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Richard

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Richard last won the day on October 25 2021

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  1. I'm not asking you to take my word on anything. I'm relaying what I've seen because there's some questions about the walls at the ride entrance. I have no idea how it'll turn out until it's finished, I just know that the plans haven't been significantly changed in several years. The early artist renderings were known to be largely fiction from the very start. Just as artist renderings often are. Give me lush gardens and rockwork over clinical pseudo-sci-fi any day. You're right they didn't elevate Vortex as per most the model and concept art; it's probably a safe bet that the soil issues that were the reason for its pre-COVID delays were also the reason this wasn't feasible. This change aside I'd argue that this depiction is by and large what's there today. It was about as underwhelming then as it is now: and I don't think anyone could honestly say that things like the giant fountains right next to the incredibly narrow main path were a good idea that had any chance of being implemented.
  2. The plan was always vertical gardens around the ride entrance. They featured in the original model, and they featured extensively in the 3D walkthroughs I've seen of the final theme concepts. I've seen nothing to suggest that any plans were altered substantively as a result of Vortex. The Vortex we got is what they'd planned for; it's just a bit of a dud.
  3. A good place to start with grants and funding would be here: https://www.parkz.com.au/article/2020/08/11/692-Structural_changes_funding_injection_sees_Gold_Coast_theme_park_future_secured.html In short (and to augment the above with newer financials), during COVID: Village loans totalled $70M from existing lenders (i.e. banks) + Queensland Treasury Corporation (Qld Govt's investment vehicle). The exact breakdown between private loans and QTC is unclear, but they received $34M in government loans and grants in the second half of 2020, of which $1.7M was a grant under 'Supporting Australia's Exhibiting Zoos and Aquariums'. We lose public visibility of Village's financials after the BGH deal, but JobKeeper subsidies to June 2020 totalled $42 million. And under the guidelines of the 'Major Tourism Experiencing Hardship' Qld grant they would have been entitled to $3-4 million in the second half of 2021. Ardent received $66.7M loans from QTC + a no-strings $3M grant. It's unclear if this $3M is just the repurposing of the $2.7M koala grant (which itself is tied into a $1.8M grant for genome research announced as far back as 2016), but Ardent received government grants and subsidies totalling $8M in the second half of 2020, inclusive of JobKeeper. There was a $2M 'Major Tourism Experiencing Hardship' grant in the second half of 2021. I don't see anything to suggest Village were 'given' $30 million for Sea World before or during COVID, @StingRay. Feel free to dust off that Google machine and provide more info if you've got it. The fact that a STEM tourism (read: local school groups) project was to be funded by an Asia tourism development grant and pitched foremost as a research project to me is an indictment on government grants and the lobbying industry. But that's certainly not isolated to this situation. All in all it's totally irrelevant to try and compare the two operators. They are two vastly different businesses that faced vastly different problems during COVID and this is reflected in the fact that they took different approaches in the peak of the pandemic, and required different assistance packages. Dreamworld has been unprofitable for six years and even in their heyday was a business a third the size of VRTP. Village also has other Australia and Queensland based businesses. Of course they're going to get different things from government. Are the optics of this reallocation of funding great? Not really. But that's the worst you can say about it. Could a competent PR team have seen this coming a mile away and easily preempted it? I think so, but competent public messaging doesn't belong in the same sentence as government or Ardent.
  4. We have banned animal activists in the past for spreading misinformation about animal treatment at all of the theme parks and we will continue to do so.
  5. We’re always open to guest contributions if there’s something we’ve missed. Not much we can do in another state if the parks’ communications teams don’t reach out and help make it happen.
  6. There was some spam removed from this thread over the weekend which might have caused this. I've just tried permanently deleting the posts rather than hiding it like we normally do, so let me know if it happens again in coming days.
  7. Absolutely. Just as it's premature to write off an unfinished building, I'm certainly not going to defend it just yet. I'll be the first to call it out if the end product falls short of expectations. The only thing I was asked not to photograph or discuss in detail is the final theming, but there's probably a few things I can say: Vertical gardens will feature prominently around the ride as per the concept model. Hopefully real, not fake. Maintenance/inspection requirements will limit what they can do with bare patches on the slab. They need to be able to crane in boom lifts etc. The concepts I have seen for the pre-ride/station area are surprisingly fully realised. I'm told everything I was shown is now locked in and most of it has been fabricated/rendered.
