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Everything posted by larrygator

  1. Meh, the difference is often only a few minutes. It's more that I somehow always end up around people who feel the need to be right on top of your back or even push to get through the door asap than waiting a few extra mins that annoys me. It's a horrible entitlement that people have. They must be first at all costs. It prevails among enthusiasts also.
  2. I'm sure some ride will be taking the place of Aladdin's Funhouse. Haunted House and Pirate's Cove are not going anywhere soon, they said that when the closure of the funhouse was announced.
  3. A different branch of the Trimper family will be running the park, adding 11 rides (mostly kids rides) and a new Thrill payment system. https://www.delmarvanow.com/story/news/local/maryland/2020/03/18/ocean-city-landmark-trimpers-rides-undergoing-management-changes/2863083001/ Changes coming to Trimper's Rides in OC. Don't worry the Trimper family is staying Matthew Prensky, Salisbury Daily Times Published 9:00 a.m. ET March 18, 2020 | Updated 9:02 a.m. ET March 18, 2020 Trimper's Rides has been a family-run business for more than 125 years. Now going into the 2020 tourism season, the business says one part of the Trimper family will step down so another can take over managing the Ocean City mainstay. The Granville Trimper family posted a message to Facebook saying it planned to step aside, according to an announcement posted on Tuesday. The amusement park will still be led by a different part of Trimper family. Trimper's Rides was founded by Daniel B. Trimper in the late 1800s, according to the amusement park's website. Since then management was passed down to Granville Daniel Trimper and then onto his family. "It has been our distinct pleasure to bring happiness and joy to all who walked through our doors over 125 years," according to the post. "We would like to thank you all for letting us be a part of your family's memories and we wish all the best to the new management team on their future." Heading into the 2020 season the amusement park will introduce new rides, according to the amusement park's website. Trimper's Rides also plans to introduce "Thrill Cards," according to the amusement park's website, that "will offer a variety of pricing and discounts" to customers. By 1893, the Trimper family owned Boardwalk property between S. Division Street and S. First Street in Ocean City, including two hotels, according to the amusement park's website. Since the turn of the 20th Century and into the 21st Century, Trimper's Rides has continued to add rides and the family has become important figures in the Ocean City community, including Granville Daniel Trimper, who served as the town's mayor for 16 years, according to the amusement park's website.
  4. This one caught me off guard. I'd been planning to visit this place for years to ride their out of the way wooden coaster (probably the least ridden non-kiddie woodie in the US amongst the enthusiast community) I was finally going to do the trip this year and also visit Oak Island. Oh well, c'est la vie. https://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/nova-scotia/upper-clements-park-sold-boarding-school-gordonstoun-scotland-1.5500371 Annapolis County council buys Upper Clements Park to attract boarding school Municipal officials believe proposed $62M school will result in significant spending, employment in community Pam Berman · CBC News · Posted: Mar 17, 2020 3:01 PM AT Upper Clements Park was built in 1989 for $23 million by the Nova Scotia government. It received other injections of public money over the years. The Municipality of the County of Annapolis, N.S., has bought a local amusement park for $600,000 so it can be redeveloped as a private school. Council held a special meeting on Tuesday to approve the purchase of Upper Clements Park, which is located five kilometres west of Annapolis Royal. "It is going to be a game changer for Annapolis County," Warden Timothy Habinski said in a video posted online by council. "It was a bit of a longer road than we anticipated initially, but we are delighted that we are finally there." Municipal officials believe the proposed $62 million boarding school will result in significant spending and employment in the community. The school is expected to attract students from Asia, Europe and North America. Habinski said the 10-hectare Upper Clements site, with its view of the Annapolis Basin, will be a "prestigious" location for Gordonstoun, a private boarding school in Scotland that wants to open a location in North America. Alex Morrison, the councillor who represents the area where the school will be located, called it an exciting initiative. "It's one that will benefit local individuals and the province as a whole," he said during a special council meeting that was held outside of the municipal building because of COVID-19. The new Gordonstoun franchise is expected to open in the fall of 2021. E.A. Farren, Limited, based in Saint John, is the project manager for the school development. Habinski pointed out that despite the best efforts of the Upper Clements Park Society, the theme park was struggling financially and on the verge of bankruptcy. "The park's board has been diligent in their efforts to keep the park open and safe," he said. "The society must be commended for its service to our community." The province of Nova Scotia spent $23 million to build Upper Clements Park in 1989. The park was operated privately between 1994 and 1997 and then a non-profit society took over. The seasonal facility has employed about 175 people.
