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Silver Dollar City (SDC) Discussion Thread

P. 261: Arvest Bank announces 10 year sponsorship deal

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I still find it amusing that y'all in Walmarton have a hard on for taking Springfield down a notch.¬†ūüėÜ

 

It's a new sponsorship, cool. They've had Humana as a sponsor for a few years now, so whatever, somebody else will be on the banners now.

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Actually they have been taking some steps to address that issue with TNT. They are also redoing several other support areas around TNT where the construction of Time Traveler was done.  

"Move" may not be the best way to word it. "Build a new version of it" is a better way to describe it.  Think of what Mystic River Falls is to Lost River. More than likely, it would be a completely di

I also think new enthusiasts confuse intense with rough 

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18 hours ago, ElvisLuv said:

Arvest is based in Northwest Arkansas and was started by a Walton of Walmart fame. It is a huge regional bank around here flush with capital and big time backing. 

 

This brings me to NWA and Silver Dollar City. Northwest Arkansas is on track to nearly double in size by 2045. That means around 1 million in population.  Nice to have one of the fastest growing  and  increasingly affluent regions in the country in your back yard so to speak. Springfield is also growing but it is not the juggernaut that NWA has become.

 

^As a traffic engineer who has recently worked on multiple projects in Northwest Arkansas, I can attest to the insane (and generally higher income) population growth in the area. The growth rates for traffic projections are some of the highest in the country there! Walmart is building a whole new campus in Bentonville similar to what Amazon, Apple, and Google have (look it up, there is info online about it).

Arvest Bank pops up frequently in sponsorships and advertisements around Kansas City, so I am not surprised to hear they have the smart business backing that comes with the Walmart family. I haven't been to SDC in a number of years, but they have made some incredible investments that make me really want to go back! Glad to hear TNT is getting love, I knew nothing about that ride when I first rode and it and knocked my socks off!

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On 3/17/2021 at 11:22 PM, ytterbiumanalyst said:

I still find it amusing that y'all in Walmarton have a hard on for taking Springfield down a notch.¬†ūüėÜ

 

It's a new sponsorship, cool. They've had Humana as a sponsor for a few years now, so whatever, somebody else will be on the banners now.

It is what it is, lol

 

https://nwacouncil.org/2019/11/22/benton-county-wages-grow-163-labor-bureau-reports/

All good news for SDC.

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"[T]he Benton County wage increase can be tied to a surge in professional services jobs that include engineers, lawyers and some technology-related occupations. Those jobs tend to be high-paying positions."

 

Yeah, your average Arkansawyer isn't seeing any of that money. As always, when you look under the surface, a few people benefit and everyone else gets the scraps.

 

So sure, SDC might see a few passholders among those professionals, but wouldn't it be better if wages were increased for the vast majority of Missourians and Arkansawyers so that a greater number of people could afford to go to the park? A rising tide lifts the boats, sure, but it doesn't do a whole lot for the people who are clinging to driftwood.

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4 hours ago, ytterbiumanalyst said:

"[T]he Benton County wage increase can be tied to a surge in professional services jobs that include engineers, lawyers and some technology-related occupations. Those jobs tend to be high-paying positions."

 

Yeah, your average Arkansawyer isn't seeing any of that money. As always, when you look under the surface, a few people benefit and everyone else gets the scraps.

 

So sure, SDC might see a few passholders among those professionals, but wouldn't it be better if wages were increased for the vast majority of Missourians and Arkansawyers so that a greater number of people could afford to go to the park? A rising tide lifts the boats, sure, but it doesn't do a whole lot for the people who are clinging to driftwood.

The amount of construction and housing starts in this area has electricians and plumbers pulling down high 100K wages. NWA is seeing all kinds of  service and professional career growth. This area will likely be gaining two full fledged Med Schools in 10 years. One will be a private one founded and funded  by Alice Walton and UAMS is moving toward a full fledged center like Little Rock. 

It should be noted that Arvest was Alice's brother Rob's creation.

