operations to the summer.
Abilla said between 100 and 200 Cebuanos stand to benefit from jobs the park has to offer.