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  • Popular Australian theme park, Dreamworld, has shut its doors temporarily in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic
  • Theme park owner, Ardent Leisure (ALG), says the location will remain shut until the end of May
  • Ardent last week made the same decision for its American family-fun outlet, Main Event Entertainment, which reportedly produce 85 per cent of its revenue
  • While Dreamworld and Whitewater World stay shut, low numbers of staff will be used to maintain the premises
  • Shares in Ardent dropped 35.9 per cent on Monday, closing at 12.5 cents each

Queensland theme park Dreamworld has had its doors shut as Australia closes all non-essential services to curb COVID-19.

Dreamworld operator, Ardent Leisure (ALG), says that it made the decision on Monday following State and Federal Government guidelines.

The board of Ardent has since ceased operations at Dreamworld and Whitewater World until the end of May this year.

“The decision to close our parks is a direct result of the COVID-19 outbreak,”
Ardent Leisure Chairman, Dr Gary Weiss said.

“We are deeply aware that the decision to close our parks will create a great deal of uncertainty for our team members, their families and the broader community.”

The press release sanctioned by Ardent on Monday recognised the uncertain nature of the COVID-19 pandemic. Argent management says it will re-open services as soon as possible, but is unable to determine when this will occur.

“The health and safety of our team members and guests is the board’s number one priority,” Dr Gary added.

While two of Australia’s favourite theme parks stay shut, minimal onsite staff will still be needed to maintain the park’s animals.

Since releasing the announcement, all non-essential expenses under Ardent have been suspended.

The rocky road paved by COVID-19 has been difficult for Ardent. Earlier this month, the company joined many others in retracting its earnings guidance for the 2020 financial year.

Last week, Ardent took a time out on its American ‘Main Event Entertainment’ family-fun outlets as well — a division which provides nearly 85 per cent of its revenue.

Preceding these closures, the financial outlook was bleak for Ardent’s theme parks as it grappled to break even.

Shares in Ardent Leisure dropped 35.9 per cent by market close on Monday, last valued at 12.5 cents each.

ALG by the numbers
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