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Richard

Unknown hippopotamus attraction discussion

7 posts in this topic

Im sorry if part of this is not hippo. I wrote this during the time the original thread was closed, so have two comments to make and the first comment doesn't relate to any of the new threads.

Makes me wonder why parks would let out operations of lockers (and in DW's case the arcade) to 3rd parties, these would be simple enough to run yet make a lot of money. In any case, I can see the 2.7mil being paid off very quickly. I mean with 1mil visitors a year at wet n wild, and if the usage rates between visitors was just 25% (4 people sharing) then that is $1.75mil coming in through WnW alone. As for the Hippo exhibit, I think it is a good addition, I look forward to something of the same standard as their past couple of exhibits. Any news on where in the park it is going (surely that is not ASX sensitive info)
The main reasons why parks let out coin-op style attractions is because of the maintenance involved. Parks employ engineers, electricians and other trade specialists to maintain the high tech equipment necessary in running a park. The coin-op style attractions, for th emost part, have a high maintenance issue with them. Also, owning such attractions means when new options become available, they need to sell off the old, and purchase the new, which is a lot of cap-ex. It is easier to allow another company, with the know-how to repair these units, to install, maintain, and replace them, while the park makes a nice little commission. I have recently been privy to a discussion between CocaCola Amatil and an organisation. This organisation has exclusive rights over a certain area, which is currently shared between Coca Cola Vending Machines, and Smiths SnackVend, which also supplies Pepsico. In order to get exclusive rights to the area, Coca Cola has doubled their commission, which is also double Pepsi. Without disclosing too much, Coke's offer is to install, maintain, refill and remove the money on all of the vending machines, all this organisation has to do is supply power, and keep out the competition, in return for about 20% of the take, not the profit. For the sake of some electricity, and the minor dissatisfaction people would have at not having a competing alternative, you get 20 cents in every dollar. Why wouldn't you? In the case of the the lockers, 1.74 million in the course of a year would make their money back. Or, not buying it back, let's say they have the same commission offer, that means that for absolutely NO expenditure, they get $350,000, without the need to maintain them. This is why most parks outsource their coin-op style attractions - Its easier in the short term to allow someone else to pay a lease on these items, rather than buy it all, and have to maintain it. Long term, if the coin-op units are successful, then it is worthwhile to buy them, provided there will be minimal maintenance issues, and little to none in the way of upgrade requirements - like there would be with arcade games. Personally, in regards to the hippos, murky water, with a few nostrils poking out doesn't excite me. Polar Bears are playful, sharks are exciting and swim in clear water, Dolphins - same again, and seals are comical also, although they do laze about a lot, but all of these animals form more of an experience than just viewing them. There is more of an experience to be had with them, either by performing in a show, or swimming with them. (Although the polar bears less so, they are still entertaining to view in their own exhibit.) I think hippos is a bad way to go.

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As far as i know, there aren't any full size hippos in Australia. What i do know is that Taronga Zoo has the Pygmy hippo which is smaller than a normal hippo. As for the comment about the water, i have photos from San Diego Zoo that show an example of underwater viewing.

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So now we have evidence of exactly how "thrilling" this is going to be.... not very. Look at the overhead shot - not much to see... which means to see the hippos we're all gunna have to crowd downstairs into little viewing booths. Now the viewing areas in Shark Bay are good, they're big, deep, and plenty of them... because there is more in Shark Bay than just 2 Sharks. What else are they going to have in the hippo swamp? The other thing that not many people are looking at is that this is SEA world. Not WATER world. Just because they live in water, doesn't mean they're a great addition to our Sea World. I'd personally prefer a Sea Otter display. They're active, playful, and they look cool. I give the hippos a thumbs down.

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I'm not real keen on them myself. Whilst visiting Zoo's admittedly I've made an effort to go & see them as they are rather curious animals. Unfortunately though, the fascination wears off after less than 5 minutes & I move on. In saying that, close to 5 million bucks is a pretty hefty price tag & I'm sure they will pull off a lovely display. SW already have some lovely displays and this is going to add a new dimension to it all. I like to think of it as a nice little addition that will compliment the Park but personally I won't be going out of my way to pay and go see them. I'd rather wait for them to pull their finger out and add something that's a worthy attraction and not another display.

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I guess it depends on how well they display them, and Sea World is usually pretty good at making there animals interesting. Apparently in Toledo Zoo where theres 700 different animal species, the hippos are the most popular. Sea World might be able to make this work.

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