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About Columbia

  • Birthday 02/13/1984

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  1. I'll reserve judgment on the statement until I see a video...then we'll see if our ideas of "flying through the circuit" are matching!
  2. I think what most people forget about the Grizzly isn't that it was JUST rough - it was it's lack of doing anything that contributed to it's suck factor. Remember, that it's a mirror image of Grizzly at Kings Dominion, and you can see the elements missing (Double Bunny Hill, Tunnel). Most of the ride was "smoothed out" from the KD design to be more gentle...but once the roughness came into play - all bets were off.
  3. For the 35th Anniversary of the park: "For 2011, Great America plans to add two new shows – the "Boot Scootin' Boogie" country revue and the "Don't Stop the Music" dance program." Source: www.latimes.com As others have stated (but seem to have forgotten or neglected) "While Great America has released no details on the 2012 project, officials confirmed the new attraction will NOT be the oft-delayed wooden roller coaster proposed in 2008 (which remains in limbo due to noise concerns)." Source: www.latimes.com
  4. It should be noted that the Bay Area has a rich tradition and history of amusement parks - especially CLOSED ones. To mention a few notables: Frontier Village, San Jose Playland at the Beach, San Francisco Santa's Village, Scotts Valley Jay's, Petaluma There's a market in the Bay Area for many parks, but that doesn't mean if you present a poor product "...they will still come." Back on topic: Although visually appealing, a ZacSpin is not the best for capacity, something the park is already lacking. Although, it WOULD be a quick fix. You have a straightaway in the former Tidal Wave spot, the Invertigo lot and some space behind it. Let's see what develops.
  5. It does to Kinzel and this may be his last chance to keep CP on top. I would much rather have a park with 10 coasters and quality throughout than 20 coasters and...that's it, nothing in-between. The coaster count looks good for marketing, but when you have awesome throughout (I.E. Holiday World) you don't need a veritable s-load of coasters.
  6. Those who have been following this thread tangentially over the past few years, welcome to our personal hells. This is by no means the "first" nail in the coffin for this park. For most, it feels like several nail guns have done most of the job...and the verbiage from the press release IS eerily similar to the downfall of Geauga Lake. But this is an interesting year...If the 49ers are to move to SC, they'll realistically need to start construction THIS YEAR to HOPE to host the Superbowl in 2015. (The year the extension in Candlestick expires) Cedar Fair just had a pseudo-shakeup with Corporate Management with Kinzel's "ousting" which may affect debt restructuring, etc. These are a few things to watch for as this story develops. The park isn't dead yet (though many will say it's dead to them) but it's certainly on life support in my opinion. Many have said there's much more to this story. HELL'S YES THERE IS! It may take some time however, to let it all pan or come out. So what do I need to see to ensure myself this isn't another Geauga Lake? I need to see the park not just hint at a new attraction in the former Invertigo area, but come right out and say it - before the busy summer season gets underway. Have work walls up right away and have corporate SHOW me that they're committed to the SF Bay Area market. Forget keeping a competitive edge by keeping attractions secret until the last moment - you need all the good publicity you can get at this point from both the general public and industry watchers. As I've stated before, all CGA needs is a good 5-7 year-over-year capital campaign to get right back where they were in 2002/2003. (Similar to what KECO did in the 80's early 90's. What's even more ironic - there have been untold numbers of amusement parks that have closed in the Bay Area over the years...yet Santa Cruz just keeps putt-putting along for more than a century.
  7. Based on living out here and knowing (sort of) how Santa Clara politics are currently working, there is much more to this story than just the removal of another coaster. It's not entirely Cedar Fair's fault (though they still shoulder some of the blame). @Montezooma (Shane) Could you have predicted this when we were in Germany? Holy crap!
  8. Though Screamscape is traditionally a good source of industry info, it is still a RUMOR based site. I think we should all wait and see exactly how whatever is going on will pan out - rather than speculate on events based off of rumors.
