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Tiburon503's Achievements


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  1. I wish George Lucas would give the original theatrical Star Wars negatives to charity. I want someone to release a HD print of the non "special edition" cuts of the original trilogy. Perhaps Disney will release them on Blu-Ray to pay for the acquisition. Heck, they might generate the $4 billion back on that initiative alone. Kudos to Bob Iger. He got the golden goose cheap! As for "Howard the Duck"? No...just no.
  2. With all due respect to Universal Orlando's amazing production team, the bathroom at my local gas station is far more scary.
  3. I'd like to know how Disney is handling data encryption with their RFID initiative. It will be interesting to watch RFID tags be cloned and tickets counterfeited without having to present physical media for entry. Granted, Disney has done analysis of such scenarios. My fear is with the near ubiquitous nature of today's smartphones and their advancing processor power; RFID cloning may be simplified. How will Disney really be able to tell who's using the ticket? Are cameras recording faces triggered by the RFID tag? I know I may sound crazy here (and I'm scant with details), but this could happen. Crackers love a challenge, and Disney is looking to throw down the gauntlet.
  4. Has Six Flags America actually proven they can draw big crowds? If the park was drawing large crowds/revenues, or was more profitable; I would imagine Six Flags would have continued large investments with this property. Six Flags America suffers from several factors I'd imagine. It's in a highly competitive market with Kings Dominion, Busch Gardens, and even Great Adventure within a 2-4 hour driving distance. All of those parks either draw greater, or receive major investments annually. Labor costs are another factor, as well as the culture of low morale amongst the "rank and file" which is seemingly unbreakable. Investors don't want to see major investments in properties that aren't going to provide an immediate and exponential return on investment. For most, a $15M attraction at a park like Great Adventure; is a safer bet than even at $10-$12M project at a small park. With proper management, and a near complete re-imagination; Six Flags America could be transformed into a legitimate competitor. This would require huge capital and investors with iron stomachs willing "to go long". Hard to accomplish in any corporate environment outside of Silicon Valley. I think you mean Frontier City in Oklahoma. Burke & Story's company is actually leasing the park from CNL Lifestyle Properties. Personally I hope Burke can build his way back up to reacquiring Six Flags outright. Hopefully they're a little wiser from his previous stewardship and focus on customer service as strongly as attractions.
  5. I actually remember shareholders grumbling over Six Flags's investment in the smaller parks. Burke was accused of neglecting the big parks, specifically Great Adventure which provided the impetus to approve "Nitro" and "Superman Ultimate Flight". It's easy to get upset at Great Adventure, Great America, and Magic Mountain taking the lion's share of CapEx. These parks bring in 2/3 of all Six Flags's income however, with Great America being the most profitable at the time. While Six Flags doesn't break out individual park figures, analysts speculated how "flagging" impacted overall performance, and wanted Six Flags to abandon their vision. It's not feasible to expand each park into a property larger than its market will bare. For whatever reason, Six Flags America can't break through the ceiling of being ran as anything but a small park. I don't think that property will ever grow unless the Koch Family or Ed Hart runs the place. Six Flags invested big time in the former Adventure World initially. The park just didn't perform well enough to warrant further major investments.
  6. One would have to imagine Cedar Fair is closely following Texas Giant's progress.
  7. This photo made me nostalgic for the 1964 New York World's Fair Von Roll Gondolas once used at Six Flags Great Adventure. Sad to see them in such bad shape.