  5. Here is what the general manager on the ride side posted on the Bushkill Facebook Page "Yes we will have a few adult rides operational this summer. We have 16 rides in total with 8 scheduled to be open for opening weekend. Last year we had 5 rides open. The remaining rides will be restored and back in service as soon as possible. We will post a list of restoration priorities shortly. Thanks." I'm focusing on Chuck's work at the park on Hillarity Hall and The Pretzel, but will also share what I hear on the ride side. My understanding is that the focus for the adult rides is on The Whip. There are only 7 permanent Whips still running in the US. (Rye, Hershey, Knoebels, Dorney, Kennywood, Lakeside, Camden). Since Chuck is doing must of the prop and decorative work at his workshop only, the virus will not effect has pace. Here are some photos I took when I visited him last month. These pictures of Hilarity Hall are over one month old, just awaiting new photos. Internal work continues Decorative touches More ornamental details I'm too lazy too crop the picture, but since it is art, I have no shame in sharing it. The pretzel cars awaiting their day in the sun, even though they will run indoors and never shine in the sun.
  6. I thought I heard a lot of conspiracy theories today at work, but then come hear and continue to read more. Ah good times!
  7. Can you all go back to acting like amusement park experts and engineers? At least many on this site follow those topics on a regular basis.
  8. The coaster might not be open for the park's opening date, but remember this park went from empty lot (that had to have old foundations and concrete removed)to open in 50 days.
  9. The three largest overnight waterparks in the area do offer free admission to guests, but the standard room rate for two adults and two kids is in the $500 range. Prices are just insane in the New York area to begin with. This article, sums up the current competition among waterparks in the area. I didn't realize there were that many indoor parks. They are pricing themselves at the high end, but not completely out of line with the major players. I would have to think families are either going to go wherever is closest if they are not making an overnight trip, unless someplace has a standout attraction. As someone not following the waterpark I have no idea if American Dream has any ride of that type. https://www.nj.com/bergen/2020/02/itll-cost-you-99-to-go-to-american-dreams-water-park-heres-how-others-compare.html The pricing is ridiculous, but my assumption is that they are pricing high right now when they are the only game in town. Come summer when all the normal summer outdoor recreation activities are available and other water parks are open, if they still expect people to pay $105....
  10. And rightly so, if the municipality sees it as beneficial to maintain jobs/commerce.
  11. It is nice to see the local authorities getting involved with Indiana Beach. Besides FunSpot, there may be another potential buyer, Ronald Gerstorff, the owner of Slick Track, a go-kart business out of Gatlinburg, Tennessee. Gerstoff told the Journal & Courier he was “blown away” after hearing the initial news of Indiana Beach’s closure, as he had been trying to get in touch with Apex a little over a year before the park closed, interested in purchasing it and taking over operations. “If they shoot me an offer, I would purchase it right now,” Gerstoff said. https://www.jconline.com/story/news/2020/02/21/indiana-beach-potential-buyers-emerge-monticello-mayor-owner-say-hopes-amusement-park-still-alive/4829720002/ Indiana Beach: Potential buyers emerge, city and owner say future for amusement park still alive Emily DeLetter, Journal & Courier Published 6:47 p.m. ET Feb. 21, 2020 | Updated 11:36 p.m. ET Feb. 21, 2020 MONTICELLO – Indiana Beach is up for sale, and the city and county that are home to the much-beloved amusement park are hoping to find a new buyer. White County and the city of Monticello will assist Apex Parks Group, a California-based company that has owned Indiana Beach since 2015, in meeting with amusement industry leaders, brokers and investors in hopes of finding a buyer for the park, Monticello Mayor Cathy Gross said Friday. White County Commissioner John Heimlich said he wanted the public to know that discussions about the future of Indiana Beach were ongoing. Apex Parks Group announced Tuesday to White County officials it was closing the popular Indiana Beach amusement park that has operated on Lake Shafer since 1926.Buy Photo Apex Parks Group announced Tuesday to White County officials it was closing the popular Indiana Beach amusement park that has operated on Lake Shafer since 1926. “We want to see the Beach continue to operate, and Apex would like to see that, too,” Heimlich said. “We’ll just have to see what happens.” The 94-year-old park along the shores of Lake Shafer closed abruptly Tuesday, a few months before it was supposed to open for the 2020 season, a move that shocked residents and local officials. Calls and emails throughout the week to both Apex and Indiana Beach were not returned. In a statement Friday, Gary Fawks, general manager of Indiana Beach said, “Since purchasing the resort in 2015, we have invested in infrastructure, rides and maintenance at the well-loved park. Despite these efforts, we have not seen an improvement in operating results. The