Anyone want to buy a photo school?

Discussion in 'Workshops & Lectures' started by BrianShaw, Aug 24, 2006.

  1. BrianShaw

    BrianShaw Member

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    Last edited by a moderator: Aug 24, 2006
  2. df cardwell

    df cardwell Subscriber

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    All good things come to an end. Great place.
     
  3. Robert Brummitt

    Robert Brummitt Member

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    I understand that Stephen King's Brother is into photography. Maybe they could buy the school?
     
  4. david b

    david b Member

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    wow....very interesting.
     
  5. thebanana

    thebanana Subscriber

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    Let's see, $4.7 mil divided by 14,839 APUG'ers comes to $316.73 each. I'm in.
     
  6. Monophoto

    Monophoto Member

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    Not a great surprise. I heard just a few weeks ago that they were under a lot of pressure from their lendors to sell off some of their real property and use the revenue to reduce debt. And while "Rockport College" sounds good, the fact is that it has never become a fully accredited university, and as a consequences, graduates with an MFA from there generally have difficulty getting teaching jobs, which is the main reason for getting an MFA.

    I suspect that they will survive, although perhaps in a slightly different form. Actually, this might be a good thing - one might speculate that the main problem is that they been under the same leadership from too long and are in desperate need of change.
     
  7. BWGirl

    BWGirl Member

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    Yeah... we'd definitely have a place for our annual APUG Conferences, wouldn't we? Count me in too.
     
  8. mtbbrian

    mtbbrian Member

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    I was there earlier this month.
    Such an incredible place.
    The vibe and energy there is off the chart!
    David Lyman is a very dynamic man and such an advocate for creative living.
    My week there was nearly life changing.
    I hope it is able to continue!
    Brian
     
  9. wfe

    wfe Member

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    Brian hit the mark. The place is off the charts. I have been there for three workshops over the past four years. It will never be the same. I know for a fact that they are carring a very serious debt load. A sad day indeed hearing this news.

    Regards,
    Bill
     
  10. John Bartley

    John Bartley Member

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    Hmmm ... hate to be the wet blanket, but .... he's asking $4,ooo,ooo.oo for the business? Or did I read this wrong? He only wants $7oo,ooo.oo for the real estate? And he reports that in recent years he's seen revenues drop, enrollment at 1/2 and has had to lay off staff? Am I the only one who sees that if no-one buys these there will be an opening in the market place in a year or two for a start-up business of the same kind because he's closed? And when that happens, the "names" of the businesses will be available for pennies on the dollar of todays asking price? If it was me, I'd buy the real estate at the best possible price, wait until the business closes and then make an offer for the business names, phone numbers and internet addresses ..... a bit mercenary maybe, but it is business after all ...

    just an opinion based on experience ...

    I know .. not much sentimentality or emotion here ...
     
  11. BrianShaw

    BrianShaw Member

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    If I register today for a couple of your future workshops, will you give me a discount? :smile:
     
  12. John Bartley

    John Bartley Member

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    Did I mention the lack of sympathy also ?? :D
     
  13. Robert Budding

    Robert Budding Member

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    The asking price truely is absurd.
     
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  15. Dave Wooten

    Dave Wooten Subscriber

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    Robert you mean you wouldn't buy yourself a full time job for only 4+ million...? Most of us could live quite high just on the interest and have enough for a new lens and a roll or two of re branded film! :D
     
  16. JBrunner

    JBrunner Moderator Staff Member Moderator

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    Actually if they are grossing 5 million a year as stated, and have any kind of reasonable profit margin it is about right amount for a starting point. Books and projections would have to be looked at for a total take on the asking price (which would probably not be the selling price)
     
  17. Monophoto

    Monophoto Member

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    I agree with Jason that the asking price is probably in the ballpark. What I don't understand is why they want so little for the real estate. Given it's prime location overlooking Rockport harbor, I would think they could sell Union Hall to a developer for condo conversions for more than they are asking for everything.

    That said, I'm not sure that a "for profit" photography workshop program is destined for great success in today's market. I don't know what the legalities of converting it to "not for profit" status would be - I'm sure the State of Maine would have some concerns about that.

    But I agree that it would be a shame to see it go away.
     
  18. Troy

    Troy Subscriber

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    It's all a little bit perplexing. The real estate is worth the asking price alone. But when you buy the "business" don't you get the enormous debt, too? Who wants that?

    Not to knock you guys who have been there, but most Maineiacs have always thought of it as an overpriced summer retreat for dilatants... like most of our coast line which is basically occupied territory we never get to see.
     
  19. BrianShaw

    BrianShaw Member

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    Ha... have you seen the Maine Department of Transportation (I think that's the agencies name) study of Route 1 usage (reported in the recent issue of Down East... or maybe the prior month)? They were measuring who is using Route 1 in Maine to confirm or deny the rumor that it's mostly tourists in the summer. The study appears to have revealed that this rumor is only true in Camden. That leaves an awful lot of coast for the locals, doesn't it?
     
  20. copake_ham

    copake_ham Inactive

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    Thank you John,

    The numbers didn't make sense to me either but I see these kinds of "puffery" sales things a lot which, when actually analyzed, make no sense.

    I presume the seller has "boosted" the asset-side of the balance sheet with a crap load of so-called "good will" but is, in fact, saddles with a poop load of debt.

    Besides, as some have noted here, the "value" lies in the individual not in the institution/business. He goes and there goes the business.

    This was a profit making enterprise that is running down - nothing more.

    BTW: I live in NYC - anyone want to buy a bridge?
     
  21. BrianShaw

    BrianShaw Member

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    All it takes is one sucker, right?

    Oh... forgot to ask... which bridge??
     
  22. copake_ham

    copake_ham Inactive

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    Which one do you want?

    Can also do a special - two for the price of one and a half!

    Cannot not meet Dunky Doughnies new offer of buy six donuts - get six free - but I'm trying! :D
     
  23. Dave Wooten

    Dave Wooten Subscriber

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    Why would one want to purchase the school and the debt.....the property maybe for 700K, don t know ... a lot of new workshops under a new banner could be organized for less than the 4 million? BTW I don't have the 700 K. :D
     
  24. Early Riser

    Early Riser Subscriber

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    I would think that the school might actually have far better times ahead if purchased by the right buyer. As schools and colleges cut their traditional photography courses, and public schools continue to eliminate any art courses, while at the same time traditional photo techniques are becoming "cool" with the younger generation, the only places available to learn the traditional forms of photography will be in private schools like The Maine Photographic.

    I sincerely hope that a new buyer is found. Lyman may have to take much less than he's asking due to the debt load that exists on the business, maybe he'll still retain a piece of the business. It seems strange though that he's decided to sell after having their best summer ever. Is he being honest or is he just selling while the books look their best? If it is still a viable business, a smart buyer that has done his homework and has purchased the business at a fair and appropriate price may end up with a nice business on their hands. I sincerely hope that is the outcome of this situation.
     
  25. copake_ham

    copake_ham Inactive

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    :D
     
  26. Troy

    Troy Subscriber

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    Two things. First nobody in Maine reads Downeast, only people from away. Second, I was talking about the property on the coast, not Route 1.

    Most traditional marine useage of the coast is being squeezed out by property values driven up by rich folks building million dollar summer homes next to docks where fishermen unload their catch. That's why the asking price for the school doesn't make sense unless you factor in the huge debt load of the business.

    If he sells it all then the new owners get a debt-ridden business and he get's close to 5 million. If he sells it off for what everything is worth then his creditors get paid and he walks away with nothing.