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Everything posted by DirkFunk

  1. A source that has been impeccable in the past informed me some info about the investigation that's now been taken over by the state and what's taken place to date. They have been dead on re: everything at the park before, right down to Cedar Fair being delayed to opening last year because the state of Ohio had laid off the inspectors in the pandemic. What they told me shook my confidence immensely as far as the park's operation and maintenance is concerned and makes me strongly consider not renewing my season pass for the first time since I moved to the Midwest over a decade ago. If there is truth to it, and I believe there is, it fully explains why the Sandusky Register became so aggressive in demanding details (as they likely would have heard it too).
  2. I meant Cedar Point. My first thought was that they'd staff the park heavily as they did last October by just closing their lower performing parks and sending employees to Sandusky again.
  3. I'm going to take them at their word and say they're planning to be open for those parks. I don't know how they're gonna staff this, but that's not my problem.
  4. How's the Halloween season looking at Worlds of Fun or Dorney this year? Yes, I know that's not the topic. There's reason for me to ask this, however.
  5. Bingo. And to no one's surprise, the increase in summer employment trends with increases in pay (which many non-theme park jobs were seeing prior to the pandemic). None of this is a secret. You can go find this in BLS statistics with absolute ease. We're still a very long ways away from having self completing lawn care services or making robots capable of properly grilling onions. And in terms of amusement parks, they've automated everything they could already. You think if they could have automated a Von Roll to not have 12 people running the thing that they wouldn't have?
  6. Why would teens want to work at a fast food restaurant or a theme park for pennies? Doesn't make sense vs. investing their time in academic or athletic pursuits that are likely to result in much greater returns through college scholarships/admissions. Besides, can't just rely on 14-17 year olds to make Taco Bell food or ring up groceries at 1AM on Tuesday nights. So hours are shortened and more like they were 20-30 years ago. Also LOL yeah I bounced around a little when I was younger doing minimum wage jobs. That's what's supposed to happen, isn't it?
  7. In the states where they terminated the UI, there's not any evidence yet of improvements in labor availability. Old people who were on the cusp of retiring or working part time are done now (or more pessimistically, dead). There's few foreign visa employees because of restrictions for entry and those that are here are arriving very late. The labor shortage in the US has been reported about with frequency in the United States since at least 2014 if not prior. It simply was able to be glossed over for most. Not any more.
  8. Theme parks in this country have been running low on staff for years and overly reliant on foreign labor since at least the 1990s. The pandemic and the lack of imports just excacerbated the problems the industry created for itself for its "rightfully deserved" (LMAOOOOOOOOO) profits. I too have thought about it, so much so I've written about it and researched about it using stuff like the Department of Labor's statistics. This was inevitable, especially as parks extended their seasons and hours. Anyways, I was thinking of posting something because I haven't enjoyed going to parks this year. It feels like opening day every single day, which is to say "a hot mess". Combined with some existing COVID restrictions at some parks and or just flat out insane guests since people forgot how to interact with each other in person, and I have little or no desire to go to more places this year. The only park/park resort in the country that feels normal is Universal Studios Orlando.
  9. It's an awful job. And you know, back in 2001 or whatever, if you were an 18 year old coaster enthusiast, your one clear path to making it in the theme park industry was to work for a park. Now the ride firms are actively hiring fans. There's theme park and coaster design programs at major universities. And most importantly, there's YouTube, where you can monetize your hobby without ever having to do anything other than your hobby. Vastly different set of opportunities out there to do things with entire genres of attraction like escape game being basically invented since then. It's good to do if you want to grasp the operational side and what the practicality of running your attraction will resemble, but that's about it. You could probably just buy a season's pass, park yourself at ride entrance, and watch people's activity as an alternative while collecting a paycheck for R&D.
