THE strong local economy of Pampanga had prompted SM Prime Holdings Inc. to put up the Sky Ranch Pampanga amusement park in the province, an official of SM City Pampanga said.
SM City Pampanga Mall Manager Junias Eusebio made the pronouncement in an interview following the formal opening of the amusement park in San Fernando which was attended by Pampanga Gov. Lilia Pineda.
“The growing economy of Pampanga convinced the management to build the country’s largest and tallest Ferris wheel at the SM City Pampanga,” Eusebio said.
San Fernando, Pampanga’s capital, is the country’s third-most competitive city, according to the National Competitiveness Council.
The city is experiencing a boom due a strong middle class which comprise 59 percent of the total population, a recent study showed.
National Economic and Development Authority Assistant Regional Director Vic Ubaldo said Pampanga is favored by investors among the six other provinces in Central Luzon.
In a National Statistical Coordination Board report, Pampanga was ranked among the 10 most developed provinces in the country, with total investment pegged at P95 billion in 2012.
In 2013 the University of Asia and the Pacific (UA&P) named Pampanga as among the top 10 provinces in the Philippines in terms of economic and business growth.
The study titled “Market Potential and Prospects of Philippine Regions, Provinces and Cities” undertaken by UA&P’s Dr. Cid Terosa described Pampanga as “ahead of the pack,” with a rating of 0.3983 based on its index of economic and business activity in 2011. The province ranked sixth in the top 10 list.
“In San Fernando City we do everything possible not just to attract more investors but also to make them stay and invest more,” San Fernando Mayor Edwin Santiago said. He earlier announced that there will be no tax increase in 2015.
Eusebio said the Sky Ranch, which sits on a 10,000-square-meter lot in the mall at the boundary of San Fernando City and Mexico town, said the amusement park “easily attracts additional 30,000 people” on weekends and holidays.
In a statement, the SM management said the Sky Ranch is the first amusement park and the newest destination for both local residents and tourists in Northern Luzon. It has 22 rides, including the Pampanga Eye, Loop Roller Coaster and Super Viking.
The park was developed by SMPHI in partnership with S&T Leisure Inc. and Westech Philippines. Sky Ranch Pampanga is open for walk-in customers and group tours which offer exciting rides for all ages.
The Pampanga Eye is the tallest and biggest ferris wheel in the Philippines measuring 65 meters in height and has a diameter of 50 m. Each of its 32 air-conditioned gondolas can accommodate four people or a total of 128 people per cycle.