Writing these lines, I am very aware that my train of thought runs on parallel tracks. And has been, for the last week. For me and everyone working at Liseberg, there will always be a before and after February 12, 2024. The tragic fire that broke out at Liseberg’s almost finished water park Oceana consumed most of the building over the following four days. And with the fire, we lost a most-loved colleague of ours. A loss of life puts […]
Thank you for all the kind messages over the last few days. I can speak for everyone working at Liseberg, that we are shocked and deeply saddened by the fire at Oceana on February 12th, 2024. With the fire, we lost a most-loved colleague of ours. And all our thoughts are with his family, and everyone who was part of his life. There are many who wonder, what happens now? The simple answer is that we don’t know. Right now, […]
2023 has proven to be another strange year. Not bad, really. Not good either. Just … strange. In this post-pandemic market, we have all been discussing what the ‘new normal’ is. Was it the 2021 market, with strong domestic demand, and very little travelling? Was it the 2022 market, where everyone had money to spend – and spent it on experiences? Or will it be the 2023 market, where it feels like gravity is returning, and the pendulum is swinging […]
Liseberg has made it through a world war, economic crisis, devastating fires and most recently a pandemic. And we are still here. Monday this week, we celebrated our 100th anniversary. One hundred. I am not a big fan of anniversaries – no matter what is being celebrated. In our industry, it is often a commercial trick used to give an otherwise outdated product a nicer packaging. Or a way to celebrate our own attributes and brilliance. I don’t really like […]
The years 2020 and 2021 will go down in history as the years that changed the way we look at life, freedom, globalization, trade, travel, work, togetherness. We realized how fragile everything we had taken for granted is. And even though we’ve risen – as individuals, companies, societies – the years have left scars that are hard to cover. But now, with the pandemic in the rear-view mirror, I can’t help but reflect on how the pandemic in many ways […]
High pressure. High Season. High stress. But this year, it is … different. Normally I am shuffling around weather apps, worrying about the all-too-unstable Scandinavian summer weather during the all-too-short peak season. But in 2022, it is all turned upside down. With continued (self-imposed) capacity restrictions, we are constantly trying to balance volume, turnover, and guest satisfaction. This also means, that having too many guests is actually just as stressful, as having too few. Most attractions in the LBE sector […]
In 2012, the European Union proposed that larger and listed companies should fill at least 40% of board seats with women. This proposal has been stuck for almost 10 years but seems now to be getting a second wind. As someone who hates quotas, I am somewhat divided on this proposal. But the problem is quotas seem to work. And maybe it is the least bad among bad tools to create more inclusive and diverse leadership of major companies. I […]
Halloween, check. I am going to miss meeting evil clowns in the staff restaurant and zombies on my way to HR. But in a few weeks, Christmas choirs and elves will move into the hallways. Paper snow will stick to my shoes everywhere I go, and carols will be playing in a loop outside my office, driving me crazy. However, it is also that special time of year that every economist looks forward to. Budget time. Which is a rather […]
Sometimes you don’t know what you’ve got till it’s gone. In these times of COVID-19, I think all of us have these types of insights. What we took for granted is no longer an absolute – a truism. This is not in every case a bad thing, as our expectations and values need a calibration now and then. But it can also be challenging. Especially when you actually knew what you had, but never thought you would lose it. At […]
Is it possible to be very happy – and very sad at the same time? To feel overwhelmingly relieved, but at the same time extremely frustrated? I believe so. If nothing else, the pandemic has challenged us all with the need for dialectic thinking. Understanding that two things can be true at the same time. That we are not navigating in black and white, in a landscape of absolutes. But instead recognizing, that we are – for the most part […]
