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Six Flags Darien Lake (SFDL) Discussion Thread


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^ I've said it before, I think a star flyer / wind seeker type ride would be awesome at Darien Lake. And it could easily become the tallest ride in the park. I suppose only time will tell.

 

Aside from Brain Drain / Rolling Thunder, are Premier installations typically similar in their park portfolios, like Six Flags or Cedar Fair?

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You know what other park is larger and could use a B&M capable of 3 train operation? Six Flags Magic Mountain.

Hopefully all NY amusement parks can open next season.

Most importantly, we'd have Moose on the Loose in December!

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I do agree that a starflyer would make a great addition to the park. And yes, Premier has a history of same or similar additions to all of their parks. Sometimes though they do test in one park and the do the mass additions the next year. This is what they did with Rolling Thunder. They added one to Elitch as Brain Drain and the next year added them to almost all the parks they manage. This may be the case with the Starflyer addition at Elitch. The other thing is what Frontier City added last year which I think was a frisbee style ride.

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^^ & ^^^ Thanks guys....good to know that!

 

^ Yeah, I agree that the ECF pay one price wristband is crazy expensive for what they have. I'd rather go to Fantasy Island for less than $20 any day just to not have to fight the crowds you see at the fair.

 

Crowds I seriously doubt that, I go on a weekday and there is literately NO ONE on the rides, maybe 10-15 people on the midway literately in the afternoon. I end up on a lot of them by myself. A lot of restrictions on the rides have been changed, not saying its right or wrong, the height limit on the zyklon was raised from 42 inches with an adult or 48 inches without an adult to something like 56 inches or no ride at all, I witnessed a very average sized man get rejected from the space roller and several rides have no single riders when they did not in the past, again same rides as they always were. You can't talk to the ride ops as they don't speak english so its up to the rider to find another person to pair with as they can't help you make arrangements and its simply not possible for me to speak every language in the book fluently, they simply wave you off the ride and don't let you on. As far as that, well there aren't enough people on the midway to pair up with another rider. In the past there were enough people on the midway at the time I go. Since I can no longer ride the enterprise at the fair and there are no riders to pair up with, I may as well head to darien to ride the silver bullet.

 

I cannot speak for the weekend crowds as I have never been but $40 is outrageous for what they have, $25 is ok they have enough to justify that, but as I said my favorites are now off limits to me as I am a single rider with no possibility of going with another person who will ride with me.

 

The food gets crowds but I don't see why, there is nothing worth eating for the outrageous prices they charge except for charlaps ice cream, that is the only thing that is really good at the fair, most of the food is low quality with the cheapest ingredients possible. However there are a couple ways to get past this, bringing your own food is always an option, there is the place that sells items for a dollar or at least there used to be, the pizza places are reasonable as you can get a huge slice for $3.50 which is cheaper than the mall here at least (it was a really huge slice too). We went on taste of the fair day this year and I would HIGHLY suggest going on that day as tons of stands sell items for $2 and some of it is a decent portion. I had a very good experience with this in 2016. You have to look around to find the good stuff but there was a place selling huge slices of pizza for $2 and I got a giant chocolate banana for $2 as well. But if you want the fancy foods you will pay for them. Food prices seem to be universally very expensive in this area and only going up and up (I just spent $9 for a chicken finger basket from Anderson's and it was NOT impressive for the money) so in reality the food at the fair isn't any more expensive than the food at the mall or food from a food truck or anywhere else.

 

The free entertainment is extremely lacking, there is basically nothing to do but walk through buildings with salesmen that is true. Nothing at the fair is worth buying, everything can be found cheaper online. Everything else you want to do costs money that is true. There are animals and lots of buildings to see that is free, but in the past they had a free full country jamboree that went all day until late at night, a free book mobile on certain days where everyone got a free book and free bottles of milk. All of that is gone now and my family misses all of that. We also used to be so impressed with the fair that we would go for more than one day, especially on jamboree day since the jamboree was free with admission. That is no longer the case, now we have to enact all discounts and we only go for one day and we don't stay until night.

 

So to go to the fair plan ahead, you can't get past the $5 parking charge but you can get $5 admission before 11am and a discount wristband from tops, you can also go on taste of the fair day for cheap food. Lets hope they continue taste of the fair day next year. No, its absolutely NOT a budget friendly event if you are on a shoestring budget with a family but with some pre-planning you can make it work if you can allocate some funds for the day.

