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SFNO/Jazzland Discussion Thread

P. 50: New Orleans seeking redevelopment proposals for SFNO site

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It could happen but I think an 09 opening is very unlikely. I would think it would take them many months just to get SF to sell the park, remember SF is still in litigation for all the money from the insurance of Katrina.

I also think that the damage to the parks infastructure as in all the buildings is very extensive. If any of you have seen some of the Discovery shows where they have to go in and gut the buildings and completely rebuild them. I also have to wonder how much of the ride structures have been damaged due to rust and lack of any type of maintainance. Add to that, I thought the park never really did pull in the number of guests like they had thought they would. Plus now they are down a coaster and one of there main attractions.

 

Its always possible that the park will reopen and as Shan said above if it does reopen it is a must hit incase it doesn't last long. I didn't get a chance to go to the park when it was open so I hope it does reopen but its going to be a long road, a lot of money and a lot of hard work to make it happen.

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Somehow I just think it is going to be one of those really cool things that looks awesome that won't really catch on. Believe me, I would love to see it happen, but based on what everyone has been saying about the performance of the park before Katrina, and the fact that the city is probably nowhere near where it was for tourism, I can't see this going far.

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They now have a new website! Check it out! I have no idea what's with the Alien Theming.

 

http://www.southenstaramusements.com

 

Check out the forums on the bottom of the page, underneither the Mega Zeph photo.

 

-Tatum

 

Try Southern Star Amusement

 

Says they will keep Mega Zeph, if I'm not reading it wrong "Rides of the past included" meaning included in the proposal? Who knows how serious these guys are however. It would be nice to see the park saved however.

 

-GG

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I just don't think that area could support a Six Flags like amusement park. The attendance number I heard for that park was only 500,000. The next park after SFNO is Great Escape with 710,000. I just want to say that these are older figures, and might have gone up since. The third worst park I have is SFKK at a little more than 1 million people.

 

Basing it on those numbers, I think that SFNO's should be just maybe one roller coaster, and some flat rides for a $22.00 admission park. I would say something like Martin's Fantasy Island would be a great park for that spot. It only has 2 roller coasters, flats, and an older waterpark. I haven't been to Martin's Fantasy Island, but it's not a $50.00 park to get into.

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Somehow I just think it is going to be one of those really cool things that looks awesome that won't really catch on. Believe me, I would love to see it happen, but based on what everyone has been saying about the performance of the park before Katrina, and the fact that the city is probably nowhere near where it was for tourism, I can't see this going far.

 

As far as tourism goes, it's fine. The thing is, tourists who come here don't come here for an amusement park, so that really doesn't affect the performance of the park; it's mostly the locals. As of this point, i just don't see it working, but that would be great if I'm proved wrong.

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The more and more I look into the website (especially the forum), the less I am liking. I talked to some friends in New Orleans a few days ago who hadn't even heard of this yet. You would have thought it would have been somewhat-big news in the city.

 

Does this group have any official proof that they have anything?

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This is what the admin said on their website:

 

Some rides survived while some did not. Until the non-disclosure agreement is lifted, we can not say what can be saved and what can not. What we can say is that we are going to salvage as much as we can and recondition it and reuse it. As we can release more information, we will be putting it up on the main site.

 

Chris

 

-Tatum

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^^I kinda agree with you. It looks like someone just photoshopped a crappy image of an alien on almost every picture of the site.

Also, I think I remember hearing Elissa and a couple of other members say that the existing rides are in horrible condition and could never reopen.

They did manage to move B:TR, but that was because it was built on higher ground than the other rides. Wipeout could be an easy ride to relocate to a different park (easier than B:TR), but it's been there for 3 years sitting there to rot.

Finally, 1 years is a short amount of time to renovate the park, refurb. the rides, build the new rides, and open the park.

 

I'll just join the forums and see what happens just for fun.

So many plans, less than 1 year to accomplish.

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When I first heard the news that another company called Southern Star Amusements were going to buy the old flooded site once known as "Six Flags New Orleans" and build it back up, I was very excited ( )! I've been to this park a year before Hurricane Katrina struck and I though it was a good little park and was sadden to hear the news of this park's closing due to the tragedy ( ).

 

"Maybe this park will be rebuilt and reopened once again?

 

Still, a serious and terrible thought flooded into my mind (no pun intended ): "If this company is planning to rebuild and reopen the park by next season of 2009, then how by the name of John Miller (roller coaster pioneer) are they going to accomplish such a feat?" Now I don't want to be a nag, but think of all the work that needs to be done! First, the park needs to be drained, then once the ground is dried off, inspection and clean up is to be done; there's no telling which rides can be saved and what about these new rides the company is planning on adding? Futhermore, are there any plans to prevent the park from flooding should another hurricane hit this area?

 

Still, this is the beginning of the 21 century and the work forces have big machineries to use, not to mention thousands of local people that could be hired in reconstructing this amusement park. If Extreme Makeover - Home Edition taught me anything, it's that a huge team of builders can demolish and rebuild a house in just a week. I'm hoping that this is the case: Southern Star comes in, the park is rebuilt and reopened, flocks of tourist comes in to spend the much needed capital, and Discovery Channel airs a two hour special called "Rebuilding (the new park's name)"

 

Still, it's me (the hopeless optimistic) that's talking. I guess all we can do is hope and pray for the best; if this becomes a reality, then I'm planning to visit the newfangled park in 2009; Otherwise, I'll just !!!

