ITPS has been responsible for approximately $700 million in buying and selling transactions of dry and wet parks. Each park transaction and process has a personality and a life of its own. Some processes can move very quickly and others like molasses.
There are 3 important considerations to review when selling.
Examine the reasons you are considering selling the attraction. Is there no viable successor in the family? Too many arguments within the family causing both emotional and financial stress? Has the business become too capital intensive or there is little money available for general maintenance?
The sale of a family property has very unique issues to that must be sensitively resolved. It can be emotional and has the potential to cloud your judgement.
ITPS was engaged to look at a property that was once one of the best privately owned small parks in the country. It sold after the owner died and was taken over by a company which was tangentially related to our industry - a distant cousin. The new owner did not understand our business, and let the park lapse in terms of capital expenditures and, even worse it lapsed in maintenance expenditures. The park began to deteriorate over a few years. Assets deteriorated, as well as employee morale. During the time the park was owned by the new company, competition in the not too distant markets began to intensify. The park was in a severe downward spin. We looked at it for our client and suggested they forgo any further consideration. The park continued to go downhill in every sense. There was a time when we would have “snapped it up” immediately, but time expired.
On a smaller scale, it is very much like the sale of a home. It is very important to have as much as possible in the proper shape necessary to sell it. There are a lot of factors to consider, but a persistent, clean property will help initiate the sale of it.
It will also be necessary to have an appraisal of the property - both land and assets so you know in advance their values. Sales can be asset sales or stock sales and your company’s business status will determine what type of sale is best for you. Your accountants and attorneys will advise you. It is best to have this understood at the outset for when you begin discussions with a buyer.
We here at ITPS have what we call the “pilot’s checklist”, a procedure that we work through with the buyer/ seller from the start, so nothing is forgotten.
There are various groups looking to acquire amusement / theme parks, waterparks, aquariums and other leisure attractions. A professional company should be hired to help navigate you through the process.
An amusement park or leisure attraction sale is not a normal real estate transaction. Nor is the appraisal of above ground assets, and you should involve a company who understands the rides and attractions valuations. Proper preparation as outlined will help you in obtaining proper value for your park if and when you decide to sell.
ITPS is one of a few companies who excel in this area. Contact ITPS for more information if you need assistance in selling your leisure attraction.
International Theme Park Services, Inc.
2195 Victory Parkway
Cincinnati, Ohio 45206
United States of America