Sign in to follow this  
zordmaker

Save Wonderland?

31 posts in this topic

Yeah you've truly done some great work there Zordmaker. There are 2 points from the document I'd like to debate though - 1. Sunway actually added NO new attractions from 1997-2004, besides stage shows. The Beach area was added way back around 1990 and Sunway only re-painted a couple of slides in 2003. I think that is one point you should definitely change. 2. Are you sure Sunway has not recouped their initial expenditure on Wonderland? You have to remember that Sunway sold off the surrounding land parcels separately and made plenty of money from them. We're talking millions upon millions. They then sold the actual Wonderland site for $52.5 mill. They bought the entire property in 1997 for only $50 million. Not to mention they are still retaining an interest in the business park into the future. Sounds like a profit to me although I am open to debate on this one

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Yeah you've truly done some great work there Zordmaker. There are 2 points from the document I'd like to debate though - 1. Sunway actually added NO new attractions from 1997-2004, besides stage shows. The Beach area was added way back around 1990 and Sunway only re-painted a couple of slides in 2003. I think that is one point you should definitely change. 2. Are you sure Sunway has not recouped their initial expenditure on Wonderland? You have to remember that Sunway sold off the surrounding land parcels separately and made plenty of money from them. We're talking millions upon millions. They then sold the actual Wonderland site for $52.5 mill. They bought the entire property in 1997 for only $50 million. Not to mention they are still retaining an interest in the business park into the future. Sounds like a profit to me although I am open to debate on this one
good points, will update over the weekend, also will finish the links page and maybe put some multimedia up (i.e. videos of the final day news reports and newspaper articles etc). Im not sure about you're claim that the Beach is that old. I live in the area and Im pretty sure it didnt go up until the late '90s. I will just remove the reference until someone can confirm exactly when it did open. I am not including the sale of surrounding land in the calculation of course. More study is perhaps needed on that issue, although it really isnt that important to the goal. Sunway are not retaining an interest in Wonderland beyond January next year according to ING's released statement. Someone in the press has obviously confused this with PacLib, who are the building company in bed with ING to redevelop the site - and will retain an interest after January. Wonderland was always a very small slice of Sunway pie (take a look at their web site) and their interest in theme parks represents only about 5% of their total holdings - probably 3% now. As for attractions, we've both forgotten the Gondola ride which was moved from Sydney Showgrounds in 1997/98. Although it could hardly be called an "improvement" since I can't ever remember it working. The site will be updated regularly. Dont forget those letters guys. Im doing mine this weekend. Zordmaker

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I can guarantee that The Beach was opened in either the late 80's or very early 90's. The only proof I have is a brochure from the 1993/94 season of Wonderland which includes The Beach in it. Let me make it very clear that Sunway did not add a single new attraction in their entire ownership period, especially not an entire themed area like The Beach. I believe you're right about the 2nd hand Skyrider gondola being added by Sunway, although I wouldn't really call that an attraction. When you do take out The Beach references from your site, don't forget your pics page which also has a reference to Sunway being responsible for The Beach. We don't really want to give credit where credit is not due afterall. I am not sure now about the actual Wonderland site itself but Sunway is definitely retaining an interest in the business park being developed over Wonderland's overflow carparks and excess land. They sold part of the land directly to Australand (and received a massive windfall from it) but are jointly developing the remaining portions. When you take into account that Sunway bought the entire theme park and surrounding land for only $50 mill they haven't done too badly at all

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The beach definitely wasn't the late 90's. I'm going to go with early 90's. Something about 1989 rings a bell though.... As for Skyrider, it was a second hand piece of crap. They actually paid $2.5 million for it too. Idiots.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Just found a bit of info on the Blacktown Council website talking about the business parks. It shows Sunway's continued involvement with the site and the substantial sum of money they received for selling just a small portion of the site. Here is an extract - 'Listed property developer Australand Holdings has signed a joint-venture agreement to develop the business park. The agreement, with landowner Hartford Lane Pty - a subsidiary of the Malaysian-backed Sunway and tied to the giant Worldwide Holdings Berhad - also involves Australand paying $26.5 million to develop the 40hectare first stage of the project on its own. Another 120ha will be developed as part of the joint-venture agreement'. ...And this is only talking about the business park being built on Wonderland's car parks and excess land, not the actual direct theme park land itself

