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Village Roadshow and Sanderson set sights on Asia

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Just came across this article from last month:

Village Roadshow and Sanderson set sights on Asia Watch out China, the Aussies are coming! Entertainment and media conglomerate Village Roadshow has formed a strategic alliance with attraction designer/developer Sanderson to explore opportunities for new theme parks and attractions worldwide, including Asia. The two companies aim to secure contracts on projects with a gross development value of up to US$1.8 billion. Village Roadshow (VR) would operate the parks, whilst Sanderson would design and build them. Ownership would vary according to local partners. A key part of the strategy is the exploitation of existing VR licences including Warner Bros Movie World, Sea World and Wet ‘n’ Wild Water World, although a number of unique park concepts may also be realised. “There is nothing like being able to approach people, whether it’s government, a developer or whoever, with a brand like Sea World,” notes Village Roadshow chairman Robert G Kirby. “Straight away they can see the success and the history of it.” Whilst setting North America and Europe within their sights (VR already operates Wet ‘n’ Wild properties in Hawaii and Arizona and has plans for a new waterpark in Las Vegas), it is thought one of the first major attractions to be built as a result of the alliance could be in China. “The Chinese market is exploding at such a rate that no one company has the ability to serve it all,” believes Kirby. “It’s like going back to America in the late ‘40s, before theme parks happened. The sheer scope of it means there are opportunities for many, many parks. The real challenge will be to establish one good project that we can hang our hat on, before going off to represent ourselves in the wider market.” Originating from the Gold Coast in Queensland, where many of Village Roadshow most famous attractions are based, the Sanderson Group is an Australian multi-national designer and developer of high quality tourism and leisure destinations. The firm boasts over two decades of industry experience, drawing on resources from 10 offices across Asia, Australia and the Middle East, including its new Asian headquarters in Kuala Lumpur. As well as its theme park operations, Village Roadshow boasts various film and music production/distribution interests, with significant cross-promotional opportunities across each of these businesses. “This agreement has been 20 years in the making,” notes Sanderson's director of business development, Luke Riley. “We first completed work for Village Roadshow at Warner Bros Movie World on the Gold Coast in 1991 and since then our two companies have collaborated on several projects. As Australians, it’s logical for us to make our first step into Asia as result of this new strategic alliance.”

I wonder what will eventuate as a result of this alliance. It's the first I've heard of the Las Vegas Wet'n'Wild plans too.
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They really should develop their Australian products further first(or Concurrently). Obviously Wet n' Wild Sydney, a Melbourne Park(African Safari World still a possibility? or Perhaps a variation on Movie World?), and a Perth Theme Park(In my opinion they should buy and develop the old Atlantis park as a smaller Sea World park)...

But in doing Vegas, this will put even more into the kitty. In being in America- let alone Nevada of all places, a major tourism sector (FL,CA,and NV would all be equivalent to QLD and NY being equivalent to NSW). This would be a smart choice as it would then allow for our aussie parks to grow and more to be made.
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I agree jjutp... I was going to say the exact same thing. Expansion into other areas of Australia is problematic because building there will take local interstate visitors away from the gold coast parks. By building in another destination, you're securing local visitors in another area - thereby increasing your gate, rather than dividing it. the US, Asia and China specifically, are markets that VRTP need to tap into. We could see the VRTP chain as recognisable as Six Flags or Universal or Disney. Naturally, the 'calibre' would be lower, but expanding their market reach further outside australia, in a partnership with another australian company, will see more money come into the parent company... and that can only mean good news for our local parks. Consider VRTP having enough parks around the world that an attraction sharing process similar to Six Flags could occur - instead of buying a semi-spectacular coaster for a park and needing it to anchor the park for 10+ years, VRTP could acquire a spectacular, world class attraction, and rotate it through their parks every two years or so... It can only mean good news... after the initial investments anyhow... I also notice that reference is made to investors like the local governments of the region - this is similar to Disney's arrangements in Hong Kong, Universal's in singapore etc... and is obviously a great way to expand....

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I agree they'd end up with more overall visitors in the end, but consider that most interstate families will trek to the gold coast, and visitors to Aus, while most land in Sydney, do end up with a stopover in or around the gold coast too - sure there are some that dont, but I guess what i'm saying is that while there may be a natural increase in visitors by adding another gate - would the increased numbers (where some of those increases come from decreases to the other parks in the family) viably support another park? We don't have the population for it... Water Parks of course being the exception to the rule.

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ASW was a different concept. It was already a destination as a Zoo... this was just adding to an existing product. WnW (as I said earlier) is the exception to the rule, as Water Parks are cheaper entry, and (although seasonal) are far more popular than a dry park, particularly in the summer months. You could stick one in Darwin and have it be popular - which is why I said water parks are the exception to the rule. Why on earth do you think Jamberoo moved away from the traditional action park, into more of a water park (with toboggans)? Water parks are more viable, cheaper to run, cheaper to install new attractions - less risk involved.

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I'm pretty sure that's what I said. Werribee Zoo was an existing product (already a destination) and add a massive themepark to it (this was just adding to an existing product) Thereby - ASW was a different concept to WnWs - because WnWs did not have an existing tourist attraction in place, that they added onto and improved... it's a brand new product in a location not previously a destination.

