Monday, March 23, 2009

Future Magic for Merlin

If you've been to Legoland or Madame Tussaud's or the London Eye, you've been to one of Merlin Entertainment Group's attractions. After Disney, it's the world's largest operator of theme parks and attractions, welcoming 32 million visitors annually.

Looking ahead, Merlin recently bought Underwater Adventures at Mall of America and is expanding with a new Seahorse Kingdom exhibit, reports the Minneapolis Star Tribune (photo is from this news story). Merlin is also thinking about buying Busch Entertainment, which owns Busch Gardens and other U.S. amusement parks (oops, I meant theme parks).

If the economics are very good, these purchases will make magic for Merlin in the future, when shoppers start shopping again and families return to theme parks in droves. I'd like to see Disney have to compete for visitors.

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