Ballroom and the economy

#41
To Warren -

I'd be willing to bet that a cruise is cheaper than an NDCA comp. In fact, if we're talking NDCA comps here in FLORIDA, I can absosmurfly guarantee that a Carnival cruise is cheaper.

Here's why:

If I want to cruise from Florida, I have my choice of Jax (2 hours away), Cape Canaveral (40 minutes away), Miami (4 hours away), Tampa ((2 hours away). The run of the mill Carnival cruise (3 days, 2 nights) is roughly $300 per person double occupancy. Food, stateroom, vacation. Not including alcohol or gambling.

A competition in Tampa is going to cost me a minimum of $200 a NIGHT for a hotel room. Then we have tickets into the ballroom, entry fees, food, gas to get there, etc. All this presumes I'm not on the "package".

I would end up spending in the neighborhood of a grand just for a 3 day two night comp - NOT including costumes to attend if I wanted to enter enough events to be "allowed" into the scholarship division. And that is competing AMATEUR. I'm not even going to touch pro-am.

Yup. A cruise is cheaper. And did I mention I could take the kids on teh cruise? They pay half fare. SO, for a bout the same money as a dance comp, we can have a family vacation. Let's see.......
 

mamboqueen

Well-Known Member
#42
Problem solved. I'm gonna go out and buy me one of those used cruise ships (you know, the one that was the BIGGEST ship 5 years ago) and call it the "Dance Boat." And I'm going to run competitions on it. This way, you get a two-fer. Sound good? Bring the kids, too. We'll set them up with some dance lessons while we're all competing.

Oh, and everyone has to wear cruisewear as their costumes. In fact, let's just dance in our bathing suits!!



Welcome back, Laura.
 

pygmalion

Well-Known Member
#46
I'm not coming unless some bar tender knows how to make yellow birds and a good rum punch. If those are included, I'll be there! :roll: :lol:
 

tsb

Well-Known Member
#47
kansas49er said:
Is a bad economy reality overall, or just local? This news release seems to paint a different picture.

Carnival Corporation had record revenues, record earnings and a record number of passengers in 2004, vice president and COO Howard Frank said during the Carnival Corporation shareholders’ meeting in Southampton, England, last week.

The company had a 45% increase in revenues year on year to $9.7 billion, with net income rising from $1.2 billion to $1.9 billion.

About half the world’s cruise passengers, 6.3 million, sailed on Carnival Corporation ships, it was reported at the meeting.

Frank told shareholders that the rest of 2005 looks very good, with bookings and pricing both up. “Demand is growing stronger and stronger,” he noted.

According to Carnival Corp. executives, Carnival Cruise Lines and Princess Cruises are by far the company’s two strongest brands in North America. They said Windstar Cruises and Seabourn Cruise Line are doing well, but are “not part of major earnings growth.”

Building the Market

Since 44% of the passengers carried by the company’s cruise brands last year were first-time cruisers, the company feels it is building the market substantially.

Frank said Carnival Corporation has about 48% of the capacity in the North American market, with Royal Caribbean next at 31% and the rest of the industry accounting for 21%.

“We will have 49% of the capacity for North America in 2008, based on what we know today,” he added.

In Europe the company calculates that it holds 40% of current capacity and expects to have 46% in 2008.

Frank noted that eight ships, representing a 17% capacity increase, were delivered during 2004 and another eight have been ordered. He said Carnival tries to stay very disciplined in ship orders and was able to use its scale to keep construction costs to $168,000 per berth, well below usual costs.

The euro-based order for the eight additional newbuilds, at 163,000 euros, is similarly below the norm.

The six ships on order for the North American market represent $2.9 billion in spending.

Focused on Europe

The company is “very focused on the European market,” with eight new ships scheduled to debut in that market in the next few years. The two unassigned ships on order are likely to go to P&O and Costa, although a definite decision will come at the end of this year, Frank said.

Following the unprecedented capacity growth of seven new ships in 2003 and eight in 2004, Carnival Corporation expects to grow 8.5% this year, 6.3% in 2006, 7.5% in 2007 and 6.6% in 2008, based on the current order book.

The company is predicting revenue yields of 5%-6%, with net costs “flattish,” except for fuel, which is driving a 3%-4% increase in costs.

“Despite $7 billion-plus spent for cash purchase of ships, we expect to have excess cash,” Frank told shareholders. He said the company was unlikely to use the money to repay debt unless interest rates spike worldwide, and that it might have a share buyback, or pay increased and/or bonus dividends to shareholders.
i wouldn't bet that this would conitnue if terrorists elected to make a cruise ship their next target.

if i am allowed to tangent briefly, larinda touched on it describing it as a sense of mistrust. confidence is a key issue when it comes to economic matters; economics (especially micro) is as much psychology as it is anything else. speaking as an econ major & as a currency trader i will point out that there is a very real chance that the euro will replace the dollar as the world's base currency within the next ten years - confidence in the dollar began to erode with the terrorist attack on the towers on 9/11. pre 9/11 the pound was about $1.45. now it's about $1.92 - or worth about 35% less in less than 4 years. the euro was at .95 but is now $1.30 - again, about 35% of buying power gone.
 

pygmalion

Well-Known Member
#48
Warren J. Dew said:
ChaChaMama said:
When you look at NDCA comps, there are almost always at least a handful students who have entered quite a high number of heats (say, 50+). Upper-income America has, on the whole, done pretty well under the current administration, which I think insulates the ballroom industry somewhat from the economic downturn.
A couple of comments here:

NDCA competitions are actually much cheaper than the "private" competitions run by Arthur Murray and Fred Astaire. I'd bet they are considerably cheaper than a Carnival Cruise Line cruise for most people who go, and significantly more rewarding. Yes, there are a few people who have lots of money and overdo things, though I'd bet most of them made the money during previous administrations, for example during the internet bubble, when lots of people lost money but a few hit the jackpot.

