Great Wolf revenue up on per-available-room basis

Posted Monday, November 6, 2006 9:21 AM | Contributed by Jeff

Great Wolf Resorts reported its third quarter revenue, up 7.1% on a "same store" basis per available room. Expansion of new and existing properties is fueling growth for the company.

Read the press release on PR Newswire.

Monday, November 6, 2006 9:29 AM
Even the Sandusky property has recovered a bit, which is good news. All three parks there seem to be doing well.
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Monday, November 6, 2006 10:56 AM
It's interesting to note they said almost the same thing about the effects of the Michigan economy on both of those resorts as Cedar Fair has said.

I'd wondered if the Traverse City property was having the same difficulties as the Sandusky one.

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Monday, November 6, 2006 11:47 AM
unless they have some corporate ties of execs who regularly stay at these resorts. IMHO they are doomed charging 400 a night.

Chuck

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Monday, November 6, 2006 1:34 PM
I agree, Chuck. when i saw 298.00 a nite, I thought that was nuts. My girlfriend asked if that included pizza or snacks or something. Nope, just the room and slides for less than 24 hours.
*** This post was edited by FLYINGSCOOTER 11/6/2006 1:42:19 PM ***
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Monday, November 6, 2006 1:50 PM
While I agree *in principle* that those rates seem exorbitant, they DO follow the "Gonch-approved business model" of fewer, higher-margin transactions.....

Realistically, the rates are probably where they need to be to keep the capacity of their resorts in line....lower the rates too much, the resorts get over-full, then everyone's experience suffers....

That's the theory, anyway.... ;)

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Monday, November 6, 2006 3:05 PM
A standard room in the Sandusky water parks---Great Wolf, Castaway, or Kalahari---have a rack rate of 249, 239, and 279. That's typically going to be charged on a Saturday night during Winter or Summer (when the Point is open). Weekdays, shoulder seasons, etc. will all be less. That gets you a pretty nice room (Castaway's being the least spacious), plus two days' waterpark entry for four people. If you figure that most waterparks cost at least $20 per person per day, then that's not at all unreasonable.

And, it is of course possible to stay there for considerably less, even in high-demand times. I've got a room booked at Castaway Bay on a Saturday in December for $129 plus tax, which frankly is a steal.

So, they're not charging $400 a night, and they are not doomed. From everything I am reading, all three Sandusky waterpark resorts are quite profitable.

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Monday, November 6, 2006 3:25 PM
They're so far from doomed that the light from doomed won't even reach them for another millennium. :)

If you look at the report for Quarter 3, 2006 - it lists (company-wide) the occupancy was running 73.4% at an ADR of $242.67.

In layman's terms - From July through September of this year they sold 73.4% of all their available rooms and at an average rate of $242.67 per night.

I still think that in general (with a few exceptions), these forums underestimate the ability and willingness of the public to spend money for something they want or want to do.

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Monday, November 6, 2006 3:41 PM

While I agree *in principle* that those rates seem exorbitant, they DO follow the "Gonch-approved business model" of fewer, higher-margin transactions.....

You're a believer...admit it. :)


Realistically, the rates are probably where they need to be to keep the capacity of their resorts in line....lower the rates too much, the resorts get over-full, then everyone's experience suffers....

Ohhh, gotta disagree (in a big way) with that. You're talking hotels and I know hotels.

It makes no sense to build a hotel with X number of rooms and the set pricing to limit the sales of those rooms. Trust me, they'd like to sell 100% of those rooms every night...every hotel/resort would. In fact many hotels have employee incentives of some kind in place to push a 'prefect sell' :)

With that said you can't just give away rooms. Hotel success is a balancing act. Two main qualifiers of success are ADR and occupancy. They key is to balance the two to achieve maximum profitability. Sure, 100% occupancy looks good, but if your ADR is $10 - well, you sucked the big one. Rates need to come up. Flip it and it's the same thing. $1000 ADR is great, but if your occupancy was 1% - well, you still sucked the big one. Rate needs to come down. Hotels more than anything I can think off offhand play to what the maket will bear. The whole key to running a successful hotel is find that balance between filling the hotel and selling the hotel.