  8. That’s the maintenance shed not the station. It’s in a back of house area so it’s probably worth seeing what they do with sight lines within the park before tearing it to shreds. The actual station will be hidden further from view behind it. And spoiler: it’ll be fully enclosed to facilitate theming and AV elements.
  9. I did actually mean to say something about that because specific mention was made of tidying up the old mess of paths and there's every indication it'll all be open and one seamless area. Black Hole's refurbishment last year for instance included some new pathways to facilitate this.
  10. No it doesn't. It points out that pandemic related delays gets us to now, but the further delays to April seem to be driven by business decisions. Hence the article expressly stating that decisions were almost certainly made amid lockdowns and the shambles of a vaccine rollout months ago. Disagree with the decisions all you want, just acknowledge when they would likely have been made. It's literally in the first sentence that Village are relying on a slate of other new attractions without the coaster. The entire premise is that there's every possibility it'll be a decent summer for Village without Leviathan, and likely even a better summer for Dreamworld as a result. No one's blaming timber shortages. It was outright dismissed as a plausible reason for delays; we all saw how construction progressed at a steady pace once it started (albeit behind schedule). There's possibilities that the timber cost more than originally planned and that may have affected when and how it was supplied (depending on contracts, who's fitting the bill for market fluctuations etc.), but it has never been unobtainable. You're right that shipping delays probably ended up having about the same impact on Steel Taipan and Leviathan given physical construction on both wrapped up around the same time. Despite the non-committal "late" provided publicly, Steel Taipan was absolutely planned to be operational by September 2020. Leviathan was originally earmarked for December 2020. Make of that what you will; it's splitting hairs when both rides have suffered different avoidable and unavoidable delays. This article is entirely my words and opinions. I speak with industry sources all the time but no one person, company or viewpoint coloured this article. Most of it is simply educated speculation and I'm not exactly going out on a limb with any of it. The first 750 words are a play-by-play of avoidable and unavoidable delays over the past few years. The remainder is a fairly succinct synopsis of what summer will look like for VRTP, including the thin attraction count and the optics of numerous dormant rides at Sea World, while also spelling out how Dreamworld will benefit here. I called it a comedy of errors in the second last sentence... who's this apparent puff piece for exactly? Is there a particular piece of information you think is wrong, or that I chose to omit or spin? Is something more sinister at play with the delays?
  11. If you think there’s an interesting story about this being delayed amid a global pandemic that has delayed virtually every other attraction on the planet then I’m all ears. I personally don’t think the narrative is anywhere near as compelling as Sky Voyager’s delays amid years of mismanagement and a botched recovery plan, but each to their own. I genuinely encourage any of you to write such a piece and send it through if you think it’s of interest — I’d be more than happy to publish a well written piece on the subject. Given that @TimmyG and @Tinter were both previously banned from this site I’m not too surprised that they are back with the same tired ‘Parkz is biased’ stuff. One created fake accounts to cause trouble, lied about it repeatedly when asked and ultimately got themselves banned only to create a whole fake persona to rejoin and lie to me yet again about who they were. The other just seems to enjoy disrupting this community for fun. They’re also both behind the Golden Years Facebook page but that’s neither here nor there in their banning, though it does provide context and likely motives for their undermining behaviour. Neither have reached out to apologise, clarify or justify their past actions. At some point it’s just plain harassment though and I’ll reiterate that it’s not something we are entertaining anymore.
  12. More than just a clearance issue – it tried to pass straight through a support column for the track below: https://www.parkz.com.au/photo/14866-DC_Rivals_HyperCoaster_construction/gallery/sort/newest/location/dc-rivals-hypercoaster/offset/207 The ride also had a major section of track removed for reprofiling a year or so after it opened: https://www.parkz.com.au/article/2018/08/24/620-Track_comes_down_from_DC_Rivals_HyperCoaster_during_annual_maintenance.html Even if the design process is perfect (and as we see, it's glaringly not), there can still be flaws that appear during fabrication, shipping, ride construction as well as theming/landscaping construction. There's also the fact that you probably also want to double check that the train can be safely winched around the track, because there's basically a 100% chance that it will stall at some point during its 30-odd year life.
  13. Our position on this remains. This forum is not for policing, witch-hunts or politics. Assume people are capable of doing the right thing. Assume local authorities are ensuring people are doing the right thing within their community. It's really not hard. Take your frustrations about government or society elsewhere because if you post it here it will be removed.
  14. Bring it up in the appropriate section of the forums if you wish to discuss further.
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