Just out of curiosity, why do you think the spa would be a failure? I don't know much about what makes a spa successful, but it seems like most facilities like this aren't close to the city (I might be wrong about this since this is just based on the spas I know). Given the density of Toronto, do you not think there would be enough people that enjoy having a spa like this near downtown?
will doubtless contribute her own thoughtful answer, but I'll throw my two cents in here.
The sheer size of the facility, up against the price point seems problematic.
You're looking at $40+ per person. For a family of four somewhere north of $120 (I'm assuming some discount); but that's not including parking or transit to the site, nor any food/concession, nor any extra (massage, programming etc.)
That's not a cheap day out. Certainly there are lots of people doing Spas around town at more than that, but they tend to be comparatively smaller facilities, and often targeting the indulgent girls night out, or romantic couple day out/weekend (for those with accommodation). Here they will require families and lots of repeat traffic throughout the year to make the numbers work.
For perspective, they're talking about a draw of 5,000,000 annually, which compares to Canada's Wonderland at ~4,000,000 annually. I think for most families, the latter is probably a more interesting day out, and likely the same or lower cost.
Now, Therme would obviously operate year round, where CW has about 1/2 a year of downtime.
Even then, you're talking average daily attendance of 14,000
I would call that ambitious, particularly in a post-novelty phase.
I think they would actually do better in outer suburbia, beside a highway or such, on the premise they could be cheaper and up their return trip/family rate on that basis.
On straight construction costs (if they hit their estimate); with their ideal attendance, the province subsidizing servicing and construction of parking, My math put them at $10 admission to break even over 7 years.
That sounds good until you realize that's with no overhead, no insurance, no marketing, no operations etc, and no lease cost to the province for the land, either.
We could have a fun time pegging a fair lease number, but I struggle to come to a place where they can break even at $40 per ticket, based on their own numbers.
Of course, we don't know the land-lease terms; I don't have Therme's pro-formas, so there's a bit of guessing at work; but I would simply say I find their business case optimistic at first blush; and wonder, as others do, what the plan is should it fail.