Discussion in 'Disney Rumors and News' started by KINGBOBOFTHENORTH, Aug 25, 2008.
I agree with having no desire to bowl or play pool on vacation.
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Disney has filed Notices of Commencement (construction permits) to renovate Mannequins, Adventurers Club, Comedy Warehouse and BET Soundstage.
Pictures of the Notices at:
Good catch! Thank you!
To bad the permits don't say what the renovations are going to consist of or what the final product is going to be. I guess we'll just have to wait.
Interesting... but don't they call everything a "renovation" where there's any kind of existing structure to work from, to skirt some part of the process? I think the Mermaid ride in FLE was posted as a "renovation" of 20K, because there was still a single wall left from a portion of the ride, or something like that.
Wait...could this be some sign that the have..gasp...A PLAN?!?
Let's not get carried away...
Please, oh please, oh please, oh please........
Please put some clubs, bars, a shanty with at least 1 TV where I can drink, ANYTHING!!!! Just give me a place to drink and socialize that I can get back to my resort without dropping a mint in cab rides.
Also... When it was Pleasure Island, I loved that there were beer and drink carts outside the clubs so you could enjoy the shows or just people watch.
They have lots of Plans. It is just the conception is usually laking and the follow through is worse
The original set of plans were to tear down all the club buildings (except Mannequins/8TRAX which cannot be torn down) and build replacements to lease to third parties as restaurants and shops. Because of the economy, banking crisis and credit crunch, money was not available for third parties to finance such endeavors nor was there much of an appetite by third parties to take on such an expensive risk. So this plan quickly went haywire.
After more than two years and to try to get something going, concept art was released last November revealing the Hyperion Wharf project. It appears this was an attempt to generate excitement and get some third parties to sign on. But the idea remained that the third parties would still operate restaurants and shops. Credit markets had opened up and as poster Jason71 has pointed out, a lot of projects were now beginning to get built outside Disney; i.e. International Drive and along US192. But apparently still no takers at Disney prices.
The current rumor dating from April of this year is that third parties can lease space and reopen existing buildings as they deem appropriate including reopening renovated spaces as clubs if that's what they want to do. The clubs had to be different from what was there before but they could be similar, whatever that means. Apparently there are several third parties interested in this deal and the final debate was whether there should be demolitions and rebuilds or just renovations. Since leases could be far cheaper on renovated old buildings, that direction seems to have won out. So now renovations are going to happen. Will these renovated buildings actually reopen as clubs, we don't know? But there sure is a lot of hope out there both within and outside of Disney that this is finally going to come true!
ORIGINAL RUMOR POSTED:
If the clubs that are still their are in good shape i would think that they could do a rent out for a short term esp. going into the fall season. If their are 3rd parties that can put money into it for at least a year lease starting in fall and finish in fall they would have at least the best of times to try it out. Hope something does happen. I enjoy the cigar bar when we are their but would like a couple of other places. I like a good drink, easy to take bus home to OKW and the low profile of the area.
I can see third parties doing a fine job with the more generic clubs, but the AC and CW?? I dunno... I want Disney for the specialized clubs.
What's being lost here is just how brutal the reality of the situation on the ground in Florida is:
They simply cannot show the backbone or fortitude to see a vision through anymore.
They can blame the economy all they want...granted that's an issue...but the reality is that they should have had a plan set or almost set before they started closing things, and committed the brainpower, skill, and FINANCES necessary to hammer it through...no matter what.
They have lost all sense of their own identity.
Get it done...that should be still the standard operation procedure.
It's not. this is another really bad failure...and almost all their plans seem DOA now because they originate from the accounting division...then are sent to the engineers, artists, and operations people.
CW seems dead in the water to me. It never made money in its old form, so the logical thing would to be make it more of a "traditional" comedy club. (In fact, that was the rumor for it a couple months ago.) But I can't think of a comedy club in America right now that would come close to meeting WDW's family-friendly requirements.
That said, what else is it good for? Maybe a small karaoke bar? Not really set up or large enough for dancing.
I have no faith it will return, but the AC has more potential. It was profitable until the end, and has a fan following like few other things on property. If WDW managment were smart, they would re-open it as a "weenie," drawing people back to the new PI and showing new tenants they have"skin in the game" as well. There could be profitable changes both good--e.g. more merch--and bad--e.g. Fletcher Hodges could be written out of scripts pretty quick.
In the alternative, WDW could reap the same benefits by letting a 3rd party use thier intellectual property. There's some precedent for this--Disney on Ice and Disney Live are both 3rd parties who use far more iconic characters--but this still feels like a longshot to me.
