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Everything posted by RCjunkie

  1. City of Shakopee just issued a Commercial Building Permit to Valley Fair for a $415,000 Remodel/Alteration to an existing building. (https://epermits2.logis.org/permits/permitdetails.aspx?city=sh&permitnbr=SH098787). It is issued for a company named Doran Companies which is a construction company in Bloomington, MN. No other details really so just asking if anyone knows anything about this. Any idea's? Back offices maybe? Which existing building(s)?
  2. The new MOA waterpark is one step closer to happening. The last vote for financing approval happens next month. Update on the details are below. Such a weird financing agreement. Bloomington gets ready to set water park tax plan in motion Bloomington leaders are nearing final approval of an elaborate plan to help build one of the nation’s largest water parks beside the Mall of America. The deal hinges on the city’s option to hike sales taxes at the Mall of America to pay debt on the $260 million facility, if visitors who pay to raft down 10-foot-wide slides and lounge in cabanas don’t generate enough revenue. The City Council voted unanimously Tuesday to authorize imposing the taxes — 11 years after the Legislature granted them that power — under specific circumstances that will be agreed to next month. A series of votes scheduled for Dec. 17 will finalize an unusual financing plan with little precedent in Minnesota. Under the deal, a Louisiana-based nonprofit organization will borrow money from an Arizona public development authority to build the park. Then a Mall of America affiliate will manage it. The debt will be guaranteed by a city pledge to raise sales taxes at the mall if water-park revenue falls short. Bloomington will pay more than $55 million for a parking ramp and skyway, and the water park will pay rent to Mall of America owners for using their land. No one testified at a public hearing about the taxes at Bloomington City Hall on Tuesday night. Voters last week elected a supporter of the water-park plan, City Council Member Tim Busse, to be the city’s next mayor — succeeding Gene Winstead, another champion of the project. Before the vote, Mall of America representatives briefed city leaders on what visitors will find inside the glass-covered, multilevel 325,000-square-foot facility. Updated renderings show a tropical oasis replete with palm trees, thatch-roofed structures, lounge chairs, wave pools and a mock steamer ship. “This isn’t a traditional water park where you’re seeing the North Woods type landscape and feel,” said Nate Klutz, the mall’s vice president of construction. “We’re trying to create our own unique branding, our own unique experience.” A centerpiece is a slide complex reaching 70 feet high, where groups on rafts can barrel down wide, translucent multicolored fiberglass tubes. Chris Grap, lead storyteller and experience designer for the Mall of America, said they worked carefully to make the most of limited space. “We kind of like to say it’s all killer and no filler,” Grap told city leaders. “We’ve made sure there aren’t any redundant experiences within the park.” Grap said they have broken the park up into five “outposts” with their own music, plants and “rock work.” “We want this project to last well beyond the impression of a first visit,” Grap said. “There’s not one ‘wow’ moment. There’s 20 ‘wow’ moments. We want to build a sense of discovery. We want people to be able to walk in the space and recognize that this isn’t a water park. Really we’ve designed it as a theme park with water-based attractions.” A Bloomington official said last month that the working title is “Mystery Cove,” though Mall spokeswoman Sarah Grap said a name has not been chosen. Taxes, feasibility But can it turn enough profit? That’s the subject of a feasibility study by Hotel and Leisure Advisors that the city expects to receive before Thanksgiving. That study will be put into the preliminary operating statement for the bonds on the project. “So it’s not [Mall of America ownership] projections, it’s not the city’s projections, it’s an independent third party whose livelihood is to project the performance of water parks,” said Schane Rudlang, administrator of Bloomington’s Port Authority. The sales taxes approved Tuesday night would only apply at the Mall of America and the block north of the shopping center. The city is authorized to charge a hotel tax, admission and recreation tax and general sales tax of up to 1%, as well as a food and beverage tax up to 3%. The city will vote on a plan next month to impose the taxes — or portions of them — automatically depending on certain circumstances. “It’s designed so that there would be no subsequent action before the [City Council],” said city attorney Melissa Manderscheid. “These will happen as a result of certain things occurring outside of the City Council.” The tax plan stems from a deal brokered at the Capitol 11 years ago. Then-Gov. Tim Pawlenty supported using sales taxes to fund the mall’s expansion after vetoing an earlier attempt to redirect money from a regional tax sharing pool known as Fiscal Disparities. In 2013, the Legislature and then-Gov. Mark Dayton also exempted the mall from the tax-sharing pool. That allowed Bloomington to subsidize infrastructure related to the mall’s expansion — such as the parking ramp and skyway for the water park — with money that would have helped reduce property taxes elsewhere in the metro. Article link and picture - http://www.startribune.com/bloomington-sets-water-park-tax-plan-in-motion/564872702/
