Dreamworld tragedy impacts other Gold Coast theme parks

By Ethan James, Jeremy Pierce

The horrific deaths of four people at Dreamworld last month has led to a drop in visitor numbers across all theme parks on the Gold Coast.

Village Roadshow - the owner of Movie World, Wet 'n' Wild and Sea World - said yesterday it would take some time for the community to fully recover from the tragedy.

Kate Goodchild, Luke Dorsett, Roozi Araghi and Cindy Low were killed last month when the Thunder River Rapids ride malfunctioned, causing their raft to flip.

Dreamworld has been closed since the accident, and has announced it will permanently decommission the ride involved.

Village Roadshow chairman Robert Kirby revealed yesterday at the company's ­annual general meeting that business had been "inconsistent" since the accident at Dreamworld, owned by Ardent Leisure.

"We do believe it will take time for the community and the marketplace to fully ­recover from the tragedy," he said.

Village Roadshow shares have failed to return to their $5.25 mark prior to the Dreamworld tragedy, while shares in Ardent Leisure also remain about 25 per cent lower.

Kirby said the company was "hesitant to extrapolate any trends" from the lower ­attendance numbers and said they would have a clearer understanding of the accident's impact by its half-year results, expected in February.

Queensland Emergency service personnel at the scene of the tragedy. Photo / AAP
Queensland Emergency service personnel at the scene of the tragedy. Photo / AAP

At Dreamworld, there is still no definitive date on when the theme park will reopen.

Safety technicians are continuing to run tests on every ride in the park, while the families of the four victims will also be consulted about any opening date.

It is understood park officials are eyeing off a date around the end of this month or early next month.

Work has resumed on the planned Lego store and expansion of Tiger Island with both on track to be finished ahead of the school holidays.

Many Dreamworld staff have returned to work, but even those who haven't remain on full pay during the park's closure.

The shrine of flowers that dominated the entrance to Dreamworld following the tragedy has been removed to be incorporated into a permanent memorial.

- The Courier-Mail

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