Ardent Leisure chairman outlines 2018 plans for Dreamworld
Dr Gary Weiss talks Dreamworld's plans for 2018 including the Commonwealth Games, Flying Theatre ride, DreamWorks Trolls Village attraction and redeveloping surplus land.
In an op-ed published by the Gold Coast bulletin over the weekend, Ardent Leisure Group Chairman Dr Gary Weiss outlines what is to come at Dreamworld for 2018 and how they hope to rebuild their reputation and recover lost patronage.
We believe investment, not only at Dreamworld but also in new and exciting experiences across the Gold Coast, is the key to our future success.
Dr Gary Weiss op-ed, 18 February 2018
The article doesn't do much to justify the lofty declaration in its headline, Why 2018 will be Dreamworld’s year, but it certainly offers few new pieces in the puzzle that is Dreamworld's journey for the year and how they hope to claw back from the lows of 2016 and 2017.
Dr Weiss starts with a peculiar focus on SkyPoint at Q1, Ardent Leisure's only remaining Australian asset aside from Dreamworld. Apparently the observation deck is the place to be for the Commonwealth Games:
"The SkyPoint Observation Deck at Q1 will take centre stage during the Games as the best vantage point to take in all that the Gold Coast has to offer," writes Dr Weiss.
As the opinion piece continues it doesn't say anything significant or new, though it does reaffirm many of the talking points of the past twelve months from Dreamworld and owners Ardent Leisure. Dr Weiss does officially confirm that the halted construction in the Ocean Parade section of the park is for a Trolls themed attraction.
"We will play our part by continuing to invest significantly in park infrastructure and new attractions - such as the world’s first DreamWorks Trolls Village walk-through attraction and our recently announced world-class Flying Theatre simulator," he writes.
The Trolls attraction was widely believed to be planned for Christmas last year but the intricacies of working with DreamWorks and their parent company Universal seemingly saw its opening delayed. Dreamworld CEO Craig Davidson told Parkz in November that the DreamWorks attraction would open in early 2018.
"It'll have a life span of about twelve months so it carries through Christmas next year," Mr Davidson said at the time.
The Flying Theatre attraction, an i-Ride system from Taiwanese manufacturer Brogent is undoubtedly the largest attraction coming to the Gold Coast theme parks this year.
Dr Weiss brings up the rezoning and developing Dreamworld's excess land. Though the land is already zoned for tourism purposes, Dr Weiss says that developing it has the potential to help Dreamworld.
"We are currently carrying out a review of the surplus land at Dreamworld and are investigating possible uses to stimulate more visitations to the park and better integration into the exciting developments that are happening in the Coomera area," writes Dr Weiss.
A major Westfield shopping centre is currently being built adjacent to the theme park and is expected to open in late 2018. Significant amounts of unused land owned by Ardent Leisure borders on the $470 million development.
The 441 word manifesto isn't exactly the stuff of Walt Disney – it doesn't really say much of anything – but it's at least a reminder that Ardent Leisure are investing in Dreamworld in 2018.