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Richard last won the day on February 26

Richard had the most liked content!

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  1. I don't think anyone's argued that Dreamworld is not a fundamentally viable business but those impressive figures are the product of Ardent's objectively unsustainable business model. EBITDA really isn't a great measure of anything given that this is a capital intensive industry and just how neglected Dreamworld was. Free cash flow for that five year period amounts to about $112 million. There's actually not a lot of liquidity had they been properly maintaining the park and planning for the graceful retirement of TRR, Log Ride, Wipeout and TOT and more. Jury is still out on their recovery plan: Australia lenders wouldn't give them the finance while USA lenders ring-fenced Main Event debt facilities. That's not a great start. As for book value: they'd been actively trying to sell for years. Any number of would-be buyers would jump at a park delivering those margins but I suspect due diligence and an understanding of the immediate capital requirements killed discussions with the Wandas/Merlins/Villages of the world.
  2. I missed that front page story too. Tagging error fixed!
  3. Obviously Ardent’s own announcements that suggest that they’re getting similar funding but it is worth noting that QTC is a state owned investment body whose obligations are to ensure a good return on investment for Queensland. It’s not a case of fairness.
  4. Richard

    The New Atlantis - Construction Updates

    How about we cool it with the faux outrage? Nothing here comes anywhere near personal attacks, gate-keeping or passive aggressive, so this whole exchange is thoroughly uninteresting.
  5. Richard

    The New Atlantis - Construction Updates

    It's been pretty obvious from day one that Vortex was a calculated move based on the demise of Wipeout. Opportunistic sure, but the opportunity was there for the taking... If the public perception is "there's one like Wipeout at Sea World", then how exactly is that a bad thing?
  6. Richard

    COVID-19 & Theme Park Closures

    Let's actually move on. We've suspended members for creating fake accounts and deleted a whole lot of posts here because it's clear some people seem only interested in creating drama. If you wish to discuss our policies about what members can and can't post then feel free to start a topic in Site Issues. (Spoiler: we'll allow almost anything that's not offensive but from time to time may remove things for a whole lot of reasons including requests from park management that we look at on a case by case basis, and our record speaks for itself when it comes to free and open discussion.)
  7. Richard

    COVID-19 & Theme Park Closures

    We've been asked by VRTP to delete that screenshot. I'm sure most of you appreciate the recent hands-on approach they've taken with this community so let's leave it as a "you can't have your cake and eat it too" situation and move on.
  8. $80 million after the refinance in April 2019 but down to $58 million as at 31 December 2019.
  9. No Australian debt facilities is correct. May 2016 revenue was only $6 million, so if the park is genuinely losing $5-10 million a month with significantly reduced costs during shutdown and the majority of wages covered by JobKeeper (there's say $1-2 million in costs) then insolvency is what they deserve, pandemic or not. The three options to repair their balance sheet mooted by AFR and echoed by other investment reports suggests they can do three things: sale-and-leaseback (a la VRTP), sell a stake in Main Event or raise equity. We know with certainty that the first two have been on the cards and/or actively pursued by Ardent in recent times.
  10. Which parts? Senior management quoted saying they require funding to build it? That their plan was to fund its construction with cash flow from a business that was already running at a loss? Their lack of a debt facility in Australia to draw from? At no point does the article suggest it won't be built; it's probable it will. If you can point to any certainty as to how or when they'll achieve that then please do.
  11. Richard

    Coronavirus and theme parks

    This discussion continues in a more orderly fashion over here:
  12. Richard

    COVID-19 & Theme Park Closures

    Just to clarify @Jobe, this personal gripe several members have doesn't belong in Chit Chat -- or on Parkz anywhere. As @djrappa said we may go through and clean up the removed thread when one of us gets a chance, but there were several pages of insults and conjecture that far cross the line of rigourous debate and the best course of action in the middle of the night was to simply remove the entire topic. The point you reference has been there many years verbatim and you'll have agreed to it in the past when we've updated the T&Cs. The only change to the terms and conditions was this one sentence: You may not dox or share another person's personal or private information on Parkz.
  13. Richard

    Coronavirus and theme parks

    If there's one thing they could do for their casual staff, it's offer some modicum of stability right now. Telling them to expect to be back at work in a few weeks time -- when it's all but certain they won't be -- seems grossly irresponsible when people are scrambling for temporary work or welfare support.
  14. Richard

    Ardent Leisure share price drops

    When your market cap is lower than the sum total of your assets - liabilities, and it’s only the start of a major global downturn, I’d be worried. With their current cash on hand + previously negotiated loan/credit facilities they can’t weather this for very long. And what bank is going to bail out a company that’s not even worth the sum of its parts? The last half was dismal for both Main Event and Dreamworld... and that’s without the impact of coronavirus. If they’ve got good insurance then we’ll likely see them shut up shop for a while as we’re starting to see happen around the world. That’s a best case scenario for the short term. First thing to go will be future capex. There goes the five year plan. And you can absolutely bet that there’s very real conversations happening right now about whether the coaster will go ahead this year.
  15. Richard

    Ardent Leisure share price drops

    The market on the whole has experienced huge losses in recent weeks so that's what we're seeing with Ardent to some extent. Few examples however have been as dramatic as Ardent. They've slashed about two-thirds of their market cap in the past month and they're one of the 'biggest losers' on the ASX in 2020. Inquest findings and growing coronavirus fears obviously play into it but inquest findings are not unforeseen and Ardent's share price losses outpace the rest of the market amid coronavirus uncertainty. Remember too that investors at the time of the accident completely wrote off Dreamworld in share price losses. Ardent also wrote down its book value of Dreamworld to the point where the land is presumably worth more than the entity. Dreamworld's value to investors is strictly in terms of potential, not performance. The half year results were not great. Main Event is floundering in a supposedly flourishing US economy. That business hit a wall several years ago and seems lifeless as ever of late. Dreamworld saw a 2.9% attendance growth off the back of Sky Voyager and a concerted effort at special events. That kind of negligible growth from historic lows following major investment and a more focused marketing strategy than we've seen in years is a big red flag and I wouldn't be so quick to say that the park is back on track because they've painted a few things and held some nice events. It looks like there are wider confidence issues surrounding Ardent Leisure. Three years ago a property developer and a corporate raider joined forces, bought up about 10% of Ardent and waged a public war to gain control of the Ardent board. Their pitch was that they knew how to fix Ardent with a three year plan to deliver $1 billion to investors. They got their board seats and now three years on about $700 million in market cap has disappeared. Their own investment in the company has lost them somewhere up near $70 million. On the plus side they've learnt a valuable lesson that just about anyone could have told them: you can't flip a theme park. Anyway that's the short version of the article I would have written in recent weeks if I had the time/inclination. Just throw in a bit more sarcasm and some big words.