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Here's a new article with more information from Dan on their plans for the park. Highlights include:

-They are spending $7 million to purchase and expand the park

-Final pricing to be decided. He expects season pass prices will go up, but lower food prices.

-Getting Rampage up and running is a priority, but they are unsure of an exact timeline at this point.

-They have a strategic plan through 2018

-There will be a big emphasis on employees and ther cornerstones of safety, service, friendliness, and cleanliness.

 

Full article

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From AL.com

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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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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.

 

When you put it like that, you would think that a reputable park operator would have snatched it up long before the Koch's came in. So I'm still not totally sold. Especially when you consider the fact they essentially had to settle for this park after Kentucky Kingdom didn't work out...

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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.

 

When you put it like that, you would think that a reputable park operator would have snatched it up long before the Koch's came in. So I'm still not totally sold. Especially when you consider the fact they essentially had to settle for this park after Kentucky Kingdom didn't work out...

 

Well, as someone already said, Cedar Fair was under the very real impression it would be their's. Who knows what they saw in due diligence. In the years since then, the operators that exist have been in a "sell" mode rather than acquisition.

 

As far as what the Koch's had planned for Kentucky Kingdom....they made it clear they were scrapping the dry park after a short time. I don't think that sat well with some in the fair board. And really, why should it have? That park once had 7 figure attendance under the management of the guy who's there now. IMO it seemed like a natural thing for Holiday World to purchase and run at a smaller capacity since Louisville is quite obviously the residence of much of their visitors in Santa Claus. Thankfully they *didn't* get the park.

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Is the boomerang still in the park, or has it been sold/scrapped? I'm having a hard time finding out.

 

Also, I'm just gonna write what everyone on this board is thinking:

The new owners should get RMC to overhaul Rampage, and while waiting until RMC have time for it, they should add a Megalite.

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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.

 

When you put it like that, you would think that a reputable park operator would have snatched it up long before the Koch's came in. So I'm still not totally sold. Especially when you consider the fact they essentially had to settle for this park after Kentucky Kingdom didn't work out...

Who said that they had to settle for this park after KK didn't work out? Dan has always wanted to buy multiple parks.

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As far as what the Koch's had planned for Kentucky Kingdom....they made it clear they were scrapping the dry park after a short time. I don't think that sat well with some in the fair board. And really, why should it have? That park once had 7 figure attendance under the management of the guy who's there now. IMO it seemed like a natural thing for Holiday World to purchase and run at a smaller capacity since Louisville is quite obviously the residence of much of their visitors in Santa Claus. Thankfully they *didn't* get the park.

 

Why should it have [only opened as a water park]?

 

Let's put it this way, the Koch's plan to make Kentucky Kingdom into a water park only was a ridiculously reasonable idea that wouldn't have sat well with the fair board because that same fair board and their management style is why Six Flags pulled out of the park to begin with. It's extremely hard to operate a park when you build a new attraction and then have to have it open to use tickets for when fair time comes around. Want to ride the new Chang? Your call - pay $40 to visit the park and do it while you're there, or pay $4 when the fair is open and they let carnies set up their rides along the same midway where Kentucky Kingdom was running things.

 

While I have faith that something can be made of Kentucky Kingdom, I also gained a lot of respect for the Koch's business sense when they didn't pick it up.

 

As for AA, no one picked it up before because *running a park is not that easy of a business* and *there are very few people in the world with experience running a park successfully who leave that world and want to keep doing it.* It doesn't matter if there are 1 million or 10 million people within a 1 mile radius of the park or not if the people running it don't understand how to make a park successful. We've seen that recently with Hard Rock Park and it's insane goals that it had no chance of ever achieving.

 

Just before that, we saw that with Geauga Lake, which I'm certain that if Cedar Fair thought they could make money on it, would still be open. Six Flags as a whole company went bankrupt. California Adventure was largely known to be a complete flop until recently. And everything I'm naming in this paragraph was done by people who had experience in the industry and still didn't get it right.

 

As a regular business person, you're way better off buying a McDonalds or Subway and trying to make money that way. To run a park, you need to love the business and have certain business sense and understanding that doesn't come from other things. Knowing the Koch's background, they would not be getting into this business if they didn't have a way to make it work, and the fact that they are looking at Rampage (although safely saying it may be a number of years before they open it) means they get it. Opening up a roller coaster, even a really good one, doesn't guarantee success at all.

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Is the boomerang still in the park, or has it been sold/scrapped? I'm having a hard time finding out.

 

Also, I'm just gonna write what everyone on this board is thinking:

The new owners should get RMC to overhaul Rampage, and while waiting until RMC have time for it, they should add a Megalite.

Come to think of it, I see a better possibility of this park getting a Megalite versus Holiday World.

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Why should it have [only opened as a water park]?

 

I don't believe it should. I think history indicates the potential is far greater for Kentucky Kingdom, assuming it is run competently, than merely being a regional water park. From the Koch's perspective, operating it as a water park makes more sense than running it as a full themer and cannibalizing from their core product (Holiday World). Things being what they are now, perhaps they regret it. I can tell you this much: they just bought a park that had just sold off its dry rides and decided the wise thing to do was buy new ones. I personally don't gain from Kentucky Kingdom being torn to shreds. The only people who would are already rich (or at least in possession of millions in assets).