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CHANGED - yes. but it was still a destination. So what? they had planned to move the entrance into a position likely to see more traffic - that makes sense... I understand the point YOU'RE trying to get across - but I don't think you're understanding mine. Wet N Wild sydney is being constructed on vacant land. It isn't adjoining another existing attraction. It isn't hinging on an 'expansion' of an existing product - it is being built from scratch. the proposed ASW was going to adjoin an existing attraction (albeit in a different class), and capitalise on the facilities and attractions already there by building similarly themed attractions to make it a better destination. Built from scratch <-----> adjoin existing.... two different things.

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  • 3 weeks later...

In relation to Wet'n'Wild Vegas, Screamscape posted the following today:

Screamscape sources tell us that Wet ‘n Wild is coming back to Las Vegas, but this time with an extra Apostrophe, so it will be called Wet ‘n’ Wild Vegas. This is not the same old Wet ‘n Wild that used to reside on the Las Vegas strip for decades however but is from Village Roadshow Limited, an Australian company that owns several theme parks down under on The Gold Coast as well as the new Wet ‘n’ Wild Phoenix waterpark that just opened a couple of years ago in Arizona. Village Roadshow has already purchased the domain name, wetnwildvegas.com for the new waterpark, reserving it back in May and finalizing the registration just a couple of days ago. Currently the website is blank of any content at all, but I suspect we’ll see something pop up very soon. Now the next question everyone is wanting to know about exactly is WHERE? Just where will the new Wet ‘n’ Wild Vegas set up shop? Apparently the group has either partnered up with, or simply bought out the Splash Canyon Waterpark project that was delayed from 2012 to a 2013 opening. I’d look for a big announcement about this all to hit the media very soon.

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Wish they would build a Wet 'n' Wild in New Zealand. We have one small theme park in Auckland. It's for sale would be awesome if Village Roadshow purchased it and rebranded and rethemed it ! Wet 'n' Wild Vegas sounds like a sound business venture. Wonder if American's will notice a difference between the two brands ?

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Both good points Guess Village Roadshow will build parks that have a big local population Plenty of tourists and an economy to support and justify 100 million dollars being spent GC has a good local population but huge tourist numbers Sydney is the same thus the Wet n Wild getting built there China and USA will offer bigger rewards but with bigger risks Not a cheap or easy business to get into Village Roadshow has 20 plus years of owing and running theme Parks Sanderson have 20 plus years of designing and building theme parks So together I'm confident they will make the Asia and American expansion a success Will be interesting to see what type of park they build first.... A movie themed ie Movie World A water themed ie Wet n Wild A animal themed ie Sea World Or a general themed trill park like Dreamworld, I know they don't own that Either way great news and more awesome theme parks to visit !

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  • 2 months later...

"Village Roadshow is to expand into China through a deal with property group Guangzhou R&F Properties to build a $550 million theme park based on the Gold Coast's Sea World." http://finance.ninemsn.com.au/newsbusiness/aap/8549591/village-expands-into-china-with-sea-world I guess we knew something like this was coming. I'm still pretty surprised at the speed Village is expanding their theme parks. It's good to see that they are expanding and I'm hopeful that they will build another Park in Australia. I just wonder where all this money is coming from and if it's all debt funded? I'm also pretty interested to see what plans Ardent has for expanding its theme parks. If any?

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Well, I'm not in business, so not probably the right person to talk about funding, about I would presume, most of the money is being borrowed? Having said that the company did just sell of the Sydney Attractions Group that it owned and Southern Cross Media just bought out Village Roadshow's majority share in Austereo. Back when both those things happened I do remember reading that money would o back into funding new attractions for the group as well as their expansion into Asia. All I can say is, go Village, I love to see an Aussie theme park companies expanding to show off to the rest of the world what we can do! I have been wondering as of late as well now that the Village Wet'n'Wild brand is growing in the US, what about the Wet'n'Wild in Orlando owned by Universal!

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  • 1 year later...

A new park to be operated by Village Roadshow...

20th Century Fox to build theme park in South Korea

Another multibillion-dollar Asian theme park is in the works: 20th Century Fox announced plans Wednesday to build one in South Korea.

The announcement comes only seven months after the entertainment company broke ground on a 25-acre theme park in Malaysia.

The new 75-acre theme park will be part of the 700-acre Ungdong Entertainment Complex in Changwon City, on the southeastern coast of South Korea, 20th Century Fox said. The company is reportedly planning to invest about $3.5 billion to complete the project by 2018.

Twentieth Century Fox World Korea will be operated by Village Roadshow Ltd. of Australia. Representatives for 20th Century Fox said it was too early to say what type of attractions will be included in the park.

"Korea provides a unique opportunity for an international theme park destination that will be incredibly attractive to both a thriving domestic consumer as well as a quickly growing tourist market from China, Japan and across Asia," said Jeffrey Godsick, president of 20th Century Fox Consumer Products.

It's the latest in several theme parks scheduled to open in Asia in the next few years.

Twentieth Century Fox plans to open its $300-million Malaysia park in 2016, according to a partner in the project. The park will feature more than 25 rides and attractions with characters and story lines from 20th Century Fox's films, including "Ice Age," "Rio," "Night at the Museum" and "Alien vs. Predator."

Six Flags Entertainment Corp., which operates Six Flags Magic Mountain in Valencia, announced a partnership last month to build multiple theme parks in China over the next decade.

In April, Walt Disney Co. and a Chinese partner announced plans to add an extra $800 million to the $4-billion price tag of a Disney resort they are building in Shanghai.

Asia has become a new target for theme park developers that hope to take advantage of the surging middle class in China and the growth of disposable income throughout Asia.

By 2030, Asia will be home to 64% of the global middle class and account for more than 40% of the middle-class consumption throughout the world, according to a report from the Brookings Institution.


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