These days, it seems like we are all flying in a holding pattern. Waiting for vaccines. Waiting for lockdowns to be lifted. Waiting to bring back staff from furloughs. Waiting for a new year – and a new season – to begin. When looking back at the last 12 months, I must admit that ‘patience’ has probably been the personal quality I have had to rely on the most. A quality, which may not be my most prominent character trait. […]
2020 has been a dark year. For the world. For our industry. And for Liseberg, 2020 was the first year since the park welcomed its first guests in 1923, that the park did not open. Not because a safe and responsible opening was not possible, but because the Swedish amusement park industry got squeezed in a conundrum of a pandemic legislation, that was not really made for the situation we were in. The consequences for Liseberg have been enormous – […]
On July 11, 1923 Albert Einstein held his Nobel lecture at Liseberg, on the theory of relativity. The lecture was in German, quite long, and one of the anecdotes from this event was that the Swedish King, sitting on the first row, fell fast asleep well into the event. ‘The world as we have created it is a process of our thinking; it cannot be changed without changing our thinking’ Albert Einstein once wrote. And this quote still rings true […]
First week of what promises to be a very different summer. My garden at home has never looked better. But it sure does feel strange, not to know whether Liseberg will be welcoming guests this summer or not. Most attractions in Europe will open over the next five weeks. Museums, zoos, and aquariums as well as larger commercial attractions and resorts. Important steps towards recovery, whether this will be a new normal or not. For the last couple of […]
This is not a blog about Coronavirus. But about the notion of Coronavirus. These are strange days. For most people. For most industries. It seems like the virus is impacting everything we do; whether the context is personal or professional. It becomes increasingly apparent, that there is a direct correlation between technological, sociological and economical sophistication on one side, and vulnerability on the other. A vulnerability that will most likely not decrease in the future, with ever more intricate global […]
I am a glass-half-empty kind of guy. Never really 100% happy with anything. Always worrying. Although it sounds depressing, it is just not a negative. It is probably part of what drives me. And at the same time, it is most likely built into my job.
Sometimes I wonder if it is fear of failure, or aspiration for success, that drives me. In the age of fast paced change and disruption, Atychiphobia – being the sometimes unwarranted but always persistent fear of failure – might be the most powerful force of the two. And I am not alone. Recently Jeff Bezos, the founder of Amazon, talked about the company’s inevitable demise. ’Amazon is not too big to fail’, as he said. ’I predict the day we […]
Life is short. And the older you get, the shorter it seems. This is of course wrong. I know that the perception of time over a lifetime is linked to changes in mental stimuli. But one of the things that do change as you get older, is the impact of the choices you make.
Change is hard. Scary. Uncomfortable. Draining. But also sometimes necessary. A few days ago, we communicated that I will be leaving Liseberg, taking a new role at Tivoli Gardens in Copenhagen. And since then, my life has been a whirlwind of new faces, old acquaintances, well wishes, welcomes and goodbyes. As well as one or the other question. ‘Why leave one of the best jobs in the industry?’, as one of my friends asked me. As with most decision making […]
A couple of weeks ago, I visited the happiest country in the world, Finland, to participate at a conference about Särkänniemi’s future and expansion plans. Särkänniemi is – apart from being a really lovely park in a really lovely city – together with Liseberg one of just a handful of municipally owned parks in the world.
And yes. This is a quote I have stolen from Warren Buffet. For me, this quote is constant reminder that we always have to look at our products and services from our guests perspective. And our guests will only continue buying these, if they believe that the value they receive, are greater than the price they are paying.
Welcome to 2019! New year. New opportunities. For us at Liseberg, it also means that we have wrapped up 2018. And our fiscal year. It’s a time for taking stock. And closing down all weather apps, at last for a while.
Thursday evening. Crisp and cold, clear and beautiful. Walking through a Christmas-decorated Liseberg, with millions of lights and thousands of people. I watch a few minutes of the ice show, before I head out the main entrance.
