But on the subject of it being for the share holders, may I remind you that when it was operated by Tussauds, Persons was a public company as well;) and most people consider that period to have been the Golden Days!
You're spot on there dude.
I think it was a different business model though, Tussauds seemed to be more savvy with their money and did a good amount of 'value creation' by performing good investments and making the customer feel like they were getting good value for money.
Whilst Tussauds did increase ticket prices they did buy and install things like virtual queuing.
Merlin only seems to do 'just enough' and mainly increases revenue by charging for things which were previously 'free' and year on year increases (car parking fees, increased ticket prices, pay for fast-track etc).
I know some of you will point to the fact Merlin have given us things like The Smiler but in my opinion such investments have been infrequent and poor. Merlin may spend as much if not more than Tussauds ever did (I haven't checked) but if they do then their suppliers must take them to the cleaners compared to when Tussauds run it...