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would a park from the golden era survive survive now?


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Yes he does. And that changes my answer in no way because the point I was making is that all the biggest draws in that park are from that era or in the case of Flying Turns and Twister redesigned rides from that era (though Mr. Twister was a tiny bit later) and the park draws insane crowds.

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Based on parks like Conneaut Lake Park, and those we have already lost in recent history like LeSourdsville Lake Amusement Park, Miracle Strip Amusement Park, Joyland Amusement Park, Whalom Park, Bushkill Park, Williams Grove Amusement Park, and Bell's Amusement Park, my answer is going to be no.

 

 

 

It's honestly really sad because these are wonderful parks, but most golden era parks closed due to the lack of demand for a local "home town" amusement park in favor of larger regional parks. Using Conneaut Lake Park as an example, there is no where near enough local demand and/or population to support that park, even though historically it had a profitable business model. A lot changed between the 1970s and the early 2000s.

 

 

I do appreciate the classic parks that can modernize to stay afloat (and happen to be in a good place geographically too) while still keeping their classic park charm. Examples being Knoebels and Lake Winnie along with many other smaller parks that have survived the changing industry. The ones that survive do because the infrastructure is already there and they are both lucky in ways and investing smartly. I do not think a classic style park could be built today without special backing from the government (Bay Beach for example) because the cost to establish the park from scratch would be so high. MAYBE it could work in certain local/regional markets but getting it financed just seems like a huge uphill battle for any investor.

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Yes he does. And that changes my answer in no way because the point I was making is that all the biggest draws in that park are from that era or in the case of Flying Turns and Twister redesigned rides from that era (though Mr. Twister was a tiny bit later) and the park draws insane crowds.

I did not know that. Probably doesn't hurt that admission is free

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I do appreciate the classic parks that can modernize to stay afloat (and happen to be in a good place geographically too) while still keeping their classic park charm.

 

Knoebels has sort of modernized but let's think about the biggest draws in that park. People to go that park in droves to ride a wood coaster from 1948, Bumper cars from the 40's, Flyers from 1937, a wood coaster that opened in 1999 but is based off of and named after a classic wood coaster from Denver that had been closed for decades before they decided to resurrect it, a Flying turns ride that used blueprints from a ride that opened in the 20's at Euclid Beach and a swimming pool from the 20's. Of their most popular rides and biggest draws, Impulse is really the only modern ride type and they were doing just fine before they put it in.

 

Knoebels hasn't survived because it's modernized while keeping it's charm. It's survived by being awesome and bringing back tons of long-gone rides and ride types from the "golden era". The modern rides aren't the big draw there, they're just icing on the cake.

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So suppose a park opened with rides and attractions from the 30s-40s ect. Would that park survive in this era?

 

Not any less possible than new parks filled with modern rides surviving. Novelty sells, bro. If anything, I think it is a disruptive (douchechills saying that word, but applies) strategy in a market space where regional theme parks are pretty much totally matured.

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I think a "golden era" style park could survive and do well as long as they avoided being "landlocked" and being an "asphalt park":by that I mean it seemed a lot of the old-school parks were only like 40/50 acres at most,and every inch not used by a ride was paved over with unshaded concrete or asphalt.Granted these parks seemed to have every ride known to man,but they eventually ran out of space in part to suburbs going up around them.

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It's honestly really sad because these are wonderful parks, but most golden era parks closed due to the lack of demand for a local "home town" amusement park in favor of larger regional parks. Using Conneaut Lake Park as an example, there is no where near enough local demand and/or population to support that park, even though historically it had a profitable business model. A lot changed between the 1970s and the early 2000s.

I am a firm believer of the idea that a localized amusement or theme park can exist alongside the big regional parks so long as it does something differently than the others. There's so much opportunity for communities to adopt a smaller entertaining space as their own - like a gigantic local playground, but for all ages instead of just children.

 

I think a "golden era" style park could survive and do well as long as they avoided being "landlocked" and being an "asphalt park":by that I mean it seemed a lot of the old-school parks were only like 40/50 acres at most,and every inch not used by a ride was paved over with unshaded concrete or asphalt.Granted these parks seemed to have every ride known to man,but they eventually ran out of space in part to suburbs going up around them.

I feel like modern design and planning processes can help accommodate for this, but at the same time a park doesn't have to have some new "whizz-bang" attraction or expansion be built every season to be successful. At the local level, I believe that people would keep coming back just because they enjoy going there. It's why I love Knoebels so much - it's just a darned good place to spend my time.

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  • 7 months later...

#bump

 

Yea I know this thread is a little old but I found it interesting. I have this book about all the parks here in America as well as Canada. I mentioned the book before on here a few times I think. I got it sometime in 2004 but it was written in 2003. Even then I loved parks and would read it all the time. However I do notice A LOT of those parks mentioned in the book are no longer around. The author who wrote it I assumed visited the parks all in the early 2000s. I find it weird how so many parks dropped off the face of the earth just with in a little over a decade. I noticed 2006 to like 2009 was the worst years for amusement parks. Im guessing it was because of the economy. Heck even bigger parks were closing if I remembered so I image it was hard for small family owned parks. But yea I sometimes wonder if parks from that era would survive today or not myself. Im sure if its in a heavy populated area and a lot cheaper then most main parks Im sure it will get a good amount of people. If its pretty much in the middle of nowhere with unreasonable prices then most likely no. And even if it did have good prices it probably wouldnt get much attention.

