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Dreamworld battles inconsistent attendances and falling revenues
Gold Coast theme park Dreamworld is continuing to struggle with irregular visitor numbers and declining year-on-year revenues.
Newly released figures from parent company Ardent Leisure show that visitation at Dreamworld and the adjacent Whitewater World waterpark, slumped 30.5% last month when compared to June last year.
Revenue fell by was $4.4 million (35.3%) in June against the corresponding period in 2016 but Ardent says both visitor numbers and revenue had improved compared to May this year.
The tourism operator blamed the timing of Victorian school holidays for part of the slump, with Victorian school holidays falling in July this year as opposed to June in 2016.
The recent improvement in visitor numbers would appear to be as a result of heavily discounted events such as Park After Dark in late June.
Richard Wilson of the Parkz website suggests that “the uptick in attendance with no corresponding revenue boost can also be explained by the expiry of annual passes.
“Almost all pass holders will have seen their annual pass expire and a surge in attendance for the traditionally quiet first few weeks of June is a common phenomenon at all the Gold Coast parks.
“While some may renew, making the most of generous offers such the current adults at kids' prices offer that gives 12 months of access to the theme park for $74, it is plausible that plenty will give it a miss.”
Wilson suggest that others “may be looking to competitors Village Roadshow Theme Parks who have the far stronger offering of new attractions for the year including the blockbuster roller coaster DC Rivals HyperCoaster at Warner Bros. Movie World as well as the rare birth of a polar bear at Sea World.
“Others may decide that this just isn't the year for theme parks, understandably put off by the tragic accident of 2016.”
Dreamworld inconsistent visitor numbers and performance coincides with Ardent’s board facing a challenge from shareholders including Ariadne and property tycoon Kevin Seymour.
Ariadne wants experience corporate raider Gary Weiss and Seymour, along with two other nominees, installed on the board at a special shareholders meeting in September.
In a move set to place further pressure on Ardent, Malaysian billionaire Lee Seng Huang last week bought a 5.3% stake in Ardent through his Hong Kong-based businesses.
CCZ Equities analyst Roger Colman said Dreamworld may need more than two years to recover and required a “under new management” sign in order to compete against Village Roadshow’s Gold Coast attractions.
Recently appointed Ardent Leisure Chief Executive Simon Kelly says the US Main Event operation will be the driver of the group’s growth.
Images: Dreamworld's Park After Dark event (top) and its recently opened Lego Certified Store (below).
30th June 2017 - DREAMWORLD LAUNCHES AFTER DARK THRILL EXPERIENCE
9th May 2017 - DREAMWORLD SUFFERS FURTHER ATTENDANCE AND REVENUE SLUMP
14th February 2017 - DREAMWORLD BACKS KOALA CONSERVATION WITH NEW BREEDING PROGRAM
28th January 2017 - DREAMWORLD OPENS AUSTRALIA’S FIRST LEGO CERTIFIED STORE
18th September 2016 - DREAMWORLD OPENS NEW LOOK TIGER ISLAND
29th February 2016 - TIGER ISLAND REDEVELOPMENT STARTS AT DREAMWORLD
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