  3. That was never a fair replacement. Wild Rails crushed Wild Mouse for overall ride experience any day. But Wild Mouse is a solid kiddy ride and addition to the park so no complaints but I would love to have Wild Rails still operating. I doubt the coaster would have made it this long though. Why not? If they drop it in 2020 they can replace in 2021 or 2022. CF has never taken more than two years to replace a coaster after it was removed at one of their parks. Of course there is always a FIRST....let's hope it is not VF setting a new precedent this way. Water park is the smallest in the chain and the biggest opportunity to drive more visits for families. Long overdue and the plans are in place so CF has done their homework and know where there dollars are going to get the biggest bang. Whether they follow through we will have to wait and see.
  4. Sure starting to look that way. Let's hope next year brings a mid season Excalibur retirement announcement to go with this.
  5. The Thirsty Pony followed by Maverick and Steel Vengeance...well played. Perfect start to any CP visit. Thanks for sharing the trip report since I have never been to CP during Halloween.
  6. Decent ride but nothing to get hurt over since it is probably leaving for something better down the road. Since they are removing a 1987 Arrow could CP possibly take it a step further and start removing Corkscrew's from CP parks soon? (CP-1976, MiA-1979 and VF-1980).
  7. RMC does not give that treatment to steel coasters, only wooden ones. Guess there would be a first time for everything me boy! Structure is wood It is a wood support for a steel coaster. It is not a wooden coaster. How would they 'RMC' steel track? Please explain.
  8. RMC does not give that treatment to steel coasters, only wooden ones.
  9. Exactly. If your complaining about the name of a coaster you have missed the entire point. On another note, very excited to ride this. Considering what RMC did for that torture machine called Mean Steak and how great that turned out this looks like it will be on the same scale or possibly even better. But hey, let's b*tch about the name some more.
  10. ^ Thanks for sharing. I am no expert by any means but it does strike me odd that they do not know yet exactly how the ride will be positioned in the park after the announcement has been made. I just assumed/thought they would have finalized major details like that before the announcement.
  11. An RMC raptor track that is not a clone and 3000 feet long? . OK, you got me! >.
  12. Minnesotan's experience everything from -30F to +99F degrees with sun, rain and snow in a given year so we are a hearty bunch and get 'out' whenever we can because it seems winter is always on its way. It will happen someday so be ready! Been to 37 of the 50 states and Massachusetts is still one I need to step foot in. Along with all those tiny upper eastern states. And if anyone else visits VF and wants to meet up just drop me an IM and I can bore you with all the VF history you want or if you just want to do a few laps. The park opened when I was 7 years old and I can tell you stories how High Roller in its first couple years had 90 minute to 2 hours waits and how the entrance/exit for the ride switched after the ACA went into place. It was fun to meet you, I wish it hadn't rained all morning so I could have had more time to ride but in Minnesota you take what you can get. Some serious coaster history for a park that is not your home park. Major kuddos for that but also....this shows how much of an amusement park geek you are. (not there is anything wrong with that, just stating fact). If anyone visits in the fall this is a must ride to see all the changing tree colors in the Minnesota River Valley. You nailed it, this is how this GCI runs. I prefer the back with speed and the whip but both are solid. A fair assessment of the park. I would give it a C on a grade scale but because it is so clean and operations are usually very good so I give it a C+. I think with a water park expansion and a modern steel looping coaster it could hit the B- level. Glad you enjoyed your visit to VF, a 3 Arrow coaster park.
