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Tampere amusement park to cut staff

Sales at the Särkänniemi Adventure Park in the southern city of Tampere were down last season, despite 50,000 more visitors to the park than a year earlier. The park announced impending labour negotiations on Saturday.

Näsinneula ja Särkänniemen vuoristorata
The Näsinneula Observation Tower and the rollercoaster ride at Särkänniemi.   Image: Jan Hynnä / Yle

Särkänniemi Ltd of Tampere will begin co-determination talks that will apply to its entire staff in an effort to cut costs. The company’s managing director Miikka Seppälä says the firm is aiming at 2.3 million euros in savings.  

The company estimates that the labour negotiations will result in the reduction of up to 25 person-years, an accountancy terms for the ideal amount of work done by one person in a year based on a standard number of person-days.

“We will explore all of the possibilities: work reorganisation, potential lay-offs and redundancies,” says Seppälä.  

He says the talks are necessary after ten percent weaker sales this year at the park than in the previous year. At the same time, however, the park reported more than 50,000 more visitors in 2014 than in 2013.

This year marked the first year that visitors to the park were not charged an admission fee. In previous years, guests were not allowed into the park area without a wristband denoting that they had paid to go on the rides and see the attractions.

More park guests, poor merchandise sales

Seppälä does not blame the new practice of free admission to the park grounds for the drop in sales, and instead points out that there has been a clear decrease in merchandise purchases like food, drink and souvenirs.

“People probably just don’t have the money. It tells something about the economy, that even with the healthy growth in visitors, the net sales decreased,” he says.

Särkänniemi employs some one hundred full-time employees throughout the year and more than 500 seasonal employees during the summer months.

The Iltalehti tabloid was the first publication to report the news from Särkänniemi.

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