Has the Australian Industry got it all wrong

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Could Parks in southern Oz be more viable with a limited lenght season?

Poll ended at Mon Jan 31, 2005 10:37 am

Yes
4
57%
No
2
29%
Not Sure/Maybe
1
14%
 
Total votes: 7

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gibbo
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Has the Australian Industry got it all wrong

Post by gibbo » Mon Jan 17, 2005 10:37 am

I was hunting around the Six Flags web site (trying to find which parks I'd like to go to as part of my 'medium term goals') and noticed the seasonal openings on just about every park. Some parks in the northern US/Canadian areas had season as short as 4 monthsor so.

To me, it seems that parks, such as the now defunct Wonderland, should shut down for at least 4+ months a year (I know Wonderland was closed weekdays over winter at some stage).

This allows time for the core group of full-time park staff (maintenance etc) to do major maintenance, repairs, upgrades, developement etc so the park is pristine during the season. It may also palys up to the human psyche that 'the park isn't always open so I better visit it while the season is on'. (the Gold Coast parks are an exception to this of course).

Having said that, I guess there is a different holiday culture over there where schools have over 2 months off for summer and very little during the rest of the year. This I guess means that they can pack'em in over the summer season.

What do you think. Would it make a park more viable, especially in Victoria and lower NSW if they had a limited season? (Me thinks it a yes)

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Post by Slick » Mon Jan 17, 2005 10:51 am

Nah, I fully disagree actually.

Basically the main point why is weather.

The Gold Coast's climate (and coomera) is basically the same all year round compared to Sydney where you can have blistering summers and 10 degree winters.

And as a plus, why would you close down a park especially when it 20 degrees over the winter hlidays when you're gonna get international tourists from the norhtern hemsiphere who think it's summer.

Also, Dreamworld and the other parks get decent attendance now all year round anywhere to be caring to close down fully for maintenance or whatever.

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Post by gibbo » Mon Jan 17, 2005 12:24 pm

Slick wrote:The Gold Coast's climate (and coomera) is basically the same all year round compared to Sydney where you can have blistering summers and 10 degree winters.


I did say that the Gold Coast parks were an exception, I fully agree they can sustain a year round season. I'm talking southern Australia....Victoria and southern NSW.

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Post by Slick » Mon Jan 17, 2005 1:38 pm

Ahhh ok, sorry about that dude.

In that case, there's probably degrees really.

I think anything south of Sydney shouldn't really be doing an all year operation, because like I said, who wants to go on a B&M hypercoaster during six degree weather eh?

But then yet, if the crowds still roll in, and their not afraid to have their faces frozen off, then by all means keep the park open.

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Post by Mattie » Tue Jan 18, 2005 7:43 pm

This is quite a good topic gibbo. You will probably find a mixed of reactions but most people would say to have the park open all year round.

I do not think our population can sustain a park to be successful and be able to survive on a limited time season. However, Adventure World seems to be surviving alright over in Perth on such a basis.

Our parks will only continue to receive attendance if they continue to add additional attractions. However, they need to get the attendance to make the revenue to purchase an attraction.

Over in the USA they have the population and their attractions and parks are built to handle such numbers of people. For example roller coasters with four seats across and approx 3-4 trains running at once (B&M coasters). So when they open in the warmer months they can handle the large crowds of people with ease.

Take a look at Dreamworld. Three out of their four coasters (Runaway Reptar, Cyclone and Tower of Terror) have only one train. In their current capacity they could not handle a second train (Reptar may be an exception). I know you said that this did not apply to the Gold Coast, but I think you still need to look at that aspect.

The only park that could survive a limited season would be if a Six Flags is constructed. Six Flags do not have any issues if one of their parks are not doing too well as the revenue received from the other parks around the world will help compensate.

My thoughts anyway...
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Post by Zamperla » Tue Jan 18, 2005 9:41 pm

Yeah interesting point of Adventure World in Perth Mattee. This is a good example of a well managed seasonal park with a minimal static population. Anyone know the population of Perth?

