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Parkscope: What's happening with SeaWorld?

Post: #16
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I’m surprised nobody has thought of this. The best case scenario is if Herschend buys the parks. They would do absolutely amazing with them. Dollywood and SDC are amazing parks that are beautiful. I personally wouldn’t want Merlin to buy the parks. Herschend I would take over Merlin any day.
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Post: #17
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Herschend has been discussed to death.

"Wit has some truth in it; wisecracking is simply calisthenics with words." -- Dorothy Parker
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02/12/18 at 02:04am in Parkscope: What's happening with SeaWorld? (Latest Edit: 02/12/18 at 02:04am by MadridBot.)
Post: #18
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(02/12/18 12:44am)Nicole Wrote:  Herschend has been discussed to death.

Ah, I haven’t noticed that thread before. Thanks for showing me, I’ll definitely be going through that today.
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02/12/18 at 03:48am in Parkscope: What's happening with SeaWorld? (Latest Edit: 02/12/18 at 03:50am by Zimmy.)
Post: #19
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(02/11/18 09:59pm)musicman3204 Wrote:  You're absolutely right.  I just have a hard time getting my point through.  This year was just exacerbated by poor decisions, seasonal events, and public perception.   Just from curiosity, how long do you see this continuing before bankruptcy?

Thanks,
To be honest it is hard to predict.  So much of the information is being held privately.  (funny how that works with a publicly traded stock)  Of course the issue is not the stock and individual stock holders but with the primary investment companies like Blackstone.

Provided the debt ratio continues to climb at its current rate and does not accelerate, (which is has been doing) and they do nothing to offset the debt, so maintain status quo, they will be at 6 to 1 in less than 2 years.  I will pause while you consider that.  Incidentally, and again assuming few changes, (like a 30 million dollar coaster in BGW) they are closing in on 3 billion (with a b) in that time too.  This numbers are alarming.  Its not that there is some line in the sand, some magic number at which point the FASB takes away their accounting ledgers, or GAAP takes away their CPAs, or worse the SEC says, "you there, you go to your room and think about what you have done!"  However somewhere, at some point, some recent finance grad is going to look at a ledger and say...  "BY THE BEARD OF MOSES HIMSELF, THIS CAN NOT GO ON!"  (Or something, see I'm really an ops kind of MBA not an finance type and all I ever want from accountants  is that their green visors are on straight, their debits match their credits, and they are gone by 1400.  So honestly I don't know what they say or who says it when they have that kind of wake up call.  But the ex-theater person in me likes to think it is a young recent UVA Mac grad who makes good.  Sadly they usually end of brokering commodities for Smithfield or working in a cube in Wall Street....  But I digress...)

So at some point when things are bad enough that there are no longer enough smoke and mirrors in the world to make this baby look presentable, the investors are going to loose confidence.  Several things can happen then.
  1. There is a complete loss of confidence and a panic sell off.  This would depress the share price and potentially push to a full liquidation or Chapter 7.  I find this the least likely but most terrifying.
  2. They could have a wake up and see that the debt load is no longer manageable and call for a Chapter 13.  This seems like a very likely scenario to me.  In some ways it may be the best from our perspective.  Everything continues to operate but they re-organize.  You may recall that this is what Delta and the other airlines did.  It could lead to a merger, or sell off of certain parks, but it will almost certainly lead to a complete restructure of the leadership and board members.
  3. They could course correct and fix the root problem.  I wish this was how things would go, but I doubt very much it will.  From where I sit the problem as I have mentioned is the very fox that is guarding the hen house.  He does not see that he is a problem.
  4. Lastly they could continue on their merry way and at some point the SEC is going to start asking questions.  That would be comical if it were not so bad.  I say this because if they COULD continue on this way that is a VERY good indication that something is not kosher.  The SEC, as they say don't play.