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Does Premier have an official website? I've tried to search them, using multiple different names (Premier, Premier Parks, Premier Entertainment, Premier Rides, and all of those with an LLC attached to them too just in case). But nothing pops up except some godaddy pages saying the sites are available for purchase. The CNL Lifestyle properties page lists out their properties (as it should) but I was more interested in specifically what Premier runs instead. Also, any word on the Apex Group acquisition of MFI yet? I think I saw one post on their page thanking the family for all their hard work but I believe that's all I've seen. And if im not mistaken, that was in August.

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Does Premier have an official website? I've tried to search them, using multiple different names (Premier, Premier Parks, Premier Entertainment, Premier Rides, and all of those with an LLC attached to them too just in case). But nothing pops up except some godaddy pages saying the sites are available for purchase. The CNL Lifestyle properties page lists out their properties (as it should) but I was more interested in specifically what Premier runs instead. Also, any word on the Apex Group acquisition of MFI yet? I think I saw one post on their page thanking the family for all their hard work but I believe that's all I've seen. And if im not mistaken, that was in August.

 

The acquisition has been done for a while now if thats what youre asking.

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^ I know the acquisition happened a while ago, I was more so trying to find out where I can find the list of parks/properties owned/run by Premier. I feel like they operate more than CNL parks don't they?

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The majority of parks Premier manages are CNL properties, but not all.

 

Also, on a separate note, I recieved an email from the park today as a guest survey. If you recieve this, I highly reccomend you fill it out. I was sure to point out at least twice that they needed to add a new coaster and new thrilling flat rides

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That's odd. I've been a pass holder since I was young, and visited the park probably over 10 times this year, and received no survey. Are you a pass holder or just enrolled in any park email subscription?

 

I know that my answers probably won't mean much to the park, but seeing that I am such a frequent visitor to the park, I would like to point some things out that I've noticed this year.

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That's odd. I've been a pass holder since I was young, and visited the park probably over 10 times this year, and received no survey. Are you a pass holder or just enrolled in any park email subscription?

 

I know that my answers probably won't mean much to the park, but seeing that I am such a frequent visitor to the park, I would like to point some things out that I've noticed this year.

 

I got it but addressed to my 4 yr old son. In the past Ive gotten them whenever we camp, so I figured it was that again.

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CNL just announced their complete sell off to another REIT, EPR Properties. Link

 

According to EPR's PR this deal has been in the works for two years.

 

This is the company that own the Schlitterbahn parks.

 

Well, everyone has been waiting for CNL to be gone, now we wait to see if the grass really is greener.

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So I guess that article that floated around a while back stating that DL would be sold this year was right.

 

However, this is sort of a red flag because it seems as though this is just another investment company, and the joint management will continue. While the Schlitterbahn parks all seem to do well and are highly rated among most polls, water attractions are typically a lot cheaper than coasters/flats/etc.

 

While I do think that this company will be better off than CNL based on the quality of their current properties, the question is will they be willing to invest, or keep the current trend going? I was sort of hoping that Premier would make an offer, but CNL likely wanted to sell off as a package deal.

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http://buffalonews.com/2016/11/03/darien-lake-sold/

 

Darien Lake changes hands

 

By Samantha Christmann

Published 4:47 p.m. November 3, 2016 Updated 2 hours ago

 

Darien Lake theme park has been sold, but it's not yet clear what that means for park patrons.

 

EPR Properties has entered into an agreement to buy a bundle of recreational properties from CNL Lifestyle Properties which includes the Genesee County theme park. EPR Properties is a publicly-traded, Missouri-based real estate investment trust. CNL Lifestyle Properties is a real estate investment fund based in Orlando.

 

Just what changes might be in store for the theme park are anybody's guess because the company that bought the park is not yet talking.

 

Papers filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission Wednesday show that EPR Properties bought Northstar California Ski Resort near Lake Tahoe, a portfolio of 15 waterparks and amusement parks and five small family entertainment centers from CNL Lifestyle Properties for $456 million.

 

ADVERTISEMENT

 

 

Last year, CNL Lifestyle Properties announced that it had lost nearly a quarter of its share value in 2014. In 2015, it specifically mentioned poor performance at Darien Lake in its letter to shareholders, citing "weather and operational challenges." Darien lake had reported a 33 percent drop in earnings, down to $3.7 million from $5.6 million the year before.

 

At that time, CNL announced it had gotten rid of Herschend Family Entertainment and installed Premier Parks LLC to run the day-to-day operations at the park. The company also announced it would phase out the CNL Lifestyle fund, which holds theme parks and golf resorts among other facilities, and seek a buyer for any remaining assets.

