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In depth

Australian theme park/waterpark operator Ardent Leisure releases numbers and a positive outlook

Facts and numbers concerning the attractions industry collected by Tracy Kahaner, Kahaner Research

Related:  More Tracy’s stats:   
Village Roadshow studies waterpark opportunities  / Tracy’s Vital Statistics – Universal Orlando Parks  / Cedar Fair Parks / Tokyo Disney Parks  /  Disneyland Paris  /  Museum attendance in San Francisco &  Chicago   / US Presidential Libraries and Europa-Park  / Smithsonian attendance rebounds 

The theme park division of Ardent Leisure Group, Australia includes Dreamworld theme park and WhiteWater World waterpark (Coomera, Queensland), plus QDeck observation deck (Surfers Paradise, Queensland). Formerly the Macquarie Leisure Trust Group, Ardent has changed its name and is no longer associated with Macquarie Group.

Dreamworld & WhiteWater World stats

Area: 104 hectares (both parks plus excess land)

Dreamworld was purchased 3 July 1998 for AUD $102 million. Catering to all ages, its attractions include thrill rides, a wildlife park, Nickelodeon Central and Wiggles World.

WhiteWater World was completed 8 December 2006 at a cost of AUD $65 million.

Attendance & visitor spending, full year ending 30 June 2009

Visits: Dreamworld, 1, 347, 952. WhiteWater World, 571, 678

Per caps (AUD): Dreamworld, $64.87. WhiteWater World, $28.25.

2010 Half Year Results reported Feb 18 – all facilities

Note: QDeck, a recent acquisition for which full-year data is not yet available, is included in these findings.

1, 056, 732: six-month attendance total. 1, 029, 520: total for same period in 2009.

Attendance breakdown: 57% from Queensland, 31% from other parts of Australia, 11% international.

Per caps: AUD $51.37 vs $55.32 previous year.

Per caps breakdown: 53% admission, 16% food & beverage, 14% merchandise.

Ardent’s observations

“Successful Annual World Pass promotion in September confirmed brand appeal and positively impacted local attendance”

“Lower interstate patronage reflects reduced spending by Gold Coast visitors on attractions and increased discounting by competitors”

“International market remains subdued following global financial crisis and swine flu. In park per cap for food & beverage held up, but retail per cap suffered due to tight economic conditions and prevalence of retail promotions in wider community”

“Operational costs well controlled with margin of 39.7% maintained”

“January 2010 revenues of AUD $12.7 million, down 9.6% on January 2009 with lower revenues from interstate and international markets”

Ardent’s outlook

“Local market discounting expected to continue”

“Gold Coast remains a preferred holiday destination with Virgin and Jet Star increasing weekly incoming flights”

“New family attraction at Dreamworld and new water thrill ride targeted for April 2010 with a major ride refurbishment and relaunch scheduled for July 2010”

“Integration of Q1 Observation Deck underway to maximize operational synergies and cross selling opportunities”

Source: Ardent Leisure.

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