This is good news as well. Looks like XNA is in Jet Blue's Founder's crosshairs for his new Breeze Airline. Which could help folk travel to SDC a bit cheaper.

Screenshot_20210319-080810_Drive.jpg

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Yes, the area is good to a few people, and that's the hallmark of the growth around there. You pointed out the rise in average wages, but I would submit that the average wages are not telling the whole story. A few exceptional blue collar jobs that can match the exceptional white collar jobs don't really help to tell the whole story here. For that, we need to look at the median income in addition to the average income.

 

Arkansas is second to last in median income, behind only Mississippi.1 A rise in average income without a corresponding rise in median income means a small number of people are making substantially more than the vast majority. A population base who are all making near minimum wage is not the base you want for a theme park. You need a strong middle class with disposable income for that. Walmarton isn't creating a strong middle class; they're elevating wages for upper middle earners while leaving working class wages stagnant.

 

As to your other point about the airline, in theory that's what will likely benefit the park more. Branson has always depended on out of state tourists, and that seems unlikely to change anytime soon. I wish them luck, but I've seen several ultra low cost carriers come and go from BKG and SGF, so count me skeptical that one flying out of XNA will be more successful.

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6 hours ago, ytterbiumanalyst said:

You don't see how the economics of the local area around a theme park affects that theme park? Ok.

It had gone a little beyond that, but Ok.

---------------------

Anyway, I don't believe Outlaw Run has gotten rough, aside from a pothole on the first drop that I experienced from opening year. That's kept it from making my list as a preferred back seat ride.

I also hope the tree clearing doesn't expose the not so aesthetically pleasing maintenance area. Hopefully Herschend doesn't continue to plow through trees. Historically, they've walked the fine line between new attractions and retaining the old school charm, which differentiates the park from corporate parks.

I feel like I'm getting old just by saying that.

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Got an e-mail from SDC today about them now having a Gold Pass. It's got some very tantalizing benefits.

  • Unlimited Visits To Silver Dollar City
  • Unlimited Visits To White Water
     
  • FIRST TIME EVER:¬†1 BONUS Free Any Date Bring-A-Friend Ticket To Silver Dollar City
  • One 2021 Refill Mug Good For Reduced Price Drinks
  • FIRST TIME EVER:¬†20% Off Full-Price Food & Beverage
  • 50% Off 1 Full-Price Ticket Per Day At Silver Dollar City or White Water¬†
  • 25% Off Silver Dollar City Preferred Parking Pass (Limited Qty. Available)
  • 25% Off Premium On-Park Experiences at Silver Dollar City & White Water
  • $30 +tax Showboat Branson Belle Cruise, Meal & Show Tickets



https://www.silverdollarcity.com/Tickets/Season-Passes/Gold-Pass

Edited by tinaalsgirl
accidentally hit a shortcut key or something and it posted before I was finished
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9 hours ago, ytterbiumanalyst said:

Yes, the area is good to a few people, and that's the hallmark of the growth around there. You pointed out the rise in average wages, but I would submit that the average wages are not telling the whole story. A few exceptional blue collar jobs that can match the exceptional white collar jobs don't really help to tell the whole story here. For that, we need to look at the median income in addition to the average income.

 

Arkansas is second to last in median income, behind only Mississippi.1 A rise in average income without a corresponding rise in median income means a small number of people are making substantially more than the vast majority. A population base who are all making near minimum wage is not the base you want for a theme park. You need a strong middle class with disposable income for that. Walmarton isn't creating a strong middle class; they're elevating wages for upper middle earners while leaving working class wages stagnant.

 

As to your other point about the airline, in theory that's what will likely benefit the park more. Branson has always depended on out of state tourists, and that seems unlikely to change anytime soon. I wish them luck, but I've seen several ultra low cost carriers come and go from BKG and SGF, so count me skeptical that one flying out of XNA will be more successful.

XNA was the Secind fastest growing airport in the US in 2019, pre covid clocking in at 17% year over year and was clocking 20% over that the first two months of 2020 before Covid. It is double the size of Springfield in terms of passengers. Not knocking Springfield I wish we had their amount of Allegaint destinations as well.  I would not be shocked by this time next year Allegiant is flying to Knoxville from one or both of them. That would basically connect SDC and Dollywood for passholders. SDC might explore a better package outside of the 50% discount.

