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goatdan

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Everything posted by goatdan

  1. I'd argue pretty strongly that the chain hasn't been cut in half. The last seven parks they sold were: Darien Lake Elitch Gardens Frontier City and White Water Bay Watertown USA Wild Waves and Enchanted Village All seven of those parks combined drew 3.6 million visitors, or just slightly north of 500,000 people apiece per year. By comparison, don't parks like Great Adventure, Great America, Texas and Magic Mountain draw over 2 million visitors apiece? Also, I'd assume that Six Flags is selling off the parks that make the least profit and holding onto the ones that are already well established. While the company has definitely slimmed down, I think that saying that the chain has been cut in half may be correct from a general public person looking at it, but not from someone looking into the overall size and operation of the chain, where at most they probably shed about 1/3rd of the company. And, realistically, I think the argument could be made that nothing that was sold *should* have been in the Six Flags portfolio to begin with. With the possible exceptions of Six Flags Worlds of Adventure (which now they look sort of genius on) and Six Flags AstroWorld, I don't think any of the other parks upheld what people expected in the Six Flags "brand", and therefore shedding them was exactly what they needed to do.
  2. I wonder if Cedar Fair is in any way regretting the decision to close this park so early now considering that they can't sell the land for "what they feel it is worth." Even if it was making a little money, keeping it open for a 'last season' this year probably would have been a better idea than paying property taxes on a large parcel of land that you aren't doing anything with. And with the collapse of the property markets that we're in right now, I wonder how long Cedar Fair will have to hold onto it to get what 'they feel' is the correct price for it? Also, I find it interesting that theme park operators always assume the value of their land is so high. That was the biggest reason that Six Flags had for closing Astroworld, and then they received *considerably* less for the land then they had estimated, and as I recall, that was one of the biggest reasons that Shapiro was able to oust the previous ownership. As for the fate of the Big Dipper, I'm amazed that it hasn't started moving to another park already. I think we saw $1 million estimated for demolition, let's assume that it would cost $4 million to put it back together... wouldn't that still be a reasonably cheap investment into a ride that has an (obviously) long proven track record? As much as I love the new GCIs coming out, I think transferring this somewhere else for $5 million would have a bigger upside than those...
  3. I never got to visit the park, but when I first heard about it I thought it was a very strange idea. The Hard Rock restaurants are successful because even those who don't like Hard Rock can stomach the restaurant for a short while. But for a day trip? It makes the theme tougher to handle. And you don't really know if you want to bring kids or not. A dark ride themed on a drug trip? Not exactly family friendly. Add that to the fact that when you hear 'Hard Rock' you tend to think 'extreme', and the only thing that could be considered an extreme attraction in the park was Led Zeppelin. I think the only way that the park could have worked was to do a bunch of adult attractions and really bill themselves as the 'extreme' park to capitalize on the spring break crowds. Heck, they could have really played that up to be a totally different type of park -- during spring break, holding wet t-shirt contests on a water ride, hosting concerts, and so on. It wouldn't be tasteful in any way, but it would give a certain demographic reason to visit the park that they don't currently have. The park, as built, I don't think really has any sort of future to it. No matter what they do, they have an image issue to overcome about 'rock' and a family friendly line up that doesn't work with it. The only thing that I can say is that hopefully Six Flags or Cedar Fair decides to pick up some of their rides, as Maximum RPM looked really unique and I like mine trains... hopefully, it will end up with some theme where ever it goes next.
  4. Okay, this thread draws the inner lurker in me out again... I don't understand why so many people are complaining about this. They didn't say they were going to reprofile the ride. They didn't say that they were going to remove it or anything like that. It sounds to me like they are going to add fire and sound to it and that is it. And while some people may not like sound, it's pretty clear that the general public finds it a pretty novel idea, which is what they are trying to attract. So unless a train design comes out that looks just like an Arrow looping coaster or Six Flags says that they are going to completely reprofile the ride, I don't see how this could be an unpopular decision. As for why they are doing this, as someone else mentioned -- it's a lot easier to market this than getting a new train for a ride that doesn't really impress people. I know of at least one Arrow ride that got a new set of trains recently, and no one noticed. Heck, I wouldn't have if I wasn't told. By telling us about Superman and upgrading some of the features, SFNE has a marketable ride to promote without spending a ton of money, especially if they needed train work anyway. Personally, I'd like to see Six Flags do this with the Batman coasters... maybe 2010...
