Authorities in Lleida announced Thursday that a Smurf theme park is planned for the city, a project that will see the first such theme park completely dedicated to the blue characters, known as the "pitufos" in Spanish. Even better, the theme park will create 200 jobs in the area.
17 million within the first year.
20 Minutos reports (in Spanish) that the Smurf theme park will be aimed at families with children aged two to 12 years and this will, apparently be a real first for Spain. While the Smurfs have been popular on TV, film and in video games, and have generated a lot of success in toys, the Lleida park will be the first dedicated only to the Smurfs and another good option for attracting tourism to Catalonia.
Big Bang Schtroumpf, a park operated in France between the 1980s and 1990s, was Smurf-related but the blue people apparently vanished once the park was bought out by another company.
Of course, Smurfs have met fame in other ways in Spain in the past.
There was a publicity stunt back in 2011 for the Spanish premier of The Smurfs 3D movie, which turned into a successful marketing scheme for the previously white, now completely Smurf-Blue, Andalusian village of Júzcar. (See photo of Hotel Bandolero in the town on the right, courtesy the hotel).
The Local mentioned producers had said at the time that the village would return to its Andalusian "white village" status after the stunt, but villagers said "no," preferring to keep the bluer hue which has attracted around 200,000 tourists to the village. The first "Pueblo Azul" or "Blue Village" of Andalusia, if you will.
Now it seems Lleida is now set to profit from the Smurfs too, in probably an even bigger way.
Smurf photo CC by-SA Pere López