‘We need to reopen just to break even’: Boss of dinosaur venue on £1.5m losses
The man in charge of Norfolk’s tourist attraction Roarr! Dinosaur Adventure has said reopening will not be enough to recoup losses.
And Adam Goymour, company director of the family-run business in Lenwade, said he could not rule out job cuts.
The venue is planning on reopening on July 4 but awaiting further government clarification on whether it will be able to run its outdoor play areas as well as takeaway food. It is also seeking guidance on ticket prices.
But he said even though he was happy to be reopening next month, it would not save the season for the venue, which should have started just before Easter.
“It’s not enough, not at all. We need to reopen to break even but it’s not enough to save the lost season, it’s about getting open and running so we can build on a new way of working.
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“Our losses have been at least £1.5m, probably more. No one knows, but the weather has been good so we probably would have taken more.
“There are savings to be made, we can’t rule out job losses. It depends on July and August, how that goes. We will be monitoring every single day. But just to break even, we need tens of thousands every month. We have fixed costs just to sit still.”
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Mr Goymour, whose father Martin is managing director, and mother Caroline works there too, himself was furloughed until recently. He and three managers have returned to work but the plan is to run the site with a small number of staff initially. He spoke of how hard it was to be the one to close down the venue on lockdown, saying: “We had to close down for everyone’s health, I was in the car on my way in to Norwich on Friday, March 20 and we made the decision then and there to shut down.
“What hurts the most is the delay in plans and progression of the business.”
But he said he thought people would return and was urging visitors to do so on reopening but to adhere to the new safety measures.
“The biggest thing all businesses want is we need visitors to support us in these changes and to adhere to them, to follow instructions as the changes affect everything at Roarr!”
Government restrictions mean the venue will have to limit its number of visitors to about 30pc of the pre-lockdown capacity and safety measures will be in place across the park. Visits need to be pre-booked, which should start soon on the firm’s website, which is being relaunched after a revamp.