  5. Here's the thing -- if you really look at most cobra rolls, while Hydra is probably the most 'extreme' version of this, you don't go 100% perfectly upside down on them. There is somewhat of a side to side or front to back angle in almost all of them -- Hulk, Colossus (at Thorpe), Led Zepplin and a few others have the more pronounced twist. Like I said, I think it is all up to the park to define what they think is an inversion -- and if a park says an inclined loop is an inversion and an overbanked turn is not, it's up to them to do so. Also, just to throw another potential monkey wrench out there -- some people had said that an inversion is when a ride turns *you* upside down. Wouldn't Tatsu for instance than really only have one inversion, as the only time your heels actually go vertical above your head is in the pretzel loop. Corkscrews and in-line twists on flying coasters wouldn't truly be inversions then, however a steep drop would be one. It's an interesting topic, but like I said before, I'm okay with the parks telling me what to think about it
  6. Look at pictures up close of the Hydra cobra roll or the Speed Monster's Norwegian Loop. At no point during those elements do you go exactly perfectly upside down in them, as you do in a corkscrew or loop. There is some angle to the inversion that makes it not an 'inversion' then. If you really look at a lot of these elements, the train never truly goes "perfectly" upside down. The train is usually on an ascent or descent when it starts to change angles. So if anything, then you have to draw an imaginary line between where an inversion is and inversion, and not an inversion based on the banking of it. Which makes inclined loops just as much of an inversion as cobra rolls or whatever, which means it really just comes down to who is defining it -- and that is up to the PR team at the park the ride is installed in. A ride like MF might do better for the park if they don't define it as having inversions, since it may be a better fit for their clientèle or at least the target market for that ride, whereas defining an inclined loop as an inversion on Riddler's Revenge or Hydra may make these rides (which are targeted at a more extreme segment of the population) like even more 'extreme' rides, since you're inverted on them more. The whole thing is completely splitting hairs. Steel Hawg's first drop is an inversion if you think it is, or it's just a really overbanked first drop if you think it is. The park defines it as an inversion to make the ride seem like a more extreme thrill ride, which works for them, so that's what it is to me. Hope that helped clear it up
  7. But then you can also eliminate the cobra roll from Hydra since you don't go completely upside-down in it (and most cobra rolls). Heck, for that matter Norwegian Loops aren't inversions either, nor Immelmans, nor Diving Loops, nor a lot of elements that aren't straight up loops or corkscrews. It's all up to the park to determine what it is.
  8. Aha, that makes sense. I will say though that the cost to build outside the parks must not have enough return on investment potential, or at least previously haven't, or else other places would be doing it. And in some of the markets, there has been stuff built. I'll also say that with even a couple day vacation, if I was going to make a Six Flags park my main destination, I can't say that I would want to hang out there longer paying for a hotel if my options are things that I can do at home like movies and whatnot. At that point, I'd rather spend a second day at the Six Flags park, or look for another larger attraction nearby that would provide me with a unique experience... and Six Flags has *no* business building essentially 'second gates' right now. You may be right though. It would be interesting to know if the parks without much near them are performing better or worse than the parks with more near them this year. Does anyone know if Six Flags reports such information?
  9. ^ Okay, I'm really confused then about how you want your comment to read. Are you saying that Six Flags isn't doing anything different, just doing everything better (sponsorships, cutting costs)? If people are staying home, how do you think this impacts Six Flags differently if their attendance is the same? You said the economy is down, so how can you say those guests will be spending more? I'm really confused as to what you're talking about...
  10. Although I just made one other post, this is the one that finally drew me out after years of lurking to say... For all of those people complaining that this doesn't have enough 'new' stuff, new designs aren't a Cedar Fair or Busch hallmark. New designs were pretty much the exclusive domain of the old regime(s) at Six Flags (Batman, X, Medusa, Raging Bull to an extent, Deja Vu, Intamin Impulse, Superman Ultimate Flight, etc) and Paramount before Cedar Fair (Flight of Fear, Volcano, Son of Beast, Stealth, etc). Cedar Fair tends to build rides with a proven track record as being popular designs. Think about Cedar Point -- there were similar rides in every case with their installations in the last 10 years, they just made them bigger and plopped them down at the Point. Not that its a bad thing -- Cedar Point is obviously a very popular park, so the strategy much work in some way. The point is that with new management at Six Flags and Cedar Fair controlling the Paramount Parks, I wouldn't expect anything unique in any stateside parks in the near future. Not that these won't be great rides -- I have no doubt that the Arizona Diamondbacks will be a great ride -- it's just that there will be a lot less rides that are complete unknowns until you get to try them like there were in the past. It isn't B&Ms job to design something wacky and all new. It is the park's place to first ask them to design that ride. Cedar Fair won't take that risk...
  11. No, Six Flags must be doing something different because... So... if attendance declined 3% and they managed to get positive cash flow for the quarter, then there is something different going on...
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