Benalmádena protects the grounds of Tivoli World theme park against speculation

by Lorraine Williamson
Tivoli World

BENALMÁDENA – The uncertainty surrounding the grounds of the Tivoli World amusement park in the municipality of Benalmádena on the Costa del Sol has finally come to an end. The city council has decided that the land cannot be used for any other purpose. 

The site may only be used for a theme park and associated activities. This is to prevent speculation about the land of the iconic amusement park, which currently has a debt of more than €9 million. The park is located right in the centre of Benalmádena-Arroyo de la Miel and, as such, there were fears developers would prey on it to build homes. 

The council passed a preliminary resolution submitted by the councillor for urban planning, María Isabel Ruiz. The final approval is in the hands of the Andalucian government. After the approval of this Junta, the municipality can definitively approve the resolution. 

Possibility to move the park 

Some councillors oppose protecting the land, arguing that the zoning plan allows for the park to be moved to another location in the municipality to create a more modern theme park in line with future needs. 

The mayor of Benalmádena has proposed that the municipality take over management of the park to ensure its future, should the company decide to stop operating the park. Alderman Ruiz proposes that the municipality expropriate the park in case the company decides not to continue its activities. 

Details about continuation park 

The text of the resolution discusses the details of the continuation of the operation of the Tivoli amusement park. It is currently owned by a private company. All political parties present (PSOE, IU, PP and C’s) who participated in the session agreed on Thursday, the municipality reports in a press release. The site may still be used for additional commercial matters such as catering or shops, as long as these activities are linked to the opening of the amusement park. 

Employees grateful 

Beli Nieto is a Tivoli employee and attended the city council meeting from the public gallery. She is grateful to the municipality “because it has always worked to protect the Tivoli site. Its final approval makes this day a very important one for Benalmádena”. 

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Nieto adds that the park is important for all residents of the city. Tivoli World is iconic to the municipality and has always brought a lot of employment and wealth to the place. Now the battle is to get the park reopened again so that all employees can go back to work to entertain tourists and residents. 

Fifty decades of family entertainment 

In September 2022, Tivoli World was closed after more than 50 years of existence. The COVID-19 pandemic and other factors had resulted in a significant loss of staff and guests. Tivoli World was founded in 1972. In the wake of the growing popularity of the Costa del Sol, the park quickly became a success. This was partly thanks to the efforts of Enrique Bolín, the then-mayor of Benalmádena. The amusement park became a leading attraction for the Costa del Sol over the years. For years it attracted national and international visitors who experienced memorable moments. 

Before the then moribund park closed in 2022, 700 workers had been without pay for more than 300 days. These people then went to great lengths to reopen the park and keep their jobs. 

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