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Ardent Leisure raises Dreamworld ticket costs
Following Village Roadshow's decision to move away from ticket discounting for its Gold Coast theme parks, Ardent Leisure is to raise the cost of entry at its Dreamworld and WhiteWater World attractions.
Having recently announced $50 million of investments in new rides, Ardent is anticipating rising interest in its Gold Coast parks and, while visitor numbers may well fall with the increased ticket cost, it will be looking for overall guest yield to rise.
Currently experiencing ongoing steady rises in visitor numbers, Dreamworld’s was recently described as “inferior” to its competitor theme parks by Citi analyst Sam Teeger said in a note to clients.
Teeger’s analysis also indicated that findings from the Coronal inquest into four guest deaths at Dreamworld in 2016 - which are expected to be released before the end of the year - could also hurt attendance numbers while indicating that Ardent would have been advised to delay the ticket price rise.
Teeger advised “we would prefer to see Dreamworld raising prices once its new $30 million steel rollercoaster is completed in calendar year 2021.”
Citi’s ticket price analysis found the pricing gap between Dreamworld and rival Village Roadshow’s theme parks had significantly narrowed. Dreamworld’s new adult annual pass is now between 7 and 12% cheaper compared to Village’s pass, which includes access to Movie World, Sea World and Wet’n’Wild.
Previously the price gap between annual tickets of the two theme park groups was between 13 and 14%. Citi also noted Dreamworld’s one-day pass was more expensive than similar tickets at Village, though it provided access to Dreamworld and WhiteWater World, compared to just one park at Village.
Ardent Leisure's recently released 2018/19 figures showed its losses for the year narrowed to $60.9 million in the year to June as increased spending on safety, repairs and maintenance and a higher tax bill more than offset higher revenue from new US entertainment centres and theme parks including Dreamworld.
Ardent's net loss marked an improvement on the prior year's $90.7 million figure, due largely to a $75 million devaluation it suffered a year earlier on its Dreamworld-centred theme parks division. An increase in revenue from continuing operations lifted the company to EBITDA earnings of $11.7 million from a loss of $54 million in 2018.
The 2018/19 report confirmed that the Coronial hearing had impacted visitor numbers, advising “the current year continued to be impacted by challenging post-incident trading conditions for the Theme Parks business, associated costs due to Coronial Inquest hearings, non-recurring restructuring costs, as well as further impairment charges at the previously impaired US centres.”
The company also said it was close to completing a master plan for its Gold Coast site setting out its footprint for future theme park development and showing land that could be made available for commercial development.
Lower image shows Dreamworld's new Mack Blue Fire Launch coaster.
27th September 2019 - Details revealed of WhiteWater World’s new waterslides
27th August 2019 - Ardent Leisure looks to shrinking of Dreamworld’s footprint for development
23rd August 2019 - Dreamworld’s long-awaited Sky Voyager takes flight
9th August 2019 - Dreamworld looks to recruit for the upcoming holiday season
13th May 2019 - Dreamworld Tiger Cubs make first public appearance
27th August 2018 - Dreamworld looks to attract visitors with entry fee drop and LEGO exhibition
29th November 2017 - Village Roadshow moves away from low cost theme park passes
20th January 2016 - Growing importance of memberships to Gold Coast theme park revenue
19th January 2016 - Fine weather boosts performance of Gold Coast theme parks
4th January 2016 - Dalian Wanda’s Gold Coast theme park plan would hit existing attractions
13th June 2012 - Dreamworld looks to added value with annual pass
29th October 2011 - Price war hits revenue at Ardent attractions
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