|Traded as||ASX: AAD|
|Industry||Leisure and Entertainment Attraction Operator|
|Predecessor||Macquarie Leisure Trust|
|Founded||11 June 1998(as Macquarie Leisure Trust)|
|Headquarters||Milsons Point, New South Wales, Australia|
|Total assets||A$500m (2010)|
Number of employees
Ardent Leisure (formerly Macquarie Leisure Trust) is an Australian-based leisure company which owns and operates a leisure portfolio of over 100 assets across Australia, New Zealand and the United States. It is most known for its operation of the Dreamworld theme park and the WhiteWater World water park on the Gold Coast, Queensland, Australia.
Ardent Leisure was originally known as Macquarie Leisure Trust until it split from Macquarie Group in 2009. The company began by acquiring the existing Dreamworld theme park in 1998. In 2006, Ardent Leisure constructed a world-class water park, WhiteWater World. In 2009, Ardent Leisure acquired QDeck.
In April 2015 Deborah Thomas, former editor of Cleo and other magazines, was appointed as Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Ardent Leisure. Thomas was replaced on 9 June 2017 when Simon Kelly was appointed as CEO and Managing Director (MD).
Ardent Leisure owns and operates over 100 leisure assets including theme parks, tourist attractions, bowling centres and laser skirmish centres across Australia, New Zealand and the United States.
Ardent Leisure began as the company which owned and operated the Dreamworld theme park on the Gold Coast. Dreamworld was acquired in July 1998 - within a month of its establishment. The theme park has over 30 rides, shows and attractions across a 30-hectare (74-acre) park. In December 2006, an adjacent water park to Dreamworld opened. WhiteWater World features 14 different water attractions including some Australian firsts.
Main Event Entertainment Centers
Main Event Entertainment is a chain of Family Entertainment Centers in the United States. Based out of Plano, Texas, the chain operates attractions including ten pin bowling, laser tag, games arcades, rock climbing, mini golf and Ropes Courses. Main Event operates in 42 locations in 17 states.
Thunder River Rapids Ride incident
On Tuesday, 25 October 2016 four people were killed at the Dreamworld theme park owned by Ardent. The Thunder River Rapids Ride they were travelling on malfunctioned and they were thrown onto a flooded conveyor belt.
Criticism was initially levelled when it was proposed to partially re-open Dreamworld for a memorial event, with proceeds going to the Australian Red Cross, on Friday, 28 October. This was later cancelled to allow investigations into the incident to continue unimpeded. Dreamworlds CEO Craig Davidson later said that it would not reopen till at least after all four funerals were held. This was decided by Ardent CEO Deborah Thomas.
By coincidence Ardents' annual general meeting (AGM) was scheduled for 27 October, two days after the accident. During the meeting CEO Deborah Thomas was criticised for not having directly contacted all the families of those killed. She was also criticised over her bonuses, totalling about $850,000, which were voted on at the AGM. Thomas later said that she would give the cash component of her yearly bonus, equalling A$167,500, to the Red Cross "... to support people affected by this tragic event.”. After the AGM Ardents share price dropped sharply after the incident, reducing its capital by A$310 million.
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- Burke, Liz (27 October 2016). "Dreamworld boss in line for $800k bonus". NewsComAu. News Limited. AAP. Retrieved 28 October 2016.