Plans to modernise Tivoli have been on the drawing board for more than a decade. The real estate group Tremón has been able to make its move now, however, thanks to the recovery from the financial crisis and the unusual stability of the local town hall, which has seen five different mayors in the last ten years.
Businessman Rafael Gómez had previously announced plans to build a commercial centre on land used as a car park, with cinemas, shops and a circus, however the project was stopped in its tracks by the financial crisis. Gómez had bought Tivoli in 2004 from its previous owner, Bent Olsen, who founded the iconic park in 1972.
The project has been on the back burner since Tremón acquired the park from Gómez in 2007, although the group, with its own debts in the financial crisis, has been able to do nothing until now.
Benalmádena has no major shopping centre, despite being one of the Costa del Sol's busiest tourist resorts and residential areas.
About to reach its 45th anniversary, Tivoli has been crying out for renovation for years. The park was built at the beginning of the seventies, when Spain was starting to satisfy the need for leisure facilities in the latter years of the Franco regime.
Fireworks, a rollercoaster, the Chinese pagoda and a boating lake were highlights of the opening of a park that has been through golden eras and more depressing times, without losing its position as a benchmark attraction among several generations of residents and visitors.
In its nearly 45 years, Tivoli has seen more than 30 million visitors and even in its more neglected periods visitor numbers fell but the park was never closed.