22 May 2020

Germany: Calypso Saarbrücken Files for Insolvency as First Leisure Pool in Germany Due to Covid-19

Calypso AbenteuerLand

The Vivamar Betriebsgesellschaft Saarbrücken GmbH operating company filed for insolvency for the Calypso leisure pool and sauna in Saarbrücken on 21st May, being the first German water park to take this step due to the Covid-19 closure and the related huge financial losses. In February, the media were still able to headline “Calypso is becoming a visitor magnet” (Saarbrücker Zeitung, 6th Feb 2020) and the new “Calypso AbenteuerLand” water playground (cf. EAP 6/2019) is finished and actually ready for visitors … But now the adventure pool is on the brink of collapse. In the past weeks, the operating company has been working tirelessly on the development of an economic concept for reopening Calypso, which is highly popular among German and French guests alike. But this without success, due to the lack of income but ongoing expenses since 15th Mar, when all public pools and wellness centers had to close as was the case for all other leisure operations in the country.

“Other leisure pools, thermal baths and spa facilities in Germany must currently fear for their existence and some of them will have to take the same steps in June, unless a financial aid package is put forward for their operations. This affects both private and municipal operators, as communities and cities do not have sufficient financial resources either to bring their pools through this crisis,” explains Dr. Klaus Batz, Managing Director of the European Waterpark Association (EWA).

Dr. Batz continues: “The German federal government should take other European countries such as Austria and the Netherlands as a model, who gave the permit for the reopening of all public swimming pools with a nationwide uniform regulation. The public pools in Germany must be allowed to resume operation in the very near future, safely and under economic conditions.” As long as this is not the case, the swimming pool industry requires direct financial aid from the state and the federal states to avoid an avalanche of insolvencies – this applies not only in Germany, but also in all other European countries where leisure pools, thermal baths and water parks are still closed. (eap)