Wednesday, April 4, 2007

Universal Orlando Posts Solid Year

The Universal Orlando Resort is technically owned and operated by Universal City Development Partners, LTD, and they recently filed their annual report with the SEC.

I was made aware of this through this article from, which details the resort's 2006 results.

Since I didn't know this company existed and owned and operated Univeral Orlando, I wanted to read this report and get the skinny. So I did. And here's some stuff I found:

· Universal City Development Partners (UCDP) ownes and operates the two theme parks and Citywalk. The on-property hotels are owned by UCF Hotel Venture. Talk about splitting up ownership of all that stuff.

· The company pays out a minimum of $4.6 million annually for the rights to various intellectual properties. (i.e. characters and themes)
~They have exclusivity East of the Mississippi for the Marvel characters.
~They have worldwide exclysivity for the Dr. Suess characters so long as Universal does not use them in more than 3 North American parks. How detailed, eh?
~They only have the right to use Dreamworks stuff (i.e. Shrek) that was created/released prior to Jan. 1st, 2006. So, don't look for any Shrek the Third updates this summer.
~They use Popeye and his gang from King Features and are the only ones in the US and Canada who can do so. This runs to 2019 and can be renewed so long as at least one Popeye attraction is at the park.

· 43% of '06 admissions were from US states outside of Florida, 31% were from other countries, and 26% of admissions were from Florida residents.

· In 2005 they spent $30.4 million on capital expenitures and $41.4 million in 2006. They estimate, however, that 2007 "including intellectual property rights, to be between $100 million to $120 million." And here's the kicker: "A large portion of this cost relates to the design and construction of multiple new attractions that are currently being negotiated that we anticipate opening during the next few years." Hello Harry Potter! Why else would they specifically mention that they are spending on property rights? And designing something big?

· Attendance at the two parks in 2002 was 10.4 million, 2003 was 10.6 million, 2004 was 12.1 million, 2005 was 10.8 and 2006 was 10.5 million.

· Revengs of the Mummy gave the resort record attendance in 2004.