Five Hundy by Midnight 283: A Lesson in Urinal Science

Las Vegas podcast #283 includes:

  • New Year No Limits opener
  • Firefly’s downtown location closes
  • Tropicana improves its sports book
  • 2011 Las Vegas wishes
  • Sponsor: Vegas Mate
  • Dear Tim and Michele: Parabounce responds
  • Listener calls about Steak n Shake, New Year’s Eve, M Resort, Aria, Cosmopolitan, Sigma Derby, Tropicana, Rio, Fleur, PBR Rock Bar and more
  • Call us at (702) 866-9494

Play Las Vegas Podcast
Direct download of the podcast: Five Hundy By Midnight 1/3/11 (101:00 min, 92.6 MB) or subscribe.


17 thoughts on “Five Hundy by Midnight 283: A Lesson in Urinal Science

  1. I would appreciate Tim going into advanced bathroom theory: urinal troughs in a future podcast. For example, how much room is required between two people at a trough for you to step right up?

  2. Great podcast. I laughed out loud at the urinal topic. I agree with Michelle on women’s bathroom etiquette. This reminds me of something I heard not long ago that occurs in the men’s bathroom. After men urinate, they spit in the trough. This topic came up and the men in discussion were spitters. Curious if this is common with other men?? Thoughts?

  3. Awesome as usual! Thanks for making me giggle through the longest workday of the year. Between the urinal and “home turf” comments, it made the day seem not so bad.

    I almost wonder if the guy from Parabounce will chime on these topics.

  4. Shame about Firefly. We were going to spend a day downtown to
    specifically try the food there as have somehow missed it in the past.
    This though may well cause us to change plans and rather than spend the off-strip day of the next vacation downtown go to check out M Resort on the shuttle instead.

  5. I have a wish for the new year, Why not make excaliber more of a real castle theam. Like a fancy castle that you would see in europe. Big nice tapistries, gas lamps, real stone look, nice stain glass, cool over size beds. I would look high end and still have a nice theam.

  6. OK, OK, lets take “Steve” from Parabounce seriously. Lets look at the numbers, since we know he needs to raise $12 million. Lets hope that is all he needs to raise.

    For simplicity sake, lets assume a cost of capital of 20%, which is likely as he may need to tap into mezz and other higher risk financing options. Using that for $12 million, that works out to a monthly payment of around $200,000.

    Lets say 7 days a week operations, eight hours a day, and each “play session” (I do not know what they want to call it) is about 30 minutes to cycle. That works out to about $428 per session that needs to be cleared to recover the cost of capital. A cycle includes 20 customers (according to one site I googled), or about $20 needs to be cleared per ride per person.

    Will people find it worth $20? As I recall, similar attractions, the coster at NYNY and the rides at the stratosphere are around $12. The zip line in downtown is about $20. Indoor skydiving is about $75. So there seems to be an opportunity for an attraction priced between $20-$75, which it will likely have to be once you add the cost of capital with operating costs, expected profit, promotions, and the simple fact that not every ride will be at full capacity.

    I wager that the price will be around $60, or halfway between the $20-$75 dollar range. This would allow for a break even point at around 50% capacity, or 10 people per ride.

    However, can they get 10 people per ride? That would be around 60,000 paying customers a year. To use a reasonable proxy market for the average customer, lets take families with kids in Vegas (after all kids like comic sans). Averaging LVCVA reports, the percentage of visitors with kids are around 10%. With around 35 million people, that yields an interested market of around 3.5 million people. Digging further the LVCVA reports that 38% spend money on shows, which this arguably would be like for families with kids. So there are 1.33 million interesting and able customers. No problem there.

    However, how free spending are they? How willing will they be to pay $60 a head to bounce around? Assuming that this attraction will be comparable to a show, the average visitor in that 1.33 million spends only around $105 per trip on shows. But that is per trip. The LVCVA gives 4.5 days as the average trip length, or when its all said in done there is only $20-25 worth of spending per day.

