Sorry, Disney: Comcast Wants to Make Dreams Come True, Too
Walt Disney Co. (NYSE:DIS) has a number of competitors vying for its monopoly over the theme park industry, and Comcast Corp. (NASDAQ:CMCSA) just became a new one. Until recently, many investors and analysts had little to no idea how interested the Philadelphia-based cable-TV company really was in expanding its core business of telecommunications to boost revenue and profits, but according to a Philadelphia Inquirer story published Sunday, highlighted by Chron on Monday, Comcast is now planning to invest hundreds of millions of dollars in California and Florida theme parks, representing a new challenger for Disney’s hold on tourism trade.
The first time we saw evidence that Comcast was gearing up to challenge Disney in the theme park industry was in January, when CEO Brian Robert highlighted in an investor conference that an investment in theme parks would be one that “[pays] off for many years to come.” He said to investors, per Chron, “We think there is a lot there in the theme park business for many years to come, and that we have the low market share and only one way to go.” However, many did not know how serious the CEO was until he shared his California and Florida plans.
According to Chron, this summer, Comcast is planning a new Harry Potter ride at a second theme park that will share the same 750-acre Universal complex it took over in 2011 as part of its NBCUniversal acquisition. In addition, Comcast is now reported to be financing the construction of an 1,800-room Cabana Bay Beach Resort with Loews Corp. (NYSE:L) There, guests will be allowed to eat, sleep, and swim on the same aforementioned Universal complex. The first 600 rooms in the hotel are scheduled to open this month.