Not so sure about your Six Flags example, from memory, the Six Flags consortium has been on shakey financial grounds since September 11, combined with excessive investment in attractions following the North American rollercoaster boom of the late 1990's. Stocks have been yeilding negative returns for the last few years I think? (Bill Gates owns a large percentage of it)

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Post by Aussie Ride Broker » Wed Jan 19, 2005 7:12 pm

Let's take a look at it... Wonderland when it was in operation is a good example of a Park that got it wrong.... Many comments have come to me why it closed the fact is really the Park was not supplying the Trills and Other Ride enterainment for their consumers. In the life of the whole park they (The Owners) bought only 2 major rides whilst in operation of any size. There Drop Tower & Titan (renamed Demon) Roller Coaster, and if we look at Theme Parks here in the Southern Hemphisere such as Adventure World in Perth who attempt to purchase a New Ride every 12-18 months and also let's look at Rainbow's Edge in Auchland New Zealand they are following the same principal as Adventure World. But the Industry here has to take a good look at itself and examine on how to keep their costings in check eg. wages & the killer to this industry INSURANCE.
That's my 2 cents worth on the topic.

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Post by Zamperla » Wed Jan 19, 2005 9:51 pm

Yeah, I concur.

Wonderland's demise was certainly no surprise. (at least in its geographic size) :arrow: I just realised that whole sentence rhymed.

I think it would've been viable in a more minimal geographic size with more closely regulated (and limited) operating hours. This is also the general consensus of people in the industry I've spoken to.

Perhaps the owning consortium were only interested in the capital appreciation of the land it occupied.

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Post by gibbo » Thu Jan 20, 2005 8:52 am

With Adventure World being part of the Maquarie Leisure Trust which also owns Dreamworld, you would expect a reasonable priority to be on keeping facilities and rides new and fresh.

I wonder if MLT purchasing Wonderland was ever on the cards?? Perhaps MLT and Six Flags could team up and get some more Australian parks in a chain together.

Also, operating a limited season should limit the financial issues related with wages and insurance.

CG

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Post by Slick » Thu Jan 20, 2005 1:07 pm

Just think if they bought and re-named Wonderland....


"Dreamworld downunder" that is of course, down under Brisbane.

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Post by tom750 » Fri Jan 21, 2005 3:14 pm

Why could they not have a Disney in Melbourn?

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Post by HUSSRAINBOW » Fri Jan 21, 2005 5:38 pm

fk the parks i say, im all for the transportables :D
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Post by gibbo » Sat Jan 22, 2005 9:04 am

I guess parks versus transportables is an each to their own.

OK, I'm trying to think of a set of analogies that won't offend too many people, so this is the best I can do (yes, I had a lot worse).

Parks are like the potential lady (or man - princess) that you find at a church picnic - clean cut, dependable, well groomed and mantained and you know they've probably got a good history. You can develop a long term relationship with them. They may get boring from time to time, but they'll give you a little surprise from time to time.

Transportables are like the chick (or, again, bloke) you bring home from Twister (dubious Melbourne nightclub/pick-up joint) - not sure where they've been or they're reliability and maintenance regime, they look nice in the dark but when you get them in full light -WOAH- , and they're history is, well, who knows. They're rarely good for a long term relationship, because both you and them are just in it for the night of cheap thrills, and that all either of you want.

I liked Twister in my youth, as many still aparently do, but eventually you realise that the clean cut girl has more to offer and is in it for the longer term.

Sorry if my analogies cause anyone grief, but its the best I could come up with.

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Post by tom750 » Sat Jan 22, 2005 11:19 am

I agree with Gibbo
yay going on holiday in queensland for 2 weeks on march 6th :)

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Post by princess » Sun Jan 23, 2005 9:55 am

Gibbo, beautifully put. lol :lol:

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Post by Mattie » Sun Jan 23, 2005 10:11 am

Interestingly put Gibbo. I do not think anyone has put it in that perspective before.

