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Michigan's Adventure (MiA) Discussion Thread


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^ Isn't that area all wetland? It's pretty damn expensive to build in a wetland with all of the permits, drainage improvements, and whatnot.

 

I believe mostly old drainage fields from before they got the new water tower

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Yeah, Morgan was suppose to be the one to build the hypercoaster and it was basically all ready to start construction before Cedar Fair bought the park, but not entirely sure the location though. It also didn't help that it was right at the time that Dana Morgan, the founder and owner of Morgan, decided to just up and retire and sell the company. Chance bought all of the assets, which did cause trouble at the park since Be-Bop Blvd, the Morgan electric car ride there, was only partially built as it was suppose to be a 2001 attraction but that whole Morgan to Chance transition kind of threw the plans for that out of whack and at the end result, CF opened it for the 2002 season after completing it.

 

The drainage field still exists, I've said this previously, all the water tower did was allow water storage on property and lighten the load off of the area water line when pools and water rides had to be filled. What happens to the stuff leaving the park, let's just say that it's still a basic drainage system with lift pumps and septic tanks. It can be a problem during the more busier time of the year because the system can't handle all of it and gets a bit *ahem* backed up. If I remember correctly, I believe the park attempted to get a sewer line attached to the park, but I think the city voted against it, which to me doesn't seem fair to the park as they can't add any additional bathrooms.

 

Most of the land on the east side of the property where it's not developed and around Timbertown Railway, the water table line is only a foot or two right below ground level. I had found some of the water table maps when the area was doing a resource study and most of the property is either 5 to zero feet above the water table. That's why I think they raised the area where Thunderhawk is as it's not that great of ground to sink footers into. Mainly sandy ground because of the close proximity to Lake Michigan.

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  • 3 weeks later...

I have a feeling the park is going to have an active off season but it's not going to result in any new rides. The park is really in need of some structural improvements. Last season there was a lot of noise about the park replacing the arcade/employee break room with an updated building, possibly a Chickie and Pete's. Also I know the park is planning on adding the second train to Timbertown Railroad now that the transfer track/shed is complete. There's definitely the need to fix the corner of the boardwalk along the pond that's sinking as well. Plus I've heard that the Wildwater Adventure entry way/locker rooms are due for a renovation or complete overhaul. So look for the park to have some overall improvements and who knows maybe they'll surprise us with a small flat ride. Expect the next big ride to come in 2016 for the park's 60th anniversary.

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I have a feeling the park is going to have an active off season but it's not going to result in any new rides. The park is really in need of some structural improvements. Last season there was a lot of noise about the park replacing the arcade/employee break room with an updated building, possibly a Chickie and Pete's. Also I know the park is planning on adding the second train to Timbertown Railroad now that the transfer track/shed is complete. There's definitely the need to fix the corner of the boardwalk along the pond that's sinking as well. Plus I've heard that the Wildwater Adventure entry way/fluffy, fluffy bunny filled with medicine and goo rooms are due for a renovation or complete overhaul. So look for the park to have some overall improvements and who knows maybe they'll surprise us with a small flat ride. Expect the next big ride to come in 2016 for the park's 60th anniversary.

 

Those are pretty much in-line from what I've heard too. And I have to agree, the park might have something big coming for its 60th anniversary. This park has a tendency to do bigger things for their anniversary years, like Grand Rapids for their 50th anniversary in 2006. I know some people say that anniversary years don't mean anything, but every park is different on how they celebrate. For a small park like MiAd, 5-10 years are good spans to install larger attractions and why not market it at the same time as the anniversary of the park's opening.

 

So, I got bored one night while looking around for a house in the area and I stumbled across a property map for Muskegon county and come to find out, the park had bought a section of property. I know previously that chunk of land had an abandoned house on it and was up for sale, but I think as of last year, the property was bought and the house torn down, but just didn't know who bought it at the time. Could open up a few possibilities though, such as expanded employee parking, or maybe a new HR building to give a bit more expansion room for the water park where the current HR building is right now.

parkproperty.thumb.jpg.d5f109919163e889aaddfdf863a88eeb.jpg

Red is what the park owned previously, green is the new section of property on Whitehall Rd.

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^ Thats a good illustration of how much land the park has to expand. I heard about the park buying up some parcels of land around them last year and from what I heard they're planning to add new corporate buildings and expand their amount of warehouse space. Not sure if they would remove the current hr building but that indeed would open up a good amount of space for future waterpark expansion. That would be down the road a bit though. A Cedar Fair executive came to the park last year and asked some employees what the park needed most and the biggest thing was shade for employees/guests. So I'd say that will also be a focal point this year plus probably adding fun tv to the waterpark. Look for Loggers Run to either get a significant upgrade (shaded station, new fiberglass trophs) or be replaced with a new ride very soon. The ride is well past its survicable lifespan set by Arrow.

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Just wondering, is there a specific reason why Michigan's Adventure does not have a Halloween Haunt event? I was just looking at the Muskegon weather averages for September and October, and the temperatures are warm enough to keep the rides open most all of time, so I feel like closing the weekend after Labor Day is a waste of an opportunity. Plus, Valleyfair experiences temperatures similar to MiA and they still have a Haunt. Or, is there another big Halloween event in the area that would make it hard for Michigan's Adventure to compete? Sorry if this post sounds stupid, but I'd just like to know if there's a reason because I can't imagine living in a place with a nine-month offseason.

