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Village Roadshow's Gold Coast theme parks slowly recover while Wet'n'Wild Sydney struggles

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Simplified ticketing starts to pay off

The sudden increase in ticketing prices for all but single-day tickets looks to have been accepted by the market. Ticket yield (the average price paid per ticket) was up 30 per cent while total admission revenue was up 24 per cent in January.

This. For all those who were crapping on about the increase in prices being a bad idea - this.

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"In retail there are certain products that people buy and are happy to pay for them," said Mr Burke, drawing an implied comparison between their theme parks and premium retail brands such as Apple.

Look, i'm firmly in the Apple camp as far as phones go - which makes Dreamworld either Android or Nokia\Windows phone... i'm leaning towards Windows phone.

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"Topgolf is what we do. It's the business of 'Going out'. Quality food, drinks, social atmosphere and a high-tech, incredible experience that people will love." 

"It will be open in mid-June. We've got a firm opening date."

This is also part of the answer to the 'why topgolf' thread. Sure, not a theme park, but its all so very in the same vein.

They say mid-june but I really hope they chop and change the date within that month just to screw with all these groups that are already announcing launch day meetups and such...

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Wet'n'Wild Sydney: "incredibly disappointing"

Good on you guys for calling them out on a shitty excuse. Shortening the season is probably a smart move given the current loss-making results - but you can always market things differently to encourage attendance in off peak times too.

Not spending money on it is a solution that will polarise. But if you consider that just down the road, Wonderland only ran 'the beach' through the warmer months of the year too, it makes sense that getting 'the season' right is important to their profitability.

 

On the other hand, my thoughts for WnWS are this - as a standalone waterpark in an area that isn't hot for most of the year, there is going to be the low periods - we have however seen water park style attractions work in cooler climates as well - so it's not a single solution.

What they could do though - is double down. Look to build a dry park within close proximity so that each anchors the other. Shared resources will reduce costs as you can make use of both facilities to support the other's activities (ie - a precinct area - where the professional kitchens in one attraction might support the food service activities in another attraction, for example...) Nothing says they need a fully fledged movie world built on day one - but a start, with an anchor E-ticket attraction or two at the cheaper end, a few flats and some filler, with plenty of room to expand... perhaps with lessons identified, their second Sydney attempt could be even better - and it is something Sydney is screaming for.

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I would seriously consider the viability of putting a huge roof  (with plenty of translucent panels to let natural light in) over most,  or even all of WnW Sydney. 

They can look to some of the indoor waterparks in the UK for proof of concept. 

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I think shortening the season is the wrong move. You might do your ass a few weekends but you also want to be able to capitalise on those unseasonably hot days you get each year.  It's also training people that WnW is an option on a hot day - when it's hot on the GC people know they can just get in the car and go to WnW.  

 

I think the bigger issue they have is a combination of ticketing and customer service/policies.  WnWS has a problem where they somehow manage to be both over crowded, and losing money. For my taste I think an increase in the annual pass price to around $150, and a reduction in one day tickets to around $50 would address the over crowding from pass holders and also encourage full paying day trips.

 

Customer service wise I think there's so much low hanging fruit at WnWS. If it were me I'd install BBQs and allow people to bring food to cook up. Forgot to bring food to BBQ? We'll do you a family meat tray with somepaper plates and tongs for $40. Combine that with getting rid of Fast Track in all it's forms and committing to running all the slides at full capacity. Do all that and in 2 seasons the results would be much different.

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2 hours ago, AlexB said:

Look to build a dry park within close proximity so that each anchors the other.

And then we could debate whether it's a water park or a fully fledged 'theme' park.

Yeah, it's like they've got no clue. Maybe they should have built the park they were supposed to build in the first place? They really need to listen to their customer base about service and, of course, build something new every couple of years to get people coming back.

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1 hour ago, Brad2912 said:

That’s one of your stranger ideas Push... 

The water parks in the UK are indoors because for half the year it’s snowing or not far off, and the other half of the year is about as warm as a QLD winter. It’s indoors or frostbite. 

You are strange too.

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2 hours ago, AlexB said:

This. For all those who were crapping on about the increase in prices being a bad idea - this.

 

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.  http://villageroadshow.com.au/-/media/VRL-Corporate-Media-Library/Documents/ASX-Announcements/Latest-Announcements/VRL-Half-Year-Report.pdf

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.

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Seemed a pretty clear statement from VTP on pricing - they see themselves comfortably as the dominant player in the business, so they will charge as us. I really don’t think we’ll see discounting outside of a potential family style Buy 3 Get 1 Free type of deal 

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23 hours ago, joz said:

WnWS has a problem where they somehow manage to be both over crowded, and losing money.

Couldn’t agree more! Beautifully put.

