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Richard last won the day on January 27

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  1. 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!
  2. 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?
  3. 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.)
  4. 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...
  5. 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.
  6. 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.
  7. 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.
  8. 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.
  9. 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.
  10. We cover all manner of stuff on this website that is utterly boring to 99% of the population. At the end of the day this is an article that was thrown together because it is something of minor consequence to talk about in an otherwise quiet week. It's a niche audience within a niche audience that would be into this and it's not a topic we'd make a habit of covering regularly so it was left at a level that would be interesting for anyone that willingly reads beyond the hyperlinks to the two websites. The payoff -- for you, me or this website -- just isn't there if we made this piece web design 101, compared with say roller coaster construction techniques for dummies. Be sure to do up a list of big, confusing words every time we cover something financial because we never explain things like EBITDA, the inner workings of the stock exchange or annual general meetings for the poor mums and dads.
  11. That's entirely the point. We're backing this with our track record. Feel free to disagree, but like I said, I'm pretty confident that history will vindicate this one like it has so many times before. That's because your point is complete nonsense. A Google search for whiplash headrest yields countless diagrams of "incorrect" headrests placed at precisely the same point as the bar on the boats. Restraining the neck while allowing free rotation of the head is just poor design on a ride where collisions from behind are normal and riders will frequently move, and often suddenly contort themselves to avoid getting wet. What does it tell you beyond the fact that I have made a decision based on my personal experiences? I'm sure you wouldn't go back to a cafe that serves lousy coffee or a mechanic that leaves your brakes squeaking. Using industry knowledge and connections all around the world for the purposes of writing articles is a little different from a gut feeling that I choose to express in particularly measured terms.
  12. I'll just give you a non-answer about how Sea World's lineup of kids' attractions is formidable between Nickelodeon Land, Castaway Bay and The Reef and that the overall presentation and quality is of a much higher standard.
  13. I think that's part of the problem... "the parks" refers to two operators that have very different standards and procedures. While at that point in time all the parks were suffering, I don't think it's fair to lump them together anymore. The Log Ride changes are just one of a handful of situations and incidents that I've witnessed first-hand in recent months that has made me personally decide to no longer ride anything at Dreamworld.
  14. @webslave that page is no longer linked on the site. We very consciously stepped back from it when it became apparent that the park most needing of support wasn't deserving of it in that manner. Remember at the time it was almost daily coverage of stoppages and animal nutjobs on top of Dreamworld's woes. It served a purpose at a particularly dark time. @AlexB all I can really say is that you know us and you know our track record. We've been doing this a very long time, have been consistently accurate and have proved time and time again that we know things. It was described to me as elitist yesterday, but I'm pretty confident in how history will judge it.
  15. I don't think anyone's suggested that Dreamworld has done these modifications without having the work signed off by engineers. It's absolutely certain that they did. But this is not a new thing. For many years they have relied on qualified internal and external engineers to sign off on all manner of work, yet the incident and the ensuing audits made it abundantly clear that processes simply weren't adequate in the past. If you think what they've added to the Log Ride represents best practice in the industry and that it is the level of engineering Dreamworld should be aspiring to, then that's where we differ.