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7 August 2020! ZerOGravity Futuroscope opens its doors in Poitiers, France. That is one year and six months after the official groundbreaking ceremony took place in early February 2019. Given the scope of the construction, quite an accomplishment, all the more so if one considers that the COVID-19 lockdown had a major impact on the project too.

Initially scheduled to open in February, the six-month delay due to the lockdown in France challenged the owners/operators in many ways. "I had to put the seven instructors on a partial unemployment program even prior to their first day on the job," Fabrice Crouzet sums up one major problem he and partner Domi Kriger had to contend with.

The spectacular construction combining a wide range of different materials in an architectural 'oeuvre d'art' comes at considerable costs to the investors: eight million Euros. ZeroGravity definitely belongs to the select group of tunnels where design, interior and exterior, is to transmit part of the message, arousing the curiosity of passersby from afar.

With close to two million people passing through the turnstiles of the adjacent Futuroscope theme park - in a non-COVID year, of course - the prospects for a decent ROI are better than just about anywhere else. The Poitiers location is virtually unbeatable.

But maybe ZeroGravity in all of its visual splendor is one of a dying breed of design-based tunnels. In the post-COVID world, a new generation of tunnels - designs allowing operators to minimize indoor space while still attracting and servicing those eager to fly with a quality airflow - is being offered by several manufacturers. Of the three tunnels that opened this year, one, Fly Gran Canaria, is built on such a concept (this one developed by Actiflow).

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