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^ You seem to have missed the entire part of my post where I explained about the demands of the fair board, and what that means for a park like Kentucky Kingdom. For the Koch's, running it as a water park meant that it's main attractions would be protected during fair time and that the carnies that the fair board allows to set up show right next door aren't taking money away from the park.

 

I think that a lot of the information that people believe about why Six Flags failed with Kentucky Kingdom has to do with that very slanted video on Youtube going through what rides were added, removed, and whatever, and skips the stuff that went on that caused a lot of it to happen.

 

Kentucky Kingdom is in an extremely unique situation. You really can't compare it to any other park without understanding why it is in that unique situation. All things being equal, while you can question how it ran things, I don't think that Six Flags was *that* incompetent with the park, nor do I think that the plan of the Kochs would have been. I do think that Ed Hart has the possibility to get more from it, but I think in big part he does only because Six Flags and the Kochs laid the groundwork for him by walking away from the Fair Board.

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^ You seem to have missed the entire part of my post where I explained about the demands of the fair board

 

I'm entirely familiar with them. I understand that Kentucky Kingdom is in a different position than the average post Disneyland suburban beltway theme park that Six Flags and Cedar Fair specialize in operating. However:

 

All things being equal, while you can question how it ran things, I don't think that Six Flags was *that* incompetent with the park,

 

I disagree wholeheartedly. Six Flags as a whole was incompetent, sold off 2/3 of their parks, and 4 of them in the US have ceased to operate since their peak. Their business plan *everywhere* was a failure. That's why they went bankrupt.

 

nor do I think that the plan of the Kochs would have been.

 

I never once said the Koch's plan was incompetent. It was actually smart looking at it from their perspective. It doesn't benefit me, however, and the reborn Kentucky Kingdom does. Kentucky Kingdom is now more or less the problem of Will Koch's widow.

 

I do think that Ed Hart has the possibility to get more from it, but I think in big part he does only because Six Flags and the Kochs laid the groundwork for him by walking away from the Fair Board.

 

Well, yeah. He's not there if they don't walk away. That goes without saying.

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I honestly think the Holiday a World family doesn't want to operate or know how to operate steel coasters, they tore this one down. They where going to tear down Greezed Lghtin' and T2 if they bought KK. It just seems like they don't want to operate anything bigger than a medium steel family coaster and their woodies. Weird.

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I honestly think the Holiday a World family doesn't want to operate or know how to operate steel coasters, they tore this one down. They where going to tear down Greezed Lghtin' and T2 if they bought KK. It just seems like they don't want to operate anything bigger than a medium steel family coaster and their woodies. Weird.

They have said multiple times that that is not the case. They know how to grow their parks slow but steady, making them successful. Dan was quoted in an interview a couple years ago saying that when they bought a steel coaster, it would be in at least the $20 million range, which is why they were taking their time to get there.

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Also, I would highly suggest following @SplashinDan on Twitter. He's already posted some great pictures and info about the park and Rampage.

 

Robb, because you're the TPR twitter guy, I don't know if you could maybe retweet him for visibility. (I don't want to tell you how to do your job, but in case you didn't know, I figured it couldn't hurt suggesting.)

Screenshot_2014-03-17-13-32-27.thumb.png.24226998ab6ee17c2b2fa30af4eb0488.png

His goofy selfies are quite entertaining.

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^ I think you are seriously confused. You seem to think that this new ownership just now tore down Zoomerang. News flash, it was removed in 2012!

 

Further, your claims that this Koch ownership group "doesn't like" or "doesn't know how to operate" steel coasters is ludicrous. Can you tell me where they've ever said that? Yes, their "niche" seems to be with wooden coasters, but to then take the leap of faith that their parks would not get or operate a steel coaster is pretty silly in my opinion.

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I do hope they reopen the dry park side soon. The park is not my home park, but its not too far of a trip to make. I rode Rampage a dozen or so times in 2008 and it was a great ride. The Zoomerang was way out of the way, up a hill and almost a pain to get to. Removing it left a good location for another larger coaster. Or possibly clearing the hill and making way for flat rides; kinda like Six Flags in San Antonio. OR using the hillside would make for an interesting terrain coaster location.

 

Yes, the park did not have enough shade and there was not a whole lot to do as a few flat rides were SBNO. With some TLC and well thought out expansion(s), this would make for a nice family park. I have never been to HW, but if they could get it similar to Lake Winnie in Rossvile, GA that would make for a nice family amusement/waterpark. I like the smaller parks (like Lake Winnie) due to they are usually not too crowded and there are more things to do for my toddler daughter.

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Yes, the park did not have enough shade and there was not a whole lot to do as a few flat rides were SBNO. With some TLC and well thought out expansion(s), this would make for a nice family park. I have never been to HW, but if they could get it similar to Lake Winnie in Rossvile, GA that would make for a nice family amusement/waterpark. I like the smaller parks (like Lake Winnie) due to they are usually not too crowded and there are more things to do for my toddler daughter.

 

Based on the rides they're adding for this coming season, it seems pretty clear that the Koch's agree with you!

 

Here's hoping that Dan & his crew have success and support to execute their 5 year plan and make this a great family destination.

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