Laser-light MTV rave dance parties at Dreamworld

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Dreamworld toys with dance for revenue * Bridget Carter * From: The Australian * May 06, 2010 12:00AM THE owners of Dreamworld have used the complex for Screamworld, Nickelodeon World and a film set for the reality television show Big Brother in efforts to wring more revenue out of their assets. Now they are talking about holding laser-light MTV rave dance parties at the Gold Coast amusement park, as a price war with nearby rival Village Roadshow heats up. After Village Roadshow introduced a $99.95 unlimited Queenslander pass last year for its three parks -- Warner Bros Movie World, Seaworld and Wet 'n' Wild parks, Ardent Leisure (formerly Macquarie Leisure) was forced to join in the discounting. Ardent it is also trying to find new ways to make money out of its assets. Chief executive Greg Shaw confirmed one option was to run MTV dance parties at Dreamworld. The parties would take advantage of the recently introduced laser lights, used for the Easter show that featured SpongeBob SquarePants, based on the Nickelodeon animated television series. "We continue to investigate ways we can maximise our return out of the business," Mr Shaw said. In March, the discounting war led Ardent Leisure to offer unlimited access to its Dreamworld and WhiteWater World parks for $69 a head until June 30. Normally, a one-day entry to Dreamworld costs $72 for an adult and $47 for a child. Last year, rival Village Roadshow tempted Queensland and northern NSW tourists, and locals, with unlimited access until June 30 to its three theme parks for $99.95. That was followed up by a series of other offers. Normally, tickets cost $71.95 for an adult and $46.95 for a child for either Sea World or Movie World. The first passes were issued in August, when Village, laden with debt, was considering a deal to privatise the company. The group backed away from privatisation after unsuccessful attempts to secure bank finance at the right price. Later Village Roadshow unveiled an $85 million share buyback plan. For the half-year to December 31, Village Roadshow's earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation for its theme parks increased by $2.5m over the previous corresponding period to $42.5m. In its half-year report, Ardent said aggressive competition in its theme park business pushed revenue down 4.7 per cent to $54.27m, while EBITDA fell 5 per cent $21.54m. Mr Shaw said MTV dance parties were on the agenda following the success of other after-hours special events. "Quite often we get it to capacity," he said. "Now we have got a bit more flexibility with the laser tag and the laser light show, it is one of a number of opportunities we are investigating." Mr Shaw said the group was still not fully committed to the introduction of dance parties, but there had been success with other events held at the park outside normal trading hours. "We are looking at how we can maximise the opportunity, and that is just one of a number of areas," he said. "We have certainly made no specific decision on the MTV dance parties at this point." The year had been tough due to competitive pressure. "Our view has been we have never really seen any resistance to price," Mr Shaw said. "For us it is quite an aggressive situation where the major player has been an aggressive price discounter." The company's strategy had not been to follow that, Mr Shaw said. "We believe that in the end everyone loses in discounting," he added. "We are very conscious about having to add new attractions and diversify our product range." Village Roadshow managing director Graham Burke denied conducting a price war. "There isn't any price war," he said. :lol: "We are just doing our thing . . . We really see it as bringing people who wouldn't go to our parks, into our parks, and people who wouldn't have come from interstate, to Queensland." I am thinking this could be a good move. Only time will really tell. What does everybody else think?

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Just a bit of an update on this (if anyone is interested). Rather than conducting a separate night event, Dreamworld are going to be using the Illuminate infrastructure during Screamworld events, starting this Friday.

Illuminate Head to the central fountain at about 9.30pm as the DJ plays tunes to the backdrop of Dreamworld's new laser spectacular! DW-Att-Screamworld-Gallery6.jpg

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It's certainly interesting, as WVTP continue to spend big money on significant caped additions to their properties, Ardent seem to remained focused on getting more out of what try already have. Only time will tell which strategy proves more fruitful.

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