Concept and feasibility study for a Roman theme park

Office: Horwath HTL France

Location: Nîmes, France

Category: Tourism and Leisure, Project development assistance

Project Overview: The city of Nîmes, located in the South of France, was funded by the Romans in the 6th century BC and harbors a perfectly preserved Roman amphitheater and many Antique Roman monuments right in the center of the city, which already attracts more than one million tourists each year.
Located 15 minutes away from Nîmes downtown, the future TGV (high-speed train) station district aims at becoming a dynamic and attractive area. Nîmes City administration wished to take opportunity of the creation of the future TGV station to launch an ambitious urban planning project with an important leisure, culture and tourism component, with the goal of making the new urban district an international tourism and leisure center of excellence.

Scope of Work: Horwath HTL’s mission was to assist the City of Nîmes in the development of a tourism oriented new district surrounding the future TGV station in Nîmes. The scope of work included:

  • Market study
  • Concept study for the historical theme park and surrounding tourism district
  • Feasibility study
  • Programming of the historical theme park
  • Investor and operator search

Horwath HTL Solution and Implementation: Horwath HTL developed the concept of an historical Roman theme park: a spectacular leisure equipment with a cultural vocation, offering an immersive discovery, interactive and fun in the world as it was at the time of the Romans, through shows and historical reconstitutions.
Two main activities will structure the offer of theme park:

  • The shows: large festive events choreographed around the Roman History in a dedicated area, with a great evening show.
  • The Roman construction site: conceived in reference to the famous Via Domitia (ancient Roman way) passing next to the site, the construction site of a typical Villa using the methods and tools of the time will allow visitors to live a unique Roman experience.

Around the park, thematic accommodations, spa-wellness equipment, winery and selling of local products will be developed overtime.
Several factors will ensure the success of this unique concept:

  • While the Ancient Roman world represents a strong and unifying universe of reference, there is no large leisure equipment on the subject in Europe yet.
  • Nîmes is already a city considered as emblematic in France for embodying the “Ancient Roman/Mediterranean” art of living, alongside its fame from the architectural and historical heritage inherited from the Roman era.
  • The site will occupy a unique place in Southern France (Languedoc and Provence), with an exceptional location conducive to radiation.

Project Status: The City of Nîmes decided to support the development of this project and dedicate an area of 55ha to the future Roman historical theme park. The construction of the new TGV line and future station is ongoing, and scheduled to be operative in 2022. Investor and operator search is in progress so the opening of the park may coincide with the opening of the new train station.