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Skeeta

Ardent half year results. 2018

15 posts in this topic

Thanks @Skeeta. A crowd of 10000 on the 28th of December is impressive and very happily didn't visit that day. 

Can someone please explain why Ardent don't have Main Events in Australia? Please don't say Kingpin/Playtime (I have 1 nearby at Westfield Chermside) they are not on the same level.

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1 hour ago, Skeeta said:

Didn't Ardent Leisure have a name change?

An investor asked that very question this morning and Gary Weiss's answer was that it's not a "top priority at the moment". They have a lot of things that aren't a top priority at the moment it seems...

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It’s a shame to hear that the new chairman doesn’t seem too keen on investing decent sums of capital, despite his earlier comments. However, a new flying theatre, waterpark expansion and dark ride are certainly not nothing. They might not be the world class coaster that DW needs, but taken together they will be a really positive step forward... if they all happen. Perhaps not enough credit is being given to these ideas.

One issue that concerns me is the way they are speaking about a refresh as if it’s almost a one off thing. The nature of theme parks is that you must continually invest, every few years or so. DW needs to take a number of actions simply to get back to a decent base line, then continue to add strong attractions every few years after that.

Edited by GoGoBoy
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I think it's all an illusion to get someone to eventually pay big money for the park, here's why:

  • The prevailing theory (and it hasn't been confirmed which is stranger still) is that the reason why Ardent could afford an i-Ride at all is because Brogent are doing a lease agreement and because of that, they're not paying a lot upfront. They get to look like they're spending big, even though they're not.
  • Another prevailing theory is that they had put a deposit on something before the Brogent deal was struck, and rather then waste the deposit, whatever they had planned for the cinema is just going out the back. Again, probably not going to be a big "dark ride", maybe at best a simulator (and time and time again it's been proven unless you're Universal or Disney the entire industry avoids simulators because they're hard to do well, and yet Dreamworld thinks this is their future, why? Because they've already spent the money and they need a good cover story, that's why.)
  • In the most basic terms, what gets people to do repeat visits over summer is the waterpark, so you could add in a lazy river or some basic slides for next to nothing in comparison to thrill ride capex (hundreds of thousands verse millions) and probably realise better profit numbers all round because people will buy more food, more merch etc. upon each revisit. It's a cheap justifier in raising prices all round when the reality is you're still not spending the same money that everyone else is spending.
  • The fact that they're looking into selling the land is telling - it's ultra clear they have no interest in long term expansion or adding major attractions, but to be fair that's been the case for over two decades. You know what that land could be used for? An on-property hotel and a major coaster. The fact that they're not being open about their master plan despite saying they had one and will share it when Weiss strong-armed the board last year is telling. Sounds to me like they'll be able to sell the land, make huge bank from it, and then when they sell the park they'll get a higher price because they'll be able to justify that "the new land-owners are developing x and y and will bring more value to the park's potential to serve more local tourism blah blah blah."
  • They're being super open about pinching pennies to realise certain numbers. Why? Gee, I wonder.
Edited by Roachie
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1 hour ago, AlexB said:

^And you wonder why people think you have a bias...

The Wonderland phone called, someone said something about the kettle being black?

Edited by Roachie
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Perhaps the only truly interesting thing to come out today isn't the half-year results, but rather the separately announced appointment of a CEO for Main Event in the USA. What stands out is this long-term incentive as part of his contract:

morris.thumb.jpg.3538630f9c3da9e609fea47f572f04ec.jpg

Whereas other executives at Ardent  Leisure have long term incentives that are in the form of securities (or previously cash equivalent for US-based executives), Chris Morris has a cash incentive that is based on the value increase of Main Event should it either be sold or listed as a separate company in an IPO.

In pure and simple terms, they now have a CEO of their USA operations whose long-term goal is to sell the business. Read into that and their commitment to Dreamworld however you want...

 

(The other interesting part is that he comes from California Pizza Kitchen, who in my experience are about the only USA pizza chain that does a decent pizza.)

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1 hour ago, Richard said:

Perhaps the only truly interesting thing to come out today isn't the half-year results, but rather the separately announced appointment of a CEO for Main Event in the USA. What stands out is this long-term incentive as part of his contract:

morris.thumb.jpg.3538630f9c3da9e609fea47f572f04ec.jpg

Whereas other executives at Ardent  Leisure have long term incentives that are in the form of securities (or previously cash equivalent for US-based executives), Chris Morris has a cash incentive that is based on the value increase of Main Event should it either be sold or listed as a separate company in an IPO.

In pure and simple terms, they now have a CEO of their USA operations whose long-term goal is to sell the business. Read into that and their commitment to Dreamworld however you want...

I’d like to know how you’re reading into it, Richard!

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14 hours ago, Roachie said:

The Wonderland phone called, someone said something about the kettle being black?

Dude, it's a park that no longer exists. Its very different to critiquing current and ongoing operations. I wasn't saying you had a bias, I was pointing out that you just showed very good reasons why some people think you do.

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14 minutes ago, AlexB said:

Dude, it's a park that no longer exists.

You say that like you're not a part of a society that preserves Wonderland History. I wasn't saying there was irony, I was just pointing out that some people might think that's rich coming from a guy who finds a way to fit Wonderland into every topic. :P

Edited by Roachie

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I'm not denying my involvement. ;)

And sure, I do relate it to topics where it is relevant - but that's because its a park i'm most familiar with.

It's not like i'm just randomly starting threads about the park all the time... that'd be weird. :P

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9 minutes ago, AlexB said:

I'm not denying my involvement. ;)

And sure, I do relate it to topics where it is relevant - but that's because its a park i'm most familiar with.

It's not like i'm just randomly starting threads about the park all the time... that'd be weird. :P

Agreed, that’s more of a @Richard / @Parkz News thing. 

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