Mt. Olympus buys up and improves hotels on Dells strip

Posted Friday, January 14, 2011 12:52 PM | Contributed by Jeff

Over the last three months, Mt. Olympus owner Nick Laskaris and his wife have purchased six motels and hotels, primarily along the west side of Wisconsin Dells Parkway, commonly referred to as "the strip." Most of the properties are outdated, so a crew of about 30 workers is busy this winter tearing out carpeting, replacing furniture, light and plumbing fixtures and painting. Laskaris said he is spending about $20 million to purchase and remodel the properties. The resort will have about 1,000 rooms.

Read more from The Wisconsin State Journal.

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Monday, January 17, 2011 10:44 PM
kpjb's avatar

Ensign Smith said:
What about Waldameer? That should only be about two hours from Pittsburgh.

I'd go there if I was in the area, but not make a special trip for it. I have relatives that live in Erie, so I'll pop in whenever I'm up that way.


Hi

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Monday, January 17, 2011 11:10 PM
Lord Gonchar's avatar

billb7581 said:
If it were that easy, and such a sure fire money maker, they'd already be doing it.

Not if they don't want to be in the hotel business. Which I suspect is the case.

I think it's funny that we all seem to have forgotten that it was one of the first things announced after Red Zone took over. (Wasn't it 2006 that they said they planned on adding a hotel in 2007? My time frame is probably off.)

The thing is, I don't recall them ever giving a statement, release or any reason for not going ahead with it.


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Monday, January 17, 2011 11:30 PM

^ I think it was one of the last things Burke & Co announced. The Great Escape Lodge opened in February of 2006 (two months into the Shapiro administration). When it was first announced the previous year I recall SFI saying that they wanted to install a similar concept at SFGradv.

I guess Red Zone didn't see an immediate enough return to justify the investment? It was around July-August of 06 that the company seemingly ran out of funds to operate the parks and started slashing left and right.

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Tuesday, January 18, 2011 1:11 AM
rollergator's avatar

Lord Gonchar said:

billb7581 said:
If it were that easy, and such a sure fire money maker, they'd already be doing it.

Not if they don't want to be in the hotel business. Which I suspect is the case.

But don't they want to be in the money-making business? Hire someone who IS in the hotel business to come in and run it if you want to go that route...but don't make all those people drive a long way to spend their money elsewhere!


You still have Zoidberg.... You ALL have Zoidberg! (V) (;,,;) (V)

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Tuesday, January 18, 2011 2:34 AM
LostKause's avatar

Gonch, I was going to mention that too. SFGAdv was, or still is, planning to build a hotel on property. They see the money flying out the door.

Nearby hotels just might get a lot of business from amusement park patrons who may have wanted to stay closer to the parks, but couldn't find a closer hotel.

One point that I would like to make is that Six Flags Great Adventure also has a safari and a water park. Three separate gates means that an on-property hotel is a no-brainer. Longer stays make the park(s) more money.


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Tuesday, January 18, 2011 6:04 AM

If it were that easy, and such a sure fire money maker, they'd already be doing it.

Well, clearly it isn't that hard, and it is a money maker, because plenty of other parks---in both large (Southern California---both Disneyland and Knotts) and small (Cedar Point) markets do it. Hell, Cedar Fair does it particularly poorly, and still makes money doing it.

I think Gonch is right. it's a matter of will rather than of means.


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Tuesday, January 18, 2011 6:22 AM

Why wouldn't a hotel open up in Jackson Township independent of Great Adventure then?

If it's such a sure fire thing why wouldn't Aloft or someone just plop one down right there?

Southern California is a major tourist destination. Jackson Township NJ isn't. It's right in between several.

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Tuesday, January 18, 2011 8:30 AM
Raven-Phile's avatar

Wadsworth, OH isn't a tourist destination, either, and we have multiple large chain hotels.


R.I.P LeRoi Moore 9/7/61 - 8/19/2008
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Tuesday, January 18, 2011 9:37 AM

Looking at a map Wadsworth looks like it's in the Akron-Toledo metro area. Jackson NJ isn't considered NYC metro, and including it in Philly metro is a stretch. If you were going to visit Philly you would stay further south if you were staying in NJ, somewhere like Mount Laurel or Cherry Hill where there are already numerous hotels, and one with an indoor waterpark.

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Tuesday, January 18, 2011 11:17 AM
Raven-Phile's avatar

I'm a good 2-2.5 hours from Toledo. I most certainly wouldn't include that in the Toledo metro area. Cleveland, I'll give you because I'm 45 miles away, Akron is 15. That still doesn't mean squat.

I don't know where the intensity about a hotel not working near Great Adventure comes from, but I certainly don't see why it wouldn't, especially an on-property one.


R.I.P LeRoi Moore 9/7/61 - 8/19/2008
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Tuesday, January 18, 2011 12:22 PM
LostKause's avatar

Cedar Point is a great example. They have two gates, and several overpriced accommodations right there on the property. Yes, CP is in more of touristy area, but how popular would that area be without CP?