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
The beach definitely wasn't the late 90's.  I'm going to go with early 90's.  Something about 1989 rings a bell though.... As for Skyrider, it was a second hand piece of crap.  They actually paid $2.5 million for it too.  Idiots.
Are you sure? I find that hard to believe. Maybe $2.5m to move it.. but not to buy it. Im pretty sure it was sold for salvage rights only. They also added another pylon to the ride. All up the move, re erection plus the extra pylon would easily have exceeded $2.5m. It was removed from the Showground in late April 1997. I know because at the time I was working there for Kennedy Miller as head electrician and had to do alot of the disconnect work for them. I went on to use the same feeds to run the Babe backlot but thats another story. I wonder where it will end up next?.. Ironically there's a chance that it may find its way back into the hands of the Royal Agricultural Society.. at Homebush! ZordMaker

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Just found a bit of info on the Blacktown Council website talking about the business parks. It shows Sunway's continued involvement with the site and the substantial sum of money they received for selling just a small portion of the site. Here is an extract - 'Listed property developer Australand Holdings has signed a joint-venture agreement to develop the business park. The agreement, with landowner Hartford Lane Pty - a subsidiary of the Malaysian-backed Sunway and tied to the giant Worldwide Holdings Berhad - also involves Australand paying $26.5 million to develop the 40hectare first stage of the project on its own. Another 120ha will be developed as part of the joint-venture agreement'. ...And this is only talking about the business park being built on Wonderland's car parks and excess land, not the actual direct theme park land itself
Interesting news but I think it's a bit old. The land I think you are referring to is where Linfox is now. The 120ha is the one they just approved in March I think. But yes it does seem that (indirectly) Sunway still do (or at least did) have holdings there. However these are not part of the deal with ING. ZordMaker

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I agree with you about the direct theme park site itself, it would seem that ING and Paclib will take ownership of this land without Sunway retaining an interest, even though it was originally reported that it would. Sunway will however be retaining the 120 hectare site directly adjoining the theme park (which as said before is basically the overflow car parks and land at the entry to Wonderland). To be honest, after everything they've done, I wish they'd just pack up and leave our country for good. The following is a recent extract taken from the Sunway website itself which relates to this parcel of land - 'On the other hand, Sunway City is parting ways with assets that are not contributing to its bottom line. Towards this end, the developer has signed a sale and purchase agreement to sell its theme park in Sydney for a total consideration of AU$52.5 million in February this year. With the sale, Sunway City will still own 120ha of prime land adjoining the 58.87ha theme park. It plans to build a business park on that piece of land.' I also found more detailed info regarding the status of the actual theme park site itself and the put and call option thingy - 'On 16 February 2004, the Group announced that it shall be closing its theme park operations at Wonderland Sydney, Australia by the middle of the year due to persistent losses incurred and difficult market conditions. The Group further announced the entering of a Put and Call Option Deed on 12 February 2004 with Paclib Industrial No. 5 Pty Limited for the disposal of the property known as Wonderland Sydney for a total consideration of A$52.5 million, excluding Goods and Services Tax. A security sum of A$10m had been received, which will be forfeited if neither the Put Option nor the Call Option is exercised.'

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Zord, That's just what I heard during my time there. I honestly can't elaborate any further. I presume it would be all up, because if they paid anymore they were kidding themselves. All they did was have trouble with it at Wonderland. With a bit of luck it's going to end up in the bloody bin.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Ok, something I really don't get: Someone - around the time the original announcement was made - mentioned something about the park funding all its rehabs from its own operating income (ie with no in put from Sunway). If that's the case then wouldn't that also means that the park was in fact making money and not the source of "persistent losses"? I for one would love too know how much the park was or wasn't making in the couple of years before it closed. If the park was making money then the whole justification for closing the park was false. I mean, we all know that Sydney isn't that tough a market (Perth is a difficult market, but Adventure World seems to be doing pretty well, maybe its all the capital?), and they could have easily made money, but if the loss' were false misleading or anything like that then that maybe a good argument right there.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Well, the fact that they cited the Asian bird flu as one of the contributing reasons for the closure - something that didn't actually appear until January - yet these talks for these deals would have had to have initiated at least six months ago, if not more with how the business world operates. They've almost certainly had closing the park on the cards for at least a year - not something you decide to do overnight. I think it's pretty obvious that it was a case of looping every reason humanly possible just to shut down. There's no doubt in my mind that the park was profitable up until the final day. You'd need to be down around the 500,000 mark before you start to go into the red, and I suspect the park was doing at least 700,000 or more with ease for the past few years. The thing about 9/11, SARS, Ansett's collapse (I'd love to see how this has anything to do with anything, with Virgin offering flights at half what Ansett ever did) and most of the other reasons given, is they are, as our primary school teachers said, "excuses". These are all adversities that could easily be overcome just by taking it steady, as our Gold Coast parks proved in each of these cases. They could have just bitten the bullet and said, "OK, we're calling it quits, we want money now, not later, without spending anything of our own." Rather they figured it would make them look nicer if they blamed collectively the rest of the world - anyone but Sunway were seemingly responsible for it. As for Perth being a difficult market, I dunno. It's a choice of riding the bus all day for fun or going to Adventure World, then everyone catches the Fremantle Doctor before calling it a night... at about 4pm (to be fair though, Perth does have undeniably the best indie music scene in Australia). :)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Sunway had no other plan other than to do exactly what has just happened since the day they took it over. They were never interested in the theme park. I said it all along, only to be critisised. Their reasons for closure were just laughable. I hear soil erosion and global warming were next on the list.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Zord, That's just what I heard during my time there.  I honestly can't elaborate any further.  I presume it would be all up, because if they paid anymore they were kidding themselves.  All they did was have trouble with it at Wonderland. With a bit of luck it's going to end up in the bloody bin.
I somehow doubt it (the Gondola Ride, we're talking abouit her everybody). It's a very marketable "non thrill" ride that can be put to work just about anywhere. Somebody will buy it you can be sure. Could end up in Asia, or even at Sunway's park in Malaysia. Let's hope so :P

