Wonderla reopens Bangalore hotel, park to remain closed

Wonderla Holidays said it has decided to reopen its hotel, Wonderla Resort, near the Wonderla amusement park in Bangalore, from Monday.

It said lock-down rules still do not allow it to open the amusement park yet.

Wonderla Resort, which is a kind of weekend getaway on the Bangalore-Mysore road, will be opened with a 50% capacity cap.

The company will offer a special price of Rs 4,999 plus taxes per night for two persons.

Arun K Chittilapilly, Managing Director, Wonderla Holidays Ltd, said the idea was to offer an option for people who want a change of scenery over the weekend without going on a longer trip.

People have been holed up inside their homes for nearly three months due to the second wave of COVID-19 in India, and many are on the lookout for a break from the regular routine.

“We have arrived at this decision after understanding the consumer needs. The long lockdown and pandemic has made all of us realize the importance of taking breaks,” Chittilapilly said. “Facilitating better than ever experiences of an opulent stay along with making the health and safety of the guests and staff our top priority, we request everyone to follow the same for a safe and joyous trip”.

The hotel was originally meant as a stay-over location close to the park, and would normally have made more sense in combination with a visit to the water park, which lies a stone’s throw away.

However, given the paucity of places to take a break safely, it is possible that many people may opt to stay at the hotel even though the park remains closed.

Nevertheless, many people are still averse to staying at hotels and resorts.

At the same time, there are also those who are willing to take the chance if they feel that the property has been fully sanitized before they enter. Given that the hotel will operate at 50% capacity, the staff at the hotel will get an entire day to sanitize the rooms after the guest departs.

For its part, Wonderla said it follows all the safety and precautionary measures like well sanitized rooms and limited but sufficient facilities, besides adhering to government guidelines.

However, “the Wonderla Amusement Park is to remain closed until further notice from the Karnataka Government,” it added.

Like its peers in the leisure business, the company has been badly hit by the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.

For the year-ended March, the company made a net loss of Rs 49.9 cr, which is higher than its full-year revenue of Rs 44.71 cr. In fact, full year revenue was down by a whopping 84% from Rs 283 cr.

However, things were beginning to look up during the last three months of the financial year, when the second wave struck.

Overall occupancy inched up to 28% during Jan-Mar, not drastically lower than the 33% registered during the corresponding period of 2020.

The company opened its parks in January, when they were functional only for four days a week — from Thursday to Sunday. They were able to function on all the days of week only in March.