 

Springfield put in a grant to help start AA service to DC, Philly and/or Miami. NWA gets DC and Miami back in April via AA. 

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16 hours ago, ytterbiumanalyst said:

....A rising tide lifts the boats, sure, but it doesn't do a whole lot for the people who are clinging to driftwood....

Sure it does. The people clinging to the driftwood rise up just like the boats. 

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1 hour ago, DoinItForTheFame said:

Sure it does. The people clinging to the driftwood rise up just like the boats. 

And now they're clinging to driftwood in deeper water. Not much of a help, is it?¬†ūüėČ

 

If you're right, though, and we do have an SGF-TYS flight for cheap, that would be amazing. Allegiant's schedule is, er, not the most convenient, but $50 to Dollywood and I'm in.

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  • 3 weeks later...

I need some help or advice about how to tackle SDC. I am planning a visit on a Sunday in a few weeks. From what I've been seeing the park has been slammed. I can only go for that one day so I need some advice about how to tackle the major coasters and other unique can't miss attraction. Any advice would be helpful.

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I always try Powder Keg first, as it's often temperamental and usually has the longest line even when not.   Then Time Traveler which also frequently has a long line but it moves pretty quickly (and I really like the queue music, I asked the gift shop about a CD of it and they said no plans because of licensing cost).  The other coasters at your preference, although Fire in the Hole sometimes gets lengthy waits as well.  It never fails to surprise me how short the waits are for Outlaw Run, even when the park itself is otherwise busy.    I generally tend to follow this pattern for coasters: Powder Keg, Fire in the Hole, and Wildfire in one clump, because you head down an almost shockingly steep hill to get to them and you don't really want to go back up that hill multiple times in one visit :)   Then over to Outlaw Run, then to Time Traveler and Thunderation.  

Study the map ahead of time!  SDC does not have the most intuitive layout and that's understating it.  The flip side is it rewards exploration, there are lots of little touches and details that are so easily overlooked especially if you're laser focused on the next thing you're heading to.

I would NOT wait over an hour for Mystic Falls unless you have literally nothing else to do, the elevator and big drop are great but for a one day visit there are better uses of your time IMO.    If the wait time is less than that, then sure go ahead.  Not saying it's a bad ride by any means, just that the throughput has been abysmal in our experience.

The cave and Grandfather's Mansion are still closed which is a bummer but makes sense, so you can leave them out of planning at this time.  Not visiting the cave frees up a big chunk of time.

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Go at opening, generally always good advice, but in this area, on a Sunday, it's especially true. Powder Keg has the slowest line. Generally the order I recommend going in is Powder Keg, Mystic River Falls, Outlaw Run, Giant Barn Swing, American Plunge, Wildfire, Time Traveler, Thunderation, Firefall, Fire in the Hole. That'll get you on all the major rides. Anything else generally doesn't have a huge line.

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  • 3 weeks later...

Construction fences are up around the old Waterboggan Tower area. Looks like the pandemic hasn't put their expansion projects on hold after all.

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14 hours ago, ytterbiumanalyst said:

Are they finally tearing down that old tower? That thing's been SBNO almost as long as Hannibarrels.

I’m hoping they repurpose it for a different attraction! 

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On 5/1/2021 at 1:05 PM, DoinItForTheFame said:

I’m hoping they repurpose it for a different attraction!

The skeleton of the Waterboggan Tower is metal so they could simply strip it down to the frame removing all the old wood and then rebuild around it and reuse the tower as a dark ride element for a small coaster. Think Mystery Mine at Dollywood.

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22 hours ago, sdcfan88 said:

. The skeleton of the Waterboggan Tower is metal so they could simply strip it down to the frame removing all the old wood and then rebuild around it and reuse the tower as a dark ride element for a small coaster. Think Mystery Mine at Dollywood.

That's an amazing idea!!!

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