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Valleyfair (VF) Discussion Thread


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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.

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Too bad Herschend doesn’t own VF, that group seems to know how to grow their parks.

 

Can't tell if serious or not...

 

Aside from Dollywood, their parks don't seem to have been doing much in the past 15 years.

 

Dollywood

-Added a bunch of flats and a kiddie coaster in 2019.

-Added a flat and kiddie coaster in 2017

-Added a coaster in 2016

-Added a flat in 2011

-Added a bunch of flats in 2005

 

Silver Dollar City

-Added coasters in 2018, 2013, 2006, and 2001

-Renovated rapids ride in 2020

-Added flats sporadically over the past 15 years

 

Wild Adventures (owned since 2007)

-Removed two kiddie coasters

-Added and removed a traveling fair roller coaster

-Removed Mystery Mine

-Added 2 flats in 2010

-Added 2 flat in 2013

-Added 1 flat in 2015

-Nothing since

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Silver Dollar City

-Added coasters in 2018, 2013, 2006, and 2001

-Renovated rapids ride in 2020

-Added flats sporadically over the past 15 years

 

 

Renovated rapids ride in 2020? It is a whole new rapids ride and area costing $27 million. Just two years after adding Time Traveler that cost $26 million. But yeah, they haven't been doing much.

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^^Wild Eagle? Firechaser Express? In 2012 and 2014, respectively. Don't leave out major coaster additions to exaggerate your point!

 

This announcement is exactly what I expected. Valleyfair's time will come. Weren't they named by Cedar Fair as one of their "growth parks" with lots of potential? Like Carowinds and CGA?

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Too bad Herschend doesn’t own VF, that group seems to know how to grow their parks.

 

Can't tell if serious or not...

 

Seriously.

 

Renovated rapids ride in 2020? It is a whole new rapids ride and area costing $27 million. Just two years after adding Time Traveler that cost $26 million. But yeah, they haven't been doing much.

 

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.

 

^^Wild Eagle? Firechaser Express? In 2012 and 2014, respectively. Don't leave out major coaster additions to exaggerate your point!

 

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.

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I wasn't expecting a coaster and I was expecting a Carnivale but I was also expecting something in addition to a parade!

It's not just a parade. You'll also be able to buy bad, overpriced beer and mediocre food served two hours after the event starts!

OH! Well now that you put it that way!!....................Nope, No, I tried. Still sarcastic as ever!! Thanks for effort though! In the end, it's just a traveling circus. Maybe they will use the train tracks, that are located right next to where the new parking lot and employee entrance is, to bring in all the floats and lights and STUFF. You know, right by the expanded water park and new entra........Oh, wait! HaHa, my bad! That hasn't been done yet but hey, it's only gonna be 3 years in 2020 since they got that approval. Yes, I know, it's dripping with sarcasm!!

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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.

 

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This announcement is exactly what I expected. Valleyfair's time will come. Weren't they named by Cedar Fair as one of their "growth parks" with lots of potential? Like Carowinds and CGA?

 

I believe in a conference call or something many years ago they specifically called out these three parks as parks that may be under developed or under invested in compared to their market size. Then the Fury and the massive water park expansion at Carowinds happened, so every CGA and VF fan got very excited they were next.

 

I think what held CGA back for awhile is the land ownership issue, which is now solved. And I think what is holding Valleyfair back now is ready and available land to do any expanding. Investment in additional flood protection needs to be completed before any additional acres at the park can be developed, which means money spent that doesn't really add much value or return on investment instantly. It just adds to the overall investment.

 

What I've always questioned is how much "growth" do they see in each park. They obviously saw massive growth potential at Carowinds and the most growth potential out of those 3 parks, which is why they started there. CGA must be next, but probably on a smaller scale, and Valleyfair after that on a similar to smaller scale as CGA. It's also no secret Cedar Fair has focused mainly on the Paramount parks since the purchase trying to get the acquisitions to start paying off ASAP (rightly so). That focus puts Valleyfair last in line as well.

 

Also, I'm not very disappointed in the announcement since it is what I was kind of expecting anyway. Nothing was expected with larger project proposals on the table with no signs of their construction.

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Maybe it’s a Mardi Gras style parade where there are boobs everywhere. Did you guys ever stop to think about that??

 

Having experienced Grand Carnivale at KD this past summer, I can say that sadly it is not.

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I'm new to this forum but have been going to Valleyfair for many years.

 

As I see it, this years lack of major investment makes sense and is fully coherent given the overall landscape;

 

2015 Valleyfair filed for permits to complete the old road on their western border to make a dike, complete with references to water park expansion. They later received regulatory approval for wetland construction etc.

Spring 2019 Raul Rehnborg becomes the new general manager at Valleyfair. Previous experience includes being the Director of Soak City Waterpark at Knott's Berry Farm, ran the water park in San Diago, and was Vice President and General Manager of California's Great America.

April 15 Cedar fair announces water park expansions at Canada's Wonderland, Kings Dominion, Worlds of Fun, and Dorney Park. Cedar Fair clearly had plans, and likely a contract even for a major water park expansion at Valleyfair as well.

In the meantime though Mall of America announced 250 million water park, and got such backing that the city of Bloominton kicked in 7.5 million just to help draft the plans. Bloomington has their eyes on the million dollar a year tax revenue if built, to such an extent that they don't have any problem if it put competitors out of business like Great Wolf water park, literally across the street.