 

Gregory Silvers, president and CEO of EPR properties, said in a statement that he doesn't expect the acquisition to be immediately profitable, but said it will diversify the company's profile with "proven, durable assets" that allign with positive economic trends.

 

Stephen H. Mauldin, CEO of CNL Lifestyle Properties, said he is proud of the unique, long-established properties he had built.

 

"We believe this transaction is the best fit for selling the remaining properties in our portfolio as we complete our exit strategy to provide liquidity to our shareholders," he said.

 

Darien Lake is CNL's largest theme park.

 

Representatives for EPR Properties declined to comment on their plans for the park. Neither Darien Lake nor CNL Lifestyle Properties could be reached for comment.

 

email: schristmann@buffnews.com

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On the topic of the survey, yes I am a season pass holder, and have actually never spent a night at the hotel or campground. I just assumed the survey was sent to all season pass holders.

 

As always, I think everyone is excited that CNL finally sold the park. Schlitterbahn is the standard for waterparks, so maybe they will do the same with their amusement parks. My concern is that this is another property holding company. It would be interesting to see if they actually operate the Schlitterbahn parks or hire a management company to operate the parks for them. At the same time, the article does say that they do not expect to make a profit immediately. That tells me they plan to invest innitially. I would be fine with Premier managing the park if ERP will give them enough money to add good rides and coasters to the park.

 

Also, I am pretty sure this company made this purchase for the large number of waterparks. Could it be possible they turn around and sell the four amusement parks to a different group either like HFE or Premier to operate outright and recoup some of their spend? Only time will tell what happens. It most likely can't be worse can it?

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CNL just announced their complete sell off to another REIT, EPR Properties. Link

 

According to EPR's PR this deal has been in the works for two years.

 

This is the company that own the Schlitterbahn parks.

The same company that owns SCHLITTERBAHN?!

 

This is really good to hear! They are basically the "Cedar Fair" of waterparks. They not only earn a lot of money, but they also use that money to invest into thier parks. In fact, after doing a little bit of research, I found out that they recently opened a really nice looking indoor waterpark. With that being said Darien Lake finally has an owner that has money and is willing to use it to INVEST. This has huge implications in regards to the future of Darien Lake. I mean this as in this really just raised my hopes of seeing Darien Lake finally add a new coaster! While we don't know what they will add since this is thier first experience with dry amusement rides, it is not possible to predict what they will add. However, they are at least almost guaranteed to invest in some significant way! So now the question is what they will add to the park

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Any and all changes will depend on what happens with Premier. If the new owners remove Premier, possibly very little changes. If they keep Premier, they may go off Premier's suggestions. Also, remember when SF originally sold to CNL, they added Motocoaster rather quickly. Something similar could be done this year, but I would rather wait until next year for something bigger and better. Also, with the heavy waterpark background, the easy addition this year would be to the waterpark side

 

Either way, it's a new era for DL and we will have to just wait and see.

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The water parks at the properties likely played a big role in the sale. Considering this is another investment firm, Premier will likely stay as operators, but it's good to know that a company with experience in the industry has purchased the park. Elitch Gardens was just picked up last year, and is still run by Premier.

 

As I've said before, I would rather see a sole ownership/management so there is no controversy between investments, but this seems like a good scenario on paper, at least better than CNL. I'm not so sure that we see investment this season, but it's still early, and I think that Premier will push for something to be added. It might be a fill-in ride, or something lower cost like a Star Flyer. The water park probably won't see an addition after 2 years of investment.

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I think we may be yet to see another sale of the park before something good for DL happens... Sure, it's great that CNL is finally out and that EPR has an idea of the necessary investment to keep attendance at an amusement park, BUT it's another investment group who is going to be giving limited funds to Premier. Back to the initial point, I think that it'll be more likely for EPR to be willing to sell DL to Premier or other potential buyers looking to only purchase DL as opposed to the CNL strategy of selling 15 properties in a package (something that the smaller companies wouldn't be able to do). All together, this is a better scenario than CNL, just not by much in my opinion.

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Don't forget this is a REIT, THEY DO NOT OPERATE PARKS. Schlitterbahn is operated by the family that started those parks. So they will likely continue with the current tenants for each park.

 

 

Also, clearly CNL didn't care about selling all their parks as a package, they sold Elitch separately.

Edited by TheDarkMaxim
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