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Valleyfair (VF) Discussion Thread


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Also Gary, to my recollection, the CapEx numbers revealed have always been for the attraction type announcement and large projects such as hotels, in the 20 years following the company. It's never included other improvements, such as what you are mentioning, and general infrastructure improvements such as new bathrooms, paving of the midways, etc. I don't know how that is budgeted for, but it seems to be accounted for separately. So if they were doing the berm for VF, it would most likely be separate.

 

Didn't they say something on the call about this being a light cap ex year to get their debt back under a certain ratio, which elevated from the Sawmill and Schlitterbahn purchases, but that things would be higher next year in 2021? That's what I recall hearing.

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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.

 

Yes, I did forget about those purchases. I'm wondering though if the budget for improvements came from the total budget to acquire those parks? My biggest question is how long can they sit on an approved permit without actually doing the work? Is there an expiration of the permit? I'm going go back and look the permit over and see if there is a deadline. I don't think there was but I'll check.

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Looks like this year's haunt lineup has been announced.

 

What does everyone think?

 

https://www.valleyfair.com/valleyscare/haunt

 

Just looked at the list. I am glad they got some new scare zones as the ones last year felt very lacking in actually being scary, but the way the two new ones look and are described, I think they will definitely improve the lineup. I also look at the map but did not see the scare zones marked. Does anyone know where they will be located? I think that the area near Looping Starship would be good for one, possibly the midway area where no one goes, or the area near the bumper cars near Corkscrew. Other than that everything looks pretty similar to previous years, still wish they could have Excalibur open as it has a great night ride and obviously ValleyScare is almost all in the night time, but it is what it is.

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Also, not sure their plans for Sawmill as nothing has been announced, but Breakers was a $50 million dollar announced renovation. Not sure if that included the new wing or not. But with Sawmill being a hotel, golf course, conference center, marina, shops and restaurants it could easily be a project on the same scale or bigger to get that resort to "CF Standards."

 

So while it is possible Valleyfair could have a surprise announcement still up their sleeve, I wouldn't expect it to be huge or a new ride. Maybe confirming an additional new event like Monster Jam for 2020 or new restaurant or something like that.

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Carnevil is in planet Snoopy

Darkness awaits is in the area by renegade

Mascareade is by corkscrew/monster

Blood on the boundary Waters is in the games Midway

 

I am a haunt actor so any haunt questions I will gladly awnser

 

Andy,

Do you know what maze/scare zone you will be in? I'm returning for year two as a scare monster. Last year I was in Dark Harvest so I assume I'll be there again. I haven't been in yet to attend any training so I don't have any details. Thursday is my training day.

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I was at Valleyscare last year with my nephew (13). Walking down the sidewalk one of the actors comes running out of the bushes with another chasing him, trying to murder him. His victim trying to use us as a shield to hide behind to avoid being stabbed...(His screams were quite impressive). Since it wasn't in one of the haunted houses and totally unexpected, I caught my nephew actually hiding behind me for safety.

I have no idea if that is part of the training, or if two people just decided to do that on their own. But it scared the crap out of him- of all the things there, that little impromptu show is still one of the top things he talks about. I thought I would mention it when you go for your training on Thursday.

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Andy,

Do you know what maze/scare zone you will be in? I'm returning for year two as a scare monster. Last year I was in Dark Harvest so I assume I'll be there again. I haven't been in yet to attend any training so I don't have any details. Thursday is my training day.

I just got my zone today that is blood on the boundry waters you could probably email todd and ask him.

 

I was at Valleyscare last year with my nephew (13). Walking down the sidewalk one of the actors comes running out of the bushes with another chasing him, trying to murder him. His victim trying to use us as a shield to hide behind to avoid being stabbed...(His screams were quite impressive). Since it wasn't in one of the haunted houses and totally unexpected, I caught my nephew actually hiding behind me for safety.

I have no idea if that is part of the training, or if two people just decided to do that on their own. But it scared the crap out of him- of all the things there, that little impromptu show is still one of the top things he talks about. I thought I would mention it when you go for your training on Thursday.

lol do you happen to know what zone that was in because it may have been me.

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lol do you happen to know what zone that was in because it may have been me.

 

 

Sorry I don't remember for sure - we were walking around a corner- I think it was near the Bumper Cars, but it might have been by the Mad Mouse/Looping Starship ride too. (I'd have to look at the bushes again) Mostly I remember the screaming, and whoever did it, really threw themselves into the role. It was very well done!

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It was probably one of us sliders. Most of what we do is completely improv and there isn't a ton of formal training on what we should do outside of your typical slide scares and safety procedures. (I am not a representative of the sliders or Valleyfair, however)

 

Those areas that you mentioned are very much within slider country.

 

Looking forward to sliding again this year.