With governments picking winners and losers just 15 miles away, it put Valleyfair in a very bad position. If you think the 7.5 million so far- just from the city of Bloomington- is all the MOA is going to get, there's county and state governments eyeing things up too.

Valleyfair would have been a fool to continue with their plans given that.

I understand that companies like to purchase multiples for cost savings, themes etc. such as the water parks all at once.

But even a transplanted water park manager had to look at the local political landscape here and said "whoa" to that idea. We have a short summer swim season anyway. If MOA builds their water park, Valley fair's will only keep up at best, in that kind of competition. It won't be a regional draw.

Only other rides will keep Valleyfair the draw it should be, and everyone appreciates dry seats too.

Thankfully with Dinosaurs Alive moving to the much more appropriate Minnesota Zoo, it leaves Valleyfair with a large chunk of land already prime for something else.

Grand Carnavale is a fine "time filler" for 2020, and for me at least, I welcome it. They used to have a lot more shows years ago, and if you spend a whole day there, they were great to see between rides.

That gives them a year to figure out something else.

Valleyfair is long overdue for a major coaster of some kind though. If they decide to get a carnival ride again, at least get something with more of a thrill factor like Equinox currently at the State Fair. (Three spinning circles is awesome)

They have lots of great kids and family rides. They need improvement on the thrill rides.

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Good analysis Budtbum and welcome!

 

It does appear that the Army Corp project has "cooled." Technically, you could still go through with the project and not invest a ton in the water park. Use the project as a way to create more flood-safe land that you can develop other than for the water park.

 

I always wondered if the 3 GMs in 3 years was a sign of anything..

 

I was at the park yesterday and was surprised it drew the crowds it did with the State Fair going on. Water park was dead as it was cloudy and cool early.

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So where does that leave the permit for the back of the park? Is there a time limit on when Valleyfair can make good on the approval. I'm not sure if I agree with your assessment. It has long been known that MOA wanted to build a huge waterpark. If you look at triple 5's website it's had plans for this for years. While I'll agree that there is competition it's hard to compare a 100 acre+ park that included 200 ft tall coasters and other rides that Nick U. just will never have, plus a water park attached to it at the same price. There is just something about being outside during our nice summers that can't be matched.

Honestly I'd like to see the River South marketing group ask MOA, Nick U. and the new water park to join together and market themselves as a total vacation package complete with courtesy shuttles that would run from Valleyfair to MOA to Canterbury Park to Renaissance Festival to Mystic Lake. You get the idea!

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Rolercolester,

Valleyfairs last GM Dave Frazier was there for quite a few years! Was there another GM before the current one? (Cant remember current GM's name).

 

There was a Brad Macy (I think that is the right name) for a year I believe right after Dave. Believe he came from Carowinds. Maybe he lasted 2 years. Didn't Dave fight for North Star as he wanted a Windseeker type ride added? Wonder if he was responsible for fighting for Delirious too before he left, as that typically isn't a ride type that Cedar Fair has added like the FunTime Star Flyer. Then Brad Macy must have been brought in to fight for 2 off years, haha. Thanks Brad!

 

A couple other observations from this season: North Star, Xtreme Swing, and Renegade have the longest lines consistently. Also, Mad Mouse just due to capacity. I have yet to see more than 2 people on SuperCat at a time. The North midway is always packed compared to the South midway, which is always dead or just a walk-through for people. I think they finally fixed the awkward Route 76 midway after 4 out of 5 years of investments to that area, as that midway always has a nice crowd. The Amphitheater is such a waste of real estate. Can we put something where the Midway stage is, that bugs me every time I walk by. Makes sense they constructed the Superior Stage with the Peanuts Celebration this year,Grand Carnivale planned next year, and other festivals they have in that midway like MN Eats..

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I have been thinking alot about Cedar fair announcements. It was widely talked about prior to announcing for each park that cedar fair had 140 to 150 million to spend on cap improvements this year. That was announced in their stock holders call. I did a very rough calculation of their announcements and I'm only coming up with about 100 to 105 million, again just a guess. Except for one coaster of about 30 million, the rest of the improvements are not that expensive. CGA probably is the next with about 12 million and the MA with probably around 7. The rest are all under that amount.

 

So that leaves 30 to 40 million not spent, yet!!

 

Does anyone think it's possible that the remaining funds could be for Valleyfair to build the berm, road, parking lot and new entrance! I mean, after all that's not much for an announcement, that's just something you do! Just imagine, AND NEW FOR 2020, VALLEYFAIR IS EXCITED TO ANNOUNCE.... A NEW ROAD AND PARKING LOT THAT WILL THRILL OUR GUESTS....ETC... you get the idea! Any thoughts?

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^^^ You're forgetting they announced they were spending $15 to $20 million getting Schlitterbahn up to their "standards". Then there is the renovations at Sawmill Creek. And no figure was given for the KBF and CP celebrations and what that entails.

 

Generally, the budget is allocated at 9% of revenue, but it's been a little higher in the past few years. You have to look (guess of course, because per park numbers are not available), as to how much revenue Valleyfair! brings in.

 

We know that 50% of the company is CP and KBF, so it makes sense the most capital is allocated there. The remaining 50% is the other 9 parks. We know, based on attendance, that KI, CW and CAR are larger parks, and WOF, KD, and CAR have accommodations which drive revenue, so how much do VF and MiA really bring in?

 

Valleyfair! is a great park, and yes, you must spend money to make money, but there is a reason for the soft cap ex. Personally, I'd love to see a campground and cabin set up there, to drive in some extra revenue that can later be put back in the park.

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