  9. It's fun to see on the video a few things, beyond what has already been said: 1.) How CLEAN everything looked 2.) The ORIGINAL support structure over the lake (It's not sinking, don't nobody panic) 3.) The LACK of spot welds on the track! The camera angle really made it easy to see the rails themselves. So why is it a bit rougher than we remember? Well, it's amazingly been 17 years since it debuted and most* steel coasters have operational lives around 25 years. So to say this coaster has see nit's golden days is a fair statement. Now, being B&M, it should last...but maybe not age as gracefully as we could hope? Waiting for B&M fanboy hate in 3...2...1....go! On Invertigo, the reason behind it's "Vekoma Smoothness" some would say, "SMOOTH AS GLASS!" (Thank you very much) is due to the manufacturer. Vekoma designs most of their rides, but contracts (outsources) the fabrication of the track to other companies, usually Fabriweld. (Which makes them the "bargain" steel manufacturer.) Except they didn't do this for the first two Invertigo's. (Mostly because they were originally designed to use LIMS and not chains. The ensuing delay made it faster to just rebuild the damn things by themselves.) The first two Invertigo's were designed AND manufactured by Vekoma. Stealth, on the other hand, was fabricated by Fabriweld and it didn't age too well!
  10. Don't forget The Orbit! Most of those lots were post-Paramount era, ala the Kinzel era. (Tidal Wave was on it's way out for YEARS) Most wonder why Grizzly is perennially voted "worst" in the Mitch Hawker poll. It's a combination of rough (of which I'll argue SoB was MUCH worse) and lack of doing anything. (10 min. turn, no bunny hills).
  11. If we're onto speculation of new attractions post 2011, we may want to try and resurrect the dedicated SFDK thread, or simply merge the two rather than posting in the Sky Screamer @SFDK thread.
  12. I actually had a great conversation with Shane of "Amusement Attic" fame about this a few months ago. We both have a personal connection to the park in Santa Clara. We basically came to the conclusion (Shane correct me if I'm wrong) that the park will eventually succumb to either a stadium or other development within the next decade, possibly sooner. In regards to your questions, I"ll try to analyze them separately: "Will the park slowly fade away?" I think it has been fading away for some time, since at least 2005. Because it's been so slow, we haven't noticed until now just how bad it's become. (Think Frog and Boiling Water metaphor) "How does the park stay afloat?" A program of significant capital improvement year over year for at least 5 to 7 years with a good multi-stage marketing campaign behind EACH one. (Similar to the campaign stared under KECO in the late 1980's.) I.E. "Every year we add something, ANYTHING." (Shows alone do not count, btw) "What is Cedar Fair trying to do that is / isn't working?" IMHO: Cedar Fair is trying to milk every penny out of the park and every guest through the turnstile without re-investing anything back into it. Clearly, it's not working, as opinions of the park (even on their own Facebook "fan" page) continue to plummet. This can be a debatable issue: The better question might be, "Is Cedar Fair really wanting to continue operating this park?" Based on the capital added to other Cedar Fair parks recently, the prevailing attitude would seem to be, "CGA can languish. It's already too much work with the proposed stadium, let alone all the other work of having to add capital." In any event, should the worst play out, hopefully the city and 49ers will recognize the significance of the front entrance to the park and keep my namesake for prosperity. Ultimately, that may be the only successful of the campaigns to save CGA. (Or at least some part of it.) "What can Cedar Fair do?" Show the fans of the park, local residents and annual visitors that you're not in it just to sell it off - even ONE major capital improvement (Like a $10 million+ coaster "caliber" attraction would quickly sway opinions of the park 180 degrees, I can almost guarantee it.) Again, just my analysis of the situation, take it with what you will. The lynch pin to the entire situation is that damn stadium and the mystery surrounding it. No longer can you blame the economy, especially when regional theme parks saw a huge uptick in attendance these past few years. (While Disney lost)
  13. Once again, the Attic update is awesome. Thanks for sharing Shane - looking forward to more updates! It's always fun to see the home park get some love! By the way, how much space is this archive taking up (Seriously the whole "Attic?")
  14. ^ Here's hoping you're being sarcastic. The park knows when attendance is down and they know the way to fix it, through major capital improvement year over year. It's not a matter of "hating a park or neighborhood," it's all a business decision. When Cedar Fair bought the Paramount Parks in 2006, they were in debt, BIG DEBT. (To the tune of, "$1.7 billion for the chain." - Source: USA Today, Jan. 9, 2011) The best way to pay down debt? Not spend so much or start selling off assets. In my own opinion, and not stating as a fact: The stadium is a great excuse for Cedar Fair to get out of the contract with the City of Santa Clara to operate CGA. They can use the cash from the "bloated" sale price to pay down some of the debt and dump an underachieving park all at the same time.
  15. Depending on where you are in the park, I believe it varies from 170 - 224 feet. However, the standard height "limit" is 50 feet, without approval or zoning "variance" request. (That goes for the entire City of Santa Clara, I believe.) A parking lot coaster would actually be welcome, if there weren't a giant NFL stadium planned to occupy most of that space. Not to mention the construction space over the next few years!
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