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Leland Wykoff

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Everything posted by Leland Wykoff

  1. Herschend Family Entertainment planning a new resort hotel near the existing DreamMore Resort. Local station WATE reports some salient facts: https://www.wate.com/news/local-news/plans-hint-at-dollywood-addition/?utm_medium=social&utm_source=facebook_WATE_6_On_Your_Side We can extrapolate from the WATE report and reach a few likely conclusions amd educated guesses as to the scope and direction of this project: This will be the long delayed follow-up to the DreamMore Resort. One clue is the street name leading to this area--Dollywood Resorts Way. Resorts, plural. Not
  2. https://www.bizjournals.com/kansascity/news/2019/10/30/cedar-fair-schlitterbahn-kck-park-option-expires.html
  3. https://www.knoxnews.com/story/entertainment/2019/10/21/dollywood-pigeon-forge-2020-season-new-festival/4052754002/
  4. Cedar Fair's refusal to comment suggests there is *something* to the Reuters report. If this were a totally false rumor and completely incorrect report Cedar Fair could rightly set the record straight. Now, today. Cedar Fair has chosen to refuse to comment. Thus we can be reasonably sure something is afoot. What we cannot know at this moment is *what* is afoot. The fact Cedar Fair has declined to repudiate the report unequivocally is telling. Perhaps, Cedar Fair has not yet received an offer, but expects to receive one soon. Perhaps, Cedar Fair plans to make an of
  5. A new Zipline Coaster has opened at Paula Deen's Lumberjack Feud. Reported to be the first such combination zipline/coaster in the world: https://www.wbir.com/article/news/local/new-zipline-roller-coaster-opens-in-pigeon-forge/51-a09d7a83-4d0f-4cd4-96e7-1263eea5f075?fbclid=IwAR2sq7Iz8VUjPI9eR_EiVKRkuo9br9B3ZK_6SPQM0ueWfUldyxwuGeh0rNg
  6. Clearer financial reporting and increased transparency removes obscurity and cloudiness surrounding performance of legacy parks. Reported growth is reported on a comparable basis, along with the overall increases due to the inclusion of the results of the Schlitterbahn acquisition. The news is good and offers clarity of improved performance by the legacy parks: "...(on a same park basis, excluding the Schlitterbahn parks) year-to-date preliminary net revenues totaled a record $1.08 billion, up $48 million, or 5%, on a 2%, or 465,000-visit, increase in attendance; a 2%, or $1.08, increas
  7. SeaWorld Orlando and regional parks from the Six Flags and Cedar Fair chains seen as surrendering customers to provide the three million new visitors to Epic: http://www.ocregister.com/universals-new-theme-park-is-an-epic-challenge-for-disney-and-seaworld
  8. Cedar Fair purchase option on Kansas City Schlitterbahn water park property sees activity: https://www.bizjournals.com/kansascity/news/2019/08/01/schlitterbahn-epr-properties-mortgage-repaid.html
  9. News out of Corpus Christi Texas: https://www.kristv.com/news/local-news/free-admission-to-schiltterbahn-on-select-days
  10. Thank you BoddaH1994 and CoastersRZ for your followup comments. Here are additional observations and information to consider. A Platinum Season Pass to the Texas Schlitterbahn water parks is listed at $275.00. A Platinum Season Pass to all Cedar Fair parks is listed at $222.00. Thus we can see Schlitterbahn has excessive season pass pricing power of $53.00 annually over Cedar Fair's legacy park system. This is quite a wide gap when one considers the CF system is composed of almost three times the number of parks as Schlitterbahn. The absence of Schlitterbahn parks from the C
  11. The Washington Post has an article exploring the downsides of amusement parks. It is an interesting read. It makes one wonder how the industry could change to improve and manage the guest experiences better: https://www.washingtonpost.com/lifestyle/amusement-parks-are-an-expensive-way-to-stand-in-line-while-roasting-in-the-sun/2019/07/22/ad309e06-a966-11e9-a3a6-ab670962db05_story.html
  12. The reported "flat attendance" must be questioned. Since Cedar Fair added a weeks worth of attendance over the Fourth of July holiday weekend at the two new Schlitterbahn Water Parks and Resort in Texas, attendance should have shown a jump. Rather flat is reported. Unless Cedar Fair was including the previous years attendance figures from Schlitterbahns in the year over year comparison (FUN made no indication in the press release they had adjusted the comparison to reflect past attendance at the newly acquired parks) attendance across the legacy parks has actually fallen. This raises the
  13. Cedar Fair recently completed a $500 million bond offering at 5.250% due in 2029. Bond proceeds have thus far been used to purchase the land upon which California's Great America sits for $150 million, the Schlitterbahn Waterparks and Resort acquisition for $261 million, assuming Cedar Fair exercises its option to purchase the Kansas City Schlitterbahn property (currently shuttered and non operating on an approximately 40 acre site) for $6 million, that brings us to a total of $417 million expended. This leaves a balance $83 million available for acquisitions or "other corporate purpos
  14. The cost of the CGA land was a bargain when considering the lease payments were very close to the bond debt payments on the purchase price. Essentially Cedar Fair has converted lease payments to actually acquiring a valuable asset. The sale issue were propelled by a change in California law. No longer are Economic Development entities allowed to own land mortgaged/bonded on the public dime (this is a shortened explination of a more complex issue--but it suffices to assist in understanding the sale and purchase). California agencies had to sell the land. Fortunately FUN stepped up and
