Told ya so... Busch dumps Dubai plan
Written by Robert Niles
Thanks to TPI reader Jason Jackson for submitting this first. Busch Entertainment Corp isn't going to build four theme parks on a Shamu-shaped island in Dubai, after all. Here's the word from Beth Kassab at the Orlando Sentinel.Tweet
I've been telling folks that many of the announced theme park projects for Dubai would turn out to be vaporware, and that even the ones that got started are facing a tough go of it, with falling oil prices and a worldwide credit crunch triggered by still-overpriced U.S. housing.
Most of the theme park companies lured to Dubai weren't drawn by the market's potential. No, they were brought in by fat royalty and consulting checks written by oil-enriched Dubai-based developers, who were to handle and pay for the construction, and in many cases, the operation of the parks.
Perhaps some of these projects may yet see opening day. (I'm told that Universal's is the closest to becoming reality.) Even the Busch deal might be put back on the table at some point, according to Kassab.
But the economics of these projects are tough. To get them built, the developers need expensive oil to fund the construction and licensing. But to attract the tourists that would keep the parks alive and profitable, the operators need cheap oil, to keep airfares low. Anyone see a problem there?
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