 

On similar note me being a 90s kid I sadly never got to experience growing up near a local small town park like many older people have described. I hear stories of 60s and 70s kids saying how they rode their bikes to their local park and went several days of the summer. From the talks of it,it seemed a common as going to the local playground! I wish I could of experienced that. I went to many childhood carnivals but of course thats not the same Carnivals are here and gone. Im sure if I lived by a local park as a child we would be there a lot. Considering me and the kids on my block were always playing together,we would of always went. But I know it sounds pathetic but I envy people from the older generations because of that.

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#bump

 

Yea I know this thread is a little old but I found it interesting. I have this book about all the parks here in America as well as Canada. I mentioned the book before on here a few times I think. I got it sometime in 2004 but it was written in 2003. Even then I loved parks and would read it all the time. However I do notice A LOT of those parks mentioned in the book are no longer around. The author who wrote it I assumed visited the parks all in the early 2000s. I find it weird how so many parks dropped off the face of the earth just with in a little over a decade. I noticed 2006 to like 2009 was the worst years for amusement parks. Im guessing it was because of the economy. Heck even bigger parks were closing if I remembered so I image it was hard for small family owned parks. But yea I sometimes wonder if parks from that era would survive today or not myself. Im sure if its in a heavy populated area and a lot cheaper then most main parks Im sure it will get a good amount of people. If its pretty much in the middle of nowhere with unreasonable prices then most likely no. And even if it did have good prices it probably wouldnt get much attention.

 

Correlation =/= causation. Yes, the majority of large amusement parks that closed in the last 15 years are parks that were facilities dating back to some period of time prior to the 1970s. Alternately, most amusement and theme parks constructed in the United States were constructed prior to the 1970s. It would be exceptional to see that newer parks were the ones closing down as a proportion to the number opened vs. remaining traditional parks. And since new parks are rarely built, it should be expected that they'd do well at survival. Having said that: Wild West World, Hard Rock Park, Jazzland/SFNO, Branson USA/Celebration City and MGM Grand Adventures all opened after 1990 and they're all dead. Visionland went bankrupt or was sold multiple times. Elitch Gardens has been sold 3 times in 20 years. The only theme parks to not be failures to open after 1990 belong to either Disney, Merlin, or Universal.

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Yea I did notice a lot of those newer parks closed too. Honestly the mid to late 2000s were not good years for amusement parks in general.I even heard a few times Magic Mountain was gonna close down of all places! Magic Mountains??? Isnt that like Six Flags flag ship park?? Isnt MM like one of the best parks in the country? I guess you could call it the mini "dark ages" of amusement parks. No where near as big the Great Depression of course though.

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Yea I did notice a lot of those newer parks closed too. Honestly the mid to late 2000s were not good years for amusement parks in general.I even heard a few times Magic Mountain was gonna close down of all places! Magic Mountains??? Isnt that like Six Flags flag ship park?? Isnt MM like one of the best parks in the country? I guess you could call it the mini "dark ages" of amusement parks. No where near as big the Great Depression of course though.

Six Flags' struggles in the late 2000s weren't helped by the fact they gave each park a bunch of new rides in the late 1990s-early 2000s (in fact, SFMM got a coaster every year between 1997 and 2003!). For example, at Great Adventure, which got 25 new rides in 1999, many of those rides were closed a lot of the time due to mechanical and staffing issues. Very few of those 25 rides are still at SFGADV today.

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I even heard a few times Magic Mountain was gonna close down of all places! Magic Mountains???

 

You'll hear a lot of stupid things if you spend a lot of time talking to coaster enthusiasts

 

Isnt that like Six Flags flag ship park??

 

Debatable

 

Isnt MM like one of the best parks in the country?

 

No

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I even heard a few times Magic Mountain was gonna close down of all places! Magic Mountains??? Isnt that like Six Flags flag ship park?? Isnt MM like one of the best parks in the country? I guess you could call it the mini "dark ages" of amusement parks.

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^I had to look up Riverside as I never heard of it. Learned its now a Six Flags park. I think thats neat they "Six Flagged" an old park.

 

Ehhh...not sure about "neat." When they "Six Flagged" it they pretty well destroyed most of the classic Riverside feel. While SFNE is definitely improving in big ways lately, there's not much Riverside left in it anymore. The Thunderbolt is just about all that's left unchanged from back then.

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With the right advertisement and marketing yes. With years of stagnation and no new attractions, No.

 

 

Kennywood, Hersheypark, Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk, Riverside, Cedar Point, Dorney Park, Knott's all survive nowadays with smart expansions/management.

 

There's plenty of examples of parks that rarely change and do fine. Arnold's, Idlewild, Funtown/Splashtown, Family Kingdom, Camden, Enchanted Village in WA, Santa's Village in NH.....

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^ Although I never been to any of those mini old parks you listed for some reason I find Camden and Arnolds very interesting. I like to look up videos about them all the time. I guess because they reminds me of those really old picnic parks you'd hear the elderly mention. As silly as this sounds Camden looks like a run down hillbilly-ish park but I think thats what makes it so unique and interesting . Would i want to travel there just to go to that park? Probably not but Im sure if I was ever in the area I think it would be cool to stop by. While Camden is the trolley line type park,Arnolds is the old school lake side park. Another type of park that was very common in the day. Also Arnolds has a lot of unique old school looking rides. That fun house and bug house swing ride look really neat too. As coasters go both Big Dipper and Legend look really small compare to many modern coasters but I'm sure the age and creakyness will make those two coasters thrilling in their own ways.

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