  8. Six Flags Worlds of Adventure *might* have been profitable (or on the precipice thereof). The entire theme park industry was still feeling the "9/11" effects in 2004 however. Six Flags was looking to divest assets to cover shortfalls, and the former Ohio complex commanded what they felt was a premium price. Worlds of Adventure was a grand vision. Had Six Flags not faced 3 years of declining revenue, a credit crisis (banks stopped lending after "9/11" too), and not been in a market with 2 major competitors; Worlds of Adventure might have remained with the company. Magic Mountain is quite profitable (One of the company's top performing parks no less!), and Six Flags tried and failed to dump it too (Despite erroneous reporting at the time, Six Flags does own the property under the Valencia park according to their 2005 annual report.). Whatever your opinion of the Six Flags Stewardship, you must admit they did a better job than Cedar Fair. The animal exhibits made the guest experience unique for Worlds of Adventure. Cedar Fair demanded Six Flags remove them as part of their deal. To their own admittance, Cedar Fair completely underestimated the impact the animal exhibits contributed. Attendance declined as a result, and grew worse as rides were removed without replacement. The acquisition of Kings Island (and the Paramount Parks) was in my opinion the death knell for the Aurora park. To remain competitive with the two larger and established parks, Geagua Lake was going to require major capital. In that market, it made little sense to support 3 major parks. It's financially prudent to market Kings Island and Cedar Fair over pumping more money into Geagua Lake on paper. Don't forget, the company decided to build Wildwater Kingdom on the wrong side of the lake abandoning the barely 5 year old Hurricane Harbor in the process (STUPID). Why Cedar Fair was decried, had to due with their refusal to sell the complex. Demolishing it seemed a matter of ego. If the forecasting proved Geagua Lake couldn't compete with the two sister parks, why not sell it? It's better for the company and its shareholders to offload the property, versus incurring demolition costs and asset divestures for pennies on the dollar. Of course, if someone made a go of it profitably; it could make the Cedar Fair Executive Team look incompetent. Realistically, the debt from acquiring the Paramount Parks had to contribute too.
  9. "The Great American Scream Machine" literally saved Six Flags Great Adventure in the late 1980s. The beleaguered park faced several deaths in that period and was on the cusp of losing its food license. Had that happened, Six Flags was going to shut the park down. "Shockwave", originally scheduled for Great Adventure went to Gurnee, Ill. as a part of this. Credit Ray Williams and his brilliant stewardship for saving the park and returning a safe atmosphere to it. Ray faced many battles with Great Adventure, and managed to execute his plan quite well. He also got corporate to bring the Arrow Megalooper originally intended for his park back on the table. Albeit in a slightly modified clone. "The Great American Scream" drew flies to honey and put the place back on the map. Unfortunately Mr. Williams left as Time Warner took ownership, but not before securing Great Adventure a clone of a successful prototype; "Batman The Ride". "The Great American Scream Machine" is like Raquel Welch. Some 21 years later, she's as gorgeous as ever. I enjoyed seeing her along the Great Adventure skyline, especially inside "The Golden Kingdom" and "Plaza de Carnivale". Sadly, up close she rode like the drunken, haggard looking Pamela Anderson of today. In 1989, ride ops would constantly check to make sure all earrings were removed. That ride boxed your head like Mike Tyson in his prime. It actually got a little better over time, but was completely unrideable in the back seat on my last 2008 visit. "The Great American Scream Machine" is easily my least favorite steel coaster in the park (I do *LOVE* it's first drop however). The B&Ms outclass the classic beauty, and don't leave me feeling like I've contracted something. It deserves a big sendoff, but in the end it should go. "Chang" will be welcomed certainly, but it seems superfluous in the New Jersey park. I think that area would be a better stage for expanding "The Golden Kingdom" with a "Jungala" modeled exhibit ala Busch Gardens Tampa. Lord knows, Great Adventure also needs flats more than another (albeit good) coaster. I hope, in an effort to secure a permanent position for himself; Al Weber doesn't become a marriage of Mark Shapiro's and Kieran Burke's worst qualities. But I digress.
  10. If Six Flags owned "Chang", I'd doubt they would request permission from the Kentucky State Fair to remove the ride. They sure as heck wouldn't promise a major waterpark expansion in return! Even if the Six Flags lease agreement was similar to the City of Montreal's for La Ronde (where annual park improvements are a precept in the lease agreement), the termination of the lease wouldn't allow them to remove "Chang". They would have needed the express permission of the U.S. Bankruptcy Court. If the Kentucky State Fair truly pursues this matter, this will be an interesting case. Six Flags could lose big, and they no longer have the bankruptcy court to protect them.
