COVID-19 & Coasters: Coronavirus Impacts on the Amusement Industry

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Apr 5, 2017
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Translation: theme parks got screwed by the stimulus package.
Yep. But Washington will take care of it's own. Another example of why people are fed up with politicians. 25 million specifically for the JFK center for performing arts in DC. Now I'm OK with helping the arts in this situation, but what bout my local symphony and performing arts center? What about smaller local theater companies like Barter theaterin Abingdon Va? No special treatment for them. Earmarked money that will NOT benefit 99 percent of Americans, that's what we are fighting about.
Please move to politics thread if you feel the need.
 
Oct 7, 2011
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Yep. But Washington will take care of it's own. Another example of why people are fed up with politicians. 25 million specifically for the JFK center for performing arts in DC. Now I'm OK with helping the arts in this situation, but what bout my local symphony and performing arts center? What about smaller local theater companies like Barter theaterin Abingdon Va? No special treatment for them. Earmarked money that will NOT benefit 99 percent of Americans, that's what we are fighting about.
Please move to politics thread if you feel the need.
The Kennedy Center (as it's commonly called, btw) is one of America's greatest high-visibility flagship showcases for the performing arts. Securing its solvency during a time of major crisis is not a bad idea at all.

And along with that $25M for the Kennedy Center is another $75M, yes three times as much, for the National Endowment for the Arts. Nearly half of that, which is millions more than the Kennedy Center gets, goes directly to state and local art orgs of various kinds, and all of the rest of it goes to direct NEA grants and partnerships for arts of all varieties.

So to answer your question, there is plenty of "special treatment" for the local arts. In fact, most of the financial support for the arts in this bill has nothing to do with the Kennedy Center at all.

Interestingly, the only real bitching I have heard about supporting the arts in this bill has been via Fox News, which -- also interestingly -- couches it as "I'm all for the arts, BUUUUUUT..."

We'll see what the final legislation contains; presumably the same thing IMO. But at least we have facts at our disposal now. Politics thread, here we come.

Oh, also: one thing that has proved itself to be clearly worse than politicians is installing non-politicians in place of the politicians. Turns out, it could have been worse. And now is.
 
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Nonprofits already run on a very tight budget with corporate donations and other normal operations. Everyone is going to get hurt because of this so it makes sense that any bill for recovery will include nonprofits.
 
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Apr 5, 2017
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So basically you are perfectly content with DC getting 25 percent of the entire appropreiated arts funding for the entire country?
 
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Large perforing arts center have large corporate benefactors. Despite the economic downturn the Ford, Rockefeller, Heinz etc.. foundations are going to be still around. But smaller arts venues depend on more local, smaller companies which are much more impacted by this situation and usually operate on much thinner margins.
 
Apr 5, 2017
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Nonprofits already run on a very tight budget with corporate donations and other normal operations. Everyone is going to get hurt because of this so it makes sense that any bill for recovery will include nonprofits.
I never said they didn't need help I just object to specific help to one center over other that may be more vulnerable at this time. I support many local performance arts companies but there are several hundred symphonies/performing arts centers across the country. One gets 25 million and others get to share the other 75 mil?
 
Oct 7, 2011
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Large perforing arts center have large corporate benefactors. Despite the economic downturn the Ford, Rockefeller, Heinz etc.. foundations are going to be still around. But smaller arts venues depend on more local, smaller companies which are much more impacted by this situation and usually operate on much thinner margins.
Why aren't you complaining about Ford, Rockefeller, Heinz etc. NOT funding your local theater?

Why do they get the free pass from your ire?
 
Oct 7, 2011
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To bring this somewhat back to the amusement industry, was A-B ever a national sponsor or benefactor for the arts?

They had the ABI Art Residency, and I remember their generous support for the Super Bowl. I imagine they must have supported quite a bit locally in and around St. Louis, but that isn't national in scale...
 
Apr 5, 2017
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How did you move those goalposts so fast?

Truly an impressive retreat.
Move what goalposts? I complained about special treatment for one particular entity not the rest. You appeared to take my criticism as an attack on the arts in general or heaven forbid I watch fox news (per your quote). To bring this more relevant to this thread, how would you like it if the government gave assistance to the theme park/zoo/aquarium/science center industry and (insert ramdom theme park here) gets 25 percent of all the funds without regards to any other funding formula. BGW and the 50 or so regional parks would probably get about 250 k with other smaller zoos/aquariums/museums getting much smaller amounts. The way it is written smacks of favoritism. Why not 25 million for the Lincoln center in NY or any other major center? Yes, the Kennedy center is well known and deserving but why it over any other?
 
Nov 30, 2018
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Translation: theme parks got screwed by the stimulus package.
The bill text is finally out. It’s pretty bad for theme parks and really any business that takes these funds. There are a lot of conditions on the loans (e.g. warrants are pretty much mandated) and a biggee for theme parks is retaining staff during the period of the loans. These conditions aren’t necessarily a bad thing from a taxpayer view, but they definitely make the option to get a government loan a challenging decision.
 
Feb 3, 2019
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The bill text is finally out. It’s pretty bad for theme parks and really any business that takes these funds. There are a lot of conditions on the loans (e.g. warrants are pretty much mandated) and a biggee for theme parks is retaining staff during the period of the loans. These conditions aren’t necessarily a bad thing from a taxpayer view, but they definitely make the option to get a government loan a challenging decision.
I mean, that was always going to be the trade-off. That's sorta why the stimulus had to get done... Because potentially 10+ million on unemployment costs as much or more than giving companies incentive to retain/pay employees.
 
