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Will Austin TX ever get a small or medium sized theme park?


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Was just curious I know San Antonio is not too far away but for a city that is rapidly growing in population I was wondering why Austin doesn’t have its own theme park. I see their region will be getting a kalahari indoor water park next year do that doesn’t necessarily count as a theme park. But do you think Austin can support a small park the size of perhaps Elitch Gardens, Six Flags America or even Knoebels Theme Park in PA?

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When much larger cities like Miami or Houston don't even have a medium sized park at the moment, do you think it makes sense for Austin to have one? As you said, San Antonio is not far away and you have Six Flags & SeaWorld there, and don't forget you've also got ZDT's not far away either.

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Having a theme/amusement park isn't just about city size and population. It's about can the market support it. Austin's demographics don't seem to fit the bill for a theme park...it's a capitol city, college town, and tech town.

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No.

 

reason why?

 

Ignoring the fact that Austin, even tho the State Capitol, is mainly a College Town (with several big Colleges here that greatly increase the population - temporarily). . there are many options close by:

 

San Antonio is 1:20 away (Six Flags Fiesta Texas, Sea World San Antonio)

New Braunfels is 45 minutes away (Schlitterbahn)

Seguin is 55 minutes away (ZDTs)

Arlington (Dallas/Ft Worth) is ~3 1/2 hours away (Six Flags Over Texas)

Katy is ~2 1/2 hours away (Katy Mills' Typhoon Texas waterpark)

Houston is ~3 hours away (Grand Texas Theme Park when it opens, FunPlex (smaller rides, but rides) previously had Astroworld as an option)

Galveston is 3 1/2 hours away (Pleasure Pier)

Kemah is ~3:10 hours away (Kemah Boardwalk).

 

Austin already has several smaller water parks (Volente Beach, Typhoon Texas (in Pflugerville). . not to mention Lake Travis), and a few "Entertainment complexes" including Pinballz - the Lakecreek location has Bumper Cars, Go Karts, Escape Rooms, Laser Tag, and several 4D "rides"

 

they will never build a theme park here, even a smaller one. There are simply too many other, bigger, options close by.

 

the closest we ever got was "kiddie acres" which survived for many years as just a place to hold birthday parties, before finally shutting down a couple of years ago.

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Honestly, I think its less about market size and about something much more simple and borderline stupid:

 

Has a park in some capacity existed there for decades? If so, that will be the park that you go to. If not, you're SOL. Better start traveling. Companies don't like to build parks generally. They usually buy up parks that already exist. So much of the real estate in America is already accounted for or protected in some capacity. You have to acquire a lot of land that is relatively close to population centers, and that's kind of tough to do.

 

Why are there parks in San Antonio and not Austin? Well, years ago, people decided to put parks there, and that's that. Yeah, people were talking about ZDT, but that parks is so small and insignificant that it doesn't really register as the kind of park that you're probably thinking about. If it was your home park and nothing else, you might go a few times, but it won't be anything Earth shattering for you.

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Why are there parks in San Antonio and not Austin? Well, years ago, people decided to put parks there, and that's that. Yeah, people were talking about ZDT, but that parks is so small and insignificant that it doesn't really register as the kind of park that you're probably thinking about. If it was your home park and nothing else, you might go a few times, but it won't be anything Earth shattering for you.

 

 

trying not to be harsh, but there's simply no way around this: You're being stupid.

 

don't be stupid.

 

 

why does San Antonio have a Six Flags and a Sea World?

- because it's the 7th largest city in the USA (and the 2nd largest in Texas)

- there are MASSIVE military bases located there, with a built in year round populace who often frequent the parks/Riverwalk/entertainment areas. There's a reason San Antonio is frequently referred to as "MC" (Military City) instead of "SA"

-- the City is full of historical significance (Missions, including the Alamo, are UNESCO world site designated)

-- the City hosted the Worlds Fair in 1968,and Hemisfair tower (Tower of the Americas) still stands there.

 

that's just off the top of my head.