  10. Well yeah, times did change. The cost of college has dramatically shifted, and the demands of employers to do things like unpaid work (internships in related fields, for example) has grown tremendously. There's no benefit to the majority of college or high school students to work at Cedar Point. In fact, working jobs like this generally gets you looked down on in professional or academic fields. It's a net negative. And then there's the whole "They're open when school is in session" conundrum that they never bothered to figure out when expanding the calendar beyond Labor Day 20+ years ago. This isn't new: Cedar Point's staffing has been abysmal for YEARS AND YEARS AND YEARS.
  11. Well, look, you gotta pay people to show up. Reportedly there's people who refused to work at Cedar Point before considering quitting their retail positions in Sandusky to go there and make that money. That's the point of paying more: to COMPETE. That's the point of capitalism - that competition leads to best outcomes. It's just too bad it took people's vacations being cancelled for that reality to sink in.
  12. I hadn't been around for awhile because, you know, disease, pandemic, not many parks, et al. But I had to at least show up and smile when I see that Cedar Point is being forced to pay something approaching a living wage.
  13. The inspector thing caught them all off guard because the state laid them off and didn't inform them. Remember that in the aftermath of the Ohio State Fair accident they changed the entire inspection regime, and now they're much more specialized and are employed by the state. Experiences older than a couple of years are irrelevant at this point. I was informed that they brought back the inspectors about a week or so ago, so I'm hopeful they can dispatch them for inspections shortly if it hasn't already occurred.
  14. :snipped for brevity: Just a few things I want to point out here since I've been entirely absent from this thread: We don't actually know how the flu spreads either and have hypotheses only. Same with SARS. This almost certainly spreads the same ways as those. Reproducability of the virus is going to be much lower in America because we live in more spread out households and are much more likely to drive our own cars to work than use subways or buses with recirculating air conditioning. Case study after case study that's been published shows that outdoor transmission is rare and indoor close quarters transmission is overwhelmingly prevalent. The one place where we've seen outdoor transmission to any notable degree was a single football game in Italy and it's believed that it transmitted so much there because people were cheering and singing songs, thus spreading the disease as an aerosol. That's it. My concern about outdoor attractions like roller coasters, especially if people are wearing masks, is basically nonexistent. There's no real evidence suggesting it could transmit that way. Indoor rides are a different story, and honestly I have no idea how something like Rise of the Resistance cools itself. I'm happy to let others try it out first and see what happens. In the meantime, you'll see breakouts in the next few weeks and I'll bet anyone here money that when they trace, they'll find churches as the primary common denominator. Singing, hugging, shaking hands, passing around objects, elderly people, and recirculating air conditioning in the summer: it's got all the elements. It'll take as much effort to get megachurches with arena seating to close their doors and stop taking money even as their parishoners start to die than it was to open up amusement parks where, by the time the reviews are published, will have nearly no spread related to their operation. Just watch. I booked myself in at Breakers for a weekend in July: Can't wait. Even if it's an operational disaster, I'll take it over nothing right now.
  15. IIRC there was another CEO as well who was president at Great Adventure before this guy took over. Probably it's more that the investors pulled a ton of cash out of this for themselves, and when that's the case, it doesn't matter who's running it or whether or not the park is "viable" to stay open. It's like Blackstone and SeaWorld - if they can make 3 billion dollars parting out a park and running it into the ground instead of 2.75 billion to run it properly, they'll pick the former.
  16. The wealthy benefactors of 2020 don't see "a classic piece of amusement park history that needs to be preserved and modernized", they see "prime real estate for a profitable mixed-use development with high-end apartments". If we take Apex comments at face value, it's just not a good investment. Makes a profit, but not enough to re-invest to keep it viable. If you're making a profit, it isn't a question of viablity (literally profit is viability), it's a question the margins being such that the return on investment won't be great enough. I don't know how they think dumping a butt ton of used rides and equipment on the marketplace is going to recoup that any faster, but I also would guess that they're probably not the most competent crew actually running the show. I'll venture to guess that the real estate sale may have been enough in and of itself to mine value out of the park.