  13. Thinking the first or second week in June next year. Haven't been since 2016 so need to hit Mystic Timbers also. You better be ready.
  14. Indoor trees and a kick a** flume are my favorite parts of the park also. Having the flume in NU really helps make up for the removal of the one that VF used to have. Glad to hear you enjoyed the park which I think is only second to Disney in theming per square inch.
  15. Orion looks like it will be a lot of fun to me! Looking forward to trying it next year. I will never understand the complaining of adding another Giga to the coaster universe without actually riding it yet. In other news, Flume rides everywhere were very disappointed to hear this.
  16. Can't tell if serious or not... Seriously. Exactly. If CF invested even half of that amount in 5 years (vs. 3 years) into VF the locals would be ecstatic and the park would have a new coaster and other attractions. No kidding. Just leave out a $20 million B&M winged coaster and Firechaser Express with that entire area, no big deal. Either of those two rides would be HUGE hits at VF. At one time VF was equal to or a little bigger than both these parks. But after the investments over the last 10 years both parks have grown bigger and became better than VF. Some of that is due to the area they are located in but investment in new attractions is the underlining factor. After the Paramount acquisition CF really cut down their investments in WOF, VF and MiA vs. their other parks to tackle the debt it took to acquire them. That was 11 years ago. In the 2013 annual report this is what was said, "The chain sees three parks as having room for significant growth, Carowinds, Valleyfair, and California's Great America." 7 years later the park is still not seeing it. Maybe 2021 will be the year.
  17. Pretty much what everyone expected with no signs of construction. I am not disappointed at all PROVIDED ….that next year the park expands the water park or adds a nice attraction in the Dino’s area. If they don’t then I will not be visiting the park until they do, just like a lot of the Facebook/Twitter posts that are being added to the VF pages today. I had two friends dump their passes this year for that reason and they don’t regret it at all. They will be back next year with me for the KI Giga, but after that I will be joining them if nothing happens for VF. Too bad Herschend doesn’t own VF, that group seems to know how to grow their parks.
  18. VF has been opening (and now closing 2 hours before close) Excalibur for years like this. I know....two different worlds. It does give bad optics though when you see it happen at the flagship park of the chain. I don't put any real stock in this rumor either, but could a S&S 4D Free Spin fit in that foot print?
  19. Kind of a odd partnership from my view, but I am sports fan so it looks fun to me. I see they got the commissioner and Dwayne Wade for the kick off but is that also Kareem Abdul Jabbar in the first picture?
  20. We should find out within the next 45 days if VF is getting any new attractions for 2020. I don't think anything is coming which is fine with me provided something arrives in 2021. The park will now have a sizable plot of land in a prominent location at the front of the park which will now be vacant due to the announced leaving of the Dino's after October this year. The park also has an approved construction plan at local and state level to move wetlands to create a new parking lot and a water park expansion at the back of the park according to the plans. If something doesn't come in 2021 to occupy one of these two area's (especially with the new mega water park being built at Mall of America now) then CF should just probably order a new entry sign for the park that reads 'Michigan Adventure West'.
  21. Nice trip report. You pretty much nailed Adventureland. Nice park, just needs another good coaster besides Monster. I wish more people could get out to this park to try Monster because it is so fun.
  22. ^ Correct. Teasers do nothing for me either. All I want to know is who the manufacturer is and what type of coaster it is going to be. I like when people find construction permits or plans so we can just cut to the chase without the teaser hype.
  23. Thanks for sharing, everyone is different. Since I don't see my inner child growing up anytime soon I hope the enjoyment of visiting parks and riding coasters lasts for me as long as it has for you. And hope the body can keep up with my inner child.
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