Dont know if anyone has heard but Macquarie Leisure Trust (ownders of Dreamworld and Adventure World plus other bits of land around the place) has just purchased the AMD chain of ten pin bowling centres. I know we have them in QLD but dont know about the other States. I guess they are broadening their "amusement industry" coverage.
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Post by gibbo » Sun Jan 23, 2005 10:37 am

Woah (I presume you mean AMF though). I used to work for one of the centres (however, I can't bowl for poo). Funnily enough, AMF Australia was the only branch worldwide that was profitable...and now AMF in North America is seemingly dead. I guess MLT picked up a profitable bargain from the administators.

I also just realised that MLT can't team up with Six flags since SF is in bed with Warner.

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Post by Zamperla » Sun Jan 23, 2005 10:40 pm

Gibbo, clever metaphore. I both agree and disagree.

The debate of safety / maintenance of travelling vs static rides is an on-going one.

On the one hand, permanent attractions are not disassembled and hastily bolted together in regular intervals, many would think at face value this would make them safer.

Many engineers argue the opposite - the fact that travelling rides are regularly assembled and torn down indicates a more intimate knowledge of the 'inner workings' of a ride, which in a park, can go un-noticed for months and years perhaps rusting away under a regularly painted cosmetic surface. Regular travel equals regular inspections and replacement of parts it is argued. From my own experience in both parks and on the travelling circuit, I tend to hold this view, assuming all other variables are equal (which they never are) As stereotyped as they are, the operators of travelling rides, I believe, generally have a greater mechanical knowledge and confidence in maintaining control of both the ride (and the general public) than many of the park operators who have limited 'checklist' knowledge and experience in understanding the full gyst of what they are actually doing, while displaying little confidence in handling the questions happenings of managing general public. A good example of this was a park employee operating a HUSS Ranger - the whole central hub was swaying from side to side because she was changing the direction of it manually before the arm had slowed to a stop. The ride was moving like a manual car transmission to a learner driver. :? It really comes down to the individual ride / park and person I think.

Gibbo, do you enjoy the unlimited ride wristband? :wink:

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Post by Aussie Ride Broker » Mon Jan 24, 2005 7:09 pm

HUSSRAINBOW wrote:fk the parks i say, im all for the transportables :D


Well it just happens to cause that when a company prepares to introduce a new ride onto the world market, they just happen to design it as a Park Model upon any success it is then redesigned as a Road Model.

Park Model vs Road Models well Park models are on average around $100,000 minimum cheaper.

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Post by princess » Tue Jan 25, 2005 6:50 am

I do agree with you Zamperla, transportables are normally operated better, you do one job for months on end sometimes years, you get to know your machine and its noises very well.

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Post by Mattie » Tue Jan 25, 2005 7:12 pm

Ummm.......does Spin Dragon ring a bell with anyone (I think that is what it was called)??

I had friends up from Adelaide and took them to Dreamworld. They were a bit hesitant to board Wipeout due to that accident years ago.
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Post by HUSSRAINBOW » Tue Jan 25, 2005 7:57 pm

Ugh get over it people! Spin Dragon was a fun ride, and if it was still around id ride it!, matter of fact, I dont care how a ride sounds or looks, ill still ride it :D
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Post by Trav » Tue Jan 25, 2005 11:54 pm

HUSSRAINBOW wrote:Ugh get over it people! Spin Dragon was a fun ride, and if it was still around id ride it!, matter of fact, I dont care how a ride sounds or looks, ill still ride it :D


LOL... I get the creeps on very old and well worn out rides, but I still love to ride them!

On the Zipper at Rye I was convinced my cage would break off, and had visions I was going to fly out or something even worse...I found that I had to keep riding it anyway.. :shock: :D

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Post by HUSSRAINBOW » Wed Jan 26, 2005 2:57 pm

TRAV!!!
We have talked about this, STOP thinking about the worst possibilities on the rides, i didnt think once about flying off the frame, or the door opening! i dont know how anyone could feel like that....
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Post by Trav » Wed Jan 26, 2005 3:54 pm

LOL ... you make me sound like a fruit loop Chris. .. I am not that bad. really :D

like I have said numerous times, I will ride just about everything and anything I can... but I still would not get on any Ferris Wheel.

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