 

 

learn about the City, before you make a sweeping stupid comment like the above

 

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/San_Antonio

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Honestly, I think its less about market size and about something much more simple

Yeah, I just don't think you really know that much about how theme parks and their demographics work. Probably best to leave that stuff up to the professionals and you should stick to just riding coasters, throwing your arms up in the air and screaming like a little girl!

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San Antonio makes a lot of sense... it is a tourism city. It already has Seaworld. Add that to SFFT and now you have a multi day stay. San Antonio also has the Riverwalk and the Alamo. San Antonio then benefits from only being an hour away from Austin and 30 minutes to San Marcos and Schlitterbaun's. Austin and SA combined are about 4 million people= half the size of DFW or Metro Houston.

 

I would think if any Texas city gets a Park it would Houston, Then El Paso. El Paso/Juarez is hours away and is almost as large as the others. Let Austin have it's music festivals, etc....No need for a Park there.

 

Don't get me wrong- I would love to see Cedar Fair or Warner Brothers build there- just don't think it will ever happen.

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So your saying their’s a zero percent chance that Austin will get an amusement park in the near future like in the next decade or 2 decades from now? I mean Round Rock which is very close to Austin considered a suburb is getting a Kalahari Indoor Water Park resort I believe next year. The City is receiving a Major League Soccer club called Austin FC will begin playing in 2021. Austin just seems like an up an coming city that just continues to grow you just the economy is not good enough to even support a smaller theme park? I’m saying the size of Elitch Gardens in Denver. I know it makes sense to not have a park in Austin because the city is about music concerts and all but just to have some summer fun. I looked up the driving time from Austin to San Antonio and it takes 1 hr and 28 minutes to get their. Do you think Austin residents would want to drive that far just to go to an amusement park and consider that their home park for Austin residents? I don’t think so I could be wrong but a local park should be at least 25 minutes in your home city driving distance wise. A high speed train service would be nice to connect Austin to San Antonio which I heard could take as little as 8 minutes to get their if the economy in Texas is good enough to have high speed rail in the first place. Anyway if a Austin theme park never comes I think future transportation to Austin would be a winner here because like I said not all Austin residents want to drive an hour and 28 minutes to get to Six Flags Fiesta Texas and SeaWorld San Antonio.

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I mean Round Rock which is very close to Austin considered a suburb is getting a Kalahari Indoor Water Park resort I believe next year. The City is receiving a Major League Soccer club called Austin FC will begin playing in 2021.

 

An indoor waterpark/hotel is not the same as a theme park. An indoor waterpark/hotel can work because the people in town for business will dump their families off at the park on their companies dime. Or people just wanting to have somewhere to enjoy pools/water parks year round. Much lower operating costs as well.

 

The MLS demographic is definitely NOT a theme park demographic. It's perfect for a college/hipster town, because that is MLS target market. Again, sports and theme parks have different demographics.

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So your saying their’s a zero percent chance that Austin will get an amusement park in the near future like in the next decade or 2 decades from now? I mean Round Rock which is very close to Austin considered a suburb is getting a Kalahari Indoor Water Park resort I believe next year. The City is receiving a Major League Soccer club called Austin FC will begin playing in 2021. Austin just seems like an up an coming city that just continues to grow you just the economy is not good enough to even support a smaller theme park? I’m saying the size of Elitch Gardens in Denver. I know it makes sense to not have a park in Austin because the city is about music concerts and all but just to have some summer fun. I looked up the driving time from Austin to San Antonio and it takes 1 hr and 28 minutes to get their. Do you think Austin residents would want to drive that far just to go to an amusement park and consider that their home park for Austin residents? I don’t think so I could be wrong but a local park should be at least 25 minutes in your home city driving distance wise. A high speed train service would be nice to connect Austin to San Antonio which I heard could take as little as 8 minutes to get their if the economy in Texas is good enough to have high speed rail in the first place. Anyway if a Austin theme park never comes I think future transportation to Austin would be a winner here because like I said not all Austin residents want to drive an hour and 28 minutes to get to Six Flags Fiesta Texas and SeaWorld San Antonio.