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The park needs to be drained? Are you one of those people who think New Orleans is still flooded? lol It's getting close to three years now. The park doesn't look like my avatar anymore. It remains to be seen if Southern Star has the financial backing to convince the city to let them fix the park. If the city thinks they cannot do it they obviously won't work out an agreement. It would be nice if they could though.

 

SFNO was doing "ok" before the hurricane, not great but not struggling as much as Jazzland. I do not believe their attendance was 500,000. In 2003 their attendance was around 1,000,000 and it dropped off a little after that. An ex-Astroworld employee once posted an attendance list for 2005 and I believe it went something like SFKK, SFNO, Great Escape, and Elich Gardens from high to low on the bottom end. This was BEFORE the hurricane happened. Obviously SFNO fell behind after that.

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I think SSA is a company and it will succeed. He (Danny) said himself on SFNO.com that he went from being a kiddie ride op to being a CEO of a Roller Coaster Company.

 

I am going to get Danny to start posting on here.

 

Check out http://www.southernstaramusement.com/forums.com for future plans for the park.

 

He is really optimistic. I believe him. He wouldn't do this as a joke.

 

-Tatum

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After looking around the website for a little bit, I've got to say that I'm less then confident this is actually going to get done. It looks as though the website was thrown up quickly, and just doesn't look like something I'd expect from a company who plans on operating a business as major as a theme park. Hope I'm wrong but I'm going to give this one less then a 10% chance of actually happening.

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The man is in his 50s and he wasen't going to open the park. He was just going to get the stuff that was still salvageable, but his investors adivesed him to try to reopen the park.

 

Why don't ya'll think it won't happen?

 

-Tatum "If Magic Mountain was able to get turned around, Southern Star Amusements will reopen the park" G.

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Why don't ya'll think it won't happen?

 

Because as Jazzland, the park was failing. Plain and simple.

 

The park was then sold as basically a "fire sale" price to Six Flags, who was already biting off more then they could chew. They in turn thought that their name brand could help and make it a profitable park. It did bring in people, to an extent. But, it was also no where near their own projections, and was a "Titanic" waiting to sink. The demographics of the area WILL NOT SUPPORT a large park down there.

 

You can counter with "but there were X amount of season passes bought". The company does not make profits off of SP, unless these people are SPENDING money inside the park for games, food and souvineers.

 

It wasn't happening.

 

 

-Tatum "If Magic Mountain was able to get turned around, Southern Star Amusements will reopen the park" G.

 

Back the truck up!

 

No where did SFMM ever HAVE to get turned around!

 

AT the time when SFMM was listed as a possible "for sale" park, the decision was pretty simple. SF had amassed a HUGE amount of debt. In the BILLIONS.

 

IIRC, in Feb of 2004 they didn't have the cash flow to pay off a 1.1 billion dollar bond it owed to creditors. In order to satisfy a partial payment of said bond, SF sold off all of their European assets, SF Worlds of Adventure (Geauga Lake), Darien Lake, Elitch Gardens, Enchanted Forest, Frontier City and so on.

 

The reason that SFMM was initially on that list was NOT because it was a failing park. It's actually a park that pretty much has broken even over the last few years. The reason being, is that the land it is on, and occupies in southern California, it that the land itself was reported to be worth somewhere between 250-400 million dollars. That's why there was talk of tearing the park down as opposed to selling it to a competitor.

 

That money would have gone a long way in helping reducing the debt SF has, and restoring some confidence to both their creditors and investors.

 

IMO, they chose wisely not to close the park. Instead they have taken some capital from their other sales and chosen to refurbish and rebuild the park. So far they've done a good job. We'll just have to wait and see how the bottom line comes out ($$$).

 

Don't even try to think that SFMM was failing to the extent Jazzland or SFNO. Not even in the same league.

 

 

JJ

 

(Who is NOT a big fan of SFMM!)

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-Tatum "If Magic Mountain was able to get turned around, Southern Star Amusements will reopen the park" G.

 

SFMM had several problems, however at no time did the park sit vacant for 3 years following serious damage from a major flood. SFMM in that regards is in no way analogous to SFNO.

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Yeah I agree that you cannot compare "turning around" SFMM (which I have my doubts this even happened to any miraculous extent) to rebuilding a struggling park. I think if a rebuilt SFNO would have a waterpark, be appropriately sized, and managed correctly, it would survive. Blue Bayou does fine but it seems they have had a very different strategy on reaching out to guests. Some days when SFNO was very empty Blue Bayou was absolutely packed thanks to that waterpark. I would argue that Blue Bayou has a better location, but if SFNO really tried I think they could have done much better. They had better rides and better capacity to keep lines manageable when a big crowd did come.

 

Just adding one slide or one ride has really kept guests coming and interested in Blue Bayou/Dixie Landin. The investments have been fairly inexpensive but highly effective. Year after year they have been adding something and doing just fine. They also have very aggressive marketing. Jazzland was mismanaged from day one and really after the opening season of Six Flags it was mismanaged again. Management wasn't really shaped up to an extent until 2005 and there were still plenty of issues then (you can ask calcajun about that). And then of course there was that pesky hurricane...

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