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  1. Not exactly but that is part of it. If theme parks are meant to transport you to another place, then VR arguably can do that much better. Easy to imagine wandering around Looney Tunes land and interacting with virtual Looney Tunes characters-admittedly this kind of thing could also be introduced at home. I mean full VR rides and games. And I think it is a step up in entertainment value from a Timezone or an iPlay. And Timezone is more fun than SeaWorld for $25 at the moment anyway in my recent experience. I'm not talking about this taking away all their business but it only needs to reduce attendance by 10% to have a significant impact on their business. They're howling about revenue being down a few percent post the Dreamworld incident. To say technological change could not wipe out a few more due to new competition is naive I think. Personally I don't think VR is that great or exciting for the most part but there's definitely plenty of potential for it to capture some people who would otherwise visit a theme park. I mean when I eventually go to VR Zone in Tokyo that will basically be replacing a day of going to a theme park for me. If that was on the Gold Coast it would be far more compelling to visit than SeaWorld for me for example.
  2. So that change in ticketing strategy resulted in people paying less per ticket on average? That basically means visits also dropped, which would also have dropped in park spend-particularly on F&B. Basically, lower total revenue without really lowering any costs but they're still blaming it on Dreamworld. Guess this will be the case for at least another 6 months. Attendances in June were inline because attendance is hardly that high in June normally and for many people it was their last month of having a pass. What they do not comment is pass sales, bet they do not match prior years at all. Also they're blind if they think their theme parks are not at risk of technological disruption. There's every chance that a VR amusement centre gets built on the Gold Coast in the next 3-5 years. VR has to be a huge threat to any theme park.
  3. That press release is barely acceptable. Where is the statement saying that every ride has a working e-stop that is tested daily, that every operator and maintenance staff member knows how to use???
  4. It is pretty clear that each witness has their own best interest in some ways as well. Operators blame management and management blames operators. It is a natural conflict. How Craig Davidson is still CEO is a very good question though.
  5. For it to even be debated whether the e-stop was implemented correctly or not, is pretty damning to be honest. How many other Dreamworld rides do (/did) not have a clear e-stop?
  6. No, because they scrubbed it for 3 days at $119 but it was only 2 days until recently. Further 10% off that price with Groupon is also new. Why the change? Because they want people to visit for more days.
  7. Maybe. I don't think $139 is unreasonable for locals, especially for what one pass includes and that it is 12 months rather than locking until June 30...but this is how they could end up with less revenue. Pretty sure most locals could happily take a 6 month break, no need to directly continue your pass. So they're getting $139/18 months rather than $99/12 months. The kicker here though is about holiday makers. Pretty easy to buy the VIP pass for $99 and then let the kids go to the parks 5 out of the 7 days on the Gold Coast. Now, you buy a two day pass for $119-stuff paying the extra $80 to make it $199. What have the parks lost? 3 days of revenue, probably $40 a day for $120. They gained $20 at the gate, to lose a heap through F&B...less food sold, makes the food operation way more marginal. Where they used to spend $300, they spend $200 and then spend $100 elsewhere. No shortage of other activities that will happily take your $$$ on the Gold Coast. Or you buy the 12 month pass and visit a week earlier next year, so they get $199x1 as opposed to $99x2 at the gate. Less visitors, means less need to spend a lot of time in the park-low ride wait times, also meaning no need for anyone to buy fastpasses. There's plenty of potential pitfalls in their new pricing strategy and I'm guessing they've fallen into a few-it doesn't appear to be a slam dunk move to be profit accretive. Most of the 'consumer surplus' is captured in the first visit to a park. I'll pay insanely more to visit a park for the first time, than to repeat visit.
  8. Well that is because management are trying to avoid blaming themselves and making up rubbish. If things went well, it would be their wonderful management (not the wonderful weather or the record number of tourists visiting the Gold Coast). And because things haven't been great, blame the weather and blame the games which weren't even in the period.
  9. RossL

    VTP Annual Pass Changes

    $99 for a 7 day pass at Flight Centre.
  10. But the games didn't even impact their third quarter. And March is always wet on the Gold Coast. Let's go back to what they changed, their pricing? Is that really still successful? They've just launched some discounts to it? And here's their update: Renewal rates are not going to be great unless they roll out some discounted VIP passes, so yeah, expect to get slaughtered on some of the expected revenue in May and June.
  11. RossL

    VTP Annual Pass Changes

    Not sure about other benefits, doubtful you get digital photos for $10/day. Hack is obviously to just buy one onepass and then the rest at a cheaper price point. If you're not planning on returning inside 12 months, a 7 day pass at $149 is probably still better value unless you want to visit Paradise Country.
  12. RossL

    VTP Annual Pass Changes

    4-Park Pass is now $169 for 12 months on groupon: Obviously excludes White Christmas and Carnivale entries unlike a OnePass but still, discounting is here.
  13. Just never believed that it was truly doubling the price as some claimed or that it makes the pricing less confusing or that they won't be tempted into discounting on them... Average ticket price is up 30% in January....revenue up 24% in January...that puts sales down in total numbers. Not even close to great on onepass sales numbers to non-locals seems pretty obvious. Probably quite a few 2-day passes at $119 and onepass to locals at $139...the rest probably not a great performance in total numbers. Many tourists would have locked themselves into trips prior to November. And that is on the period that is mainly post the Dreamworld tragedy. So maybe not a great result. Actually, admissions revenue is up 4% from November 1 to January 31 from what the annual report actually says according to the annual report. So November and December were actually down for admissions revenue. So how about a theory of lots of locals waited to buy until January with the aim to be using it through to the end of December and then giving it a break for 12 months? Plausible. Oh and this gem on their new annual pass tickets in the presentation: "Entry to White Christmas & Carnivale are included in new annual pass - major value add for visitors" .... so knocking off some of the revenue into tickets rather than having this as a separate purchase. (Yeah I know they used to give one of them away regularly to VIP pass buyers but still, could also contribute to that average ticket price being up.) Attendance across the GC parks down 5.8% in the first half for FY18, drop was 3.6% last year for the first half of FY17 and 13.8% for the second half. Revenue down $5.1M for 1H18 vs revenue down $24M for 2H17....all the more reason to suspect admissions revenue in January wasn't an amazing result....if you took 20% off in January last year and then put 24% on this year you are in the same position. Still think discounting will happen when it comes time for them to renew a lot of the passes that run until the end of June....there'll be people nervous to sure up admission and revenue numbers.
  14. RossL

    Sea World December 2017 Improvements

    They say plastic about 50 times in Seal Guardians too. Not much more worth saying beyond that really.