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On 16/02/2018 at 9:55 PM, iwerks said:

And then we could debate whether it's a water park or a fully fledged 'theme' park.

Yeah, it's like they've got no clue. Maybe they should have built the park they were supposed to build in the first place? They really need to listen to their customer base about service and, of course, build something new every couple of years to get people coming back.

spot on

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Hi @Mark Shaw i’m suspecting that you and your team are planning something big for the park. Especially since you specialise in most things they are lacking.

On 16/02/2018 at 9:55 PM, iwerks said:

They really need to listen to their customer base about service and, of course, build something new every couple of years to get people coming back.

 

11 hours ago, Mark Shaw said:

spot on

Could Wet’n’Wild Sydney maybe be your company’s first project.

Edited by Mc coaster

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1 minute ago, Mc coaster said:

Hi @Mark Shaw i’m suspecting that you and your team are planning something big for the park.

 

Could Wet’n’Wild Sydney maybe your company’s first project.

I am making enquiries. We certainly believe we can assist.  But it will be up to VRTP.  Will keep you posted if we do. 

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17 minutes ago, Mark Shaw said:

I am making enquiries. We certainly believe we can assist.  But it will be up to VRTP.  Will keep you posted if we do. 

Good luck @Mark ShawI really hope VRTP gives this to you. The park really needs some big improvements and I think if they got you onboard you could really make it a great place.

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13 hours ago, Mc coaster said:

Good luck @Mark ShawI really hope VRTP gives this to you. The park really needs some big improvements and I think if they got you onboard you could really make it a great place.

Thanks MC.  Its blatantly obvious what their problems are.  

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8 hours ago, Mark Shaw said:

Thanks MC.  Its blatantly obvious what their problems are.  

I agree with this. Blind freddy can see what a lot of the issues are. In your opinion, what's preventing Village from acting on the issues they can act on? Can they see the issues and are unwilling to act, or are they blind to their ongoing failings?

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On 3/24/2018 at 11:53 AM, Mark Shaw said:

I am making enquiries. We certainly believe we can assist.  But it will be up to VRTP.  Will keep you posted if we do. 

Hey @Mark Shaw, it's good to hear you know that our Wet N Wild down here needs improvements and have reached out to VRTP about it. Haven't been there this season, but last season I did. Terrible looking place despite being only four years old at the time and having a huge quantity of water slides. Place looked far inferior to Jamberoo and was in many respects. Lockers were a must and had exorbitant prices. Park was empty, everything was faded... reminded me of Dreamworld pre-2014 bar the crowds.

It's sad the state the park is in. Reminds me of what I've heard of Sunway era Wonderland and Sega World in its final months. As a local, I hope the park doesn't go the way of those two - I really hope that. But the many problems VRTP aren't fixing or are blatantly ignoring make me think otherwise.

Edited by XxMrYoshixX

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2 hours ago, XxMrYoshixX said:

Hey @Mark Shaw, it's good to hear you know that our Wet N Wild down here needs improvements and have reached out to VRTP about it. Haven't been there this season, but last season I did. Terrible looking place despite being only four years old at the time and having a huge quantity of water slides. Place looked far inferior to Jamberoo and was in many respects. Lockers were a must and had exorbitant prices. Park was empty, everything was faded... reminded me of Dreamworld pre-2014 bar the crowds.

It's sad the state the park is in. Reminds me of what I've heard of Sunway era Wonderland and Sega World in its final months. As a local, I hope the park doesn't go the way of those two - I really hope that. But the many problems VRTP aren't fixing or are blatantly ignoring make me think otherwise.

No one likes to see Parks in decline and there are a few in Oz right now,  Some are obvious, others less so

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I'm no expert but surely issues with how the place looks come second to issues with the day to day running of the park, staff issues, and pricing. I really hope these problems are tackled because it really could be the park that determines the future of another theme park being viable Sydney, even just a cute little park like Chessington WoA in London or Adventure World in WA, just some sort of more modern alternative to Luna Park in a location that's friendlier for large expansions.

I might just be a dreamer though and will never know what it's like to have a proper home park unless I end up outside of Sydney for whatever reason in the future.

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4 minutes ago, AllegroCrab said:

I'm no expert but surely issues with how the place looks come second to issues with the day to day running of the park, staff issues, and pricing. I really hope these problems are tackled because it really could be the park that determines the future of another theme park being viable Sydney, even just a cute little park like Chessington WoA in London or Adventure World in WA, just some sort of more modern alternative to Luna Park in a location that's friendlier for large expansions.

I might just be a dreamer though and will never know what it's like to have a proper home park unless I end up outside of Sydney for whatever reason in the future.

I agree with all but CWOA gets 1.3m visitors a year, hardly a "cute little park" 

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