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Splash Adventure (Alabama Adventure) Discussion Thread


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Cool aerial photograph that Alabama Adventure posted just in case anybody wanted to see it. Pretty cool to see how the park has changed in recent years. Especially since 2018. 

^According to RCDB Rampage cost 4.3mil in 1998 or about $6.9 mil today adjusted for inflation.   I'll throw out my arbitrary "fingers crossed for a new gen Vekoma" post here..    One day it'll ha

That's a good point. Do we know the price range on those? I just figured that would be too expensive. Plus I thought that they might be turned off of an Intamin due to the higher maintenance costs. Bu

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Wait a minute, people. It doesn't at all sound like all the Kochs are gone from Holiday world. Pat and Bill had Five children: Will (deceased 2010), Phil (deceased 2012), Natalie, Dan and Kristie. All of them had a new generation of family growing up as each was married with children. It looks like Dan and Natalie have taken Pat and others down to Alabama, but Will's widow, Lori and their children as well as Kristie and her family will stay. I don't know this for sure, but the family is huge and both parks remain in "separate" Koch control.

 

Paula could help us out on who is going where.

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Is there anyone that can give a crash course of what in the world was going on at this park?

 

Without going in to too many "deep" details:

 

-Opened in 1998 by 11 cities in the area, lead by then Fairfield Mayor Larry Langford (currently in prison after being convicted on bribery charges). He was stubbon and did things his way. He fired the first general manager, who actually had park experience, over disagreements on how to run the park and replaced him with a former FBI agent. Yeah.

-Nearly had a management deal with Cedar Fair before the 2000 season. CF pulled out at the last minute (The park was listed on Tshirts a Knott's Winter Solace that year. That's how close it was).

-Eventually signed deal with Alfa Smart Parks to manage the park. Finances improved, but it was too little too late. Filed Chapter 9 bankruptcy in 2002. Operates only as waterpark in 2002.

-Purchased by Team Pro Parks and Southland Entertainment who reopen the full park in 2003

-Southland sold the park in 2008 to Adrenaline Family Entertainment

-2011 two big things dramatically lower attendence: the string of tornadoes that hit the area on April 27th and a riot broke out during the park's first "$10 before 10" promotion of the year. Promotion was ended.

-AFE also got out of the amusement business and listed both of their parks on the market. Clementon is bought by Premiere.

-January 2012 park is bough by General Attractions, which is basically a renamed Southland Entertainment that had sold the park in 2008 for a fraction of the price they sold they park for back in 2008. Rides side closed, waterpark expanded.

 

That's about as simple as I can make it

 

How many of the "dry rides" were actually sold?

 

As of the end of last season, all were gone except for Rampage, The Pirate (Huss Pirate ship), and Buzzsaw Falls (Shoot the chute), although BSF was sold and was supposed to be relocated to another park.

I don't know this for sure, but the family is huge and both parks remain in "separate" Koch control.

 

Paula could help us out on who is going where.

Correct. Lori and Will's kids still run Holiday World and have nothing to do with Dan, Natalie, and Pat's purchase of Splash Adventure.

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I think it is great that they have acquired another park. I was excited when they were in negotiations for Kentucky Kingdom.

 

From the sounds of it, the park will be ran similar to Holiday World, and I would not expect anything less from the family.

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Buzzsaw Falls was sold to Schlitterbahn and is now gone. The Rampage and the Pirate Ship were all that were left over the Holidays. I will post a photo report of what was left in the park a couple months ago soon.

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Has anyone confirmed that Pat left? i haven't seen it in any of the Press Releases.

 

I think its a good assumption to make especially if both Natalie and Dan are both involved. Pat hasn't been around Holiday World ever since Lori took over and Dan was forced out. I don't see Pat sitting idle or going into early retirement she's such an active person it would take a lot to keep her out.

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I can confirm that Pat IS in Alabama.

 

But is she part of this group, it seems like going through everything else she never publicly backed one group or the other, as she would basically be picking her kids or her grandkids.

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Without going in to too many "deep" details:

 

That was perfect.

 

My one question is why was Cedar Fair brought in to potentially manage it in the 2000ish timeframe? Unless I'm mistaken (and for the record, I've never been there, I just remember every so often hearing about Rampage and getting confused because the park seemed to change names every other year), the park was always really small, far smaller than a park that Cedar Fair would usually have had control over. I was always VERY interested in Rampage, but the park itself always seemed more like it was an "Indiana Fun Spot" type park and less of an even "Michigan's Adventure". Is that accurate-ish, or is the water park really big?

 

Fascinating stuff though, I'm really curious to see how this goes!

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Will it actually be successful? Lots of ownership changes leaves me thinking that the place either had terrible managers or the park itself has some issues.

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I would say it is a combination of both. The waterpark was too small for its crowds when it opened, and it took them six seasons to finally expand it. Some of the owners felt like those people you see on those house flipping shows: buy dirt cheap, make cheap improvements, upset the guests, and cash out.

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The bloodline has not technically left Holiday World. Will's two oldest children are already in management positions and I believe they're involved in decisions on the future of the park. They looked poised to take over whenever they're ready. Also, Dan still owns 40% of Holiday World, so technically he hasn't left, even though it looks like he has no say in what's going on at HW. Dan recently said he had no interest in selling his share of the park and even said he was ready to work whenever they needed him.

 

Am I the only one who finds it weird that Dan Koch didn't want to pay the extra 5 million to get full controlling interest of Holiday World, but he was willing to pay his lawyer fee's to appeal a case he had no shot at winning 3 different times? Then he turns around and buys a waterpark?

 

Pat Koch going to a different park just doesn't seem right. She was Holiday World for a very long time.

Edited by ZeroGravity55
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This is great news! Based on the way that the Koch's know how to run a theme park and a water park, they are bound to make this work and build a successful park.

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Will it actually be successful? Lots of ownership changes leaves me thinking that the place either had terrible managers or the park itself has some issues.

 

Visionland, as originally built, had lofty attendance goals and no practical way to meet them. It was probably a money grab for politicians in the area, a thought backed up by the head of the project now being in prison. Following management groups are, by and large, no longer in the industry, showing their skill. There's a million people in the immediate metro area and a lot of underserved communities within reasonable distance. For the Koch's, there's usable infrastructure there and exponentially more people within a 50 mile radius. They have a pretty good formula to make it work.

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This is great news! Based on the way that the Koch's know how to run a theme park and a water park, they are bound to make this work and build a successful park.

 

I think it's a safe bet that if this management/ownership can't turn around the park, the park should be given up on completely!

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