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Kemah Boardwalk and Bullet Discussion Thread

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I haven't read through all the posts but a few have caught my eye.


As far as people commenting that businesses shouldn't worry about opening and helping the community first...think about this.


Just for Landry's locations in Galveston and Kemah, 3,000 people are without jobs and not getting paid.....Not to mention all the other people without work across Houston because they don't have power. I lost 4 days of work and my girlfriend lost even more. Luckily I had vacation to cover it and still get paid but others may not be that lucky. Getting businesses back up and running is as important as getting peoples homes cleaned up so people can make money to repair their homes and replace lost belongings.


For those thinking that there will be this long process before if it is determined if Landry's rebuilds Kemah or not...they've already started. Quite a bit of progress has already been made over the last several days. 25% of the income for the entire Landry's chain comes from the Kemah and Galveston locations.


And GuruGuys is right...if you have a business and are open right now...especially somewhere that serves food...you are raking in the cash. Every place that is open in this area is packed...fast food, grocery stores, sit down restraunts, wal-mart, target, etc. And I live in an area where the majority of the people have had power back since Monday. I've never seen places around here this busy.

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My 2 cents. Houston was not devestated. Galveston was. For people who live other places and watching the news they are mostly showing Galveston. Kemah Boardwalks revenue came from Houston residents mostly, not the surrounding areas of Kemah. I live in a place called Missouri City which is 35 miles from Kemah and 65 miles from Galveston. People who have never been to Houston have no idea on how big it is. Houston is bigger than a lot of states. from the south border to the north border of houston alone is probably 65 miles and that is just HOuston. Lets now count Woodlands, Spring, Conroe, Katy Brookshire, Missouri City, Sugarland, Stafford, Baytown, Crosby and so on add another 2 million to the 4 to 5 million people in Houston alone. Now all I had in my neighborhood was a few downed trees and fences, thats all. The Electricity was the problem here. Every darn store and movie house was completely packed 2 days after the storm. I am a hairstylist and the day of the storm i was so damn busy it was ridiculous and this week after I was even busier. Kemah is gonna be back with a vengence and Mr. Fertita said on the news himself, Kemah will be back ASAP. You have havent a clue how much money this man has. He is the next Donald Trump, trust me. He owns all of the Boardwalk and all he has to do is write a check. I went to the bowling alley 2 days ago and i had to wait 2 hrs for a lane. Baby please Houston is fine, we just need to sweep us the leaves. You all are seeing Galveston which sits not on but IN the Gulf. Houston is 60 miles inland and trust me if Kemah was open today, it would have been crowded.

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It's only been a week since the hurricane, and I can't believe how much cleanup has been done on the Boardwalk. Streets are cleared, debris is piled up and waiting to be removed, workers are replacing siding and roofs...


No rides just yet, other than the Bullet. It (at least structurally) seems to have come through the storm just fine. I'm sure that the motors and brakes and such are ruined, but those are easier to replace than structure.


If they keep moving at this pace, I don't see any reason they couldn't have the Boardwalk up and running by Thanksgiving... and possibly even with rides by New Year's.


THAT would be cool.... to bring in the new year with a ride on a coaster, plus a nice package of brand new flats.

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I have a friend who had to hire a crane to remove the tree from his garage. The tree was almost 3ft diameter and about 40ft tall. It squashed the garage flat, ripped the garage from the rest of the house (nice big hole in one of the bedroom walls now) and totalled the three cars that were in the garage at the time.


My mom lost the two big trees in her yard, but luckily they didn't hit the house. SOMETHING hit her storage shed in the back yard, though, but whatever it was tore up the door to the shed, then kept flying. All her fences are destroyed.


Almightyfire, you're out in Missouri City, which was pretty far from the eye and on the "clean side" of the storm. Folks farther east got hit a lot harder.

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I was trying to make a point. I wasn't saying that people aren't effected. The point I was making was it wasn't devastation that would keep the boardwalk from reopening soon. I was just gearing that toward people who are only looking at Galveston. I apologize if someone took their situation as if i were minimizing it. I was just trying to convey to the people who live miles away that it wasn't so bad like Katrina in Houston because the media is focusing on Galveston.


Love You All!

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Yeah, I understand. Houston did not take as hard a hit as Galveston and some places on the bay took a harder hit and are being ignored by the media. (Mostly on the East Side of Galveston Bay and Trinity Bay).


There is no doubt in my mind that Kemah will rebuild. The boardwalk is much to profitable, and it is one of the most popular destinations in the Houston area.

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A few pictures of Boardwalk Bullet post Hurricane Ike at Six Flags Houston Forums:




Thanks to Coasterphotos and Amusement Today for the update:





Landry's Restaurants announces restaurant closures due to Hurricane Ike (Sept 25, 2008) Landry's Restaurants, Inc., announced that 14 Houston area restaurants remain closed as a result of Hurricane Ike and will re-open as soon as power is restored to each of the units. Moreover, all of the Company's Kemah and Galveston restaurants are closed. Only one restaurant in Galveston sustained significant damage, as did two restaurants at the Kemah Boardwalk. In addition, the amusement rides, the boardwalk itself and some infrastructure at the Kemah Boardwalk incurred significant damage. Once power and water are restored in Galveston, the Company anticipates that the majority of its Galveston restaurants will re-open, and that some of the restaurants at the Kemah Boardwalk may re-open within the next 45 to 60 days, with additional restaurants and some amusement rides opening monthly thereafter.


For the combined months of July and August 2008 and 2007, the Company's revenues were approximately $215.0 million and $213.0 million, respectively. Unit level cash flows for the two month periods in 2008 and 2007 were $48.0 million and $45.0 million, respectively.