 

Wow, that is one obnoxious wall of text!

 

First of all...

their.png.28569d4d4ef325fe9ce295d808bea1d1.png

 

Secondly...

Do you think Austin residents would want to drive that far just to go to an amusement park

Where I grew up in Southern California (Torrance/Redondo Beach area) was about 90 minutes to Magic Mountain and 60-90 minutes to Disneyland/Knott's in normal LA traffic. No one balked at driving that far at all and people in Southern California drive that every single day to go to those parks.

 

A high speed train service would be nice to connect Austin to San Antonio

So now you want an amusement park and a high speed train system????

 

I’m saying the size of Elitch Gardens in Denver.

Elitch is not a small park! It's 65 acres which is about the size of Disneyland when it first opened! And you chose a bad example because Elitch is due to close in the near future because the city wants to re-develop that area because it hasn't been that popular.

 

So your saying their’s a zero percent chance that Austin will get an amusement park

No. Nobody said that. We all said it just didn't make any sense given the parks that are already nearby and Austin's demographic.

 

I seriously just think you don't have a clue what you are talking about. Please... just stick to riding coasters and stop thinking about how or where theme parks should be built. Thanks.

 

...I really don't even understand why this discussion exists!

Edited by robbalvey
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Why not lock this thread and let get over with it? You have a FEC near Austin, Texas that has a roller coaster -https://rcdb.com/11759.htm, and you're around 64 miles to ZDT Theme Park, and 82 miles to SFFT, and 93 miles to Seaworld San Antonio.

 

https://rcdb.com/r.htm?ot=3&no=11759&ec

 

GP never cease to amaze me.

Edited by robbalvey
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So your saying their’s a zero percent chance that Austin will get an amusement park in the near future like in the next decade or 2 decades from now? I mean Round Rock which is very close to Austin considered a suburb is getting a Kalahari Indoor Water Park resort I believe next year. The City is receiving a Major League Soccer club called Austin FC will begin playing in 2021. Austin just seems like an up an coming city that just continues to grow you just the economy is not good enough to even support a smaller theme park? I’m saying the size of Elitch Gardens in Denver. I know it makes sense to not have a park in Austin because the city is about music concerts and all but just to have some summer fun. I looked up the driving time from Austin to San Antonio and it takes 1 hr and 28 minutes to get their. Do you think Austin residents would want to drive that far just to go to an amusement park and consider that their home park for Austin residents? I don’t think so I could be wrong but a local park should be at least 25 minutes in your home city driving distance wise. A high speed train service would be nice to connect Austin to San Antonio which I heard could take as little as 8 minutes to get their if the economy in Texas is good enough to have high speed rail in the first place. Anyway if a Austin theme park never comes I think future transportation to Austin would be a winner here because like I said not all Austin residents want to drive an hour and 28 minutes to get to Six Flags Fiesta Texas and SeaWorld San Antonio.

 

Wow, that is one obnoxious wall of text!

 

First of all...

[attachment=0]their.png[/attachment]

 

Secondly...

Do you think Austin residents would want to drive that far just to go to an amusement park

Where I grew up in Southern California (Torrance/Redondo Beach area) was about 90 minutes to Magic Mountain and 60-90 minutes to Disneyland/Knott's in normal LA traffic. No one balked at driving that far at all and people in Southern California drive that every single day to go to those parks.

 

A high speed train service would be nice to connect Austin to San Antonio

So now you want an amusement park and a high speed train system????

 

I’m saying the size of Elitch Gardens in Denver.

Elitch is not a small park! It's 65 acres which is about the size of Disneyland when it first opened! And you chose a bad example because Elitch is due to close in the near future because the city wants to re-develop that area because it hasn't been that popular.

 

So your saying their’s a zero percent chance that Austin will get an amusement park

No. Nobody said that. We all said it just didn't make any sense given the parks that are already nearby and Austin's demographic.

 

I seriously just think you don't have a clue what you are talking about. Please... just stick to riding coasters and stop thinking about how or where theme parks should be built. Thanks.

