A question that can be considered based on looking at the performance of many different parks is:
Are Parks Better Owned Independently or by a Company?
This topic is dependent on someone’s views toward the value of an amusement park. It also affects decisions, financial plans, and other important things beyond public control.
Many parks are successful: ones owned independently AND ones owned by a company.
Some amusement parks would not benefit from being owned by a company, or owned independently.
Part I – The Difference
I am assuming it is self-explanatory what both sides mean and look like.
I will quickly recap.
A park owned by a company is part of an amusement park chain. It is a company who owns multiple amusement parks and manages it.
A park owned independently may still be owned by a company but normally a smaller one. The company normally does not own other amusement parks.
Part II – Compare and Contrast
The difference in having a chain own a park and operating independently can vary.
In simple terms, when owned by a chain, the same standards and associations will be known to all of the parks. Anything such as an opinion or trademark, for example, is now part of the other park.
In addition, experiences and opinions/reviews also will influence decisions to visit other parks in a specific chain.
It also puts restrictions on funds and park budgets. It also adds the risk of if the park closes and the chain will not reopen it, there are conflicts. Examples have been seen in past years with this type of situation.
Operating independently allows a park to have more branding and marketing freedom.
It also allows a park to have its own identity and review, not having restrictions or associations with a large company.
Part III – Benefits vs. Risks
Benefits and risks are a major thing to discuss when comparing operating independently vs. part of a chain.
Part of a Chain
Being part of a chain can have many benefits. Positive associations with other parks and support are a very good benefit.
Another benefit is having many operations and processes managed by the parent company. It makes it easier and seamless.
Some risks include being not financially stable or functioning if the chain loses support or a park closes.
Other risks include negative associations due to other parks and loss of revenue due to that.
One huge downside is having processes and decisions made to benefit a park, that is not of interest for people in charge.
It has been seen in amusement park history for a chain to have full control over everything, causing conflicts for a park.
Being operated independently or by a small company has some positives and also setbacks.
One benefit is having an individual identity and operating system. Original names, original programs. It makes it very selective.
It also gives the management team full power about decisions about the park.
One setback is having poor management and not enough public support causing failing efforts.
Another setback is not getting the funds to operate or expand.
Part IV – The Best Option
The best option is to operate a park independently.
The reason that it is stronger than a park being owned by a chain is because it creates an individual market.
It allows the officials for the park to focus on it and just it. Decisions and other plans can be changed and edited without additional approval.
Processes and action can slow down by being owned by a chain.
Images and other public attributes will be able to be built and not influenced by a company or other amusement parks. Often, this puts parks in a bad position.