  17. Coaster enthusiasts go all the time now. There's Japanese enthusiasts on Twitter and Instagram posting year round, and I can assure you, there's no one at these parks. Most of them operate like the trolley parks of the late 19th century by the rail companies, but by and large the crowds have aged out because the population in Japan is aging so rapidly. Look at when rides were built and you see lots of 70s/80s vintage when the market was booming. It's been stagnant for 20+ years. I'm glad I got to see Toshimaen before it closed but realize that if I want to see many of these other smaller parks I probably need to make plans closer to now than wait.
  18. I'll believe it being a Harry Potter attraction when I see it. The peak days for the Japanese coaster scene are long over and there's just a couple players left and a bunch of places that seem to be biding their time before they go out of business.
  19. Have we? Goddamn. Time flies. Hold on, gimmie a second. Counting. Uhhh..oh yeah. Went there too. 45. 45 parks. 12 fairs too. Copperhead Strike and Fury 325. Copperhead Strike, Fury 325, and Steel Vengeance. You see, that's because I already thought of the first two. Uhhhhhh......I dunno. The Mondial Fighter that Wade Shows owns I guess maybe? Wicked Cyclone. Sky Rocket at Kennywood. Cedar Point. I already own the pass so I might as well. Cedar Point, and 2 times kinda? Depends on how you count. Universal Orlando because I haven't been in a few years. LOL Kennywood can eat my a$$ in this head to head. Bandit at Yomiuriland. Skull Mountain obviously Prowler maybe? I don't rank but that ride was kicking ass. Melt at Cedar Point, I'm pretty sure. Lake Lansing Park of the 1950s since then I could just ride a wood coaster every day with minimal effort. I can't access Brazzers from work. Oh you mean rides attractions? I mean Rise of the Resistance is supposed to be the answer. That or the water coaster thing that's going up in Michigan where you get launched in the air. That thing is gonna be great. Islands of Adventure. The pancake house next to Jurassic Jungle Boat Ride. Cedar Point. It was aight. I don't care about my wellbeing so Skyrush. Europa because it's been ages since I did last. Shanghai Disneyland I guess is the other. Fury 325. There's a long list. Riding some shit bucket in an Omani mall where the lap bars didn't work is probably up there. It was surrounded by about 50 coin operated rides. June at Cedar Point when our friends were out there with us maybe? I waited an hour for Journey to the Center of the Earth. Cedar Fair platinum pass. That's it. Let the Dollywood pass expire and cancelled my Six Flags membership. Of course now I'm likely to be in Dallas next month and could have used it, but hey. You or Coasterbill and it barely matters as long as they serve beer. Iron Gwazi. Good odds that it's Boulder Dash and like a couple hundred times. Dorney because I can always leave and go to other parks that are good instead of Como Park. Melt whips. Montu. Timber Wolf sucks. The one at Frontier City sucks. Hurler. Ice cream is tough to screw up. A grow field. Rampage at Alabama Splash Adventure. Silverwood, Alabama Splash Visionland Adventure Time Now With 200% More Krazy Kochs, Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk I forgot who's here. it me
  20. The Rodeway Inn that's now the Wolf Inn was closed by the city a couple years ago because a room was found literally caked in dog crap and they had repeated calls for illegal activities. I doubt that the owners (who appear to have rebranded with the intent of getting confused guests who thought they were staying at the Great Wolf Lodge) have changed their tune much.
  21. It's a ride vehicle on a track that moves fast. Sounds more interesting than, I dunno, Flight of Passage. Maybe they manage to screw it up bad, but I'll wait to ride to make a decision.
  22. With two ships in dock when you were in the water park, how were lines? Also, how was the weather (obviously I expect there to be no one there if it was like it had been at MSC Ocean Cay last Monday, AKA about 70 and windy).
  23. Universal Studios and Fun Spot Kissimmee next month. Cedar Point, Kings Island, and Michigan's Adventure at various points in the summer. I've got plenty of ideas - I always do - but until the trips are booked, they're just that. I got to 1000 coasters last year, and almost everything left around me (like as in hundreds of miles in any direction) are kiddie coasters and I'm not that motivated to kill myself for that stuff right now.
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