In the Northeast, attendance at NDCA competitions tanked after 9/11/2001. Some competitions cancelled, which means they have to pay a lot of cancellation fees with no income at all, while others went ahead and ran, but were heavily criticized by many for engaging in "frivolous" activities during a "serious" time period. I'd guess that some of the people doing the criticism reevaluated their own participation in competition dance and dropped out.

Chris' point about the association between economic downturns and an increase in interest in ballroom is a good one. Traditionally, entertainment does well in downturns. However, I also agree with him that what would do well would be socially oriented dancing that didn't require a huge amount of commitment, rather than competition dancing.
Sorta back to topic. I wonder how the franchises have fared, through all this stuff. When I go back and visit Orlando, next month, I think I'll visit with some old friends and ask about life at the old studio. I have to wonder how the lucrative clientele held up through all the economic upheaval.

Warren's right, btw, the 9-11 impact was financial, but also social. At least right after 9-11, there was a lot of "how dare you be having fun at such a serious time?" backlash. :(

I wonder how things are faring these days. Is a rebound on the way yet, I wonder? :?
 

mamboqueen

Well-Known Member
#49
I'm not coming unless some bar tender knows how to make yellow birds and a good rum punch. If those are included, I'll be there!
You're in charge of the bar. Didn't you know that?? :D

First drink = the Tango-ray. Tangueray and well, more Tangeuray.
Second drink = Rumba Punch. You got it, rum and more rum.

Any others?
 

Warren J. Dew

Well-Known Member
#54
DancingMommy said:
If I want to cruise from Florida, I have my choice of Jax (2 hours away), Cape Canaveral (40 minutes away), Miami (4 hours away), Tampa ((2 hours away). The run of the mill Carnival cruise (3 days, 2 nights) is roughly $300 per person double occupancy. Food, stateroom, vacation. Not including alcohol or gambling.
The last few NDCA competitions I did, here in the Northeast, were less expensive than that - some considerably so. Even back when I was doing pro-am, it was only about $300 per competition after everything was included, and that was with a single occupancy hotel room.

Maybe the lesson is if you want to go on cruise ships, live in Florida; if you want to go to ballroom competitions, live in the Northeast.
 

Warren J. Dew

Well-Known Member
#55
pygmalion said:
Sorta back to topic. I wonder how the franchises have fared, through all this stuff. When I go back and visit Orlando, next month, I think I'll visit with some old friends and ask about life at the old studio. I have to wonder how the lucrative clientele held up through all the economic upheaval.
I'd be interested in what they have to say.

To the extent they focus on social dance, they might be doing okay. I know of three new studios that opened in my area in the past year or two, one of which was a Fred Astaire.
 

pygmalion

Well-Known Member
#56
Warren J. Dew said:
DancingMommy said:
If I want to cruise from Florida, I have my choice of Jax (2 hours away), Cape Canaveral (40 minutes away), Miami (4 hours away), Tampa ((2 hours away). The run of the mill Carnival cruise (3 days, 2 nights) is roughly $300 per person double occupancy. Food, stateroom, vacation. Not including alcohol or gambling.
The last few NDCA competitions I did, here in the Northeast, were less expensive than that - some considerably so. Even back when I was doing pro-am, it was only about $300 per competition after everything was included, and that was with a single occupancy hotel room.

Maybe the lesson is if you want to go on cruise ships, live in Florida; if you want to go to ballroom competitions, live in the Northeast.
:lol: :lol: Sounds good.
 

ChaChaMama

Well-Known Member
#57
To be clear: I love NDCA comps. The last comp I went to was an NDCA comp, and I had a great time. My comments about the bizarre economic model the ballroom world employs was not meant as a knock of the product, just of the pricing model. I still think ballroom comps are priced with the upper-middle class (and above) in mind.

Warren, would you be willing to share your list of bargain comps? Pretty please?

:) ChaChaMama
 

ChaChaMama

Well-Known Member
#59
I think that really is the operative question: is the current pricing model working? And if it is working, are there other models that could work as well or better? (E.g., would there be better growth in competition earnings under a different model?)

If some comps are running into financial difficulty, then maybe these are at least questions worth asking.

Some will argue that changing the pricing structure would make no difference either because A) there is a finite amount of interest in dance in the U.S., or B) there are too many comps and the problem is really that comps are competing with each other. Possibly true, but not obviously true by any means.

That a Gap advertisement could have set off a swing craze shows you that there is at least some untapped interest in dance out there....

:) ChaChaMama
 

chrisjohnston

Well-Known Member
#60
Interesting that you should mention the Swing craze.I believe that was more about rebelling against the norm than about the dancing.Most of the kids who came to our events just wanted to dress up in something different.As for the music it really was not swing music.It was more like punk with a little melody.Cheers Chris
 

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