Ardent Leisure

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Ardent Leisure
Traded as ASXAAD
Industry Leisure and Entertainment Attraction Operator
Predecessor Macquarie Leisure Trust
Founded 11 June 1998 (1998-06-11)
Headquarters Milsons Point, New South Wales, Australia
Key people
Deborah Thomas (CEO)[1]
Revenue A$350.4m Decrease (2010)[2][3]
A$78.8m Decrease (2010)[2][3]
Total assets A$500m Increase (2010)[2][3]
Number of employees
Website Official website

Ardent Leisure (formerly Macquarie Leisure Trust[4]) 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.[5] It is most known for its operation of the Dreamworld theme park and the WhiteWater World water park on the Gold Coast, Queensland, Australia.[6]


Ardent Leisure was originally known as Macquarie Leisure Trust until it split from Macquarie Group in 2009.[4] The company began by acquiring the existing Dreamworld theme park in 1998. In 2006, Ardent Leisure constructed a world-class water park, WhiteWater World.[7][8] In 2009, Ardent Leisure acquired QDeck.[9]

In April 2015 Deborah Thomas, former editor of Cleo and other magazines, was appointed as Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Ardent Leisure.[1][10]


The Dreamworld Tower at Dreamworld which houses the Tower of Terror II and the Giant Drop.
The Temple of Huey and Little Rippers at WhiteWater World interacting with Dreamworld's Cyclone.

Ardent Leisure owns and operates over 100 leisure assets including theme parks, tourist attractions, marinas, bowling centres, laser skirmish centres and health clubs across Australia, New Zealand and the United States.[5]

Theme Parks[edit]

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.[11] The theme park has over 30 rides, shows and attractions[12] across a 30-hectare (74-acre) park.[11][13] In December 2006, an adjacent water park to Dreamworld opened. WhiteWater World features 14 different water attractions including some Australian firsts.[7][8]

Bowling and Laser Skirmish[edit]

Ardent Leisure owns a variety of bowling and laser skirmish companies around Australia and New Zealand. The Australian AMF Bowling franchise was purchased off their original American owners and is now operated separately to the American centres. Some of these AMF Bowling Centres now feature M9 Laser Skirmish to enhance the guest experience. Ardent Leisure has also acquired Kingpin Bowling Lounges to complement their existing portfolio. These lounges offer a different bowling experience to the traditional experience offered at AMF. Collectively there are almost 50 locations across Australia and New Zealand.[14]

d'Albora Marinas[edit]

A collection of seven marinas make up d'Albora Marinas - Australia's largest marina group. The locations in New South Wales and Victoria collectively are home to over 1400 vessels.[15]

Goodlife Health Clubs[edit]

The Goodlife Health Club franchise is owned by Ardent Leisure. With 76 locations around Australia, Goodlife is the most dominant health club in Queensland, South Australia and Western Australia.[16]

Main Event Entertainment[edit]

Main Event Entertainment is a chain of entertainment centres in the United States. Based in Dallas, Texas, the chain operates attractions including ten pin bowling, laser skirmish, games arcades, rock climbing and mini golf. Main Event operates in 25 locations.[17][18][19][20][21][22]

Thunder River Rapids Ride incident[edit]

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.[23]

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.[24] 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.[25]

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.[25] 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.”.[26] After the AGM Ardents share price dropped sharply after the incident, reducing its capital by A$310 million.[27]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b Burke, Liz (27 October 2016). "Dreamworld boss in line for $800k bonus". NewsComAu. News Limited. Retrieved 27 October 2016. 
  2. ^ a b c "Ardent Leisure Limited – Full Year Financial Results 2010". Ardent Leisure. 20 August 2010. Retrieved 31 August 2010. 
  3. ^ a b c "Ardent Leisure Group - 2010 Full Year Results Presentation" (PDF). Australia Securities Exchange. 20 August 2010. Retrieved 31 August 2010. 
  4. ^ a b "Internalisation and repositioning Macquarie Leisure Trust Group for growth" (PDF). Macquarie. 25 June 2009. Retrieved 31 August 2010. 
  5. ^ a b "Ardent Leisure - Home". Ardent Leisure. Retrieved 31 August 2010. 
  6. ^ "Theme Parks". Ardent Leisure. Retrieved 31 August 2010. 
  7. ^ a b "WhiteWater World". Database Entry. Parkz. Retrieved 31 August 2010. 
  8. ^ a b Wilson, Richard (15 November 2006). "WhiteWater World on the final straight". Parkz. Retrieved 31 August 2010. 
  9. ^ Nichols, Nick (11 November 2009). "Dreamworld buys a piece of Coast skyline". Gold Coast Bulletin. Retrieved 31 August 2010. 
  10. ^ Daniel, Sue; MacMillan, Jade; staff (27 October 2016). "Dreamworld under fire for failing to contact victims' families directly". ABC News. Australian Broadcasting Corporation. Retrieved 27 October 2016. 
  11. ^ a b "Dreamworld History" (PDF). Dreamworld. Retrieved 31 August 2010. 
  12. ^ "Park Map" (PDF). Dreamworld. Archived (PDF) from the original on 26 March 2010. Retrieved 31 August 2010. 
  13. ^ "Dreamworld". Database Entry. Parkz. Archived from the original on 28 September 2010. Retrieved 31 August 2010. 
  14. ^ "Bowling". Ardent Leisure. Retrieved 31 August 2010. 
  15. ^ "d'Albora Marinas". Ardent Leisure. Retrieved 31 August 2010. 
  16. ^ "Goodlife Health Clubs". Ardent Leisure. Retrieved 31 August 2010. 
  17. ^ "Main Event". Ardent Leisure. Retrieved 31 August 2010. 
  18. ^
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  20. ^
  21. ^
  22. ^
  23. ^ "'Everyone was screaming': Four dead in Dreamworld horror". ABC News. 25 October 2016. Retrieved 26 October 2016. 
  24. ^ "Dreamworld's grim reopening cancelled at last minute". 27 October 2016. Retrieved 29 October 2016. 
  25. ^ a b Reynolds, Emma (28 October 2016). "Dreamworld relatives faced wall of silence". NewsComAu. News Limited. Retrieved 29 October 2016. 
  26. ^ Chung, Frank (28 October 2016). "Chief executive of Dreamworld owner will give $167,500 to the Australian Red Cross". NewsComAu. News Limited. Retrieved 28 October 2016. 
  27. ^ Burke, Liz (27 October 2016). "Dreamworld boss in line for $800k bonus". NewsComAu. News Limited. AAP. Retrieved 28 October 2016. 

External links[edit]