designing hong kong  

Cut our losses on Disneyland

Martin Brinkley, Ma Wan, SCMP, Dec 31, 2007

Rather than inject further cash into Disneyland and tie up significant resources for many years to come, the government should consider the option of closing down the theme park and selling off the site to property developers.

With the infrastructure, transport links, hotels and shops already in place, Penny's Bay could be easily transformed into a residential zone, such as Ma Wan or Discovery Bay, in less than five years. The land premiums would not only recoup the original investment but would also provide a windfall that could be used for a more useful purpose, such as providing the initial funding for a pension scheme for the elderly.

The number of jobs lost would be minimal as some of the management and entertainers at Disneyland are not locals and the new town would generate its own employment opportunities. Divesting itself of the theme park would also be in line with the administration's avowed principles of "big market, small government" and "market leads, government facilitates".

It is time to bite the bullet and cut our losses.

Exactly what is the opportunity cost of Penny's Bay (land premium it can generate)? And if it is not time to cut our losses, then what else should we keep and nurture in Hong Kong?

For a fraction of the cost the 2008 wishlist includes: no-take zones to revitalise our seas, expand our country parks, resolve the village house issue, fix our harbourfronts, classify and protect our shorelines, and increase public space at street level (set back new developments).

Let us know your wishlist.

Happy 2008.