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Kings Dominion (KD) Discussion Thread

P. 767: WinterFest Media Night Report

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A quick follow-up to my earlier post...

 

Unless they've changed their policy, B&M won't build coasters taller than 230 feet, due to the supports they use, among other reasons. I've been told this by numerous Cedar Fair, Busch, and Six Flags managerial-types over the past 7 years. (I've been told that CF wanted Behemoth and Diamondback to be taller than they are.) The fact that the biggest B&M's out there are only 230' substantiates this claim. The biggest thing to remember is that B&M is a VERY small company, who fiercely prides themselves in the products they provide. What you see is what you get, and you won't find more reliable coasters out there besides wood (B&M Flyers being a little more finnicky). This is a big reason why they command such premium prices on their rides. You pay for the B&M brand, but also the quality. They'll customize their rides to a certain level, but essentially if you want something beyond their "niche," they will politely send you to another company. Don't believe me? Ask yourself this: how many launched coasters have B&M done? The Hulk at IOA, and they simply built the ride. The launch portion was designed by another company, of which B&M didn't support.

 

I worked as an Intern for B&M sometime back. I loved every (INTENSE) minute of it, but sadly went without a full-time job designing coasters like I wanted, and I tried EVERY company out there. I got close to getting a job with S&S designing woodies, but it didn't work out. I also worked at KD under Paramount (PKD) for 5 years, starting out as a ride-op and moving up to a year in mid-level management before quitting to my current career outside the industry. Now I just ride for fun.

 

I can assure you based on my past experience that Busch has an exclusivity contract with B&M, and that as company policy, B&M keeps the details of those contracts quiet, including duration of time and how exclusive (ie, the mileage of the "no-build" area around a park.) Companies inquiring about building B&M models under exclusivity contracts with rivals are simply told that B&M is unable to sell them specific models at that time. KD falls under the area of exclusivity for BGE, and I believe Six Flags America does as well. So again, Busch builds a B&M ride under the agreement that B&M won't build a similar model within a certain distance from (X) park for a certain number of years. Busch pays a high premium for this exclusivity, and they're the only company I know of who does such a thing.

 

You can confirm such a contract by talking to B&M personnel at IAPPA (Claude goes most often, or used to anyway), or even easier by talking to mid and upper-level management at BGE and KD. KD loves to tell people that they can't build B&M's.

 

I'm probably opening myself up to flame attacks by posting this, so please don't think I'm bragging, talking out of my ass, or being a know-it-all. I know how passionate we enthusiasts are about coasters and the industry in general, and just thought I'd mention a couple of fun details. I don't know specific details on the 2010 KD coaster, just rumors I get told by KD employees...some of them old friends I used to work with who are still there and have moved up in the company.

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Unless they've changed their policy, B&M won't build coasters taller than 230 feet, due to the supports they use, among other reasons. I've been told this by numerous Cedar Fair, Busch, and Six Flags managerial-types over the past 7 years. The fact that the biggest B&M's out there are only 230' substantiates this claim. The biggest thing to remember is that B&M is a VERY small company, who fiercely prides themselves in the products they provide. What you see is what you get, and you won't find more reliable coasters out there besides wood (B&M Flyers being a little more finnicky). This is a big reason why they command such premium prices on their rides. You pay for the B&M brand, but also the quality. They'll customize their rides to a certain level, but essentially if you want something beyond their "niche," they will politely send you to another company. Don't believe me? Ask yourself this: how many launched coasters have B&M done? The Hulk at IOA, and they simply built the ride. The launch portion was designed by another company, of which B&M didn't support.

 

I worked as an Intern for B&M sometime back. I loved every (INTENSE) minute of it, but sadly went without a full-time job designing coasters like I wanted, and I tried EVERY company out there. I got close to getting a job with S&S designing woodies, but it didn't work out. I also worked at KD under Paramount (PKD) for 5 years, starting out as a ride-op and moving up to a year in mid-level management before quitting to my current career outside the industry. Now I just ride for fun.

