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What's next for Busch Gardens Tampa??

Discussion in 'Busch Gardens Tampa' started by Andy, Jun 17, 2016.

  1. MakoMania

    MakoMania Rookie

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    Bad staff shortages, 10am-4pm opening times on many days, ride closures and excessive rollout of new accomodation at the expense of new theme park developments.

    You do not want Merlin to own BGT, Alton Towers is my home park and Merlin do not have a good track record to say the least!
     
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  2. Owen

    Owen Rookie

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    Or maybe because they are recovering from a terrible incident?

    As much as they can improve, Merlin is a vast improvement for the 3 parks than Tussauds. Toward the end Tussauds were giving us Rita and the terrible refurbished Bubbleworks. Merlin started with Saw and this year have given us Ghost Train 2, The Gruffalo and a refurbished Hex, all of which can be seen as some of the best themed and overall best indoor attractions in the UK...
     
    Last edited: Aug 7, 2017
  3. Ready_23

    Ready_23 Newcomer

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    Personally I would rather have Merlin running the parks over Blackstone for a few reasons.

    Blackstone took $610 million in dividends out the parks which could have been reinvested in a capex cycle.

    Whilst they have made a few additions to the parks they've cut plenty of potential additions eg the Busch hyper/giga

    Merlin don't have a huge amount of spare cash but they are willing to invest in their portfolio of parks. As Owen has mentioned, Ghost Train was their largest ever investment which shows they do spend money on new attractions.

    Plus I think the market are very different in the UK and America, theme parks in the UK are very much seasonal and are limited by the weather. The accident at Alton Towers has put huge pressure on the park and although visitor numbers are slowly improving they are still well down on where they were a few years ago. Merlin will have given Alton Towers a target in terms of a P&L figure and to meet it cuts will have had to be made which is why we've seen ride closures and hour cuts.


    How would you rate their running of Thorpe Park and Chessington?
     
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  4. AlexanderMBush

    AlexanderMBush Legendary Member

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    Honestly, it doesn't shock me that a party may be interested to acquire Busch Gardens and not SeaWorld.

    Merlin, however is surprising. I think for the long term, it may be a good idea to spin off Busch Gardens, as that I would think doesn't have Peta going after the Williamsburg and Tampa parks like Hawks, and that Merlin does have a lot of strength. But that no company is perfect, and that they have particular problems said by @MakoMania in particular.

    Either way, if Merlin comes in; that wouldn't be bad. I'm just surprised that Parques hasn't expressed interest.
     
  5. randompixel

    randompixel Rookie

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  6. Mad Dog

    Mad Dog Premium Member

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    I doubt Parques would help the parks much. Our local park, Kennywood, is their flagship park. Though they haven't let it get run down in the well more than a decade they've owned it, they've also not invested much money into the park. Except for a coaster and flat ride switch, & quick service restaurant alterations, it's exactly the same as when they bought it. The former local owners did way more in the way of yearly improvements.
     
  7. LintemuthStudios

    LintemuthStudios Veteran Member

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    They also own Legoland and Thorpe Park, don't they?
     
  8. MakoMania

    MakoMania Rookie

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    They do own Legoland & Thorpe, although legoland is in the legoland parks operating group rather than the resort theme parks operating group. The RTP groups is where the problems lie...

    Just to put it out there, Merlin's aggresive cost cutting began many years before The Smiler incident.

    I just don't want BGT to become a 10am-4pm park.
     
    Last edited: Aug 7, 2017
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  9. Ready_23

    Ready_23 Newcomer

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    If we're going to be strictly accurate the aggressive cost cutting happened in the Tussauds era which was when Blackstone were major shareholders so not sure you can pin it all on Merlin.
     
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  10. WAJAS98

    WAJAS98 Veteran Member

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    Keep in mind that Merlin also owns Legoland, which is pretty well kept at all their locations.
     
  11. MakoMania

    MakoMania Rookie

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    You make a good point, although it is clear that Merlin's track record is far from good, especially since 2013 ish.
     
  12. highkite

    highkite Newcomer

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  13. mitchada04

    mitchada04 Newcomer

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    Merlin run their Midways brilliantly, and Legolands too but that's help by the higher up powers of Lego itself. Their Resort theme parks not so much but that's mainly down to their business model of not sharing profits around from each area. Theme parks cost most to run and in England make less money so get less reinvested.

    If Merlin do buy out Busch expect a lot of focus on accommodation as that is their strategy. Chessington has 2 hotels, glamping and soon more accommodation for a 1 day park that is in dire need of some love and care.
     
  14. Speed

    Speed Rookie

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    In other news
     
  15. Ready_23

    Ready_23 Newcomer

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    It helps that Legoland is probably the most profitable in terms of their theme park division plus Lego own roughly 35% of the group so have significant influence on how the company is run.
     
  16. dnlbaines

    dnlbaines Newcomer

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    I really hope Merlin don't buy Busch Gardens. In my opinion they have ruined the UK theme park industry. All of their recent additions have been bland and uninspiring. They are very poor at maintenance and have left attractions to rot over the years.

    They are clearly inspired by Busch Gardens with some of their additions to Chessington World of Adventures but the quality is nowhere near the level that Busch Gardens provides. The park has ended up with a generic african theme almost everywhere, and I use the term theme very loosely here.
     
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  17. Owen

    Owen Rookie

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    I'd much rather have a bland 14 inversion coaster than whatever you'd call Rita. :tongue:
     
  18. Disneyhead

    Disneyhead Veteran Member

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    I wish Cedar Fair would bid against Merlin.
     
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  19. MattA

    MattA Rookie

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    Cedar fair is already selling off a bunch of parks later this year (strong rumor) so I don't think they're buying any.
     
  20. Mr. EPCOT

    Mr. EPCOT Veteran Member

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    Which ones? Probably smaller ones like Worlds of Fun?
     

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