Well apparently the Busch Family had a clause written into the "Takeover" of of the Budweiser company.
If the parks were not sold by November 2009, the Busch Entertainment Group got the rights to buy back the parks at a heavily reduced rate.
With November fast approaching, and no news of any interest, does this mean Seaworld, Busch Gardnes and Sesame Place may go back to the original owners, and ultimately original quality we were all used to?
I see Sea World San Diego going to Disney, as they want it for a Disney Cruise port. Then I see Universal comming out with Sea World Orlando, Discovery Cove, Aquatica, Busch Gardens Africa, Busch Gardens Europe, and both of their water parks while Merlin takes over Seseme Place.
that just leaves Sea world san antonio, but who knows who will buy there...
Reliable too, most of the Seaworld info I've posted has been 100% accurate, same source!
Heck, a three-way deal that gave NBC/Uni a taste in exchange for inclusion in UO multi-day ticket packages and advertising could work well for everyone. Plus, it could lead to exposure for NBC properties in San Diego, Tampa, San Antonio and Williamsburg, as well as more exposure for SeaWorld in LA.
"Blackstone is pretty much been a hands off type of investor,” said Dr. Duncan Dickson from the University of Central Florida. “They are ruthless when it comes to their bottom line. They just want their bottom line..."
I don't understand how any investor can be classed as "hands off," yet be "ruthless when it comes to their bottom line." The two do not go together, at least not in my head.
My past observations have been that, when you have a bottom line-obsessed investor running a place, there will be lots of micromanaging, probably a lot more than should be happening. Worse, the investment group will sometimes mandate the installation of silly things which, though they may be pleasing to said investors, have nothing at all to do with the park's overall theme or mission.
If this is indeed what's going to happen, it'll probably be like a flashback to the days when HBJ owned the Sea World parks. Don't get me started...
Blackstone obviously has tons of experience running theme parks, and I can see they've apparently had lots of success in that arena. I can respect that.
Sea World, despite the addition of superfluous thrill-rides and their circus-type shows, is still at its core an oceanarium, or aquatic zoo if you prefer.
Blackstone, to the best of my knowledge, has no experience whatsoever running any type of zoological park. Busch, at least, had the benefit of running mini-zoos out of Busch Gardens, so they obviously did pretty well taking care of Sea World but Blackstone is a huge question mark in that area.
I don't like huge question marks where animal welfare is a factor. While it may not be possible (or advisable) to try and micromanage animals, it is all too possible (and, unfortunately, easy) to micromanage those responsible for their care and feeding.
This is what I'm most concerned about. No matter how much I may disagree with Sea World's overall practices, I have yet to doubt their ability to provide the best in physical care for their animal population.
I would feel a lot better if Blackstone would come right out and say they won't mess with any of that AND live up to such a statement.
A few months back, it was reported that Merlin was readying an IPO so it could be that maybe Blackstone wants to merge Busch Entertainment with Merlin Entertainment.
However if Busch was kept separate from Merlin, I personally don't think Blackstone would be running the place. They would just be the financial backing as they would probably leave what SeaWorld does well to itself. Of course that is my opinion.
Walt Disney World's Magic Kingdom
Disney's Animal Kingdom
Disney's Hollywood Studios
Disney California Adventure
Universal's Islands of Adventure
Universal Studios Florida
Universal Studios Hollywood