One of the most iconic European theme parks, and a popular British tourist destination, stands abandoned two years after closing – but it remains in perfect condition.
Tivoli World, which opened in May, 1972, is known to most Brits as one of the best theme parks to visit in Spain and was a go-to place on the Costa del Sol.
But in 2020, it was forced to close after the pandemic destroyed the local tourist economy.
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It briefly reopened for two months, but closed again last year when its owners went bankrupt.
That, coupled with a legal battle over money owed by its owners, saw it close – but all of the staff were still employed.
And due to a strange contractual loophole, all those employed were not being paid but were not allowed to seek employment elsewhere.
So the all decided to keep turning up to the park every day and make sure that it didn't fall into a state of disrepair – leaving the abandoned theme park in stunning condition, despite it owners being chased for around £3.5 million.
Recently, three blokes tried to break in and steal equipment from the site, but they were stopped by local officials.
This promoted the president of the Salvemos Tivoli group, Juan Ramon Delgado, stated: “The attractions are still there, many metres of electric cable, as well as machinery in the bars and ice cream parlours.
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“Above all, they are looking for aluminium and copper.
“We haven't been paid for 10 months, but we can't work on anything else either because we're discharged.
“The situation is unsustainable.”
In total, 87 members of staff are still attending the site on a daily basis, hoping that it will re-open.
They have been asking the courts to either help re-open the site, or to sort their contract issues out.
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Delgado, who goes to the site every week, Monday to Friday, said: “Despite the fact that we have no income, we do what we can to the best of our ability.”
As it stands, local parliamentarian Guzman Ahumada said that “excuses are running out” for the owners to not re-open the site, as it is “clearly” able to make money.
He said: “The argument that it was not economically viable has been dismantled.”
And in March this year, the Benalmadena Town Council said: “The strategy and position of this government team are aligned with that of the unions and company committee, all working together to achieve the reopening of the park.
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“We are going to continue to protect Tivoli because we believe that it is vital for tourism and the economy of the Costa del Sol, and there is no other way to do it than to reopen the park.”
The inside of the site remains in perfect condition, with many of its iconic rides in full working order ready for whenever the owners – or the courts – decide to reopen it.
The Daily Star has reached out to the company in charge of it for a comment.
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