Tilman J. Fertitta, chairman of the board, president and CEO said: "I am committed to reopening our operations in both Kemah and Galveston as soon as possible. After our rebuilding, we will have even newer and better facilities than before. The city officials of Galveston, Kemah and Houston, with the assistance of the federal government, are working diligently to restore utility services as soon as possible. We are very pleased with the progress made to date and are happy to be working closely with government officials to do our part to help our community rebound."


According to Rick Liem, executive VP and CFO, "While the final effect of the property damage and earnings impact resulting from the storm has not yet been finally determined, we are comfortable that the majority of our property losses and cash flow are expected to be covered by property and business interruption insurance."





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  • 3 weeks later...

Landry's and Babin's, the two restaurants closest to the Boardwalk Bullet, reopened yesterday for business.


They have test ran the Boardwalk Bullet and, as expected, work needs to be done. It will still be awhile before it reopens.


The remainder of the rides are all still down and will be for awhile. I've heard that for the most part all of the same rides will be back.



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Took a trip down to Kemah yesterday and have a few observations from things that I saw, plus some info from the park management.


[1] HOLY CRAP, they've done a LOT of cleanup work down there! The places that are open look great, new landscaping has been done, everything looks good.

[2] Two restaurants are open. The others are going to need a lot more work, based on what I could see past the fences they've put up. The Boardwalk got hit pretty hard. The Starbucks next to the Bullet is just a shell... but they are working on it.

[3] Bullet had a test run a few days ago. I can't believe that the lift motor and stuff still works after being submerged in salt water for nearly two days!

[4] Bullet will be shut down for awhile. Gravity Group is scheduled to come down and look at it. PBS&J was onsite doing engineering surveys to make sure that the structure was sound and that everything is where it needs to be. Park mgt had scheduled off-season maintenance and trackwork anyway, so this shutdown actually timed out fairly well.

[5] The Aviator was being reassembled while I was there. Seems to be OK. The observation tower and Inverter took some damage, but should be repairable. The rest of the rides are pretty much toast.

[6] The ride package will remain the same as before for the time being. Swapping out rides would require new foundations and the park is trying to get back up and running as soon as possible. The quickest way to do that is to get replacement rides that match the ones that were destroyed.

[7] Judging from the debris placement and water lines on the structures, they estimate that the Boardwalk was submerged in approx 17ft of salt water.

[8] Signs placed around the construction area promise a new, improved Boardwalk.

[9] Signs near the Bullet promise new midway games coming soon.

[10] The margarita stand at the Bullet's entrance (how many parks have that???) is missing. I'm guessing it washed out to sea. If any of you fishermen happen to reel it in, please call Boardwalk management.


Putting the Aviator back together

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  • 3 weeks later...
  • 3 weeks later...

Bullet is OPEN as of tonight. (Fri, Nov 14, 2008)


Kemah is really trying to recover as quickly as possible. Most of the restaurants are open now and getting the Bullet open tonight was fun to watch.


When I arrived around 5pm, the ticket booth was being painted inside and all the computer equipment was outside on the sidewalk. As soon as the painters finished, folks were toting in the computers and getting them booted to sell tickets, all the while Bullet is cycling with test dummies.


Actual human beings were in the seats by 6pm.


It's running a bit rough, but no rougher than it did before the storm. For an empty train, the 68 second cycle time is pretty good. With a full train, it should be 64 or better. Fresh grease all around the track and a newly refurbished train make for a speedy ride.


It was good to hear the sounds of a coaster again.


FYI: none of the other rides are up yet. The rest of the ride area, except for the aviator and the observation tower and the train, is cleaned off.

The support pole for the Inverter is still there, but not sure if it's slated for removal or repair.

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Riding The Bullet at the end of the night tonight when the cold front was starting to push through was a blast! I'm glad it is open and they will start to recover some lost revenue, but I hope (and am pretty sure) that they still have plans to do more work to get it running better. As it is now it is running pretty much the same as it did before the Hurricane when he had the 1st Birthday Bash. The front seats are a blast, the back row is 'rough but worth it', and I avoid the middle of the train most of the time, especially on wheel rows, but nothing near as violent as my Rattler rides last month.


One of the mods needs to change the topic of this thread.


I expect Kemah Boardwalk to be up and 100% by Spring Break with all their rides, and possibly new ones, operational.



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I must say that I am sad that it is not running very smoothly still, but other than that, this is great!


When was the last time you rode? If you haven't ridden since the TPR meet, it is leaps and bounds better, no more parts that actually hurt (the first drop in particular which was brutal back then), and the 'kidney slam' turn towards the end is fixed. While it is still not where it needs to be, it has become better with each set of changes they have made.


There were several riders who rode at the 1 year birthday bash who had not ridden since TPR and they all walked away with better reactions, including Rastuso, who if I recall correctly said he was pleasantly surprised and stated "This is not rough, if you want rough go ride The Giant". He was one of the biggest (local) critics of the Coaster from back then.


Ride in the front row, its fun. If you don't like it rough, avoid the other seats. Hopefully when TPR comes back for the Texas trip it will be even better, there is still more work which will be done on it.



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Looks like Amusement today has now made it public that one of the Kemah Boardwalk's new rides will be a 140ft Tall Larson Super Shot Drop Tower! It will replace the kiddie Yellow Submarine ride located next to Babins' restaurant.


Larson Drop Tower


This is a GREAT addition to the park! I'm pretty sure we will see one or two more new rides and all this should be up and running by spring break 2009.




P.S. Any chance mods change thread to more accurately "Kemah Boardwalk & Boadwalk Bullet" as we are using this for more than Bullet these days?

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