2006, the « zero year » for Aventura Parc: we had to build everything in order to transform the « native forest » into a welcoming place with a minimum of facilities for our guests AND implement the concept of « adventure park » for the first time in Romania!
For that, of course, we needed money! The savings we made during the 10 preceding years were not enough so we sold our apartment in March 2006 and with the money we got we effectively began to build on April 10 (you will see our team below) : the idea was to build everything in about 3 months for the grand opening in July ! A very ambitious objective indeed…
We can tell you without thinking about if very long that this was by far the most soliciting and tough period of our life: in the morning we let our child at school before going to the DIY shops (at that time, there were only a few in Bucharest with always fluctuant available stocks) in order to supply the building sites on progress in the Lucianca forest: run through the departments, compare prices, learn and assimilate new concepts… Our brains and muscles were burning!
When our Ford Focus car was full in the parking lot, we would immediately head to Lucianca! There, we had to unload the building materials or tools, lead a building conference with our keeper who, meanwhile, had been « promoted » and coordinated all the workers we hired from the neighboring villages.
The problems had to be tackled one by one: flooding in the future parking area, find, buy and put on site a big container in order to protect the keepers and the tools, dig a well for the water (and for the concrete), build the restrooms, the keeper’s house, the tree climbing area, import inflatables from Belgium into Romania which was out the European Union at this time (and pay twice the VAT and customs taxes because the truck was stuck by the police at the border), « run » between all authorities to obtain authorizations and certificates (…)
(…) An important but invisible part of our work was to convince the local authorities. Very early during the year 2006 we asked from Butimanu’s mayor office an “urbanism certificate” for a “recreation and leisure park” for which we obtained all authorizations of competent authorities: Electrica, Romtelecom, Distrigaz, Fire station and environment authority.
We had also some difficulties with the architect because of different visions, but in the end we managed to have all the papers in order to build the park.
I spoke about Electrica on the native forest post: it was a true ordeal to obtain the authorization to buy and set an electrical pole near the park. On one time we were so disparate and believed we would never connect to the electrical network and stay only with our generator to make our business run: impossible task indeed! We had to rely on some friends who happened to be journalists to make some pressure and in the end we succeeded in putting electricity in our park on 2006, June 14: only a month before the grand opening!
These big delays and huge costs of the electrical pole, power transformer, “classical” building over costs, the double payment of the taxes for importing the Belgian inflatables led to a budget overrun. We had to borrow money from our parents after a sad try with a local commercial bank which, after several weeks of meetings, memos and folders, unacceptable financial argumentation and contractual conditions was to us like a definitive vaccination for all what is called a loan in Romania. We did not borrow anything from this bank…
But, in spite of all obstacles (neither do we talk here about “managerial” difficulties with local workers, you can figure it out by yourselves) we made a functioning park where we organized the first party, our child’s party, a few days before the official opening day!!