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Six Flags Darien Lake (SFDL) Discussion Thread


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I recently heard that Elitch Gardens was sold by CNL, but to another investment company. It seems that the predictions made earlier by that one guy on this forum (I forgot who he exactly was) about CNL selling off the majority of their amusement properties may be true. I will admit that if Darien Lake is next, I certainly hope it is not sold to another investment group like what happened at Elitch Gardens. I personally wish that either Premier fully takes over the park or another operator buys the entire property.

 

On a side note, I am very glad to see that Mind Eraser is being repainted.

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I think HFE really wanted to buy DL, but at the time CNL only wanted to sell all the parks as a group. With this new development, DL could possibly be sold on its own as well. If HFE wanted the park that bad, they should definitely move now. I am surprised Premier did not make a play. Maybe they dont have the capital to buy parks but have the experience in running them.

 

I now more than ever am hoping HFE steps in and buys the park. I liked what they did with the park and thought the overall park product was very good for the limited money they were given to operate with. I think if they owned the park outright, you may see a complete overhaul of the park, as well as some very nicely themed and intricate rides.

 

Also, since the management company that bought EG is keeping Premier to manage the park, this doesnt make much change in the overall park management. If DL were to be sold to HFE, Premier would be out and the park under full HFE management, and may cause some problems for operations for the majority of the busy season. Basically, the park could be sold already, but an announcement may not be made until much later in the year. For me right now, Predator may be the tell...

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For right now, it doesn't matter to me who the park is sold to. I just want somebody who is willing to open up the wallet and invest in new attractions. As we all know, a major new roller coaster is needed, the park needs better upkeep, and there are still older attractions that need to be removed. Whether it's Premier or Herschend, I'm fine with both.

 

Premier has impressed me this year, as they have added two new attractions that will be successful, as well as keeping up with maintenance. ME is getting a long needed paint-job during the operating season nonetheless. It sounds like management is leaning towards two train ops on major rides. The only thing long term that worries me is how much they will be able to open their wallets. I don't know how big their budget is, but if they can build big, they have my vote of confidence.

 

I feel like to begin Herschend did a great job. They revitalized old, run down areas, and were adding new rides. However, towards the end of their term, they began to disappoint. Nothing new in 2014 and one train ops were the main ones. I know that Herschend has the money, it seems like they just pulled out of putting ideas through.

 

I found a statement from a town meeting that said that Bob Montgomery wanted to plan something for last year:

 

He mentioned that they are starting to bring local venues into the park like Anchor Bar buffalo wings and

Webber mustard and that a major ride attraction is planned for 2014.

Mr. Montgomery sees the most growth from people who stay overnight verses the day visitors.

In 2016 Darien Lake will be sold and in the end he hopes that we can work together to ensure that the

Town of Darien has the right operator for Darien Lake that will offer stability. The Park will not be stable

unless investments are being made

 

Whatever happened is unknown, but Herschend did have something big planned. Who knows, it may have even been a plan for an RMC Predator or new coaster on the Cuda Falls site. It sounds like the announcement of new ownership may be announced near the end of this year, but this quote was from a report that's 2 years old. The town sees DL as a vital money maker, and in the big picture, they want the park sold to someone who will invest and build major things. Herschend has the money, but it seems like Premier believes more in the park.

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I see Either Premier, HFE, or Cedar Fair getting the park rather than an Investment company... It is possible CNL ordered Premier to beatify the park for a possible sale... makes sense to me all the rides in fresh paint ect...

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^^Both HFEC and Premier "believe" in this park, but obviously HFEC had a specific vision that they weren't going to fully implement until they actually owned the park. If HFEC had gotten the park back in 2013 or 2014 we'd have a completely different outlook for the place. Predator would have gotten the RMC treatment, the rest of the park's areas would have been rebuilt, and the resort areas of the park would have gotten a lot nicer. It would have turned into a completely upgraded experience.

 

It could still do that, but Premier's vision will definitely be a little more generic than HFEC's quality-driven philosophy. I'm not sure why Premier let Elitch fall through their fingers, unless it was to spend all their capital on DL....

 

Let's just hope this park doesn't end up in the hands of another stingy investment group. That would be a sad outcome after all this time for a park that has so much potential but needs someone to actually implement a complete plan.

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^^Both HFEC and Premier "believe" in this park, but obviously HFEC had a specific vision that they weren't going to fully implement until they actually owned the park. If HFEC had gotten the park back in 2013 or 2014 we'd have a completely different outlook for the place. Predator would have gotten the RMC treatment, the rest of the park's areas would have been rebuilt, and the resort areas of the park would have gotten a lot nicer. It would have turned into a completely upgraded experience.

 

It could still do that, but Premier's vision will definitely be a little more generic than HFEC's quality-driven philosophy. I'm not sure why Premier let Elitch fall through their fingers, unless it was to spend all their capital on DL....

 

Let's just hope this park doesn't end up in the hands of another stingy investment group. That would be a sad outcome after all this time for a park that has so much potential but needs someone to actually implement a complete plan.

The new owners of Elitch Gardens kept Premier to operate the park for them.

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Let's just hope this park doesn't end up in the hands of another stingy investment group. That would be a sad outcome after all this time for a park that has so much potential but needs someone to actually implement a complete plan.

