12 Oct 2019

Rust, Germany: Europa-Park Founder Roland Mack Turns 70

Roland Mack is regarded as one of the most unusual and successful entrepreneurs in Germany. More than 120 million people have visited Germany’s largest amusement park since its foundation in 1975. Since then, the Mack family has invested more than 900 million Euros without making use of any public subsidies. For the park, Roland Mack is the idea provider, its engine and creator. Today, on 12 October 2019, the founder and owner of Europa-Park in Rust, Roland Mack, celebrates his 70th birthday.   

Mack has been a brand name in the international amusement park business for long, and has already been even awarded an honorary doctorate by the Karlsruhe Institute of Technology. After studying mechanical engineering at the University of Karlsruhe, Roland Mack immediately started working in his father’s company. And at the very young age of 24, together with his father Franz he founded the Europa-Park. Today, with over 5.6 million annual visitors, the theme park located in the boarder triangle of Germany, Switzerland and France is one of the world’s top theme park destinations. Also, the combination of the Mack family as a ride manufacturer and operator of an amusement park at the same time is unique in the world. Mack attractions are installed in every part of the world, in all major amusement parks. As shareholder and former managing director of the company, Roland Mack also played a key role in the development of the Mack Rides production plant in Waldkirch.

With 4,150 employees, including 150 trainees, and over 10,000 indirect employees, Europa-Park is one of the job engines in the Baden-Wuerttemberg region. This raises the question of whether such a large company can still be managed in family ownership? “Yes, this is possible thanks to a clearly organized structure, independent of family members – highly qualified managers report to the family. […] We are not listed on the stock exchange, but a family business managed as a family foundation. We established this foundation in May 2019. The aim of the Mack family of entrepreneurs is to secure the almost 240-year-old, traditional company in the long term and to lead it into the next generations. […] The family foundation is based on the basic values of the family charter, which was developed in a long-term process with all family members,” the organization of his company explains Roland Mack.

But Roland Mack, who has been married to his wife Marianne for 45 years now, also knows: “Nothing of this would have been possible without my wife.” About his children Michael (40, graduated economist), Thomas (38, Diploma hotelier) and Ann-Kathrin (30, architect) he says, “I am incredibly proud of what our children have become. They are independent, great personalities, having chosen a great profession and being full of emotion and cordiality. These are the best characteristics to successfully continue our company. I’m very happy about that, even if I don’t say it so often.” About his brother Jürgen Mack (61), Roland says, “My brother Jürgen and I are a very successful team. He lives the philosophy of our family business with heart and soul and we complement each other perfectly. He is more the ‘minister of the interior’, while I go more outside. We two as a duo are an important building block in the Europa-Park success story.” (eap)