New Nago theme park still on USJ agenda

In an interview, Jul. 24, with Kyodo News, Universal Studios Japan CEO Glenn Gumpel restated his desire to construct a new large theme park in either the Kyushu-Okinawa region or elsewhere in Asia. “We are negotiating with some domestic and foreign cities, and I can assure you that Nago is the one of them, but at this moment I cannot say more than that.”

According to earlier reports the USJ has been negotiating with Nago about purchasing the Nago Neopark and surrounding land to change the facility into a new large-scale theme park.

At the same interview, Gumpel said for the immediate future his intention is to follow up on ‘The Wizard World of Harry Potter’ with a new attraction in two years in Osaka. By continuously investing in such attractions he hopes to increase the number of annual visitors to the USJ theme park to 15 million people in five years.

In order to raise the funds that this investment requires, Gumpel is considering re-listing the USJ in the Tokyo Stock Exchange in fiscal 2015.  This move also would enable the corporation to integrate its amusement park sector with its resort business, which includes a possible entry into Japan’s future casino market.

The number of visitors to the new Harry Potter attraction is on the rise.  Gumpel projects that this trend will raise the number of annual visitors by two million to annual 10.5 million in 2013.