CoasterBuzz Podcast #204 posted

Posted Monday, May 16, 2011 12:12 AM | Contributed by Jeff

Jeff, Carrie, Mike and Gonch review this week's news in the amusement industry.

  • It has been awhile. Not everyone is feeling it.
  • Jeff says Q Funding and their lawsuits against Cedar Fair is like that guy who always complains at city council meetings about stuff that he has nothing to do with.
  • Meanwhile, the testimony of Dick Kinzel and Jack Falfas shows that Falfas didn't resign, and wasn't fired. We find it unbelievable that adults act like this, in a public company, and that the board does nothing about it.
  • Kentucky Kingdom next year? The mayor wants to issue bonds to help finance the reopening, but has anyone asked if the park even has a future?
  • Comcast says it will decide if it wants to buy Blackstone's stake in Universal Orlando. Why would they not?
  • Six Flags planning to split stock, and pay a dividend. Current market cap is over $2 billion. That seems a bit high.
  • I-Walk trademark suit. Isn't that Steve Jobs' walk? It's a stupid name.
  • American Eagle turns 30 at Six Flags Great America.
  • Speaking of, a guy showed up at the park packing heat, and he was arrested because you can't conceal-carry in Illinois. Someone commented he was a thug.
  • We could do a podcast about stupid people. Or politics.
  • Blackpool doesn't allow outside food. Gasp! Stilly British press.
  • Gonch enjoys perks, even warm tap water. American Express has a lounge at Universal Studios Florida. Who spends time in the airport "presidential club" stuff?
  • Disney attendance is up, but room bookings down slightly. We're surprised, because they seemed to have always kept the price at right point to keep the rooms full.
  • Mike is headed to Disneyland this summer. Jeff is going to wait until next year, when California Adventure is "done." Little Mermaid dark ride is regularly featured on the Disney Parks Blog.
  • Gonch's secret to getting kids used to theme parks: Start taking them early and often.
  • Universal Orlando CityWalk is building a mini-golf, and Jeff is excited.
  • Please get your club memberships in right away for the June events!
  • The Fall Affair at Holiday World will be September 17, 2011... save the date!
  • You can get the latest headlines on CoasterBuzz from the Twitter. Follow us @coasterbuzz. You can also like us on Facebook.
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Link: CoasterBuzz Podcast

Monday, May 16, 2011 1:26 AM

Little Mermaid opens in two weeks at DCA. And its no little dark ride its budget is over $100 million.

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Monday, May 16, 2011 10:12 AM

Who spends time in the airport "presidential club" stuff?

I do. It's often very useful to have access to a small cubicle, a real chair, power and decent connectivity to get a little work done when you're cooling your heels before a flight. And, it's also not bad to have a less-hectic space to chill with a glass of something. Not all of them are peaceful (I'm looking at you, LAX SkyClub) but usually they are.

It's not worth doing unless you have to fly a good bit. And, it's really more of a luxury than a "good value" even then. But, I find it worth the money I spend on it.

Disney attendance is up, but room bookings down slightly.

That's not the way I read the press release.
http://dolimg.com/investorrelations/webcasts/q2-earnings-2011_kdaijbjdkl2.pdf

Increased operating income at our domestic parks and resorts was driven by higher guest spending and hotel occupancy, partially offset by increased costs.

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Monday, May 16, 2011 12:28 PM

Well, that was the story we linked to last week: "Advance bookings at Disney parks are down 2.5 percent from a year earlier, Chief Financial Officer Jay Rasulo said on a conference call."

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Monday, May 16, 2011 1:24 PM

Ah--that would be bookings in Q3 then. The release I quoted was for Q2. Be interesting to see if that's just "late" booking, or translates into lower occupancy. They had previously mentioned that folks were planning shorter-notice trips, but I thought that trend had finally bottomed out.

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Friday, May 20, 2011 12:00 AM

Brian Noble said:

Who spends time in the airport "presidential club" stuff?

I do. It's often very useful to have access to a small cubicle, a real chair, power and decent connectivity to get a little work done when you're cooling your heels before a flight. And, it's also not bad to have a less-hectic space to chill with a glass of something. Not all of them are peaceful (I'm looking at you, LAX SkyClub) but usually they are.

It's not worth doing unless you have to fly a good bit. And, it's really more of a luxury than a "good value" even then. But, I find it worth the money I spend on it.

I've been known to hit those clubs, too. If you clear security and have time to kill, or have a long connection (they DO still exist!), then the lounges are a safe haven from the stupidity of travel. They're ESPECIALLY welcome when traveling with a companion in a wheelchair -- a place to hunker down out of the way without the companion getting all jarred to hell by clueless once-a-year's.

Wow, that came out more elitist than I intended...

Granted, I've never paid cash for a full annual pass -- I used to use miles when I had elite status and the membership-for miles-deal was dirt-cheap. I still sometimes find a daypass worth it.

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