For family and fun

There are many who think that it is tough to please Manmohan Shetty. His daughter, Pooja Shetty-Deora, certainly does. The man, along with his two daughters Aarti and Pooja (married to politico Milind Deora), has been working relentlessly over the last two years to bring to life his latest revolutionary concept, an international standard entertainment theme park near Mumbai. But, even as work on the park is nearing completion with the final testing taking place, he is not happy. “Not to say that I am not proud of the effort put in, I just wish we could have opened this month itself,” says Shetty, looking at the blueprint of his dream project that resides like a mural art in his cabin. In three months time, the amusement park (whose execution began in May 2012) will be able to play host to 20,000 visitors a day. “For a project of this magnitude, I think we have a done a good job. To mobilise resources and get them working towards a goal is an achievement in itself,” says his daughter Pooja.

You would agree that Shetty is a taskmaster. The Rs. 1,600 crore entertainment park Adlabs Imagica that is spread over 300 acres of land off the Mumbai-Pune Expressway (travel time from Mumbai being about 90 minutes) is clearly his most ambitious project till date. The park will have 21 attractions including lndia’s largest roller-coaster, 4D simulation rides, the highest drop ride and an interactive Bollywood ride styled on the film Mr India, among others. The second phase will have the 14-rides waterpark and finally the accommodation with a 300-room hotel.

“World class consultants and specialists have been appointed for designing and implementing the project, along with a highly-qualified team of contractors and consultants. I think everyone would like to gift themselves some international quality entertainment. It’s different from merely going to the multiplex and easing into the chair. It’s participative and while we are not promoting it as a weekly entertainment option, it could be a getaway choice. It hasn’t happened before in India and that’s what makes it more thrilling as well as challenging for us,” says Shetty.

Pooja says, “Adlabs Imagica could be a premium entertainment option if you look only at the price.” Reports suggest that the per person entry charge could be Rs. 1,500-1,600 daily inclusive of the rides but exclusive of food and beverages. “But we think that with the variety of shows, high-quality amusement rides and food options on offer at the park, it will be value-for-money,” she adds.

Given the location, it will attract not just people from Mumbai and Pune but also tourists to Lonavala and Khandala and even Gujarat, besides those who are visiting any of the cities. I hope to make it a great talking point,” says Shetty.

Pooja, who would also want the park to cater to the MICE (meetings, incentives, conferences, exhibitions) segment says, “Eventually, we’d want conventions and marriages to happen at the park. For now, till we get our hotel ready, we are tying up with hotels around the park to accommodate our guests. Later we will have packages in conjunction with these hotels too.”

Senior Shetty has often been heralded as a visionary by film industry folks. His company Adlabs was one of the country’s largest media and entertainment firms and he is credited with the mushrooming of the multiplex culture in India and giving it the biggest 3D dome theatre in Mumbai — IMAX.

Asked what he thinks of being a visionary, he shrugs and laughs it off, “I always tell my daughters — if your successful expect to be called a visionary, if not, then you will hear a ‘I told you so’!”

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Printable version | Aug 9, 2020 6:13:29 AM |

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