 

I can assure you based on my past experience that Busch has an exclusivity contract with B&M, and that as company policy, B&M keeps the details of those contracts quiet, including duration of time and how exclusive (ie, the mileage of the "no-build" area around a park.) Companies inquiring about building B&M models under exclusivity contracts with rivals are simply told that B&M is unable to sell them specific models at that time. KD falls under the area of exclusivity for BGE, and I believe Six Flags America does as well.

 

You can confirm such a contract by talking to B&M personnel at IAPPA (Claude goes most often, or used to anyway), or even easier by talking to mid and upper-level management at BGE and KD. KD loves to tell people that they can't build B&M's.

 

I'm probably opening myself up to flame attacks by posting this, so please don't think I'm bragging, talking out of my a$$, or being a know-it-all. I know how passionate we enthusiasts are about coasters and the industry in general, and just thought I'd mention a couple of fun details. I don't know specific details on the 2010 KD coaster, just rumors I get told by KD employees...some of them old friends I used to work with who are still there and have moved up in the company.

 

Ok ask your contacts about silver star...or is that not a B&M hyper that is 239.5 ft tall...lol

 

So is the height limit only 230ft in usa due to the imperial system??

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it has nothing to do with metric conversions I was just saying that just to give a lame duck excuse as to why someone always says "a b&m over 230ft is a no go" I just get tired of people saying whatever coaster company wont build whatever just because a company hadnt built it yet. Maybe it cost substancially much more to build a coaster over 230ft by B&M due to extra measures that have to be taken but to say they wont when they clearly have is kinda contradictive...

 

And I find it kinda ironic he states "over the past 7 years he's been told by numerous Cedar Fair, Busch, and Six Flags managerial-types " B&M wont build a coaster over 230ft when silver star was built....what a minute here it comes... 7 YEARS AGO!!!

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When I interviewed one of the B&M employees about their height limits a few years ago, he didnt say they would not do a 300 footer. He did say however that they feel comfortable with where their ride heights are now and they focus on the overall quality of the ride instead of height specifics.

 

Whole interview is here.. http://www.rideworld.com/members/images/topics/BM/BMArticle.html

 

What I find hard to believe that B&M would sign an exclusivity agreement essentially limiting their revenues. I cannot imagine KD going to B&M and saying "Here is 15 million dollars, build us X coaster" and B&M telling them no.

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^understood but what about 5-10 years later when your ROI has been reached? So, Six Flags America cannot add a B&M invert in 2010 because of Alpengeist, a 13 year old ride? B&M is missing out on 10s of millions of dollars by that point. That new invert isnt gonna hurt the GPs perception of Alpengeist or Busch Gardens

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well...i really dont think they would be looking at an inverted coaster since they already have one...the only park I know that has 2 inverted looping coasters in IOA. Now if they wanted to build...lets say...a flyer or a stand-up or floorless i wonder if that would be a problem...

 

That is if only that "contract" exist...

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^^ I think what he was implying was that Busch just wants bragging rights for a certain period of time. Once the nostalgia of the coaster wears down, they'll be allowed to do that at other parks. For example. Montu and Dueling Dragons. Obviously it would be unwise for B&M to do 100% Exclusivity for the Busch Parks. And I'm sure Alpengeist's "uniqueness" has worn off.

 

That was really interesting information. I'm sure things have changed over time, but hearing things like this makes me happy. Thanks for sharing what you know!

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Yikes, tough crowd. You're right: I was wrong about Silver Star...my bad.

 

To clarify, I only got to work on one project in my internship, and Silver Star wasn't it. Haven't even ridden it yet. And I did preface my original post with "Unless things have changed..."

 

Who's to say B&M won't build a bigger hyper than Silver Star? But since we're throwing around the 7-year figure here, in my eyes, I should think it would have been done by now...especially with CF having built 2 big bad B&M's recently. (A person earlier asked what rumors I've heard? Here's one: Diamondback and Behemoth were intended to be 250+ feet, but B&M said no. So they settled on the magic 230'. True? I honestly don't know and that's the bottom line. I'm sure a lot has changed since my internship.)

