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Everything posted by jzarley

  1. While still early, Sea World's public offering was successful and the stock is doing well in the first day of trading. (Sea World had a much better first day than FaceBook did!) http://finance.yahoo.com/news/seaworld-stock-surges-1st-day-141443573.html
  2. Disney "synergy" at its very best :-) And, I'm guessing pretty successful--I used to work a few blocks from Nationwide Arena in Columbus and nothing would screw up traffic worse than when "Disney on Ice" was in town.
  3. The establishment of Reedy Creek was a brilliant move on Disney's part in the early development of WDW...and shows just how "motivated" the Florida legislature was to have Walt's "East Coast Disneyland" end up in the Sunshine State.
  4. Has anyone heard any rumors on a potential soft opening for the new "Transformers" ride at Universal Orlando? I've been following the updates over on Screamscape and it seems to be coming along (well, at least the exterior is). I know the original press release promises a late Spring/early Summer opening, but I'm going to be there in early May and am holding out hope for a "soft" opening around that time...
  5. This has been rumored on the Disney rumor boards for a while, but the official announcement was made today... http://www.bizjournals.com/orlando/blog/2013/03/disney-confirms-disney-springs-coming.html And, anyone who has tried to park at Downtown Disney on a busy evening will definitely appreciate the two new parking garages!
  6. "Pod" hotels are definitely an idea more easily accepted in Europe (or Asia) than in the US...even at Yotel's location in NYC, the rooms are probably 4x (at least) as large as they are at the Heathrow location.
  7. Great trip report...nice mix of pictures and narrative :-) It's interesting that you said the parks were so busy for Februrary...I usually go to Universal the week of Valentine's Day and have usually found the crowds really small. However, I'd read some stuff from people who had been there this year during that week and it was very busy. I decided to go to SoCal this year and experience Cars Land at DLR instead and it was EXTREMELY busy as well. So, it sounds like so far 2013 is a pretty good attendance year for all parks.
  8. Speaking of zoos and costs...I visited the San Diego Zoo for the first time last week, and while I really liked it (the Panda exhibits were great...much more close up than the National Zoo), I really have to say that I think overall the Columbus Zoo is better. (I guess that's why the Columbus Zoo is ranked #1 now and the SD Zoo is #2...) But, what really surprised me was the the one day admission cost--$44 per adult. Granted, that includes the sky ride and tour busses, but it was still a little bit of sticker shock when comparing to the Ohio zoos.
  9. The release mentioned refurbishment of employee dorms...other than Cedar Point, do any of the other parks have employee housing?
  10. Agreed--LinkedIn is designed for the career level job seeker, not typically an hourly employee. Then again, I'm not sure where there was any indication in the posting that this was anything other than a professional position. (The title "Director" sort of assumes that...) I think LinkedIn's job listings seem much better in their "suggestions" than either Monster or The Ladders (at least IMHO...) This showed up under my suggested jobs because of the search filters I have set and my LinkedIn profile, which focuses on learning & development and organizational change management. At initial glance, I thought this was a position at the CF corporate/shared services level, but then realized on subsequent reading that it's specific to Cedar Point. What actually surprised me more was that it was considered a metro Columbus area job (as opposed to Toledo or Cleveland...)
  11. An interesting job posting popped up in my LinkedIn notifications this morning... http://www.linkedin.com/jobs?viewJob=&jobId=4677074&trk=rj_jshp&_mSplash=1
  12. I think the bigger question is whether Cedar Fair will always be Cedar Fair...in the big scheme of things, a market cap of (approximately) $2B isn't a lot if you're a REIT or private equity company looking to make a deal.
  13. This just doesn't seem like the kind of deal Apollo would be into...Sea World isn't nearly "distressed" enough to fit their investment MO... Maybe CF could get into this discussion with a partner of some sort...Kinzel may have hated the idea of sharing any control, but maybe Matt Ouimet is a little more flexible in his thinking? What about Disney swooping in on this deal? Apparently they looked at Sea World pretty intensely back in the late 80s when Harcourt was tying to sell them (prior to the acquisition by Busch), but Eisner supposedly decided against it with the thinking that Disney would always be better off developing their own properties as opposed to buying someone else's. However, Bob Iger has already proved that the idea of buying existing property (Pixar, Marvel, Lucas, etc.) works in his strategy for Disney, so why not expand that to theme parks? (Plus, Sea World already has a great venue to introduce the rest of the Muppets into Sesame Place in Philly...)
  14. Captain Picard is exactly right...there have been announcements of Paramount Parks around the globe (Japan, China, Europe, maybe even Dubai) for years (going back to the days when Viacom/Paramount still owned the US parks). All have involved some sort of licensing deal with a developer, and to date--none have panned out. Somewhat interesting...I was hopelessly lost driving at night back in 1999 in Murcia Spain (this was long before the days of in-car GPS), and that single event made me swear I'd never rent a car and drive in Europe again!
  15. Once again, though I'm throughly impressed with Paula Werne's communication skills. (It's easy to frame good messaging when you're talking about a fun topic like a new ride...it's a lot harder in a situation like this.) I would think there would be a line of organizations wanting to snap her up...
  16. ^ I'm sure they attempted to buy everything they could (as evidenced by what they actually did buy)...luckily back then the Koch family wasn't in the middle of a litigation that could have caused that situation to go in a very different direction...
  17. It's definitely a very sad situation, but not unheard of in cases like this. Situations like this have forced the liquidation of more than one family business...there's also usually many sides to the full story. It's fortunate that this isn't still the 90s with the old Six Flags management that would buy anything with the word "park" in the title.
  18. ^ I'd be pretty happy with his job too...or Bob Iger's (or even Thomas Staggs as far as that goes...)
  19. Does anyone else think Matt Ouimet has the BEST job in the world? :-)
  20. ^ that's an interesting analysis...it definitely seems like comparing Disney stock to a potential Sea World offering is comparing apples to oranges...just by nature of their holdings, a public SW company would look a lot more like FUN or SIX than it would DIS or NBC/Universal.
  21. That's normally not determined until just before the IPO launch (although, analysts usually make pretty accurate--in most cases--estimates ahead of time). Prior to the IPO, company management will go out on a "road show" where they'll do presentations to institutional investors, fund managers, investment banks, etc. The feedback/reaction the company gets during this period will help determine how they price the initial offering.
  22. Some interesting financial details about the parks were released ahead of the IPO... http://www.orlandosentinel.com/business/tourism/os-cfb-tourism-1231-20121230,0,174681.story
  23. Wow! That brings back some memories "TASTES GREAT!"
  24. The way I understand Passbook is that you'll be able to load purchased tickets, gift cards, etc. into a type of virtual wallet so that everything is available in one place. However, considering the "guest loyalty" functionality, it definitely seems like a good way to manage FunPerks as well. http://www.apple.com/ios/ios6/#passbook
  25. From one of the Apple fan boy sites... http://www.cultofmac.com/189567/first-airlines-and-now-theme-parks-preparing-to-support-passbook-in-ios-6/
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