Believe it or Not: Ripley’s comes to India

Believe it or Not: Ripley’s comes to India
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First Published: Tue, May 15 2007. 08 13 PM IST
Updated: Tue, May 15 2007. 08 13 PM IST
Bangalore: Ripley’s Entertainment Inc, whose business is collecting and exhibiting the odd and the unusual, on 15 May announced a tie up with Innovative Studios Pvt Ltd to showcase collections from Ripley’s Believe It or Not, Guinness World Records Museum and Louis Tussuad’s Wax Museum in India.
Announcing the pact with city-based Innovative Studios, Ripley’s president Robert Masterson told reporters Ripley would provide the technical know-how and exhibits to be displayed at the Innovative Film City here, which is expected to be thrown open to the public by this year end.
A team headed by Masterson was in the city to work out details.
“We are here to finalise the list of exhibits that will be up for display and to review the work in progress on the three attractions coming up at the film city”, he said.
Ripley’s has not only lent its brand name but has also provided the entire design and concept for the three attractions, which form a part of the film city.
“We see a great potential in India. This is the first time we are bringing three of our main attractions to one property at one time,” said Masterson, who heads the 85-year-old company.
India would be the 12th country where the company would be making its presence felt. Ripley’s receives 12 million visitors annually.
“Initially, we will start with three of our attractions”, he said listing out Ripley’s Believe Me or Not, the ultimate in delivering shockingly odd stories, Guinness World Records, the amazing line up of feats, facts and records and the legendary Louis Tussuad’s Wax Museum, depicting amazingly realistic models.
”We plan to add more attractions, depending upon how the entire project takes off here,“ Masterson said, adding Ripley owns 64 attractions across 11 countries, which include museums, an entertainment lodge, a mini golf and a book.
Refusing to divulge the details of investment or revenue sharing, he said that the two partners had arrived at a “royalty sharing agreement”. The entry fee for each attraction would be Rs50 which was less than a dollar unlike the close to $13 fee charged in other places.
On choosing Bangalore, he said: “I have been to other metros, including Mumbai, but found only the Innovative Film City in Bangalore to have the right property dedicated to complete luxury entertainment.”
Ripley’s, a member of the Jim Pattison group, one of Canada’s largest privately owned companies, “will continue to look at other places in India,” he said while pointing out that “real estate prices were a problem.”
The exhibits would include both Indian personalities as well as international figures.
According to Saravana Prasad, Managing Director of Innovative Studios, the wax museum would be spread over 9,000 sq ft and the Guinness Record on 7,500sq ft while Ripley’s Believe It or Not would be located on a 10,000sq ft property.
The group has also tied up with other major leading entertainment companies for the entertainment-cum-film city, which would host food court, games, malls, mini replicas from around the world, and a residential colony on the lines of Beverly Hills, Prasad added.
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First Published: Tue, May 15 2007. 08 13 PM IST