So I have been dodging the when.  This will not likely happen in the next year or 2.  But when it does, the dominoes will likely fall fast.  My best guess is we will see some kind of change, forced or otherwise, by 2020 at the latest.  (that is my best guess)

Numquam ponenda est pluralitas sine necessitate! - William of Occam
I'm serious now, who here wants my job? - NASA Director James Webb
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Post: #20
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(02/12/18 12:13am)MadridBot Wrote:  I’m surprised nobody has thought of this. The best case scenario is if Herschend buys the parks. They would do absolutely amazing with them. Dollywood and SDC are amazing parks that are beautiful. I personally wouldn’t want Merlin to buy the parks. Herschend I would take over Merlin any day.

As Nicole has pointed out this has been discussed. But let me put a quick spin on the whole buy out idea.

Nothing is for sale. No one is offering anything for sale. In fact Seas has said it has ZERO interest in selling off pieces of the brand. That may not be for lack of interest on their part but logistics. With the current debt load, asset matrix, and who know what kind of convoluted loan service structure, it may not be even possible to easily cut ties. (they may be leveraging assets in one place to service loans in another. Nessie for example and long since paid for, so she has value as collateral)

Now if they go into Chap 7 or Chap 11 all bets are off.

Now I don't know that they have been this... creative with their loan structures, just that the possibility is out there.

Numquam ponenda est pluralitas sine necessitate! - William of Occam
I'm serious now, who here wants my job? - NASA Director James Webb
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02/12/18 at 10:20am in Parkscope: What's happening with SeaWorld? (Latest Edit: 02/12/18 at 10:30am by acrossdapark.)
Post: #21
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It's far past time SEAS pack it in and sell the parks to Merlin who has expressed interest. With years of mismanagement and failure to innovate(Example of this is BG building out a VR attraction when AR is beginning to surpass the older VR technologies) has left SEAS in this situation.

Not excluding the Blackfish issues, their overall failures to market properly and innovate in the face of stiffer competition has left the park with less attendance and revenues.

Further the park system doesn't have the capital for expansive upgrades and adding new attractions and/or IP from other companies that Universal and Disney are buying and/or leasing to add attractions to continue a growth.

SEAS only way out at this point is to sell, they haven't substantially increase profits, net worth or attendance since Blackstone sold them out and sent the company public.

Doom and gloom, maybe, but at some point you have to look at the company realistically and what's best for it as a whole. The path to resistance is futile unfortunately, especially when Disney is clocking in about $8B+ in revenues per quarter.
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Post: #22
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Acrossdapark:

Off topic for here but AR is no where near ready for use like that. You still need a screen or classes of some sort to do it. VR has the ability to build a completely digital world, AR still needs to be based on physical world items. Using VR on BfE is not investing in old technologies. In fact I’m willing to bet the BfE might end up being the best use both integrated and design wise of VR and will set the standard for how it’s used in theme parks over the current “overlay” to roller coasters.
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Post: #23
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(02/12/18 10:44am)warfelg Wrote:  Acrossdapark:

Off topic for here but AR is no where near ready for use like that. You still need a screen or classes of some sort to do it. VR has the ability to build a completely digital world, AR still needs to be based on physical world items. Using VR on BfE is not investing in old technologies. In fact I’m willing to bet the BfE might end up being the best use both integrated and design wise of VR and will set the standard for how it’s used in theme parks over the current “overlay” to roller coasters.

I only need to point to Flight of Passage in Avatar land as a counter to this. Avatar is nothing real world but strictly CGI. However the 2-3-4 hour waits for this AR attraction show a potential in a new evolution of ride experiences.

People are looking for experiences not just a ride, and when you can experience something like AR on Flight of Passage that leaves you 'wowed" over something more generic like VR and video with a head set you will start seeing attendance boost.

