September 20, 2020

The most challenging return to school in «Urban Planet»




He impact of Covid-19 it has shaken practically every corner of our economy and all leisure-related activity has been no exception. Last week ABC reported that the Spanish Association of Amusement Parks (AEPA) estimated that income from attractions, zoos and aquariums had plummeted 80%. In other words, the losses could reach 240 million euros. In the midst of this panorama, many entrepreneurs continue to fight to keep their businesses afloat and win spans of normality and freedom from the pandemic. Among them, the chain of trampoline parks “Urban Planet”. With 24 establishments in Spain and Portugal, it has recently begun the progressive and controlled reopening of its premises that they hope to be able to complete in three months, if the health situation allows it.

At the moment, it has only reopened two of its establishments: one in Las Palmas and another in A coruña. A center in Santiago de Compostela and possibly one of its nine establishments in Madrid. In this regard, its general manager Ignacio Llorente, stressed that “they have not wanted to rush with the reopening” after the lack of refinement and highlighted that “they have held out without opening and thinking about how to reopen.”

This also ensured that they maintain the conditions of their employees’ ERTEs, in a context in which the turnover would be very low. Specifically, as Llorente has estimated, more than 60% of the turnover would have already been lost. Some losses that have been estimated “In the first months” could reach 70% although the head of “Urban Planet” has added that the reopening is coinciding with the reopening of schools: the smallest are the main target audience for these “indoor amusement parks”.

New security measures

In this regard, Llorente has announced that its reopening will be “Progressive and face-to-face” guaranteed “that security measures will be closely monitored.” In this line, he has ensured that they are ahead of autonomous regulations. “If they give us a 75% capacity, we reduce it more and increase the safety distance,” he added.

Another aspect that has taken up a large part of the management’s energy has been the renegotiation of the rents of the establishments, premises of 1,000 and 4,000 square meters located in shopping centers and, therefore, interested in a faster reopening, as well as ensuring income. They have achieved it in 90% of the leases and they hope to close the remaining fringes soon.

The novelties Llorente has assured will be several for users, many families, such as the establishment of entry and exit circuits at attractions or the restriction on the use of the rooms for birthdays or installation hydroalcoholic gel dispensers all over. In addition to limiting the use of the toilet to one person or the mandatory use of masks for users and staff, among other measures. In addition to the “constant sanitation” of the facilities.

In any case, the CEO of «Urban Planet» has assured that the reopening will be done “With great respect for the situation and prudence.” On how the first steps in this new stage are being, he explained that there are “good feelings and that people are being very respectful: they obey 100% the instructions of our staff.” However, the company has admitted that billing is still “weak”. All this, with a staff that is around the 400 people still mostly under an ERTE due to force majeure.

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