The city of the future created by René Monory in 1987 will expand its tourist offer until 2025. The highlight of the show? A high-tech water park.
Here it is the house of smiles, says Alain Pichon, the chairman of the branch council in Vienna. The Futuroscope theme park was pretty much in the gray of the Poitevin mist, yesterday morning, during the inauguration with great fanfare of the four-star hotel Station Cosmos, open since last May. But the view to 2025 from the head of the park, Rodolphe Bouin, is well and thoroughly cleaned. Cloudless on the horizon. Without delay on the construction site. Decryption.
2022: Station Cosmos hotel
The four-star hotel has a “97% occupancy rate since opening”. The establishment – conceived as a space station – is the first stone in the building called “Vision 2025”. In this long-term tourism project, one ambition is: “From 2025, increase to 400,000 more visitors per year for a turnover that we hope will be 150 million euros”, explains the director of the park. At the moment it is around 120 million euros.
2023: The Ecolodgee Hotel
The effective aperture is scheduled for July 1, 2023. The first tree was symbolically planted yesterday. “Ecolodgee” is a theme village with 120 eco-friendly family lodges, “immersed in a natural space”. 14,000 trees must be planted to reach a natural selection of 6,000 to 7,000 trees.
The stated goal of the tourist cave Chasseneuil-du-Poitou? “To get people to come further afield and get them to stay longer. The hotel offer is not sufficient for that. Every other visitor stays a single day”, analyzes Rodolphe Bouin. It is in this sense that the water park Aquascope “must give visitors the opportunity to stay half a day longer”. An investment of 50 million euros “reinventing the water park genre”. That means? “Combining technology with water park, hence the aquascope”. E.g ? “A cinema buoy with shows to watch in the water”. But still ? “Cylinders of water on which images will be projected”. Don’t you throw anymore? Yes, one more: “An underwater experience in 3D”. If you don’t like water, go your way!
2025: the square
All these places will have as meeting place the 26,000 m2 “Futuroscope plaza”, thus connecting the original park, Arena and Zéro Gravity, with the new spaces currently under construction. On this square – which has found its original inspiration in the codes of the universal exhibitions – there will be a vegetated place (planting of approximately 1,000 trees with medium and large development; 6,000 perennials and ground cover), a huge fountain with rays; playful street furniture.
Construction sites at the Futuroscope park by 2025.
It’s inside millions of euros the total budget allocated to the work until 2025: 200 million for renovation of the existing and 104 million for investments over two years. The Station Cosmos hotel, inaugurated on Tuesday 4 October and open since May 2022, cost 22 million euros. The Ecolodges hotel, which is entering the construction phase, has a preliminary budget of 18 million euros.
What is the park’s carbon footprint?
“Zero carbon after manufacturing”, promises Rodolphe Bouin. Understand carbon-free, of course after manufacturing including the installation of solar panels at a cost of 20 million euros. But also installation of heat pumps “which simultaneously produce heat and cold”. Also maintenance of 6,500 m2 of lawn by five electric robotic lawnmowers (ie a reduction of the CO² footprint of approximately one ton per year). “We have also made the choice of mobility oriented towards the exclusive use of electric vehicles (75% of vehicles) in the park and even electric scooters”. 100% of the cups are now reusable (200,000 per year made available to park visitors).
Good to know
80% of the work is done by local companies. “It was one of the essential conditions for us”, emphasized Alain Pichon, the chairman of the department. For the hotel eco-lodges under construction, a group of local companies has even been set up to be able to build and assemble the bungalows on site. Briefly, the group will set up “a temporary factory for the pre-fabrication of 120 lodges”.
What about parking spaces?
If the goal is to increase the number of visitors to more than 400,000 a year, where will all these little people park? “We have used all the possible land, i.e. the amalgamation of the 6,000 seats in the Arena and the 21,000 seats in the park. According to our flow study, this should be adequate.”
Especially since this summer, Futuroscope has collaborated with a carpooling platform for 6,000 trips. Rodolphe Bouin continues: “The bus and the train are good, but more for employees and for visitors coming from Poitiers or Châtellerault. But we submitted the idea of more train services at Futuroscope station, we are thinking about it, it is even under study.”