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I just had my first training last night. I will be in Dark Harvest again so I'm looking forward to that but what I really think will be the standout new things this year. The sliders will get a new look! You'll have to come and see but it's not to be missed. Also, Blood on the Boundary Waters looks totally cool and a lot of effort is going into this Scare Zone. It's basically themed to several folk lore horror stories that may or may not have actually happened up in the Boundary Waters area. I personally can't wait to see it. The large two story cabin used for the opening ceremony the last couple of years will be re purposed in this area and will host a weird blue grass band that will play spooky minor key folk music. They are also constructing 5 cabins that you can walk into and look around. All will have different story themes and some will have actors portraying the folk lore characters. This is gonna be a great Haunt Year! Can't wait to Scare you again!!!

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Valleyfair must be having trouble with staffing. Saw they are now offering up to $15/hour. Old man Bernie would be proud!

 

I'm about 35-40 minutes away depending on stoplights/traffic, otherwise I'd maybe think about helping out just because I enjoy being in the overall park's atmosphere. Probably be a different story with guests bitching all the time..

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^ they comp your gas costs if you are over 50 miles away

 

I'm about 25 miles..so no can do Bob! I'd just do it for more something to do and I enjoy being at the park anyway.. Make an extra mortgage payment or two in the process.. Maybe next year..

 

No wonder we can't get a new ride, let alone a coaster with all these increased wage expenses!

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I just found out some information that, in my opinion, is very exciting! I've been doing some research on that approved permit that Valleyfair had to build a new berm to expand the park in several different ways. This e-mail response is from the St. Paul Army Corp of Engineers.

 

Gary,

 

I found our permit that was issued on March 06, 2018, addressed to Thomas Suel for 4.72 acres of wetland fill adjacent to the Minnesota River for the purpose of expanding Valleyfair Amusement Park. ACOE permit number is MVP-2014-04059-RMM. The permit expires on December 31, 2020. Please let me know if you have any further questions.

 

Respectfully,

Kaecey Parker

 

So, Valleyfair has to act on this before the end of next year if they intend to use the permit. Now the permit we saw that was approved was for the Minnesota Wetland Conversion Act. The AC of E did not know when that permit expires so I'll attempt to contact them and find out.

 

Gary,

 

I'd like to clarify also that the May 2, 2017 approval that you mentioned in your original email is from the attached Notice of Decision (Minneosta Wetland Conservation Act), you may want to contact them to see when their approval expires as well.

 

Thank you,

Kaecey

 

So, hold on people, its not over yet. We may still get that work going and a new grand master plan for Valleyfair after all!

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Further development:

Construction using the AC of E permit has to be completed by Dec. 31st 2020! But they can ask for an extension.

Next, I now have contact information about he MWCA permit, so I'll attempt to get an answer on when that permit expires. Stay tuned.......

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I still think the project is alive just because of the fact that we have received little to no investment in 2019 and 2020. Flooding and the timing with that can also play a major influence in completing this project as a very wet spring or a random heavy summer rain could delay the project.

 

The back section of the park does need a new look. It's hideous!! Excalibur is unique, but to quote Rob Decker, "People vote with their feet." And Excalibur hasn't been popular in decades!!

 

With River Rapids type rides seeming to be going away or getting major overhauls, I wonder if Thunder Canyon's days are numbered or due for an overhaul.

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Getting an already approved permit extended is usually no big deal- other than the paperwork and maybe a renewal fee- provided that no new issues are involved.

 

It's been a wet year, but the dike they wanted is half built already being a previous roadbed. Plus it's a dike- they can get wet. Like when a park starts laying footings for an unannounced roller coaster, Valleyfair would have no problems starting dike work before an announcement. Especially since the dike would hardly be visible from the park as is, and it would dry up a portion of the areas they already use that they have difficulty with. I would think that would be worth something in itself.

 

Since there is no work at all with approved permits though, that suggests that there is a least still a question of what exactly they will do.

 

I hope that they are saving up for something "big". Though I temper my enthusiasm with the fact that Excalibur has never even gotten any landscaping in 30 years. How much would the visuals of that ride be improved if they simply had a few trees to roll by in the loops vs. the open field? Planting trees are cheap too! That was a missed opportunity only three decades in the making, in my opinion. But if they decide to keep the coaster, it is something they could still do.

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I did hear yesterday from a former GM that, as far as he knows, Valleyfair has not gotten funding approval for the new berm work yet! But, as stated, they can extend the permit date. I have not yet been able to find an expiration date to the MWCA permit yet. I'll continue to work on that!

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I hope that they are saving up for something "big". Though I temper my enthusiasm with the fact that Excalibur has never even gotten any landscaping in 30 years. How much would the visuals of that ride be improved if they simply had a few trees to roll by in the loops vs. the open field? Planting trees are cheap too! That was a missed opportunity only three decades in the making, in my opinion. But if they decide to keep the coaster, it is something they could still do.

 

An RMC Excalibur would be incredible. It would be short, just like the original, but I can see it now. Make the drop 20-30 feet larger and 90 degrees. Bring back the small bunny hill after the drop. Outward bank the first turn around. Keep the figure 8 layout, as those turns are already pretty insane. The bunny hill in the middle of the figure 8 could be a zero g roll. The last bunny hill after the figure 8 could be a zero g stall. Would be insane!! Might only have 1-2 inversions, but would easily be the best ride in the park..

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