Now, Disney's Williamsburg Kingdom.....I like the sound of that.
Universal Studios Tampa?
Ahhh....I am feeling much better already.
Have fun in Hawaii!
James, I think you dream sir. I really don't see either Disney or Universal jumping in here. Disney probably won't like the weather in Williamsburg, and I'm sure they and Universal would rather BGT close than remain open. While that probably won't happen, it just doesn't make a whole lot of sense for either of them to buy the Tampa park, unless they buy it, strip it, and close it. I wouldn't worry too much about Six Flags. Banks aren't loaning much money these days, especially to a company with their debt and financial condition. I do look for them to do very well this year. Staycations are in right now, as evidenced by the almost 10% attendance increase at the Cedar Fair parks this year.
As for the bidding. I would guess that Inbev will hold out on selling either as long as they can until economic conditions improve. The failure of Hard Rock to sell for a bag of marbles is evidence that companies either are scared to death of the economy, or they can't get the money.
Here's something to think about though. The pending sale of the Busch parks could be the very reason that Hard Rock didn't sell. Some of those companies were reported to be in the mix for Hard Rock, but obviously the Busch Parks would be the bigger prize, especially if they could get the kind of discount that Hard Rock was selling for. Maybe these companies were holding back on their bids because they knew this was coming and they wanted all the leverage they could get for the InBev sale. I still think that these companies are foolish for not scooping up Hard Rock at 9 cents on the dollar, but it would be an explanation as to why they didn't. Not a good one mind you, but one nonetheless.
Disney was rumored to be considering SWSD, as an extra place to send land/cruise guests for a day. Universal would like to have SWO to package with UO. But if you get one SW park, you have to take the others to protect your investment in the brand.
Merlin is the only rumored buyer with interest and potential capability of buying the chain whole.
And Derek, it has been said that "when you wish upon a star, your dreams come true." I'll apply that strategy tonight if there are clear skies in Missouri!
You can wish in one hand, and crap in the other...and see which one fills up first.
As long as Six Flags doesn't get the parks, I'll probably be okay. SF running Busch would be like crapping in both hands.
Still, I agree with James - SF Williamsburg would be crap in both hands.
My pessimism about these matters stems from observation of business in general and my view on the state of the business. It has too many businessmen and not enough entertainers. In this case, InBev has money on the brain and is foolish to sell a highly successful and profitable Busch Gardens/Sea World franchise...and I suspect that the franchise will be bought by someone too focused on the bottom line. Keeping a healthy balance sheet is always a good thing, but not at the expense of your product's quality, which is the reason why your balance sheet is healthy in the first place.
And Derek, I was simply responding to your jab with one of my own, not commenting on CF's financials. Besides (here comes the "wink-wink" part of this post) everyone knows there is no joy at a Cedar Fair park, just miles and miles of pessimistic concrete and ice cold steel. =P
I wish Coors would buy Busch Gardens. Then I could have a free Blue Moon or Killians.
Maybe Carolus Nolet, Sr., owner of Ketel One, would care to invest in a theme park or two? Skip the beer, bring me my Ketel One and tonic, then I'll be ready for a few rides on the Griffon!