Allan Zeman, a developer known for reinvigorating Hong Kong’s Ocean Park theme park and the Lan Kwai Fong nightlife district, is setting his sights on SA’s Cleland Wildlife Park.
The Australian Financial Review (AFR) reports that Zeman is consulting on the future of Cleland, a 50-year old theme park that includes a variety of Australian wildlife in a vast Adelaide Hills setting.
“We’re in, I think, stage one of the consultancy,” Mr Zeman told the AFR. “It’s a wonderful place. It’s got all the software, meaning that it’s got all the animals – kangaroos, you name it – but the hardware, literally, doesn’t exist. It looks like it’s 75 years old.”
Cleland’s management would do well to take Zeman’s advice. In 2007, Forbes nicknamed Zeman the “Mouse Killer”, for turning around Ocean Park and achieving record ticket sales, even as Hong Kong Disneyland faltered.
Zeman said that soaring prices in Hong Kong and other Chinese cities has led to an increase in Chinese interest in Australia.
“I think Adelaide is the best-kept secret in Australia at the moment,” he told the AFR. “I think that many people in parts of Australia maybe look down upon Adelaide, but … it’s beautiful. If it goes further, we will see about potentially investing, or potentially government investing.”
The SA Government confirmed Zeman’s involvement and noted that Cleland was welcoming his input.
Zeman also told the AFR that he had assisted in establishing the China Southern direct flight which now travels between Adelaide and Guangzhou.
Zeman added that he sees similarities between Ocean Park and Cleland and believes that he can turn it around. “I think the potential for Cleland Park is enormous, similar to what we did with Ocean Park,” he concluded.