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RobF

Merlin Entertainments

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Article in The Times about Merlin today: https://www.thetimes.co.uk/edition/business/merlin-needs-to-cast-a-new-spell-lmvfw76mn

It's share price has fallen significantly lately and will not make it's profit target this year. They're putting this down to a lack of visitors due to weather and terrorism (mainly for city centre attractions).

 

There was also news towards the end too in terms of how Merlin plans to invest in the future:

"Meanwhile, Merlin is in the middle of an intense period of capital spending — up to £390m this year — and is sitting on a debt pile that totalled £1.2bn in June. Varney’s new tactic is to shift spending away from existing sites towards more lucrative hotel rooms and new theme parks that increasingly revolve around brands such as Peppa Pig."

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Merlin have decimated the UK theme park industry and ignoring advice from advisors will continue to starve the parks of the investment they need despite the huge drop off across their estates. 

 

Put your money into Blackpool, Paultons, Drayton. We need a competitive industry, not the one Merlin have trashed.

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2 hours ago, Mark9 said:

Merlin have decimated the UK theme park industry and ignoring advice from advisors will continue to starve the parks of the investment they need despite the huge drop off across their estates. 

 

Put your money into Blackpool, Paultons, Drayton. We need a competitive industry, not the one Merlin have trashed.

 

Pfft, 'experts' :rolleyes:

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I always wondered why they built the new hotel at Alton Towers to just close one of it's exisiting ones. What a waste of money. Merlin is failing to do well because it doesn't maintain the up-keep of it's theme parks. When money is invested in new rides, they are left to rot in a layer of grime such as the Smiler pit and Colossus for example. Reducing the parks opening hours, removing most the flat rides from Alton Towers and replacing well known food brands with generic, lower quality food with less variety while slowly increasing entry prices and passes does not help to bring in more guests.

 

I agree splitting the invetment between midways and international projects is not going to suddenly fix the loss of income from the main theme parks.

Fastrack may provide extra short term sales, but in a busy park it doesn't work and leads to further complaints from all guests enough to put people off returning.

Social media posts are often plagued by complaints by guests who have had poor experiences.

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The drive for increasing profits has been reducing the guest experience and ultimately I feel Merlin have forgotten what they are actually selling to the consumer. There is no point in a load of hotels for guests to stay if they have no guests. 

They are clearly trying to increase the amount spent per person but have inadvertently reduced the number of people because, in my opinion, they lost track of the basics.

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I’m not sure how much effect terrorism would have had on the resort theme parks, but I saw a graph from one of their presentations of visitor numbers to the midway attractions and there’s no doubt a significant dip right after the attacks in the UK.

 

As for weather that probably has more of an effect on the theme parks than the midways, I don’t think we had a particulary good or bad summer weather wise his year, pretty average. Of course this isn’t the only issues, the parks all have their individual visitor traits, we all know thorpe hasn’t reached the visitor numbers it got back in 09/10/11, Towers are improving but are still noticeably quieter than they were before the acident.

 

It will take time, but I’m sure things will improve in respect to visitor numbers and in turn merlin will be less hesitant in making the investments we are used to.

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