IAAPA Chairmanship, check. Gavel is handed over to my successor, David Rosenberg. And I am now going to be history and fade into the oblivion of the IAAPA records. Sitting here, on the plane back to Copenhagen, it is a bit of a bittersweet feeling. On one hand I am incredibly tired, and look forward to gearing down, spending more times with my Liseberg colleagues, and focusing on one, instead of many, things. On the other, I am going to […]
This year, Liseberg turned 95 years old. A considerable age for sure, but still young compared to TIVOLI in Copenhagen, which is celebrating its 175th birthday. Both parks were originally built as temporary structures, not meant to last more than a few months. Instead, they have both stood the test of time and grown and evolved, becoming strong and more vibrant than ever.
I am a nerd. A theme park nerd. Proud and unapologetic. Like most enthusiasts, my fascination was sparked in relative isolation. Up until my early 20’, I really thought I was the only person in the world with this strange hobby. It was not until the emergence of the internet in the mid-nineties, I realized I was not alone. And this newfound world filled with theme park statistics, technical details and pictures took my interest to a whole new level.
A few years ago, we bought land to begin an expansion at Liseberg. The park is landlocked, located in the middle of the city, so the development of this last available land, adjacent to the park, is crucial for the future of the company. There was no room for mistakes.
EAS 2018, check. Biggest show floor, check. Best attended EAS ever, check check! We have indeed come a long way. 17 years ago, in 2001 I travelled to Paris to attend the first ever Euro Amusement Show. I worked at TIVOLI in Copenhagen back then and told my boss I “had” to go to this “really” important industry event. It was in January. It was cold. We were in a tent. It rained. A lot. Inside the tent. But despite […]
It’s Sunday afternoon. I’m doing my weekly shopping, sending a list to the grocery store, buying dog food (lots of it). Finally printing the label to return that sweater, that may have been a little … optimistic … from a size perspective.
Yesterday I attended the Richtfest – the topping off ceremony – of the new Hotel Krønasår at Europa-Park. The hotel is the first phase of Europa-Park’s expansion. It will also include an indoor waterpark called, Rulantica.
I am on my way back from Australia after having attended the annual AALARA (Australian Amusement Leisure & Recreation) conference. It has been a long trip, but it was extremely interesting on so many levels.
On the 15 of July 2008, at 5:32 PM our Liseberg team had one of the worst incidents in our almost 100-year history. A classic Huss Rainbow Ride crashed due to mechanical failure from construction. Seven people were hurt, the ride was taken out of operation, and a long legal process followed.
I have travelled to Japan for almost 20 years. My first experiences were because of my position at TIVOLI, as I was responsible for our sister park in Kurashiki. Over the years, I have gone to Japan less frequently, but each time it’s with the same great enthusiasm.
LH810 Frankfurt – Gothenburg, Sunday morning. I’m drinking (bad) coffee, and trying to decide if I should pick-up the dogs first, or stop to buy milk as I’m driving home from airport. I am returning from a whirlwind trip to Orlando, after publicly announcing Paul Noland is leaving IAAPA and will soon be heading Accesso.
Monday: Billund, Denmark. Lego House. Amazing. Designed by BIG, I am not sure if it was a museum, a brand experience or a high-end FEC. I really don’t care. It was a fun and friendly place to hang out. And I fell even more in love with LEGO, after being immersed in the world of the brick.
At long last, I’m heading home after spending a couple of weeks in Orlando. The trip was a bit longer than I had planned; sometimes weather and airlines just don’t agree with our best laid plans. However, I made the best of my extended stay. And I am now sitting here on an airplane with a MagicBand on my wrist, and a collection of wonderful memories in my mental luggage.
IAAPA Attractions Expo 2017, check. What a week. A good week. For IAAPA, not just a good week, but a great one. You can read more about the facts and figures here. And for me, a week I survived. I am tired. But most likely not half as tired, as all the IAAPA staff that made all this possible.
Why will I be writing this blog, you may ask? The answer is quite simple. To share. I think I speak for everyone working as a volunteer for IAAPA, that being involved with the association is about making a positive difference. A difference for the association; a difference for our industry. And this involvement is, quite frankly, important.