Ideally, you do both. But nothing in life is perfect.

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Monday, November 6, 2006 3:56 PM
VERY fair....I guess on that second item I was more thinking in terms of amusement parks instead of resort hotels...

But that really only applies to GAdv...*every* other big park I've been to save SFMM (this includes, but is not nec. limited to: PCW, SFoT, SFGAm, WDW, DLR, PKI, SFoG, CP) seems to handle "big crowds" fairly well....EVEN Schlitterbahn... :)

Again, on the reverse-reverse side (how many heads and tails ARE there on this coin, LOL), waterparks ARE very limited capacity-wise...when they build these things, are they thinking in terms of occupancy vs. capacity? I'd have to assume so....or would I? :~P

Having never stayed in a GW Lodge or similar setting, I still find it hard to conceive of a long line for a slide at one of those places....need more feedback from those who HAVE...."indulged"... I'm virtually relentless in my need for more data to analyze....;)

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Monday, November 6, 2006 4:19 PM
In my one prior stay, I never waited much for anything, but Cedar Point was also open.

I would imagine that the waterpark capacity is planned to ensure that, even if the place is full, it doesn't generate significant waits at any but the premiere attraction(s).

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Monday, November 6, 2006 10:00 PM
When they announced the lodge in the Poconos, I checked out the website including floor plans for rooms and suites. Many of them contain room for 6 or even 8 to sleep. That would allow for 2 families or a group of adults in each room, which dilutes the cost per room per night.
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Monday, November 6, 2006 10:23 PM
How do you figure? Are Little Billy and Little Sally gonna chip in?
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Monday, November 6, 2006 10:37 PM
You can't tell me PKI didn't sell them the rights to build on that land and not fully expect to be able to forclose on it.

This is Cincinnati. Class says at the Hyatte regency or cincinnatian and special interest go to the Wildwood Inn for 110 a night

Stay at the HI express up the street and visit the Beach or PKI at full price and your still saving 200 bucks.

Chuck, who never sees PKI's being 50 percent full. Too much competition and not enough $$$ Why don't we have a NHL or NBA team? because people here won't pay 35 bucks for a cheap seat.

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Tuesday, November 7, 2006 9:08 AM
I really don't understand all the talk about these places being too expensive. We (a family of four) stayed at the GWL last winter. The room was right around $300.00 for the night. That includes 2 days use of the water park facilities. Figuring that any decent hotel room is going to cost at least $100 a night, we basically paid $25.00 per person per day for the water park use. In the middle of winter this is a bargain. The place was sold out and the longest lines were still only 10 minutes, the normal slides were all walk-ons.
Now ask me if the food was overpriced, and I would whole heartedly agree.
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Tuesday, November 7, 2006 1:51 PM
^^^ Jeff, because I said TWO families could fit in ONE room. That's how I figure.
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Wednesday, November 8, 2006 9:15 AM
RGB: Great idea. Skiers have been doing that for decades with condos and rentals by resorts. (i never thought about doing that for a waterpark.)
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Wednesday, November 8, 2006 9:17 AM
Usually, they only include 4 waterpark passes per room. That recaptures some of the savings, but I don't know how much the extra passes cost.
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Wednesday, November 8, 2006 1:34 PM
OK, I did a quick check of the GW Pocono website. Suites are based on 4 or 6 person occupancy, with max occupancy of 4, 6, or 8 depending on the suite. There's a charge of $15 per additional person, but it includes a waterpass. That's comparable to what a typical hotel charges, and for that you get a towel-- if you ask.
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Wednesday, November 8, 2006 2:51 PM
^ Ummmm, Towelie says if you're going to a waterpark, even inside a resort hotel, you should ALWAYS bring a towel... :)
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