Written by Kevin Baxter
Published: June 30, 2004 at 1:09 AM
Bonnet Creek, the patch of land bordering Walt Disney World, is up for sale yet again. I made fun of their luxury resort plans in an earlier Blog Flume, and it appears that I was correct in doing so. Fairfield Resorts does have a timeshare on the property, and a golf course is being built, so maybe there will be a future for the 482-acre parcel of land, but it is a long-distant future, that's for sure.
NOT DISNEY! PART TWO
Orlando Sentinel - Jun 25
SeaWorld Orlando is about 70% of the way to completing its first foray into nighttime spectacular arena. Called Mistify, the show doesn't promise anything groundbreaking as it will feature the already familiar fireworks, fountains and water screens. But it does promise yet another reason for people to hang around the park, which means more traffic throughout their new Waterfront area.
The only problem is Mistify may only be around for summer seasons. Nighttime shows such as this are expensive to run (just check out Disneyland's now-you-see-it-now-you-don't Fantasmic schedule) and if Mistify's cost isn't covered by increased purchases of food and souvenirs, then it may not even be around beyond this summer. But if sales spike, SWO does plan on attempting the show daily.
NOT DISNEY! PART THREE
Orlando Sentinel - Jun 27
Kent Buescher, owner of Cypress Gardens in Central Florida, is bitching about the state of the park he bought. Apparently much of it is falling apart, which explains why it was unable to open in time for the busy summer season. This article has given me some hope for the project, of which regular readers know I have little. Buescher appears to understand that being so near Orlando is not like being in a two-park state like Georgia. He is evidently a very hands-on operator and he has realistic goals for the park, like having Annual Passes in the $60 range. Still, few think the park will be much of a success, if at all. I send Buescher my good wishes; he'll need them.
All the construction around Caesars has made it a nightmare to walk anywhere in the vicinity of the behemoth casino. Apparently those nightmares are over! The casino's new entrance on the corner of Flamingo and Las Vegas Blvd is officially open. This entrance replaces the endless walkways that always made the casino such a pain in the ass to enter and especially to exit. It is being billed as an entertainment and retail area, whatever that means. Nothing is mentioned other than an indoor/outdoor restaurant and shops, so I am picturing something similar to the entrance to Bellagio or the walkway joining Paris to Bally's. I will check it out this week and let you know.
Meanwhile, up the Strip a bit at Wynn Las Vegas, big things might be happening. Not only will the resort most likely open with FOUR nightclubs (the nightclub wars in Vegas are becoming truly ridiculous), but Steve Wynn has put in a bid for the Las Vegas Country Club golf course just north of his resort. Reportedly, Wynn wants to use the old golf course as an "overflow" course for the brand new WLV course when it opens. The LVCC course has become neglected with all the new nicer courses sprouting up in the area, so I can't understand how people unable to golf on the WLV course would be happy golfing on the LVCC course. Maybe Wynn should open the WLV course early and allow the LVCC members to use it while he revamps the older course. Just a thought.
The Stratosphere has big ideas for the future also. All kinds of remodeling are in store, including a major expansion of the shopping area. Also on the slate is a new erotic musical called Bite. (No, not Bite Me! That's the name of my autobiography.) It is apparently about a vampire searching for his queen and will feature familiar rock tunes. I'm withholding judgment, but it already sounds more interesting than 90% of the T&A shows in Vegas.
Hopefully the Las Vegas Monorail will make the Stratosphere's expenditures worth it, as it is now scheduled to open on July 15. Yay!
OKAY, OKAY! A LITTLE DISNEY...
Motley Fool - Jun 28
Apparently Disney is fed up with me making fun of their pathetic movie division and is planning on cutting down the number of films it puts out there every year. The article says the studio will cut down from its usual slate of 13 to 16 movies, which I find rather hilarious. Disney released 18 movies in 2002 and 2003, and I am too lazy to find out how many they released before then. But if any year has less than 16, I would be seriously shocked.
Anyhow, the Fool suggests Disney should just lower budgets but increase output. I find this ludicrous. Yes, Disney has had many bloated budgets this year, like The Alamo and Home on the Range, but it also released low-budget flops too, like Raising Helen and Confessions of a Drama Queen. Disney believes fewer films each year will force studio heads to be more choosy, and I completely and totally agree. Better marketing strategies couldn't hurt either.