decision to cease operations was not taken lightly.” Randy Mitchell, White County economic development director, said Gregg Borman, senior vice president of operations with Apex, told him the company was closing Indiana Beach because of financial reasons. Apex also shut down SpeedZone in Texas and Fantasy Island in New York, according to media reports. Mitchell said the economic development office was working on keeping Indiana Beach going and was in the process of trying to find an investor or partner who would be interested in taking over the park’s operations. On Friday, Mitchell said he didn’t have any information on if or when rides would be disassembled, although he was previously informed that Apex would be disassembling rides in the spring. The park’s website was updated to notify guests it is permanently closed, with a link to a questionnaire regarding accommodations and camping, groups and birthdays and season passes. As of Friday, Apex and Indiana Beach had not confirmed whether guests who had purchased season passes, which were on sale as recently as Christmas, would receive refunds. Calls for refunds continued through the end of the week, with confusion and frustration from those who already put money up for Indiana Beach entertainment and couldn’t get anyone to answer phone calls. It wasn’t clear how many season passes – along with deals on food and drinks – Indiana Beach had sold for the 2020 season. Joe Wurl has had a camper at the Indiana Beach campgrounds since 1999, where he and the family go to spend days off between May and October. Wurl said he paid $3,000 for his camping spot and a place to leave his camper for the 2020 season. Wurl said he was anxious for a refund. But he said he also needed to know if and when he needed to get the camper – a project that meant hiring a truck to haul a wide load to another location. “I’d like to get my money back,” Wurl said. “But more than anything, I just want to know what’s going on.” A Facebook post from Fun Spot America, a group of theme parks based in Florida and Georgia, hinted interest in Indiana Beach, responding to a comment that a Fun Spot executive was on a plane Thursday to Indianapolis. John Chidester, vice president of marketing for Fun Spot America, acknowledged the Facebook post, but said he was not able to confirm any news connecting Fun Spot and Indiana Beach. Another interested potential buyer is Ronald Gerstorff, the owner of Slick Track, a go-kart business out of Gatlinburg, Tennessee. Gerstoff told the Journal & Courier he was “blown away” after hearing the initial news of Indiana Beach’s closure, as he had been trying to get in touch with Apex a little over a year before the park closed, interested in purchasing it and taking over operations. “If they shoot me an offer, I would purchase it right now,” Gerstoff said. A petition was created by a Monticello resident to "Help save Indiana Beach," to entourage a buyer to purchase the park. As of Friday, it had gathered more than 29,000 signatures. The park sits along the shores of Lake Shafer, one of the Twin Lakes in Monticello, offering an unobstructed view of the lake from park property. For nearly 100 years, Monticello has grown around Indiana Beach. The amusement park, best known for it's slogan, "There's more than corn in Indiana," was an iconic institution for the small town, offering an attraction for both in-state and out-of-state tourists and a chance to put Monticello on the map. Indiana Beach was first built as Ideal Beach in 1926 by Earl Spackman. The property changed hands a few times, through Spackman family members and Morgan Recreation Vacations before it was purchased by Apex in 2015. Kaylee Hahn, the digital marketing director for Enjoying White County Tourism, said the root of White County’s tourism in its entirety stems from Indiana Beach. In 2018, Hahn said White County Tourism recorded Indiana Beach employing between 650 to 800 people, including both seasonal and full-time staff. The number of season pass holders was around 46,000, which encapsulated people in both single and family passes. The park’s total attendance in 2018 was over 600,000, according to Hahn. However, Hahn said more recent additions, including resorts, lakeside dining, boat rentals and the Madam Carroll boat on neighboring Lake Freeman have seen a parallel that moves the primary income away from solely the amusement park. “The lakes are still a great avenue of income, and they’re sustainable,” Hahn said. “They aren’t going anywhere.” There’s also a potential for high-value real estate, if the park were to dismantled and the was land sold to developers. Hahn said the White County Association of Realtors met to discuss the value and potential that Indiana Beach’s land could hold. Attempts to reach the Association of Realtors were not immediately returned. Michael Sims and Ryan Clemons, co-owners of Outrigger Resort and real estate agents, said adding developments to Indiana Beach’s land, whether those be lakefront homes or condos, would be in large demand. Houses for sale around Lake Shafer currently range from $139,900 to $989,900, according to Zillow.com. “There is a huge draw for condos here,” Clemons said. “They’re in big demand. I really believe, as a result, we’ll see a different financial demographic come through Monticello. The higher-end market would increase, and the lower-end market would decrease.”
