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Are we starting to see the decline of VRTP?


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(Please note this is a question for discussion but I think it’s worth addressing)

As we all know VRTPs we’re sold to a capital investment firm earlier in the year. The first big change since this occurred was the Hooray for Hollywood, which was a great event and a good sign for the future. Since then though VRTPs have been slowing in momentum. 

- Leviathan has paused completely 

- Trident is nowhere to be seen 

- Trading hours have been cut across the parks 

admittedly the new Wet N Wild Slides have progressed and Paradise Country has had some new additions but vaccine targets are making it clear that by the end of the year australia will be in a pretty good place, it seems Dreamworld is preparing for this meanwhile VRTP seems to be in preservation mode. 

I of course understand Covid has had a dramatic impact on theme park operation but thought it was worth discussing. 

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Have you ever been to a county fair? Tacky as showbag stalls are basically the bread and butter for those shows. A good execution of a bad theme (in this case country fair) does not make it good, but

^I'm just going to drop this here, in case it was overlooked. Location: Boost is occupying prime real estate in the middle of main street. Showbags are occupying a dead zone behind the main stree

There are some interesting things happening in our parks at the moment. I don't hate the showbag truck at Dreamworld because it's on brand for their county fair event, but slapping a boost truck

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Not at all. 
 

A pause on the opening of a much anticipated roller coaster/new area is not an indication they are on a decline. 
 

Happened with all SeaWorld/Busch chains in America. Would you say they are on a decline? No. They have some great additions for their parks, and a pause in construction isn’t a sign of a decline. 
 

My guess is it would be COVID related, but there would be a reasonable answer to this which may never be openly announced. 

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I think one of the big problems that has been identified on here before is that VRTP are very reactive. Whilst it seems like there is some planning, generally it seems that most major decisions are made on the fly without any real master plan for the future. Beyond that, their other problem is that they've got so many parks to manage and only so much money to go around so you end up with some parks receiving a lot of attention and then they stagnate for a long time. 

Movie World hasn't received any new additions since 2017 when Rivals was opened and whilst Sea World is getting some much needed additions, we really have no idea what comes next for the theme parks. There are rumours regarding a replacement for Arkham Asylum but even if they started that today I doubt it'd open before Late 2022/ Early 2023 leaving almost five years between Movie World getting new attractions. You can partially attribute this slump to COVID, but if they had a master plan it would be much easier to push through or adjust the plan instead of alternative which seems to be to wait for greener pastures. 

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I think you've got two seperate things colliding here to make things appear worse than they are...

Firstly Dreamworld knows they are in the crap, they weren't doing well before Covid and public perception was at an all time low. So they HAVE to plow ahead with everything they had planned to try and get a bumper summer and turn the place around.

Then you have Village who were doing extremely well prior to covid, a very sound company. And one that has just been bought by a company with financials first and foremost at the front of their mind. Now we have the biggest downturn in trading since the extended closure of 2020, I'd almost hazard a guess being open loses them money. So they've pulled back their spending to try and keep the balance sheet in check. Then when the people flock back they can kick all their plans back into gear and look good in the books, because regardless they'll have solid trade coming in simply due to their solid brand position in the market.

 

So you simultaneously have Dreamworld being desperate, and Village being cautious which make Village look a bit on the decline from the outside.

I'd say once the tourist floodgates open again they'll swing back into full gear

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People really do forget Village is going to be building a hotel at some point in the next few years on top of the planned AA replacement which is by all accounts going to be a significant capex investment.

Did we say Village was declining during the 2010-2016 era where a good chunk of the major attractions at SW were closed without a replacement?

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12 hours ago, Baconjack said:

People really do forget Village is going to be building a hotel at some point in the next few years

Putting aside all of the pomp and circumstance, I wouldn't bet on it until you see the parts on-site. ok this applies to rides but the same thing applies to the hotel too - until they start major civil works, it's not a guarantee. 

And even when they DO start ground works - and even put up billboards - sometimes it gets canned. #SeaWorldWild

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16 hours ago, Baconjack said:

Did we say Village was declining during the 2010-2016 era where a good chunk of the major attractions at SW were closed without a replacement?

We sure did! And it was!
Thankfully those dark days are well behind us know... back to America you go 😛

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14 minutes ago, rappa said:

We sure did! And it was!
Thankfully those dark days are well behind us know... back to America you go 😛

Are they really behind us though? Sure leviathan is a great looking coaster, but is it enough to solve the years of neglect against that property? 

They shut down 3 full family attractions, to be replaced with none, 2 mid family rides replaced with Storm and Pirate Splash battle.

We have gained 3 (or we will) thrill rides which is great, but the full family attractions in what is more of a family park is severely lacking. With the monorail currently closed and no reopening date, Sea World is still in a bad shape for its target audience. 
 

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On 12/09/2021 at 9:38 AM, Dom said:

I think one of the big problems that has been identified on here before is that VRTP are very reactive. Whilst it seems like there is some planning, generally it seems that most major decisions are made on the fly without any real master plan for the future. Beyond that, their other problem is that they've got so many parks to manage and only so much money to go around so you end up with some parks receiving a lot of attention and then they stagnate for a long time. 

Movie World hasn't received any new additions since 2017 when Rivals was opened and whilst Sea World is getting some much needed additions, we really have no idea what comes next for the theme parks. There are rumours regarding a replacement for Arkham Asylum but even if they started that today I doubt it'd open before Late 2022/ Early 2023 leaving almost five years between Movie World getting new attractions. You can partially attribute this slump to COVID, but if they had a master plan it would be much easier to push through or adjust the plan instead of alternative which seems to be to wait for greener pastures. 

Road runner looks like it has been completely upgraded, including new generation vekoma trains. 

Wild west falls is supposed to be getting newly designed boats. 

Neither of those would be a cheap exercise. Its not like they are being neglected. If anything, id hope this shows village have changed their thinking and are willing to reinvest in their current rides and attractions before splurging on new ones. 

Theres money they could inject into some more of their rides before needing a new coaster. Justice league. DC rivals theming, maybe more superman theming? Fix the complaints with the scooby doo upgrade. What about the kids area? 

For me its not a problem while they are actively investing in their park, even if it doesnt mean new rides are coming soon. It would be a massive issue if they were to just sit back, do nothing and blame covid for everything. 

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Exactly, if nothing Sea World is having swags of money thrown at it. 

I mean is Dreamworld in decline because it closed a bunch of stuff and has no, or terrible replacements? When do we base comparisons from?

Dreamworld sucks ass compared to its Golden Years right now, but we’d have to say its no longer in decline. Hell even that Golden Years page changed their name to kind of reflect that. 
 

Sea World is the same, does it suck compared to 2005? Hell yeah it does, but its been steadily improving for good while now. 

Same as Wet n Wild. It was stagnant but is now seeing investment.
 

Movie World is a bit flat, but they are certainly spending money so cant really say its in decline.  

 

Are any of the GC parks at their best? Probably not, but I think they are all on the improve. Village booted the bad eggs in management they had and in place are great ones. Dreamworld has one or two passengers left that need to go, but at least what they have now is better than what they had before. 

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18 hours ago, themagician said:

The only parks that we can truly say are at their best are WhiteWater World and Paradise Country. Neither of which have a long history.

For what it's worth, my favourite park in Australia is and remains Adventure World in Perth...

6 hours ago, themagician said:

Aussie world is definitely improving. From what it is was 10 years ago, to now, it’s improved dramatically.

Such a shame they took out their wooden mouse though. That was a treasure; I honestly thought it ran better than the one in Sydney.

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