 

Or worse, Darien Lake ending up in the hands of an ownership that is not just a stingy investment group, but would kept Darien Lake as a water park only park, a theme park only park, make the water park an extra charge park, or close the park and just keep the hotel, campgrounds and performing arts center open.

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Let's just hope this park doesn't end up in the hands of another stingy investment group. That would be a sad outcome after all this time for a park that has so much potential but needs someone to actually implement a complete plan.

 

Or worse, Darien Lake ending up in the hands of an ownership that is not just a stingy investment group, but would kept Darien Lake as a water park only park, a theme park only park, make the water park an extra charge park, or close the park and just keep the hotel, campgrounds and performing arts center open.

 

 

I really doubt they would close the park. The housing market is bad and I don't see that land selling for even $600k an acre.

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I don't see them closing the park, they will just run it to the ground much like six flags did, although we have gotten several nice improvements since them.

 

Well it all depends on who gets the park... I highly doubt HFE, Cedar Fair, or Premier would run it to the ground... If they owned it... Keep it out of the hands of Interment companies that really don't know what they are doing with Amusement Parks. Even Six Flags was owned by a guy who had no clue...

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^^Not a bad idea - something small along the lines of Dorney's Hydra or SFNE's Batman Dark Knight though being a B&M how long would it take for Darien Lake to see an ROI?

 

^This Premier Parks is not the same company that became Six Flags and maybe we'll see a totally different park than what it was under the old Premier Parks.

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^^Not a bad idea - something small along the lines of Dorney's Hydra or SFNE's Batman Dark Knight though being a B&M how long would it take for Darien Lake to see an ROI?

 

^This Premier Parks is not the same company that became Six Flags and maybe we'll see a totally different park than what it was under the old Premier Parks.

 

 

Yeah cause the old company was founded by Gary Story and Keiran Burke, Now they are owned by Kieran Burke*. Totally different.

 

 

* Gary Story used to be Co-CEO with Keiran but he passed away.

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Yeah cause the old company was founded by Gary Story and Keiran Burke, Now they are owned by Kieran Burke*. Totally different.

 

 

* Gary Story used to be Co-CEO with Keiran but he passed away.

 

I'm giving them the benefit of the doubt that this time around they have learned their lesson from what they did in the late 90's/early 00's.

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*Trip report - 6-14-15*

Sorry, no photos this time!

 

Today, I went to Darien Lake. It rained for most of the time, but I was surprised that none of the rides (including the water ones) didn't close except for Ranger, which was a shame because I want to get one last ride on it before it goes to the great theme park in the sky. Ride of Steel was a sold good ride like it always is. Viper, I can't believe my favorite roller coaster at Darien Lake nearly tore me to shreds! Mind Eraser, not a good idea to ride a Vekoma SLC in the rain at all! Motocoaster, meh, it's always a good little ride. Predator, ugh, it's even more worse in the rain then when it's not raining and I think Darien Lake needs to burn this wooden pile of roughness! Blast Off, O.K., but nothing to write home about. Shipwreck Falls, I would recommend riding it, just not in the rain . In the water park, they took out the big dump bucket at Hook's which stinks, because that was the best part about it! I was going to ride the new Brain Drain slides, but I chicken out at the last minute and I had plow through the queue line since there was no "chicken exit". The area where 'Cuda Falls was has been taken over by the weeds for now and Galaxy Theater still stands empty even though it was removed from the map. I got one "last" ride on Sleigh Ride and yes, it still went backwards and I think it might be the next ride on Darien Lake's chopping block. On the way home, it stopped raining.

 

P.S. this whole one train roller coaster ride operations is really starting to annoy me, like did Darien Lake get rid of the second train for Viper, Predator, Motocoaster, Mind Eraser, and Ride of Steel because of CNL's penny pinching management?

Edited by DarienLaker
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P.S. this whole one train roller coaster ride operations is really starting to annoy me, like did Darien Lake get rid of the second train for Viper, Predator, Motocoaster, Mind Eraser, and Ride of Steel because of CNL's penny pinching management?

 

The park still has the second trains, they just haven't put them on for some reason.

 

Viper's are under the station ready to go (I actually saw them one visit) because both trains have been refurbished the last two years.

 

RoS and Predators are in storage as well and should be in good condition.

 

Motocoaster and Mind Erasers needed repairs and were removed but never repaired. So the major coasters still have them and are ready to go, it's just the call of managers (Chris Thorpe, Operations, and Maintenance) to put them on.

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I was at the park today, so I'll do a quick update. The park was almost dead in terms of crowds (most likely because it was a Monday). The Mind Eraser repaint seems to be going well. The majority of the supports (not all) have been repainted, but none of the track yet. Rolling Thunder was running rather well. Brain Drain's skybox launch system is amazing .

Edited by Matman-TheRide
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Well if Chris Thorpe was talking to Joel Manby, then DL was sold to Busch as he is now the CEO of Sea World parks...

 

I do however think DL has been sold and that it has been to someone other than Premier. Remember CNL said three parks have been sold, but only one has announced the sale. To me HFE is the logical choice. They had a plan in place for the park and only needed full control to carry that plan out. Also, they have a ride on the board for the park already that would immediately increase attendance in Lake Monster. I also think the overall future of the park looks the brightest under HFE ownership.

 

Also, the new owners could very well have either asked for ME to be painted as part of the sale, or they could just be funding it to start work early.

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