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Richard last won the day on May 8

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  1. Richard

    Sea World Updates 2018

    Like said, we don't want these sorts of open-ended "mega threads".
  2. What marketing are you referring to that you like? Because there's not much of anything resembling a cohesive marketing strategy at play here. I don't think calling it a flying theatre helps them. It's still a term completely unknown to the wider population, and a "theatre" hardly conjures up imagery of an exciting ride. They're building a ride that no amount of photos, videos or descriptions will do justice to. For all of the great things you can say about this kind of attraction, Dreamworld have their work cut out for them in terms of selling the concept.
  3. Richard

    Acting CEO of Ardent to leave June 15

    They're not looking. Ardent don't need a group CEO because they have no strategic requirements beyond keeping Dreamworld barely ticking along until they find a buyer, freeing them up to sell off the remaining Main Event in either an IPO or a private equity deal at a premium on the share price.
  4. There's a Brooklyn Depot at South Bank too @AlexB. Alright food. Clever gimmick of hiring mostly young USA students/backpackers as wait staff so you get an authentic experience, albeit without the service quality that you only get from America's tipping culture.
  5. @Skeeta, it would presumably have something to do with Brewster Inc. (operators of FlyOver Canada) registering Flyover in Australia a couple of weeks after this article was published. Methinks lawyers spoke to lawyers and kindly asked that Ardent Leisure yank their application rather than both companies going through a costly appeal/arbitration process that Ardent would certainly lose. I wouldn't necessarily rule out a licensing arrangement given Dreamworld's penchant for leaning on other brands.
  6. Yeah the watering down of the new deli menu was a big step back. The sandwiches on offer like the Reuben were authentic and as good as you'd find at any bar or cafe serving this style of American food. The lazy answer is they didn't find much of an audience for this style of food in a theme park setting, but you also never see much of a crowd there ordering the usual fare of pies and premade wraps/sandwiches so you tend to wonder if the venue just doesn't get the foot traffic and promotion it should. I think ideally it should have been built as an extension of the coffee shop where it'd be a much better companion outlet than the pointless combination of a modern deli next to Ben & Jerry's. No objections to the prices VRTP charge for F&B generally speaking -- it should be premium prices -- but I think they are incredibly foolish to not be modernising their staples. They don't exist in a bubble and McDonalds are no longer the benchmark; every major shopping centre foodcourt offers ample high quality, modern and fresh fast food. The burgers on offer, even at seemingly premium outlets like Dockside Tavern run the gamut from average to embarassing. The business model for the parks relies on repeat visits; I suspect bean counters are happy so long as the key outlets are doing good business with little regard for the fact that other would-be major outlets are almost always shut, operate for reduced hours or simply under-perform. Someone probably met a KPI by shaving a few cents off the cost per serve with those cardboard fries. All the while there's countless TripAdvisor reviews urging people to steer clear of the food on offer. And then how many passholders quietly decide "never again" on a daily basis?
  7. Richard

    Dreamworld - 2017 "exciting" "experiences"

    As good a time as any to wrap things up here. This thread has more than run its course. Feel free to carry on discussion at the below links: Gold Rush demolition: Dreamworld Corroboree works: Remember, no mega-topics. Don't be afraid to start a new topic to talk about new things major or minor!
  8. To reiterate @Skeeta's point -- let's keep insults and personal remarks out of it. It's an interesting topic of discussion and one I'd like to see continue in a mature fashion. I am curious @iwerks, given your knowledge of the park and Perth in general. In what sense is Adventure World fundamentally different from the Gold Coast parks? What market conditions or other factors do you see allowing the park to maintain this pace of investment and development?
  9. Richard