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
  They could have just bitten the bullet and said, "OK, we're calling it quits, we want money now,
I just wish they had told Sydney earlier. If Sydney had known back that time last year, bets are on that they would have supported their park and the balance sheet would have gone black after 12 months. Just the support it received in its last weeks proves that. The whole thing sucks and thats why I want to do something about it. I dont care if it doesnt work at least Ill know an attempt was made. And you never know it just might work. ZordMaker

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Ok I am finding this hard to comprehend but I have just worked out how much money Sunway has made from the Wonderland site. It is quite disgusting really - *Sunway purchased the entire site for $50 million *Sunway sold 40ha for $26.5 million to Australand *Sunway then sold 58.87ha for $52.5 million to ING *Sunway is retaining an entire 120ha (to build their own business park) worth over $100 million That is a total value of $179 million! They have more than tripled their purchase price with all the profits leaving our country. Not good

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Ok I am finding this hard to comprehend but I have just worked out how much money Sunway has made from the Wonderland site. It is quite disgusting really - *Sunway purchased the entire site for $50 million *Sunway sold 40ha for $26.5 million to Australand *Sunway then sold 58.87ha for $52.5 million to ING *Sunway is retaining an entire 120ha (to build their own business park) worth over $100 million That is a total value of $179 million! They have more than tripled their purchase price with all the profits leaving our country. Not good
Thank god for the low Aussie dollar. Do you think that will teach us Aussies something about foreign ownership? I doubt it.. :eek: ZordMaker

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

For those of you who have, or are considering contacting various politicians etc., should read the following release: http://dipnr.nsw.gov.au/mediarel/mn20040217_2466.html The Department of Infrastructure, Planning and Natural Resources have made up their mind - they've made the logical choice, the one which benefits the state as a whole. They support ING, and naturally SEPP 59. I think in nearly all cases, it's much too late to convince these politicians to jump bandwagons. Even your Opposition Party would be crazy to try and stir anything, because simply said, what's being done is in the interest of the state of NSW.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
For those of you who have, or are considering contacting various politicians etc., should read the following release:   http://dipnr.nsw.gov.au/mediarel/mn20040217_2466.html   The Department of Infrastructure, Planning and Natural Resources have made up their mind - they've made the logical choice, the one which benefits the state as a whole. They support ING, and naturally SEPP 59.   I think in nearly all cases, it's much too late to convince these politicians to jump bandwagons. Even your Opposition Party would be crazy to try and stir anything, because simply said, what's being done is in the interest of the state of NSW.
They should check their cadestral maps. Blacktown Council's master map at their front counter clearly says "3C Business". Experience has shown that "what benefits the state as a whole" can have a habit of changing, especially in Sydney. My arguement is not to counter the statements made by these people, but merely to suggest there is room (literally) on the site for compromise, where both interests can be well catered for. ZordMaker

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
Sign in to follow this  

  • Parkz Crew

    Support Parkz... join the Crew for:

    • Ad-banner free viewing
    • Parkz Crew profile badge
    • Extended editing
    • See who's liked your posts
    • Purchase discounts

    Join Now from $20/yr

  • Recently Browsing

    No registered users viewing this page.