    So here we have the rub. With only $25 per day of spending on average, it only covers around the cost of capital for the venture. To make it a profitable and successful venture, one would need to encourage the target market member to spend 2-3 days of their budget on a Parabounce. Or in other words, make it more of a planned centerpiece of the visit, not an impulse-sure-why-not purchase. Quite a task for a marketing team that must compete with not just the skydiving guys, but every show room in Vegas. And this “steve” is why there are skeptics.

  7. Oh, and that $25 could be generous if you read the LVCVA differently (I am unfamiliar with their reporting and vocabulary). That is $25 per visit, it is unclear if that if its per trip, per person. If not, the average visitor number per trip is about 2.5. This means a per person spending per day of $10. Which makes it an even tougher road to hoe.

  8. Great breakdown, Dram.

    According to the Parabounce press release:

    “Based on raising $25 million in additional capital [in addition to a $5 million investment referred to earlier in the press release], One Giant Leap projects gross revenues of the Las Vegas facility at around $40 million a year. Initial revenues are expected in the first half of 2012 and the company expects profitability during its first year of operation. At a modest $20 per ride price, multiple Parabounce® balloons can generate more than $25 million in ride sales alone. Additional revenues are expected through the sale of DVDs that capture the rider’s experience as well as other profit centers such as arcades, concessions, clothing and souvenirs. Based on 50% capacity and conservative add-on sales, the company projects total profits in the first year of $24 million.”

  9. This is getting more odd. I do not know what they mean by “first year”, if that is calendar or fiscal, but lets be generous and say calendar and it opens the first half of 2012. Then with $25m in ride revenue with $40m total revenue, it means 62.5% of revenues are ride related. This equals projected 2012 ride revenue to be $7.8m. Which then means $2,676 worth of ride revenue each hour of operation (again assuming 8 hours, days a week).

    Take that $2,676 and assume half capacity of 10 balloons a session, and you can find that it will take over 120 rides to get down to the $20 price. Or to put it another way, each play session is less than five minutes. I will not ponder the idea of buying a five minute DVD of the fun, but will say $20 for five minutes of fun is a bit doubtful. It could be possible to argue that the zip line downtown is competitive and it works, however the tradeoff is views of downtown neon versus bouncing around a dome in a balloon. I am not sure how persuasive that is.

    Longer operating hours (say 12 instead of 8) could be an immediate answer. Also, one must be reminded that the figure is for the list price quoted in the press release, who knows what the actual average fee is once you calculate things like promotions, coupons, and group discounts. So you can argue a change either way, but most of those have a marginal effect, say plus/minus a couple minutes. It would still come down to $20 for five minutes, and that is being charitable.

  10. Flights are finally booked for Las Vegas (300 day wait now). We’re having our first couple of nights at TI (like the location, know it’s changed hands but hopefully still good value).

    We then want 4 nights (Sun to Wed) at The Cosmopolitan but our travel agent doesn’t have it available yet so I’m waiting to book.

    I just can’t beleive how much our travel agents prices vary, Luxor has 4 nights in a Spa Suite for $119 (for the whole stay), Golden Nugget $203, TI $424, MGM Signature in a Junior Suite $551, Bellagio $663, Mandarin $746 Venetian/Palazzo $906 (ouch) and ARIA a whopping $2,225!

    Who will stay at ARIA or even with Sheldon when they’re charging those rates

  11. Was also meant to add that on our booking for TI it states:

    “Mandatory hotel-imposed fees apply to all Domestic, Canada and Mexico origin
    reservations, payable directly to the hotel. Please see hotel policies for details.”

    May have been said before and I know it won’t help many of the FHBM listeners but seems like any European listeners may be able to get the resort fees waived.

  12. I appreciate the Lion’s Share updates – would hate for them to go away. One of your listeners is going to win that thing!!!

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