    Ardent half year results. 2018

    Perhaps the only truly interesting thing to come out today isn't the half-year results, but rather the separately announced appointment of a CEO for Main Event in the USA. What stands out is this long-term incentive as part of his contract: Whereas other executives at Ardent Leisure have long term incentives that are in the form of securities (or previously cash equivalent for US-based executives), Chris Morris has a cash incentive that is based on the value increase of Main Event should it either be sold or listed as a separate company in an IPO. In pure and simple terms, they now have a CEO of their USA operations whose long-term goal is to sell the business. Read into that and their commitment to Dreamworld however you want... (The other interesting part is that he comes from California Pizza Kitchen, who in my experience are about the only USA pizza chain that does a decent pizza.)
  10. Richard

    Ardent half year results. 2018

    An investor asked that very question this morning and Gary Weiss's answer was that it's not a "top priority at the moment". They have a lot of things that aren't a top priority at the moment it seems...
  11. Nothing really new about that. This inane written-by-committee "opinion piece" fails to capture anything resembling actual commitment, let alone excitement or passion about the future of the park.
  12. Richard

    Eureka Mountain replacement dark ride

    A lease arrangement tied to ridership or overall attendance isn't that unheard of in the theme park industry. Do you think Movie World were paying the same amount for the rights to Shrek 4D as Universal Studios? Plenty of ways to make such an arrangement work for a single-price theme park. @Skeeta if there were a different simulator ride planned initially then it's quite possible that a deposit was paid before the i-Ride fell into their laps. If that's the case then it makes perfect sense to simply delay this project rather than scrap it completely.
  13. Richard

    Eureka Mountain replacement dark ride

    Prior to the Dreamworld announcement, Brogent were the ones spending ~$30 million bringing the concept to Brisbane. Brogent have referred to Dreamworld as their 'operating partner'. Dreamworld have referred to Brogent as a 'core partner'. Brogent has leasing and profit share arrangements with some i-Ride operators around the world. This is almost certainly what they were planning for Brisbane when Dreamworld jumped in and ostensibly became the home for that project. It's unlikely Ardent are spending a whole lot of their own capital on this ride.
  14. Richard

    Let's be honest about Topgolf

    A really cursory search tells me that the total posts talking about Topgolf to date exceeds the total posts about every other non-theme park VRTP offering combined... ever. Granted it's more physically present than these other attractions and its initial construction got caught up in Rivalsmania, but I think the hype and interest it's garnered from enthusiasts is curiously different from every other non-park attraction before.
  15. Richard

    Let's be honest about Topgolf

    I think it's a genuine question and I don't see anyone saying that theme park fans or pages are wrong for being interested in this. I do think it's an interesting topic because even other nearby VRTP offerings like Paradise Country, Australian Outback Spectacular, Wet'n'Wild Buggy don't get much mention in this community. Granted Topgolf certainly has more of an appeal to this audience than PC or AOS, but things like WnW Buggy seem like they'd be a fit too. Or the indoor go-kart joint just across the road that has a zipline coaster for that matter. For what it's worth, the driving range at Victoria Park in Brisbane is modern, licensed, two levels and features (albeit unsophisticated) targets. They don't have the private booths or the technology which are obviously at the core of the social experience of Topgolf but I'd argue the fundamental concept (drinks and whacking balls at things with mates) isn't as novel as it might seem. Topgolf just package it into a very schmick experience. And it's American. Ignoring theme park fans for a second I do feel like there's a cultural trend at play where Australians visit America once and then return to brag about the things they did and tried before their mates. In the same way that decidedly average US fast food chains like Taco Bell or Carls Jr are taking off here, I feel like Topgolf is riding the current wave of anything American to some extent. That isn't to say it's not a valid reason to be excited about it, but it's undoubtedly part of the bigger picture. I'm looking forward to it because of how it aligns a number of my personal interests. Quality American food (hopefully), good beers (hopefully) and golf. Despite the proximity and ownership I don't see any inherent theme park connection. That said it's been covered on Parkz a bit and I certainly plan to do more. If group events were our thing I'd probably be more keen for an afternoon/evening at Topgolf (18+, first round on us, no one's driving home are the rules) than say a day at a park.