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Oct 7, 2011
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Move what goalposts? I complained about special treatment for one particular entity not the rest. You appeared to take my criticism as an attack on the arts in general or heaven forbid I watch fox news (per your quote). To bring this more relevant to this thread, how would you like it if the government gave assistance to the theme park/zoo/aquarium/science center industry and (insert ramdom theme park here) gets 25 percent of all the funds without regards to any other funding formula. BGW and the 50 or so regional parks would probably get about 250 k with other smaller zoos/aquariums/museums getting much smaller amounts. The way it is written smacks of favoritism. Why not 25 million for the Lincoln center in NY or any other major center? Yes, the Kennedy center is well known and deserving but why it over any other?
The Kennedy Center is owned by the Federal government, therefore by us. Its 3,000 employees aren't privately employed, and the Presidential monument in which it sits isn't privately owned. Congress is immediately responsible for its financial well being unless we want to see it disappear as a performing arts venue. If there is a higher profile and more influential performing arts complex owned by the people of the United States, located in a more generally influential US city than Washington DC, optionally doubling as a living commemoration of a murdered President, then I agree it too should be kept in salvageable financial shape by direct Federal action. Let's hear the names of those places, so you and I can both ask why those institutions were snubbed.

But Lincoln Center, your example of "why not that one," ain't it. It does not fit the above descriptions. Nor would most other performing arts centers with nationally recognizable names. So why should the Federal government give money directly to a privately owned performing arts complex in the first place -- when the NEA already offers grant opportunities, privately owned institutions already have their partnerships, and they can benefit from more localized donor support that allows them the liberty to more directly reflect their local cultures instead of answering to Federal influence? The entire nation IS, by design, the "local community" for the Kennedy Center. As such, direct Federal supplemental funding is appropriate for it in cases where it would not be for others.

So then there's the issue of how much money the Kennedy Center should get.

National Endowment for the Arts and National Endowment for the Humanities (which I'd argue is also a strong supporter agency for the arts via emphasis on preservation, access, publication, etc.) are receiving a combined total of $150 million in new funds. None of that pile goes to the Kennedy Center, which therefore gets a mere one-seventh of the combined total new funds in this bucket.

I'd agree that the Kennedy Center is not one-seventh of the total arts output of our civilization. Not nearly. But as an entire complex, what is its share of the high-level performing arts output of national and international renown at Federally owned facilities? That sounds like the more applicable question to me. And the Kennedy Center does a ton in a year, at a high level. IMO it is our go-to national showcase for the arts. It requires a huge staff to run because it serves multiple purposes, all in one complex. And still it doesn't get most of the money. I'm fine with that.

When it sounded like Kennedy Center was going to get $25 million in isolation, that was deemed bad. When it turned out NEA was getting a fat multiple of that amount, leaving Kennedy Center with only a minority of the new funds, apparently that also was deemed bad. When it turns out now that Kennedy Center is only getting 14% of the total arts-and-humanities bucket that includes NEH, I suppose that will still be deemed bad. Ever shifting. Would 5% still be too much for a Federally funded arts-center-slash-Presidential memorial that in its immensity is demonstrably more important than, larger than, and/or higher-profile than any other venue in the nation? Would 2% still be too much? Personally, $25 million to preserve the center in good condition doesn't twitch my left eyebrow upward one micron.

Applying similar questions to other areas of public life lays bare answers that are perhaps more self evident. Why are we Federally funding the Smithsonian with millions of dollars when other privately owned and operated museums in DC and around the nation are struggling? Newseum itself shut down in DC. So why is Museum and Library Services only getting $50 million in new funds in this deal? Even if the Smithsonian doesn't get extra money in this particular stimulus bill (btw there will be others!), overall they still get a billion dollars per year from Congress. Literally! So shouldn't the other museums get more than just $50m? Why do they get such preferential treatment?

Well, because they, like the Kennedy Center, were created by an act of Congress to serve as our go-to showcase on the national and international stage. They are therefore the financial responsibility of Congress in their entirety. And international-showcase status is wildly expensive to achieve and maintain. The burn rate is incredible.

And that is how Coronavirus impacts the amusement industry.
 
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Mar 18, 2017
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^^-- I used to go see the National Symphony. It was over 15 years ago but I saw a total of 19 performances. Recently I saw a university-level orchestra. It was enjoyable but I realized how good the National are/were. Their size and confidence allows them to be several times louder than most orchestras. It is jaw-dropping.
 
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Nov 30, 2018
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I mean, that was always going to be the trade-off. That's sorta why the stimulus had to get done... Because potentially 10+ million on unemployment costs as much or more than giving companies incentive to retain/pay employees.
The way the bill appears to be set up, businesses that can't open their doors such as theme parks are going to be just piling on debt if they take one of these loans and having to keep staff on doing effectively nothing. Contrast that with a company that has seen a major downturn in business but isn't fully closed (e.g. a chain restaurant) that could use the loans as a bridge and even drop prices or get different business with their excess labor. The only theme parks who could do well in this bill are small ones with under 500 employees who qualify for loan forgiveness as a small business. There are definitely winners and losers in this bill depending on the businesses' circumstances, and I would put the theme park industry largely in the loser category.
 
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