 

...I really don't even understand why this discussion exists!

 

I apologize Mr Alvey for upsetting you and creating this topic I just thought that Austin would be a good location for the future to house a smaller sized theme park. My theme park IQ and knowledge is not very bright I know I’m working on it. My knowledge is very good with names of roller coasters and the location of theme park around the United States & World. If Austin fails to receive a theme park in the future maybe ZDT can expand one day if their is room to add newer roller coasters and rides.

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I looked up the driving time from Austin to San Antonio and it takes 1 hr and 28 minutes to get their.

 

that is not correct.

 

I live in "FAR" North West Austin (technically close to Leander), and it takes exactly 1 hour and 30 minutes from my driveway to Fiesta's parking lot.

 

leaving from my friend's house, who lives near downtown, takes ~ 1 hour 10 minutes. . . usually closer to an hour.

 

 

Do you think Austin residents would want to drive that far just to go to an amusement park and consider that their home park for Austin residents? I don’t think so I could be wrong but a local park should be at least 25 minutes in your home city driving distance wise.

 

I go every few weeks. Fiesta Texas is my home park.

 

those that don't live in Texas (which is a HUGE state) always think drives are "long". . . to us? a 3 1/2 hour drive to Kemah or Galveston Pleasure Pier is just a day trip. So an hour and a 1/2 to SFFT? that's nothing.

(I telecommute to work 4 days a week, but on the one day I drive in? it's a 50 minute drive to my office in Buda. so what's an extra 40 minutes of driving?)

 

same is true of California. . another large State. As Robb noted, folks drive that distance for the parks every day . Hell, people drive that far just to get to work some days

 

I still remember the folks in Pennsyvania that were STUNNED when we flew into Pittsburgh and did a trip to Philly, stopping each day to go to a park (Kennywood, Knoebel's, Hersheypark, check into Philly hotel then back to Dorny next day). That's not a lot of driving to us. .but folks reacted like it was a treck thru the desert.

 

 

Oh, and Austin does have Rail Service - but it only runs from Leander to the downtown Capital area.

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I apologize Mr Alvey for upsetting you and creating this topic

What? I'm not upset. In fact, I honestly could give two warm shits about this discussion! lol! Don't be sorry for creating the topic as there is nothing wrong with the topic. Be sorry for continuing to argue with people about something that you know little about when many well educated people, including people who currently work in the theme park business, have responded to your thread to let you know why there isn't and most likely will not be a park in Austin.

Edited by robbalvey
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Ok well what I’m trying to say is that also if I may add in their are plenty of other worthy US cities that do lack a theme park in their city. Like Nashville, Miami, Seattle, Phoenix, Detroit-I don’t count Cedar Point as their home park sorry, Houston is getting Grand Texas so I can’t put that on the list. The US Economy if it ever gets better in the Theme Park Industry I just think Austin is a good place for a park that’s my opinion.

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Ok well what I’m trying to say is that also if I may add in their are plenty of other worthy US cities that do lack a theme park in their city. Like Nashville, Miami, Seattle, Phoenix, Detroit-I don’t count Cedar Point as their home park sorry, Houston is getting Grand Texas so I can’t put that on the list. The US Economy if it ever gets better in the Theme Park Industry I just think Austin is a good place for a park that’s my opinion.

giphy.gif

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Ok well what I’m trying to say is that also if I may add in their are plenty of other worthy US cities that do lack a theme park in their city. Like Nashville...

 

Tried and disappeared after 25 years.

 

...Miami...

 

Too close to Orlando, no room to develop, and the wrong culture.

 

Seattle, Phoenix...

 

Seatte has one, two if you count the Washington State Fair. Phoenix has one.

 

Detroit-I don’t count Cedar Point as their home park sorry,

 

Too bad, it is. They've also got Michigan's Adventure.

 

Houston is getting Grand Texas

 

We'll see how long it lasts. Astroworld closed for a reason.

 

The US Economy if it ever gets better in the Theme Park Industry I just think Austin is a good place for a park that’s my opinion.

