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Gold Coast Amusement Force

Should White Water World close during winter?

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Taking into consideration it was a weekday today, the attendance at WWW was very low today. It was dead to the point that wiggle bay was empty at 12. The main slide tower was closed and none of the slides were actually having maintenance done. Should WWW close during winter or stay open. Or alternatevly, they could possibly open on weekends only with all slides operational.

Crowds - 

 

For those who don’t wish to watch.

 

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One of the great things about Queensland is the weather permits theme parks, including waterparks, to open all year round. 

Anyone know what the crowds were like at Wet n Wild?

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So on my recent visit to the GC is visited both water parks ( Wnw / WWW). I must say both parks were rather dead with attendance. Even with the water warmed up at WWW you realise it is really cold once you get out. The same issue occurs down the road at WnW.

I think it wouldn't be a bad issue to operate seasonally for WWW. It saves Dreamworld money on staffing cost, maintenance cost etc. It becomes a win-win situation really. You could still try to do things like some form of a surf school in the wave pool maybe during winter to have a little competition to the GC wake park down the road. I know the flow rider exists for this also but hey too many options never hurt sometimes.

WnW does seasonal operation as we all know with the closure of some attractions. They do this simply as a cost-saving exercise. So can't see why it wouldn't hurt WWW to do the same. Even if its for a few years just so they can save some coin.

One major issue is the fact they would then become seasonal for the staff. This can become an issue as staff turn over is naturally high and its usually hard to retain the same staff from season to season. That has been an operational nightmare as some overseas waters and in Sydney.

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Yes. Saves DW money on an operation they have historically not made much money off in the winter anyway. DW should be cutting costs on attractions with unsustainable upkeep costs and operations they don't make a profit from and doing this is IMO a no brainer from a water park whose crowds aren't even noteworthy during summer, let alone winter.

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On 06/06/2019 at 6:56 PM, StingRay said:

So on my recent visit to the GC is visited both water parks ( Wnw / WWW). I must say both parks were rather dead with attendance. Even with the water warmed up at WWW you realise it is really cold once you get out. The same issue occurs down the road at WnW.

I think it wouldn't be a bad issue to operate seasonally for WWW. It saves Dreamworld money on staffing cost, maintenance cost etc. It becomes a win-win situation really. You could still try to do things like some form of a surf school in the wave pool maybe during winter to have a little competition to the GC wake park down the road. I know the flow rider exists for this also but hey too many options never hurt sometimes.

WnW does seasonal operation as we all know with the closure of some attractions. They do this simply as a cost-saving exercise. So can't see why it wouldn't hurt WWW to do the same. Even if its for a few years just so they can save some coin.

One major issue is the fact they would then become seasonal for the staff. This can become an issue as staff turn over is naturally high and its usually hard to retain the same staff from season to season. That has been an operational nightmare as some overseas waters and in Sydney.

The majority of the staff could be redeployed to Dreamworld in the cooler months (food and bev, retail etc) so it wouldn't be as big of an issue. As far as the rides and slides staff, they could be multi-trained to know how to operate the rides at Dreamworld. Most of the procedures would be pretty similar across the board, with obviously some different procedures depending on the individual ride. 

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6 hours ago, Spotty said:

The majority of the staff could be redeployed to Dreamworld in the cooler months (food and bev, retail etc) so it wouldn't be as big of an issue. As far as the rides and slides staff, they could be multi-trained to know how to operate the rides at Dreamworld. Most of the procedures would be pretty similar across the board, with obviously some different procedures depending on the individual ride. 

Yeah that may be true but they have nearly all the food and retail stores closed.... so unless the intend to have 20 staff at Dough Bros and another 20 in the Lego store - none of which will make them more profitable, there is no point. 

Edited by Brad2912
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15 hours ago, Spotty said:

The majority of the staff could be redeployed to Dreamworld in the cooler months (food and bev, retail etc) so it wouldn't be as big of an issue. As far as the rides and slides staff, they could be multi-trained to know how to operate the rides at Dreamworld. Most of the procedures would be pretty similar across the board, with obviously some different procedures depending on the individual ride. 

So what do they do with the staff who would normally work in those locations at Dreamworld then? Do they become seasonal staff?

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Precisely. The simple fact is that if you close down what is effectively an entire land worth of staff, including front gate, attraction operation, food and bev, and custodial, you've gotta take a hit - either a financial one by redeploying them elsewhere, or a recruitment one by letting them go and hoping they come back next season.

Let's be real - The April holiday period is still warm enough to swim, as is the september period. If you're going to close down, you're only shut from May to August - just 4 months. It's too long for your staff to survive, and they'll 'find work elsewhere', and then if they do - would they come back, knowing they'll have to do it all again next year?

I know WnWS had return staff - @StingRay is a testament to that - but its a job, not something that you'd sustain long term.

This means that for the next season, you have to recruit. And four months to recruit staff for an entire park is about what is needed for application periods, group interviews, training etc... and there's a lot of lost knowledge as your new staff are going to be relearning the lessons last season's staff already knew... so basically you're advertising for next season the day your staff finish up for last.

Most staff are casual, so simply cutting back shifts in the winter time (when it's to be expected anyway) is a far better way to keep most of your workforce on board for the following season - instead of 6 shifts per week, they get 3. They might supplement another job in the winter to boost their income, but they're still 'connected' to the park for the next year.

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On 20/06/2019 at 8:31 AM, AlexB said:

Precisely. The simple fact is that if you close down what is effectively an entire land worth of staff, including front gate, attraction operation, food and bev, and custodial, you've gotta take a hit - either a financial one by redeploying them elsewhere, or a recruitment one by letting them go and hoping they come back next season.

Let's be real - The April holiday period is still warm enough to swim, as is the september period. If you're going to close down, you're only shut from May to August - just 4 months. It's too long for your staff to survive, and they'll 'find work elsewhere', and then if they do - would they come back, knowing they'll have to do it all again next year?

I know WnWS had return staff - @StingRay is a testament to that - but its a job, not something that you'd sustain long term.

This means that for the next season, you have to recruit. And four months to recruit staff for an entire park is about what is needed for application periods, group interviews, training etc... and there's a lot of lost knowledge as your new staff are going to be relearning the lessons last season's staff already knew... so basically you're advertising for next season the day your staff finish up for last.

Most staff are casual, so simply cutting back shifts in the winter time (when it's to be expected anyway) is a far better way to keep most of your workforce on board for the following season - instead of 6 shifts per week, they get 3. They might supplement another job in the winter to boost their income, but they're still 'connected' to the park for the next year.

You have to take the hit for sure. Wonderland used to close the beach down over winter and I am sure not all staff were retained in other areas of the park. WnW GC does the same thing. They hire some extra staff for the peak period but they usually are on a temp contract only and dropped after said date. 

The work elsewhere is a very true statement. People can't hang around waiting for a company to decide what they'll do. I have seen this first hand as @AlexB has mentioned. Usually, senior management and staff are the only acceptions to the rule.

Continuity. God this is something that is hard. Every season you struggle right at the beginning. New rules, new staff etc just make things hard. It is in fact how many overseas seasonal parks reacts to such a same issue. You need to keep a group of core workers but trying to keep them happy is hard also. Because they become to continuity season to season.

Staff cutbacks are better. Running at minimal is better than say shutting down slides to work on a rotating basis That never works and always causes the guest to be terribly upset and annoyed. Also gives a bad reputation to any park. 

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