  12. Are you assuming that lighting will be minimal? It will pull crowds away from El Toro at night.
  13. Amazing that they can not just come out and say "our insanely low priced season passes are not sustainable and we need to follow the hard decision CF made a few years ago to raise season pass prices and have a tiered structure for those who want to visit byond their home parke" Who is SF going to entice to pay for only a single visit when they just turn the single visit guests into season pass holders for an extra $20?
  14. You are correct. Only the smaller and appropriate rides will end up at the Apex' FECs. The major rides are already be listed for sale, as some are reporting.
  15. This is the most comprehensive article I've read so far. Appears to be a decision from Apex that caught park officials and local county officials off guard. The park was still marginally profitable, but investment firms like Apex are not in it to be marginally profitable https://www.usatoday.com/story/travel/experience/america/theme-parks/2020/02/18/indiana-beach-amusement-park-close-after-nearly-100-years/4801090002/ After nearly 100 years, Indiana amusement park to close, with rides moving to other parks Emily DeLetter and Dave Bangert Journal & Courier MONTICELLO, Ind. – Local officials expressed shock Tuesday when the California-based owner of the nearly century-old Indiana Beach amusement park said it would close. “We didn’t see this coming at all,” Randy Mitchell, White County economic development director, said Tuesday afternoon. That morning, Mitchell met with White County commissioners and council members, to relay word that things were going well for the amusement park tucked along Lake Shafer, about 30 miles north of Lafayette. That was based on reports Mitchell said he received from Gary Fawks, the local manager of Indiana Beach. On Tuesday afternoon, Mitchell said he met with Gregg Borman, senior vice president of operations for Apex, who told him that the company was closing Indiana Beach and three other amusement parks it owns across the country for of financial reasons. Officials with Apex did not immediately respond to messages. Phones listed for Indiana Beach were not being answered Tuesday afternoon. Mitchell said Borman indicated that Indiana Beach – long known for its slogan and jingle, “There’s more than corn in Indiana” – was marginally profitable. But Mitchell said he was told that Apex wasn’t in a position to continue to make capital improvements to the rides. “This really is tough news around here,” Mitchell said. As of Tuesday afternoon, Indiana Beach’s Facebook page was still promoting a job fair, scheduled for Feb. 29, to fill positions for the summer. Customers had been buying season passes as recently as Christmas. California-based Apex Parks Group bought Indiana Beach in 2015 from Morgan Recreation Vacations of New York. Apex’s purchase of Indiana Beach marked just the second change in the park's ownership after the founding Spackman family sold it to Morgan. The sale included the amusement park, campgrounds and hotel about 30 miles north of Lafayette. Earl Spackman opened the amusement park in 1926. He initially called it Ideal Beach. The park grew over the years as a place to lounge on the beach, go on the rides and attend big name concerts. In the 1940s, Spackman handed off the resort to his son, Thomas, who eventually changed the name to Indiana Beach. Mitchell said he was told Apex would disassemble the rides this spring and take them to nine company parks in California and two in Florida. Mitchell said that under Apex, Indiana Beach seemed to be doing well enough, after some rough years under Morgan. “That was every indication we had,” Mitchell said. The Indiana Beach/Monticello KOA campground, which is a companion to the amusement park, will remain open during its normal season from May 17 to October 27, according to someone who answered at the KOA newsroom. Word about Indiana Beach spread quickly in Monticello and beyond. “What a bad thing to hear,” said Jo Wade, president and CEO of Visit Lafayette-West Lafayette. “It’s got to be hard for Monticello.” At the Riverside in Monticello, manager Autumn Lutchka said many of the restaurant’s customers were visitors from Indiana Beach and Lake Shafer. “It’s unfortunate, but I feel like you could tell over the past