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Themeparks Industry

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Out of Michael Porter's Five Forces, the threat of new entrants into the theme park industry is one that has not proven easy to do in the past. In the past decade, there has not been a major theme park in the United States that has opened its doors. In fact, the trend has been the opposite as we have seen several parks close their doors for good. Hard Rock Park (Myrtle Beach, SC), Geauga Lake (OH), Cyprus Gardens (Lakeland, FL), Six Flags New Orleans (LA), Six Flags Kentucky Kingdom (KY), and Astroland (NY) and some examples of large, well-funded theme parks that have folded in recent years.

I think that they most obvious reason for this trend is that there simply aren't many more markets in the United States left to tap. The most recent attempt to gain entry into a great tourist destination came with Hard Rock Park in Myrtle Beach, SC in 2008. After one season, the park declared bankruptcy and sold to new ownership who attempted to revitalize the park under the name Freestyle Music Park for the 2009 summer season. However the name change didn't do enough for the success of the park and Freestyle Music Parks closed its doors for good in the fall of 2009.

Outside of the United States however, the threat of new entrants appears to exist. In recent years, Hong Kong Disneyland has opened with success, a new Shanghai Disney recent has been announced, and several theme park projects in Dubai, though long delayed, are now starting to get under way. Whether or not these projects will succeed remains to be seen, but the entry barriers for the theme park industry appear to be much lower outside of the United States. For these reasons I have to conclude that the threat of new entrants into the theme park industry does not seem to have too large an impact on current companies profits.



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