Richard

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Richard last won the day on February 26

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  1. 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.)
  2. 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.
  3. $80 million after the refinance in April 2019 but down to $58 million as at 31 December 2019.
  4. 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.
  5. 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.
  6. 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.
  7. 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.
  8. 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.
  9. Dreamworld’s senior management team is appointed by and reports to Ardent. They negotiate and accept remuneration and bonuses tied to the performance of Dreamworld and in many cases share-based incentives that put their motives directly in line with that of the parent company. There were no evil corporate overlords forcing decisions upon a hapless Dreamworld team. Just systemic and cultural failings at every possible level of the organisation. You can perhaps argue that Dreamworld as a brand (or some other intangible concept) was a victim of its owners’ shortcomings but to suggest that Dreamworld as an organisation is a victim takes away a lot of blame that falls to them for many, many short-sighted, naïve and demonstrably reckless decisions in the years both before and since Ardent took ownership.
  10. Richard

    The New Atlantis - Construction Updates

    I don’t know anything about contractors pulling out and I never said you have to trust anyone, least of all me...
  11. Richard

    Rocky Hollow Log Ride officially closed

    For what it's worth, senior management at VRTP reached out to me many months ago when it became apparent that there'd be delays at Sea World and brought me in on the nature of these delays off the record. By the same token I've not had any communication from Dreamworld while public statements surrounding the past year's closures and delays are a shifting narrative riddled with inconsistencies and omissions. Speaking only for the editorial position of Parkz, we can either be on the outside looking in or the inside looking out.
  12. Richard

    Dreamworld’s biggest prize pack

    Second prize is a 10 year pass.
  13. Richard

    Arkham Asylum Maintenance 2020

    That's a lot of words to defend a ride that'll be closed pretty soon. 🙂
  14. Richard

    The Off Topic Topic

    Same goes for having a campaign that is all about having a campaign. VRTP are transparently emulating the Thredbo ads you see at Event cinemas but fall flat along the way — turns out you can’t fake heart. Dreamworld meanwhile realise they can’t focus on substantive in-park experiences because they’ve removed most of them, so they’re going all gimmicks and as a result not actually saying anything at all. It’s all a bit self-congratulatory and on the nose from both companies. Here’s one I prepared earlier. Mostly still applies for both brands. https://www.parkz.com.au/article/2017/04/27/487-VRTP_needs_to_fundamentally_rethink_their_message_and_marketing.html
  15. Richard

    Movie World - The Next Few Years

    As it stands they can't move a buggy carrying tensa barriers two metres down Main Street without half a dozen attendants passive aggressively shooing anyone in a 50 metre radius. Good luck with a permanent ride. By any observable metric, Doomsday and surrounds was wasted capital. It was a very well executed concept that was... doomed... from the start because it was all wrong. It was meant to draw guests away from the front of the park but the attraction they chose was simply not strong enough to be able to do that. Then throw in the interactive elements that are aimed at a totally different audience from the ride. What we have is a ~$10 million spend on something that looks nice but doesn't achieve what they wanted it to. You only need to look at how quiet this area is even at peak times to see that this is the case.