  11. If Kentucky Kingdom was my business, I would not hesitate to sue Six Flags for the return of "Chang". It was a popular ride and it was removed under false pretenses. At the very least, I'd want the full value for the ride, and its assembly costs before moving on. Regarding Vekoma Coasters, I've yet to meet a design of theirs I like. You can keep them, as I wouldn't trust them to build a park bench.
  12. Astroworld's closure and sale was announced at the time of RedZone's takeover proposal. Six Flags was "exploring strategic options", and Burke put the company up for sale. Astroworld sat upon extremely valuable real-estate (this was mid-2005, before the "bubble" bursted), and issues with parking with the neighboring Reliant Park made the property an easy target. Burke hoped a "quick flip" would help shore up the company's cash position, stave off a sale, and save his job. It was a stupid, impulsive move that was doomed to fail (RedZone sold the property for a song). The situation Six Flags faced with Red Zone in 2005 is quite analogous to Chrysler in 1997 (Iacocca and Kirk Kerkorian's attempted takeover ultimately forced the sale to Diamler). Daniel Snyder initially opposed the sale of Astroworld, but did nothing to stop it. Injunctions could have been sought considering the state of the company at the time. None were however, and the rest is history. Regarding the topic, I believe Six Flags and the Kentucky State Fair will settle the matter out of court. Considering "Chang" existed prior to Six Flags assuming the Kentucky Kingdom lease; I believe a compelling case can be made that Six Flags does not own the ride. Approval to remove "Chang" was contingent upon Six Flags investing in a water park expansion. They defaulted on that obligation. Despite the bankruptcy court canceling the lease, Six Flags lacks the explicit right to remove attractions from the property without approval of the landlord or court. Six Flags may have owned a majority of the land "Chang" existed on, but Kentucky State Fair remains the ultimate trustee of the park and ride. Ultimately, I think Six Flags will surrender all properties abutting Kentucly Kingdom (as well as some cash) to settle the matter. Returning "Chang" and being forced to pay punitive damages and reassembly costs (among legal fees and finding a new attraction for Great America), seem cost prohibitive. Six Flags is done with Louisville, so shedding the unwanted land and a small cash payment seem like a no-brainer to me.
  13. Any original owner wishes they had kept their park before Six Flags bought it. Look at what happened to Six Flags New Orleans. The previous Six Flags management with Dan Snyder and Mark Shapiro fought tooth to nail to get out of their land lease deal, and the judge let them have their way. That place has the saddest history. If Dan Snyder had of never got the company, Six Flags New Orleans would have been rebuilt and we would still own the other three parks that Six Flags sold back in 2006. So yes, there are a lot of owners that wish they had never had anything to do with Six Flags. Mr. Ed will probably end up putting his hardest effort in reviving the place. At least now the park has someone with theme park experience, to manage it. Considering all the properties divested prior to the RedZone takeover; I seriously doubt Kieren Burke would have "saved" Six Flags New Orleans. The obvious reasons have been stated many times. There's simply too much damage, and a terribly small clientele base post "Katrina". Had RedZone never attempted a hostile takeover of Six Flags, I *do* believe Astroworld would still be in operation. The closure of Astroworld has everything to do with the takeover.
  14. I thought the thread overall supported and lauded Theme Park Review's venture into the HD Blu-Ray space. The additional, associated production costs seem daunting; making this "labor of love" all the more more commendable. Unfortunately, my mention of a camera seemingly sullied this thread. I can understand the desire for HD content delivered via means other than Blu-Ray, but the cost must be outrageous. TPR might be able to overnight a disk via courier overnight cheaper. I love all things HDTV, and would leave any debate over format superiority to those at AVSForum.
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