few years,” Lutchka said. “There weren’t as many people there as when I was growing up, when I remember it always being packed. Now, when you would go there, there weren’t ever lines for any of the rides.” Lori Tolson, a North Judson resident, lives on Lake Shafer during the summer, a five-minute boat ride from Indiana Beach. She said she and others had spent Tuesday trying to reach Indiana Beach or Apex to find out what to do with season passes that she bought during a Christmas promotion. Tolson said she had six of everything: season passes at $42.99, food packages at $69.99 and drink packages at $19.99. Her tally of season passes: Just shy of $800. “And all worthless now,” Tolson said. “Our grandbabies loved going, so that’s going to be fun telling them. … The biggest question, though, is how do we get a refund? A lot of us are wanting to know, and we can’t get anyone to answer the phone.”
  16. Maybe the park wasn't being offered on the cheap? I imagine SF would also want assurances that the park can be expanded, which may have required rezoning that the municipality would never go for. Indiana Baech one of my favorite parks the first time I visited 15 years ago. In terns of rides it I really was comparable to Knoebels at that time with it's charm, wooden coasters, well run flats, quirky rides and Frankenstein's Castle. By visiting every 3 years I've seen the decline, but never thought it was actually come to this. It was clearly the gem of the Apex Parks Group, but they could not stem the tide.
  17. Final concrete was poured on 2/12. SFFT took ten weeks to complete. If build time is similar at SFGAdv, they have about 6 weeks to build the station, theme, landscape, make it operationable and test to open by Memorial Day weekend.
  18. These last two posts sum up the situation perfectly. While some are complaining that the place is killing their business with the current pricing as far as saying the place will be closed in a year. This is not comparable to a Hard Rock Park. The park is practically selling out every day at current pricing levels and on days that there will be more demand (when all schools in NYC and NJ are out) they are raising prices to bring in more revenue. From a business standpoint, it sounds like they have dynamic pricing down pat. As such, when the demand drops, they will lower prices. If you want to pay to brag about being there before others, then you pay the price. If not, you hold out and wait like me until the price is more to your liking as this self proclaimed cheap-ass coaster enthusiast will do. Every park should be this fiscally responsible.
  19. $175 Million is actually less the 1% (about 6 thousandths) of Disney WW Theme Park revenue from 2019. Only about 3 thousandths and total company annual revenue from 2019. A one week closure of WDW would be much more damaging. Disney probably has to flexibility to shift segment goals to make up for deficiencies in other segments especially with this much lead time. For example, a 1% increase in advertising rates could make up $200 million. Disney still has the clout to set the US TV advertising market rates. I would expect minor changes to the US park budgets as the Chinese parks will have 8 months to more heavily promote their properties if parks are back online by May. Also a large corporation like Disney, could easily offset this small of a % revenue loss via various corporate accounting practices.
  20. I just got word from Chuck that America's Oldest Funhouse will have its Grand Re-opening on July 3rd, 2020. I'll have fres h picture of the facade and more news to print soon. I might also visit during the week of February 17th, since NYC schools are closed that week.
  21. I've been waiting also, if only to compare and contrast the drama of driving solo in Belgium for three days versus my drama and riding by rail for three days. I remember opening the Trip Board on my first day in Belgium to express the drama of my travels (where my BnB check-in was a nightmare) only to read about your car troubles. I didn't realize that your transportation delays were balanced out by the hotel check-in. That check-in sounds super efficient. It always seems that one time you really need to speak to someone in English in Europe is the one time you can't find anyone.
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