 

And your opinion is factually wrong.

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to be fair, Astroworld closed not because it was losing money (it may have been, but that's not the main reason it closed). . the land was simply too valuable and greedy developers got involved.

 

that's why it sucks to pass the space it was in these days and just see a grass field (that's used for overflow parking for Reliant Stadium/Astrodome complex across the Freeway (Loop 610), since the old Astroworld bridge over the Freeway is still there).

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So what your trying to say is that Austin simply does not need a new theme park and if it anything happens for their city theme park wise it will be ZDT Amusement Park expanding for the future?

 

Keep in mind, ZDT is way closer to San Antonio, than it is to Austin (it's in Seguin.. maybe 20 minutes for S.A. but about an hour or so from Austin)

 

ZDT will not ever expand much bigger than it already is -- it's not an "Amusement Park" per se, yes, even tho they call it that on their website.

 

it's an Amusement Center (and it used to be called that before they got the Roller Coaster).

 

think of a way scaled down Fun Spot.

 

https://www.zdtamusement.com/

 

 

which is *not* to say, it's not a hell of a lot of fun to visit.

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Plenty of cities can and have sustained amusement parks. Opryland and Six Flags Astroworld actually made money after all and were demolished because of exceedingly bad decisions made by owners. Could Austin sustain a small park? Sure; El Paso, Lubbock, and Amarillo all support parks with smaller populations and less money if I just look at Texas. The thing is that it would be something closer to the amusement parks that get thrown into Traders Village locations in Texas with a mishmash of ARM/Larson rides than Kings Island. Anything else would be too expensive to build in this day and age.

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Why are there parks in San Antonio and not Austin? Well, years ago, people decided to put parks there, and that's that. Yeah, people were talking about ZDT, but that parks is so small and insignificant that it doesn't really register as the kind of park that you're probably thinking about. If it was your home park and nothing else, you might go a few times, but it won't be anything Earth shattering for you.

 

 

trying not to be harsh, but there's simply no way around this: You're being stupid.

 

don't be stupid.

 

 

why does San Antonio have a Six Flags and a Sea World?

- because it's the 7th largest city in the USA (and the 2nd largest in Texas)

- there are MASSIVE military bases located there, with a built in year round populace who often frequent the parks/Riverwalk/entertainment areas. There's a reason San Antonio is frequently referred to as "MC" (Military City) instead of "SA"

-- the City is full of historical significance (Missions, including the Alamo, are UNESCO world site designated)

-- the City hosted the Worlds Fair in 1968,and Hemisfair tower (Tower of the Americas) still stands there.

 

that's just off the top of my head.

 

 

learn about the City, before you make a sweeping stupid comment like the above

 

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/San_Antonio

 

I don't really care what about what city its in. In America, how often do you see ground up parks getting built overnight -- let's say with the exception of Disney and Universal? I can't even remember the last time that Six Flags or Cedar Fair built a ground up park instead of buying a property from somebody else. My point is that if you wonder where the parks are going to be, look at the existing infrastructure, and any parks that are currently there. If there is a park with some rides, some room to grow, and a customer base, then maybe a chain or some investors would consider making it into a park. But short of that, any ground up groundbreaking is going to be unlikely no matter where you are.

 

But I guess I'm just "stupid" for saying all of this. That's fine.

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I don't really care what about what city its in. In America, how often do you see ground up parks getting built overnight -- let's say with the exception of Disney and Universal? I can't even remember the last time that Six Flags or Cedar Fair built a ground up park instead of buying a property from somebody else. My point is that if you wonder where the parks are going to be, look at the existing infrastructure, and any parks that are currently there. If there is a park with some rides, some room to grow, and a customer base, then maybe a chain or some investors would consider making it into a park. But short of that, any ground up groundbreaking is going to be unlikely no matter where you are.

 

But I guess I'm just "stupid" for saying all of this. That's fine.

 

sure.

 

 

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Grand_Texas_Theme_Park

 

http://grandtx.com/#

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