Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Singapore gambles on

Even Hong Kong Disneyland couldn’t net the giant Chinese market and is struggling with its lower than expected attendance for a 2nd year.

In Singapore, Crazy Horse failed. We are building not 1 but 2 Integrated Resorts (IRs), one in Marina Bay, another in Sentosa. There is so much competition for the lucrative gambling profits in Asia with Macau, Vietnam and many other Asian countries coming up with newer and bigger casinos. For no reasons, I have a feeling that this casino venture would either end up with a “big bang” success or it would end up a disaster with repercussions to our country for many years to come.

HK Disney crowds disappoint for 2nd year

HONG KONG - Attendance at Hong Kong Disneyland, which the government had already branded unsatisfactory, fell to just over 4 million in its second year, it said, representing a fall of more than 20 per cent.

Walt Disney's second Asian-based magic kingdom after Japan has spluttered along since opening to great hype in September 2005.

After attracting a lower-than-expected 5.2 million visitors in its first year, Hong Kong Disneyland said its second year attendance was near the 4 million mark.

'The second year we had more than 4 million visitors, which makes up a total number of more than 10 million for 26 months,' said spokesman Glendy Chu on Tuesday.

Disney would not give a more specific figure, given its policy of not sharing commercially sensitive information, though the 4 million figure represents a drop in attendance of over 20 per cent.

'In the short term, we did not achieve the attendance targets for which we had hoped. We recognise that we need to bolster our numbers which is our focus today,' Disney added in a statement.

Hong Kong Disneyland had not previously released a second year attendance figure following its slow start, prompting Secretary for Commerce and Economic Development Frederick Ma to say recently that Disneyland's performance was 'not satisfactory'.

The park has suffered from its small size, peak-period crowds and a limited number of major attractions, making it a challenge to snare repeat visitors, especially those from China. A rival theme park, Ocean Park has also eaten into Disney's business against the odds, and now enjoys higher attendance numbers.

The firm is also under pressure to find funds for a revamp.

It had to recently negotiate with its lenders to re-schedule its commercial term loan facility of HK$2.3 billion (S$431 million), and to remove financial performance covenants to ease its debt burden.

Disney said it would add new attractions next year.

Disneyland's main theme park rival in Hong Kong, the home-grown Ocean Park, pulled in 4.92 million visitors for the same period, according to the Ming Pao newspaper. -- REUTERS


Anonymous said...

There is a difference here. Our ministers have their million dollars salaries. They must be talented. They will make it appear to be successful. They have their obedient news outlets.

Anonymous said...

Gamble meh? Investment,investments, goldminig, understand?

Anonymous said...

The 2 future casinos will probably be doomed for failure if our Gahmen does not close one eye to the illegal businesses associated with gambling.

Likewise, the small U-Studio theme park will also probably not be able to sustain by itself for long if the entrance charges are exhorbitantly high. Remember Tang Dynasty & Haw Par Villa.

We just simply do not have a population/hinterland big enough to support both these investments.

Anonymous said...

We have miniature copies in a miniature land piece; others have the real stuff.

But the big problem is, this country is without nationhood like its' leadership without humanity.