CP and SFGAdv are of comparable size. They are also both near large metro areas.

I suspect that SF hasn't built hotels in Jackson yet because of other reasons other than they don't think it would make money. Bankruptcy? Poor economy? Politics? I don't know the reason, but it's not that it wouldn't make money.

If I decide to waste my money on a SFGAdv visit ever again, I'd consider staying at a closer SF hotel, for the dsame reasons people stay at the Cedar Point hotels.


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Tuesday, January 18, 2011 12:58 PM
Raven-Phile's avatar

I'm telling you Travis, as a Disney-phile, I hold parks to a really high standard. That said, I really enjoyed my visit to Great Adventure this past fall.

The last time I was there was 9 years ago. It's a whole different ballgame now.


R.I.P LeRoi Moore 9/7/61 - 8/19/2008
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Tuesday, January 18, 2011 1:01 PM
LostKause's avatar

:) I know. I've heard that so much lately that I'm just about over my obsession against the park.


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Tuesday, January 18, 2011 1:10 PM
Lord Gonchar's avatar

I just fear you waited too long to return. I'm not convinced the post-Shapiro era will maintain the standard.

I hope I'm wrong.


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Tuesday, January 18, 2011 1:38 PM

You guys keep viewing this through an enthusiast's lens.

Even Six Flags markets the fact that damn near everyone lives near one. Most people are going to dervive the same benefit from visiting their local Six Flags as they would trekking to New Jersey, so you're talking about a very small market for luxury accomodations in Jackson Township NJ.

Sandusky Ohio has to cast a wider net because the population density isn't even close.

Last edited by billb7581, Tuesday, January 18, 2011 1:39 PM
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Tuesday, January 18, 2011 1:52 PM
Raven-Phile's avatar

billb7581 said:
You guys keep viewing this through an enthusiast's lens.

Really? I don't look at anything through an "Enthusiast Lens". I gave up the "enthusiast" thing years ago. Sure, I'm still around and ride coasters some times, but I'm just a casual traveler, and Disney-hound.

Convenience is the name of the game for me when I vacation.


R.I.P LeRoi Moore 9/7/61 - 8/19/2008
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Tuesday, January 18, 2011 1:58 PM
Lord Gonchar's avatar

billb7581 said:
Most people are going to dervive the same benefit from visiting their local Six Flags as they would trekking to New Jersey, so you're talking about a very small market for luxury accomodations in Jackson Township NJ.

Absolutely. I'd say it's as small as people visiting SFGAdv specifically.

With that said, they could easily fill a 200 room hotel for the 150 operating days from the 3 million people they draw.

And that opinion has nothing to do with being an enthusiast.

Also, I don't think 'luxury accomodations' (your words) would be the right path at all. Just a simple hotel (on par with a Hilton Garden or Courtyard) with a few perks (like early admission or ERT or something stupid like the free breakfast) for guests at $150 a night. (give or take depending on season, day of the week, etc) - like any hotel does.

For whatever reason, they don't want to do this. We'll never know that reason - it could be lack of will or it could be the other 215 days that the hotel would be empty or something else entirely, but there's no denying that thing would run a high occupancy and be entirely profitable during their season.

Last edited by Lord Gonchar, Tuesday, January 18, 2011 2:00 PM
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Tuesday, January 18, 2011 2:14 PM
Tekwardo's avatar

I could be wrong, but I was under the impression they wanted to do a hotel, but there is/was some issue with water access? Can't remember who/where I heard that from, but I thought GADv DID want to build one, and in fact, they had it on the books when Lanter got approved, IIRC.

So maybe it isn't that they don't want to do it at this point, they just haven't, yet.

P.S., just taking some of the numbers here, if there was a 200 room hotel, with an average family of 4 staying in a room, all they would need to have each room sold out every day of a 150 day operating season is 120,000 people there. Right beside a park that does, what, 3mill a year?

Last edited by Tekwardo, Tuesday, January 18, 2011 2:16 PM

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Tuesday, January 18, 2011 3:42 PM

Let's do the math:

200 Rooms x $150 dollars a night x 150 operating days = $4,500,000.00 add to this that guests would be more inclined to spend another day at GADV and it still seems like a no brainer to me. I can't imagine one of the 3 chain hotels in my town brings in anywhere near 4.5 million in a 365 day year and operating margins in the Hotel business are pretty high.

There must be some zoning or access reason that there is nothing more then a Wawa and a McDonalds there.


-Brent Kneebush

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Tuesday, January 18, 2011 6:41 PM

Right beside a park that does, what, 3mill a year?

.....And 2.99 million of them live within a short drive.


- it could be the other 215 days that the hotel would be empty

.....Ya think?

that thing would run a high occupancy and be entirely profitable during their season.

.......Profitable enough to run 7 months of the year empty?

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