‘Roland Mack is as old as the federal republic and in a way his life mirrors the success story of Germany. Roland Mack lives Europa-Park. You can feel this when you spend time with him at the park. At all times he is looking for new ideas. Roland Mack never runs out of ideas. Innovations secure success. Roland Mack embodies, in the best sense of the word, a successful entrepreneur committed to the common good and he is a true European citizen’. This was emphasised by the President of the Bundestag Wolfgang Schäuble during the celebrations on the occasion of the 70th birthday of Europa-Park founder Roland Mack with more than 500 guests in attendance. At the same time, the companions, friends, politicians, business leaders as well as celebrities from sports, shows and TV got a first exclusive insight into the new water world. Rulantica will be officially opened on 28th November. Among the guests there were, besides Dr Wolfgang Schäuble, EU Commissioner Günther Oettinger, State Secretary in the Federal Ministry of Economics Thomas Bareiß, State Minister of Economic Affairs Nicole Hoffmeister-Kraut, State Minister of Justice and for Europe Guido Wolf, former Federal President Christian Wulff, politician Wolfgang Bosbach, French President of the Regional Grand Est Jean Rottner, Sven Ottke, DJ BoBo, Andrea Berg, Paola Felix, Henry Maske, Reiner Calmund and the Alsatian star chef Marc Haeberlin.
Wolfgang Schäuble: Roland Mack has created a unique European institution
At the preview opening of Rulantica Enno-Ilka Uhde staged a spectacular performance ‘First View’ in the new water world. More than 200 artists performed and offered the guests a breath-taking performance in Rulantica. A special element was a waterfall that flowed upwards instead of downwards on a 500 square meter video wall. ‘Beauty is, according to Friedrich Schiller, the freedom to become aware’, says Uhde. ‘And this waterfall that turns things upside down is lived freedom’. Other paths in peace and freedom - certainly a fitting picture of the life of Roland Mack.
The guests were also presented with a work of Uhdes consisting of 74 numbered single exhibits entitled ‘In Peace and Freedom’. The 1.40 by 1.40-meter boards conserve achievements, experiences and challenges from politics, science, philosophy, art, sports or culture for the respective year.
Roland Mack was moved on the evening of his 70th birthday and placed his family and employees in the foreground with a view of the success of Europa-Park: ‘The goal of the entrepreneurial Mack family is to keep the almost 240-year-old traditional company futureproof and lead it into the next generations. The eighth generation has taken over the management. The ninth generation is already born’.
Roland Mack has been married to Marianne Mack for more than 45 years. From the first day on, Marianne has supported the construction of Europa-Park with full force. Roland Mack: ‘It would have not been possible without my wife. That is absolutely certain’. Roland and Marianne Mack have three children: The sons Michael (40, graduated in business administration) and Thomas (38, certified hotelier) are now responsible, together with the brother of Roland, Jürgen Mack (61), for the operational business. Roland Mack's daughter Ann-Kathrin (29) is an architect and has made her first significant contribution to the new hotel Krønasår and the new water world Rulantica, which opens on 28th November.
Roland Mack about his children: ‘I am incredibly proud of what has become of our children Michael, Thomas and Ann-Kathrin. They are independent, great personalities, have a very good job and are full of emotion and warmth. These are the best qualities to successfully continue our company. I'm very happy about it’.
For the guests of the evening there was a gift of the new biography of Roland Mack ‘My Life for the Europa Park’, which has appeared as an extended and updated edition just on time for his birthday at Herder.
Wolfgang Schäuble with an outlook: ‘Thanks to the entrepreneurial vision of Roland Mack and his family, entertainment will continue to be successful in the future in Rust - in a theme park with an unmistakable European cultural and educational offering’.
Roland Mack (in the middle) with his daughter Ann-Kathrin, his wife Marianne and his sons Thomas and Michael
Roland Mack and the President of the Bundestag Wolfgang Schäuble
The Europa-Park owner family: Marianne, Roland, Jürgen and Mauritia Mack
Roland Mack surprises the visitors of Germany´s largest theme park with a giant birthday cake
Roland Mack with his children Thomas, Ann-Kathrin and Michael
Roland Mack and the former Federal President Christian Wulff
Paola Felix, Roland Mack and Andrea Berg
Roland Mack, Brigitte Klinkert (2nd from right) and Günther Oettinger with his wife Friederike Beyer (2nd from left)
A spectacular show in the new water world Rulantica
More than 200 artists offered the guests a breath-taking performance in Rulantica