 

Great interview, btw...done after my time.

 

Sorry to have hijacked the thread. Back on topic.

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has no one noticed that the exact same track is already up in ABU DHABI.

Anyway the F1 coaster at Ferrari world has the exact same track at KD and here a pictures to prove that it exist

EDIT added the images again

 

 

(note these are not my pictures all credit to onride.de)

Rumour to be worlds fastest at 155mph

so could this be another launch coaster i don't know but it usually runs with Intamin coasters tradition.

so expect 2 of the new Giga type coasters next year

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^links not working

 

^^why would you say "unless they changed their policys" its pretty evident that policy is out the window. Its easy for someone to say "they wouldnt do it" than to say "they wanted a crap load of money so we went with the cheaper design"

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Hasn't there been a rumor floating around that B&M submitted a plan for MF but it was way more expensive than the Intamin plan?

 

Yeah I heard that one...but did you hear the one about B&M refusing to go over the 230ft mark on ANY coaster ever...

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Unless they've changed their policy, B&M won't build coasters taller than 230 feet, due to the supports they use, among other reasons. I've been told this by numerous Cedar Fair, Busch, and Six Flags managerial-types over the past 7 years. The fact that the biggest B&M's out there are only 230' substantiates this claim. The biggest thing to remember is that B&M is a VERY small company, who fiercely prides themselves in the products they provide. What you see is what you get, and you won't find more reliable coasters out there besides wood (B&M Flyers being a little more finnicky). This is a big reason why they command such premium prices on their rides. You pay for the B&M brand, but also the quality. They'll customize their rides to a certain level, but essentially if you want something beyond their "niche," they will politely send you to another company. Don't believe me? Ask yourself this: how many launched coasters have B&M done? The Hulk at IOA, and they simply built the ride. The launch portion was designed by another company, of which B&M didn't support.

 

I worked as an Intern for B&M sometime back. I loved every (INTENSE) minute of it, but sadly went without a full-time job designing coasters like I wanted, and I tried EVERY company out there. I got close to getting a job with S&S designing woodies, but it didn't work out. I also worked at KD under Paramount (PKD) for 5 years, starting out as a ride-op and moving up to a year in mid-level management before quitting to my current career outside the industry. Now I just ride for fun.

 

I can assure you based on my past experience that Busch has an exclusivity contract with B&M, and that as company policy, B&M keeps the details of those contracts quiet, including duration of time and how exclusive (ie, the mileage of the "no-build" area around a park.) Companies inquiring about building B&M models under exclusivity contracts with rivals are simply told that B&M is unable to sell them specific models at that time. KD falls under the area of exclusivity for BGE, and I believe Six Flags America does as well.

 

You can confirm such a contract by talking to B&M personnel at IAPPA (Claude goes most often, or used to anyway), or even easier by talking to mid and upper-level management at BGE and KD. KD loves to tell people that they can't build B&M's.

 

I'm probably opening myself up to flame attacks by posting this, so please don't think I'm bragging, talking out of my a$$, or being a know-it-all. I know how passionate we enthusiasts are about coasters and the industry in general, and just thought I'd mention a couple of fun details. I don't know specific details on the 2010 KD coaster, just rumors I get told by KD employees...some of them old friends I used to work with who are still there and have moved up in the company.

 

Ok ask your contacts about silver star...or is that not a B&M hyper that is 239.5 ft tall...lol

 

So is the height limit only 230ft in usa due to the imperial system??

 

ROFL, win.

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OMG 13 pages in less than 24 hours!!! LMAO this better be a kick ass ride!! There is no chance that maybe they just threw the giga label on the packages to throw everyone off as kind of a joke?? (I am now ducking so nobody shoots me!!) Anyway, will be kind of interesting to see the planned layout and whether it will interact with any of the existing coasters back in the corner. They could do dueling underwater tunnels, 1st time ever done LOL!

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