I'm not discount Battle at all, it's just VR isn't an experience like it once was in light of $10 headsets at Walmart and free VR games on iPhone or Android anyone can do at home.
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02/12/18 at 02:04pm in Parkscope: What's happening with SeaWorld? (Latest Edit: 02/12/18 at 02:05pm by whanna.)
Post: #24
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FWIW, I don't view Flight of Passage as AR. It's an amazing ride, don't get me wrong, but it is really just Soarin' with the addition of straddling the banshee (and feeling it breathe, etc). It's a flight simulator with 3D glasses. I see Wikipedia calls it AR, but I'm of the school of thought that AR is your secondary display super-imposed (via glasses/visor/HUD) over what's in front of you. This could put a fairy walking alongside you while you safely navigate Ireland and the pedestrians outside of Grogan's, or automatically translate the marquee over the theater/restaurant when walking down the street in Tokyo.
Maybe this is one of those gray areas where it's hard to truly define what AR really is. CGI does not make something AR.

Warfelg, I concur that BfE may be the ideal VR habitat - indoors, a proven motion simulator, and a huge screen for those not wanting the glasses. It isn't a case where you're trying to build a story to fit with the existing roller coaster forces; this is an organic experience that they are building - from scratch, make the motion/forces fit the story.
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Post: #25
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I know I'm only one person but this cements my decision to upgrade my pass to a membership. Understanding this article highlights the problems as with the company as a whole, I still want to feel like I'm helping somehow lol. It'll cost my husband and I $20 more a month to keep our "platinum" type status but it's time we pay our fair share.
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Post: #26
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(02/12/18 03:48am)Zimmy Wrote:  Provided the debt ratio continues to climb at its current rate and does not accelerate, (which is has been doing) and they do nothing to offset the debt, so maintain status quo, they will be at 6 to 1 in less than 2 years.  I will pause while you consider that.  Incidentally, and again assuming few changes, (like a 30 million dollar coaster in BGW) they are closing in on 3 billion (with a b) in that time too.  This numbers are alarming.  

So are you saying that SEAS is actually approaching close to 3 billion dollars in debt? Help me understand where this number comes from, as when you look at the financial statements they report 1.5 billion. Is it the shares is the other aspect?
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Post: #27
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So this happened today. It is an interesting turn of events as I was just talking about SRA/ CSRA as a case example yesterday. In this case they are being swallowed up by... not a bigger fish... no that is too small, perhaps a blue whale. This is kind of like if Disney decided it wanted to own Fun Spot because they wanted a couple roller coasters. Except I can not think of anything CSRA brings to the table that Gen Dyn does not have. Maybe something from the CSC side of the house. Regardless, like I said, when these things happen, they happen fast!

Numquam ponenda est pluralitas sine necessitate! - William of Occam
I'm serious now, who here wants my job? - NASA Director James Webb
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Post: #28
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(02/12/18 02:57pm)musicman3204 Wrote:  
(02/12/18 03:48am)Zimmy Wrote:  Provided the debt ratio continues to climb at its current rate and does not accelerate, (which is has been doing) and they do nothing to offset the debt, so maintain status quo, they will be at 6 to 1 in less than 2 years.  I will pause while you consider that.  Incidentally, and again assuming few changes, (like a 30 million dollar coaster in BGW) they are closing in on 3 billion (with a b) in that time too.  This numbers are alarming.  

So are you saying that SEAS is actually approaching close to 3 billion dollars in debt?  Help me understand where this number comes from, as when you look at the financial statements they report 1.5 billion.  Is it the shares is the other aspect?
You are quiet correct, I misspoke I was mixing up what Blackstone payed out for the Parks 2.3b. There are a number of conflicting numbers. Also with accelerating debt and on a curve forecasting becomes more like vudu. There current debt is closer to 1.5. and rising the current valuation is 1.2b and declining. The debt ratio of course is based on earnings not value. But value speaks to borrowing power.

I want to make another clarification. I said that there was no clear demarcation line for when Seas goes into forfeiture, Mr. Conceicao has a different opinion, he believes it is at a 5.75 ratio. Assuming that we are about to cross that line this is HORRIFYING. 2 years without significant adjustment maybe thinking positively. I do not believe management thinks they are doing anything wrong so I do not think they will make the necessary changes.

I apologize to all for my mistake. I really need to stop doing these brain dumps at 0300.

Numquam ponenda est pluralitas sine necessitate! - William of Occam
I'm serious now, who here wants my job? - NASA Director James Webb
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