  15. Merlin entertainment is combining with the Lego family and Blackstone as the exhibition and entertainment field continue to consolidate. This will likely push further mergers in the theme park industry. https://www.cnbc.com/2019/06/28/lego-familys-kirkbi-and-blackstone-to-buy-madame-tussauds-owner-merlin.html
  16. Here is a good article with an overview of improvements and progress at Dollywood for the new season: https://www.knoxnews.com/story/entertainment/2019/03/15/dolly-parton-talks-dollywood-wildwood-grove-opening-netflix-series-9-to-5-christmas-in-the-square/3080580002/?utm_source=knoxnews-Daily Briefing&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=daily_briefing&utm_term=list_article_thumb
  17. This is a wise move as it improves three areas of revenue. 1) Yield management of resort and hotel properties are improved as otherwise empty rooms produce lucrative marginal revenues. Given a hotel room is perhaps the most perishable item sold--if a room goes empty tonight that revenue can never be recovered yet the high fixed costs of room inventory were expended nonetheless--almost all of the marginal room revenue enhancements fall to the bottom line. 2) On park revenues have the potential for incremental growth as guests visit Cedar Point and purchase food, beverage
  18. The Knoxville News Sentinel reports the deal has closed and World Choice Investments, Dolly Parton's dinner show theater vehicle, has now fully acquired the assets of Fee/Headrick Entertainment including Comedy Barn, Hatfield & McCoy Dinner Show, Frizzle Chicken Restaurant, and Smoky Mountain Opry. WCI has also acquired the ticketing business, along with warehouses and other assets, Fee/Headrick used in the normal course of business operations. https://www.knoxnews.com/story/entertainment/2019/02/01/dolly-partons-dinner-show-company-buys-fee-hedrick-entertainment/2743141002/
  19. Cedar Fair may be signaling a new direction in management of ride assets. With a quick turn around parts supplier Cedar Fair will be able to reduce operating costs of repairs, ride life extension, and possibly even ride refreshments and renovations. The reduction in ride downtime can have several benefits including enhanced guest experiences, more effective installed capital productivity, purchasing and pricing leverage over traditional suppliers, and leveling of park staffing costs. Recall some years ago Cedar Fair embarked upon a world wide effort to locate legacy flat rides which were
  20. A documentary was produced in 2002 concerning Paramount Pictures, The Kid Stays in the Picture, and the near death sentence it received under ownership by the Gulf+Western conglomerate. It is quite the view and is instructive of many of the forces which continue to shape and influence Entertainment Companies (even CedarFair). Following is a link to the IMBD entry for The Kid Stays in the Picture. Enjoy the read, and if you are interested in about a couple of hours of good film, stream the film on one of the services where it can be found. https://www.imdb.com/title/tt0303353/
  21. Fee/Headrick Entertainment awards long term employees with $5 million dollars in bonuses, as well as a five night cruise in the Bahamas, following the acquisition of the company by Dolly Parton vehicle World Choice Investments. Employees are pleased to be acknowledged and rewarded by David Fee and Jim Headrick so generously as they share in the spoils of a top of market price with those who have helped grow the company. This taking care of employees was also evident two years ago when a devistating Firestorm roared through Sevier County and the Hreat Smoky Mountains National Park.
  22. Fee-Headrick Entertainment, operator of the Comedy Barn Theater, Hatfield and McCoys Dinner Show, Smoky Mountain Opry Theatre, Frizzle Chicken Cafe restaurant, and theater ticketing and sales outlets, in Pigeon Forge, Tennessee, has entered an agreement to be acquired by Dolly Parton associated World Choice Investments, operator of Dolly Parton's [Dixie] Stampeed, and other properties such as Piriate Shows in locations such as Myrtle Beach. https://www.wbir.com/article/news/local/4-pigeon-forge-theaters-could-soon-be-under-new-ownership/51-618120623 The deal is expected to close l
  23. This article, and series, is instructive in understanding how theme park revenues are calculated by analysts: http://www.theparkdb.com/blog/the-business-of-theme-parks-part-i-how-much-money-do-they-make/ Likely some analysts use proprietary insights related to statistical relationships between other known data points and how they tend to track along with theme park revenues. Sort of like how Amazon can guess other books you may be interested in buying by tracking and mining data fields for relational relationships. Think along the lines as something as obvious as hotel occupancy a
  24. The Orange County Register has a rather interesting article today from behind the scenes of Knott's Scary Farm: https://www.ocregister.com/2018/09/25/knotts-scary-farm-has-1000-monsters-and-they-all-need-clothes/#nws=mcnewsletter
  25. SeaWorld settles SEC complaint and agrees to pay $4 million in fines. Once again the SEC has entered into a settlement agreement which does not require the admission of guilt. Several academic studies have questioned the wisdom of such settlements. Shareholders harmed by the SeaWorld deception will not recover as a result of the settlement. Former CEO James Atchison will also provide funds of $1 million in settlement. http://www.sandiegouniontribune.com/business/tourism/sd-fi-seaworld-sec-settlement-20180918-story.html#nws=mcnewsletter
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