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Master Planning
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Master Planning

Master planning visitor attractions is fundamental to their success and this service is at the core of Imaginvest’s know-how.  We initially developed this discipline for large theme parks which had to manage large numbers of guests and implement major investments.  However, we have now put this wealth of experience to work for a diverse array of visitor attractions, from theme parks to cultural sites, from small family-owned attractions to large city centre and tourism destinations.


The master plan of a visitor attraction is a strategic development plan, usually at a scale of 1:500 to 1:2000.  It illustrates the main components of the visitor experience, their location, size, orientation, access, and backstage area, as well as circulation for visitors and vehicles.

Our master plans usually include the following aspects:

• Analysis of all existing plans

• Computerized drawing of the base plan

• Capacity of the site to accommodate development.

• Dimensioning and capacity planning (design day)

• Site use(s), optimization and zoning

• Main and secondary themes for zones

• Visitor flow

• Walk ways

• Development of critical mass

• Future expansion areas and infrastructure

• Optimum venue mix

• Main visitor experiences

• Key guest facilities and attractions

• Facility and attraction locations and orientation

• Function of each component (anchor or secondary)

• Entrances and exits

• Access and crowd control

• Cashiers, queue lines and wait areas

• Rides centerline and specifications (seats, capacity)

• Exhibits walk-through and theaters: location, seats, throughput

• F&B seating and kitchen surface, and number of seats

• Shops and other revenue generating activities

• Guest information, services and comfort features

• Main landscape features, lakes, trees, earth movements

• Streetscape and atmosphere

• Consideration of local design characteristics

• Selected site sections

• Circulation routes inside the site for pedestrians and vehicles

• Road accesses to the site and parking lot areas

• Stations of public transports and taxis

• Access to the site for pedestrians and bicycles

• Influence on neighbours

• Operational and technical accesses

• Locations and footprints for support and service areas

We concentrate our efforts on the efficiency of the masterplan.  The focus is the visitor experience and the operational aspects.  This is grounded within the economic and marketing frameworks of our analytical stage.  A key aspect of the master plan is to demonstrate the capacity of the site to handle and entertain the projected volume of public attendance.

Planning guidelines are assessed for the project and its components, taking into account operating season, capacity/attendance relationships, the development of critical mass and future expansion needs.  These guidelines reflect the variations in patterns of attendance by month, day of the week, and hour of the day, and take into account the projected length of stay on the site, and anticipated per capita spending levels.

Detail Masterplan

Visitor Flow

Required levels of capacity and area are estimated based on the assessment and concept to allow for the projected attendance levels.  The end result of this analysis specifies the content of the visitor attraction, which then forms the basis of the physical plan.   We specify the type and capacity of all entertainment content, food and beverage capacity and merchandising areas, as well as backstage requirements.

Particular attention is given to the definition of the strategies for sustainability, flexibility, expansion and ongoing reinvestment.

Our master plans are normally accompanied by a business plan, which is the equivalent for economic and financial aspects, of the master plan for the physical site.

The master planning stage of our projects is usually undertaken simultaneously and in interaction with the creative process (see our approach). It is followed by the decision process (see investment decision support), a design development phase, then construction follow-up and evaluation after the opening to the public.

Master Planners

Emmanuel Mongon, foun-der and President of Imaginvest is a master planner.

Jim Pazillo, chief master planner for Imaginvest, has more than 30 years of experience in this discipline.

Before joining Imaginvest, he was the Vice President of the legendary Duell Corporation, who master planned 15 of the 50 largest theme parks in the world in the 1970's and 1980's.

Many "firsts" in the industry were designed by Randall Duell and his partners. He designed the initial Six Flags theme parks, which started the trend in the USA for regional parks at the same time when Walt Disney developed his two resorts. Randall Duell has been inducted in the Hall of Fame of IAAPA (Inter-national Association of Amusement Parks and Attractions).

Emmanuel Mongon was the European representative for Duell Corporation in the mid 1990's and, together with Jim Pazillo, perpetuate its knowledge and values.