The exterior of the AC would require a lot of work, but the interior could probably we worked into some sort of an ultra lounge--dancing in the Library, chill rooms to the side. Just guessing here, tho
For AC to work they would have to find a way to make money. In its old form it just did not earn enough to justify the expense of the actors and actresses. Of course it didn't have to since it was part of an overall ticket. That would not be the case as a standalone operation whether operated by Disney or an outside vendor. But I think there could be a way to make it a dinner show experience much like those pirate places off I-Drive. As for CW, there are comedy clubs in Orlando that operate at a profit but of course there has to be drinks and possibly food available in addition to the price of a ticket.
Jason71 says AC was profitable until the end, KINGBOBOFTHENORTH says it would need to find ways to make money if it was brought back. Both of you usually seem to know what you're talking about so was AC profitable or not?
I think part of the problem is the fact Disney never actually released any information specific to the individual clubs/bars, so no-one actually knows for sure how profitable the AC actually was.
You can't really argue the fact that AC was likely the most expensive club to run due to the unique show atmosphere of the place.
What is debatable is how much it's food/beverage sales added to the individual club's bottom line.
With Music/dance clubs, you have a DJ, bartenders, bar backs, and any wait staff as the nightly operating expenses. (Beyond any royalties that must be paid for the music/ power/ etc....). With the AC you had the bartenders, bar backs, wait staff, as well the the actors and actresses.
With a Music/Dance club, you tend to have people drinking pretty constantly... whether it's adult beverages, or those wonderful $3 bottled waters to rehydrate. With the AC, You may have had a lot more guests who would show up, maybe just get a non-alcoholic beverage, and sip on it all night while enjoying the show. You also had your adult beverage drinkers, but I don't know if people enjoying the atmosphere and show would be drinking as many high-markup drinks as in a dance/music club where they are a bit more active and not needing to pay as much attention.
There isn't really much doubt that the AC was safe when surrounded by the rest of the entertainment and pricing structure of PI, but there is some question on if it could support itself as a stand alone club.
(figure PI club admission, if bought seperately, was about $17 or so for access to all the clubs. Even if someone walked into the Adventurer's Club and was so entranced that they never left, do you think they'd be able to get away with a $17 cover for a single club? )
This is going to be a long one, apologies in advance; I might even go into Rusty Scupper mode...
It was profitable--I don't think even Bob will dispute that, and Kevin Lansberry admitted as much in the Sentinel after the closing. It's wasn't incredibly profitable--certainly nowhere near 8-Traxx or Mannequins.
As DCTooTall points out, there are no specific numbers out there; in fact, I'm not sure Disney even compiled them when the clubs were open.
There were numbers leaked to Screamscape shortly after the closing that claimed the Club was unprofitable--however, those only compared inside bar sales vs. actor salaries.
This fails to take into account a pro-rated share of the cover charge--and hard as it may be to believe, there wasn't a Friday night I didn't see people put down $25 a head just to go to the Club.
It also fails to take into account Jungle Juice sales, which should be included, it was themed to the building, staffed by AdvClub bartenders and overseen by the AdvClub manager on duty, essentially making it an AdvClub bar.
I did mention in my earlier post I think the Club would have to make a higher profit margin.
Merchandise could help--the upstairs bar was once a merchandise booth, that could work again, even if only open on busy nights.
One or two characters could be cut (as was done on Sundays routinely).
They could also jack up the AP rate--$60 was a laughable steal, I don't think a $250 AP would be out of the question, at least with a monthly payment plan. The first Congaloosh--a single show--sold out within days at a price not much cheaper.
Going dark Sunday/Monday would make sense as well.
I'm not saying this will happen. Heck, if it was my money and I could only invest in one club, it wouldn't be AdvClub, it's never going to be a money-tree. But I think the AdvClub played an important part in making a "complete" adult nightlife destination, and could be again, if the owners (Disney or someone else) have reasonable expectations.
I did not mean to infer that AC was not profitable. We've been told that it was and certainly with a pro-rata share of ticket sales, it was. But it did have union actors and actresses which made it an expensive proposition. Jason's suggestions on how it could be turned into a more profitable venture are all good valid ideas that could be deployed in tandem with, at least, a dinner show of sorts. I don't think it could succeed with just a cover charge alone.
DCTooTall, good analysis of the situation.
As much as I loved Mannequins, if I could reopen a club and had the money to do it, it would be 8TRAX. The place was a gold mine and attracted all age groups. I'd make it even more 70's wacky than it was! With the 70's so big this fall in fashion too, the place would likely be the most likely to succeed on a revamped PI.
I have a question next to ragland road(spelling?) there's a outdoor bar that has a happy hour does anyone know tthe times for it been there can't remember
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