International Theme Park Services, Inc. withdraws from ORA Istanbul project

By | May 29, 2012

After three and a half years of providing operational, management, and design support to the ORA Istanbul mixed-use project in the Bayrampasa district, Dennis Speigel, president of International Theme Park Services, Inc. (ITPS) said, “we can no longer continue to provide services to this failing project.” The ownership of the project has taken it upon themselves to attempt to operate the theme park, Speigel indicated. He further said, “The ownership group does not have competent help in any form to understand the complexities of how to run a theme park project or how to safely operate the rides and attractions.” The ITPS management contract has been undermined by the owners. According to ITPS, this undermining of contractual agreements has also been done as it relates to the performing arts arena, the retail leasing areas, and to a great extent, aspects of the on-site hotels.

ITPS has attempted to continue to provide guidance to the ORA project in a professional manner. These attempts have gone unheeded, Speigel said. He continued, “Even being owed hundreds of thousands of dollars in back compensation, we continued to communicate and advise — to no avail.”

The ride manufacturers that supplied the rides are owed enormous sums of money. The point-of-sale company is also owed back sums of money for equipment and software. Vendors have not been paid and payrolls have been halted.

In addition to the managerial issues, ITPS reports that there are severe substandard construction issues which exist on site. Structural issues, water leakage into offices, sewage backups, and terrible mold are only some of the construction issues that must be dealt with for a safe operation. “Safety has always been a critical issue which ITPS has also expressed concerns about. ITPS wanted to instill worldwide safety standards, but were met with disregard by the owners,” said Speigel.

Speigel relayed his company’s sadness in seeing an idea like the ORA project be brutalized by incompetent leadership, as he watched the ORA leaders take so many shortcuts and use poor judgment in almost every aspect of the project. “It is beyond comprehension how the Ziraat Bank could allow project overruns in excess of 50 percent to occur, knowing the project was in such dire straits,” Speigel said.