Yesterday died Franz Mack at the age of 89 years. He was the driving force in the construction of the park. Since 2006 was Franz Mack a "IAAPA Hall of Fame Member".
His son Roland Mack will guide the Europapark.
Here is a translated article from Badische ZeitungFranz Mack: A Life for the roller coasterFranz Mack , carousel builder and father of the Europa Park in Rust , has died at the age of 89. An obituary of FC - editor Petra Kistler.
RUST . The Glamour has never interested him . Franz Mack was down to earth, industrious , precise and strict. A perfectionist, never satisfied with its achievements , but always full of new ideas. His confidence had to be earned - whether by his employees or son. He had a goal: He wanted to build the best technical roller coaster.
Mack was indeed the boss, but he understood himself as a worker . Every day he whould be standing at the construction table and designing attractions , recreational fun. And did he feel that enthusiasm himself. When Mack 1997, he designed high-speed roller coaster "Euro -Mir ", he sat down for the premiere ride in the front row - with 76 years of age. "Perfection is more important than size. " This sentence was heard by his sons Roland and Jürgen constantly.
The success story began in 1975 When Francis and Roland Mack visited the early seventies Disneyland in Florida, they brought the first sketches for their new business - on beer mats , designed on an evening in the pub. Not a gigantic theme park, but a place where father and son (seventh and eighth generation of a carousel company) would a showcase the rides that are still built by Mack Rides in Waldkirch.Franz Mack is in line with Walt Disney
Back at home he shocked bankers, entrepreneurs, and even the neighbors with his idea. "Rust is a mosquito hole. " But Senior and Junior were convinced of their idea. They started with 25 employees. Today, the park plays in the upper echelon of the tourism industry. The company employs more than 3,100 employees and had annual sales of 250 million € . Back in 2006, Franz Mack was inducted into the Hall of Fame, World Association for the leisure industry - and is thus in line with Walt Disney.
Even after he had handed over the daily operations to his sons long ago , he was seen again in the electric car drive through the park - most recently last Saturday. His word mattered, and his two sons tried to prove to the father that the boys can do something . The age made him mild. There have been incidents that he allied himself with the five grandchildren.
Franz Mack, the father of the Europa Park , died on Sunday at the age of 89 years in his house in Rust.
MOD EDIT: edited and added a translation of a German news article
ADMIN EDIT: I have gone ahead and added the official press release sent to us by Europa Park on this sad passing.
Europa-Park founder Franz Mack passed away at the age of 89
Rust/Germany. On 3 October 2010 the entrepreneur and founder of Europa-Park Franz Mack has passed away at the age of 89 years. Together with his sons Roland and Jürgen, he was the thriving force for the opening and success of Germany´s biggest theme park. In 2006, Franz Mack was honoured by the International Association of Amusement Parks and Attractions (IAAPA) as a member in the “Hall of Fame”. IAAPA honoured Franz Mack as one of the “pioneers for the international success of leisure parks”. Franz Mack was considered an outstanding entrepreneurial personality in Baden-Wuerttemberg.
Franz Mack was born on 7 March 1921 as the fourth son of Heinrich and Theresia Mack. His career path started as a cartwright and coachbuilder. In 1948 he took over the responsibility of his father´s company together with his brothers Hermann and Willi. The company, which was founded already back in 1780 and famous for the construction of stagecoaches and carousels, was then relocated to a new and spacious area in the beautiful Black Forest town Waldkirch/Germany.
The product range of the company not only included caravans and vending trailers, but also special vehicles that are needed for carousels, go-kart tracks and multi-storey haunted houses. Numerous innovations among the fairground rides, such as the “Wild Mouse” or the “Swiss Bob Run”, made by the successful family company, were sold all over the world.
Today the Mack company combines various technological top performances, which have been developed due to the ingenuity of the entrepreneur Franz Mack, who was considered a great visionary in the industry. In the course of time the entrepreneur has entered the European, Anglo-Saxon and North American markets. Today Mack Rides has also established in China and the whole of Asia.
Franz Mack and his son Roland are the founders of Europa-Park, which opened its doors in 1975 in Rust/Germany. During his numerous business trips abroad, he and Roland Mack had the idea to build a leisure park. Still today, many of the attractions and rides which attract visitors from all over the world are conceptions of Mack Rides. Meanwhile, Europa-Park is one of the leading theme parks in the world and the market leader in Germany. Today the Mack companies have over 3,100 employees.
Thanks to his passion for technology numerous rides at Europa-Park bear the hallmarks of Franz Mack. Among others he has designed the dark coaster “Eurosat” (opened in 1989) and the high-speed coaster “Euro-Mir” (opened in 1997). Already in old age, he has designed and developed the model himself.
In addition to his entrepreneurial tasks, Franz Mack has accepted a number of honorary posts. For example he was a member of the standards committee of fairground rides of the TÜV (German Association for Technical Inspection) and a conciliator in the German Association of Amusement Parks (VDFU). Moreover, he supported numerous clubs and associations in Rust/Germany and Waldkirch/Germany.
Franz Mack was honoured by the German Federal President with the Federal Cross of Merit (1984) and the Order of Merit (1997). For his exemplary commitment for the public welfare, Franz Mack was appointed honorary citizen of Rust/Germany in 2001. Morevoer, he was honoured with the Golden Medal of Merit by the city of Waldkirch/Germany.
In 1948 Franz Mack has married Liesel Mack who passed away in 2004. He was a proud grandfather of five grandchildren. The change of generations within the company was very important for him already at an early stage: Today his two sons Roland and Jürgen together with his grandsons Michael and Thomas manage the Mack companies Europa-Park and Mack Rides.
Europa-Park´s managing partner Roland Mack: “Our father was a great role model for all of us until the last days of his life. He has “lived” character attributes such as humbleness, diligence, endurance, sincerity, emotionality and frankness and thus deeply influenced our family and our company.”