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788827674_Screenshot2015-01-05at7_07_25PM.thumb.png.2bb0a4d2b100776a5237ac1276b93da1.png

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Loggers run is in great shape compared to other rides of it's type. Last summer we went , and I witnessed this myself here.......

Visually, it looks ok, but from what I've heard, Arrow only gave the fiberglass trough and boats a 30-year lifespan and it was built in 1983 so the 30-year mark was in 2013, so yeah, it's time is about up. I also heard that something was suppose to happen with it in 2014, like a complete trough rebuilt, but the pumps were the only thing that were refurbished. The boats though I know are in bad shape, as I remember going to the park early this year and there were not very many boats in the water so there was a long dispatch time.

 

Just wondering, is there a specific reason why Michigan's Adventure does not have a Halloween Haunt event? I was just looking at the Muskegon weather averages for September and October, and the temperatures are warm enough to keep the rides open most all of time, so I feel like closing the weekend after Labor Day is a waste of an opportunity. Plus, Valleyfair experiences temperatures similar to MiA and they still have a Haunt. Or, is there another big Halloween event in the area that would make it hard for Michigan's Adventure to compete? Sorry if this post sounds stupid, but I'd just like to know if there's a reason because I can't imagine living in a place with a nine-month offseason.

Staff, location, and a sound ordinance at 11p are the big reasons why there's no Halloween event. There's also no big university near the park that can provide park employees during the fall season. The nearest one is Grand Valley State University and that's a good 45-minutes away. I know the park in the early 2000's used to stay open a weekend longer than it does now in September, but that seemed to have been cut around 2005-ish. The sound ordinance in one of the townships (can't remember if it's Dalton or Fruitland) also puts a big hamper on the park as that's why they don't stay open any longer than 10p.

 

Also this was a rather mild fall this year, but the park is not too far from Lake Michigan so the weather can turn south very quickly, even with chances for snow in October.

 

^ Thats a good illustration of how much land the park has to expand. I heard about the park buying up some parcels of land around them last year and from what I heard they're planning to add new corporate buildings and expand their amount of warehouse space. Not sure if they would remove the current hr building but that indeed would open up a good amount of space for future waterpark expansion. That would be down the road a bit though. A Cedar Fair executive came to the park last year and asked some employees what the park needed most and the biggest thing was shade for employees/guests. So I'd say that will also be a focal point this year plus probably adding fun tv to the waterpark. Look for Loggers Run to either get a significant upgrade (shaded station, new fiberglass trophs) or be replaced with a new ride very soon. The ride is well past its serviceable lifespan set by Arrow.

Hm... I haven't heard about the FUNtv expansion into the water parks. I know that the interactive park maps with wait times that Kings Island installed late last year are more than likely coming to the parks, but I haven't heard anything about expanding it into the water parks. I'm excited for the interactive maps and wait times though. It's something I've been hoping Cedar Fair would do with the FUNtv networks since I heard that the wait time feature was going to be added. I mean, with how much Cedar Fair invested into installing those for over 120 rides in the entire chain, it's something that's only going to be expanded upon.

Edited by Lareson
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I believe the scope of the park combined with the weather has a lot to do with the reason why a Halloween Event is not held at Michigan's Adventure. Regional parks like Cedar Point, Kings Island, Six Flags Great America, etc. have the benefit of people planning weekend trips and travelling longer distances to visit the park. When you book something that is hard to fully refund when the weather goes sour, like advance purchased tickets or cancelling a reservation past the deadline, people are more likely to brave the weather to go out. Local parks like Michigan's Adventure aren't usually the kind of places people plan a weekend getaway to. They are driven by a loyal following of local people who have the chance to go to the park on almost any whim. It is great to have a local backing, but having a significant demographic of people who live very close to the park keeps them away from the park in droves when the weather does not cooperate. The typical mindset is, "well, we can go another day." Next thing you know, "going another day" becomes "maybe next year." The result on those cold/wet days: virtually a wasteland.

 

For example, I have been employed with two parks. One is very small and driven by locals mostly within a 2 hour drive (usually much less), and the other is a large regional park that people travel for long distances and build vacations around their visits. The scenario is a day when the weather has a 50% chance of rain. The small local park is a desolate ghost town with more employees than guests, but the large regional park still has a decent crowd in relation to their projected attendance. The reason is that people who travel long distances planning trips in advance have more of an investment into their visit which might be the only time they go to the park in their life. The locals are all sitting in their homes bundled up saying, "maybe next week" but that usually doesn't happen as the visit gets put off indefinitely. I couldn't tell you how many times I drove into work at the larger park in a torrential downpour in and high winds in October thinking, "Oh this day will be cake," when the reality was that we still were kept significantly busy as there was still a decent turnout.

 

As I continue to be a an employee of the smaller local park, the discussion for Halloween/Fall operations is starting to surface. The reason being that there is more confidence that we have expanded our regional market large enough to support the event, and not be drained of every penny to make it through those inevitable rainy/cold days when turnout is low.

 

Weather is a park's biggest nemesis, but when people are committing longer trips that are often planned as a weekend vacation, they are much more likely to brave the weather. My guess is that MiA does not have enough support to justify operating in extremely variable weather that late into the season. "If you build it they will come" will not solve this dilemma, as developing markets is no fast or simple task.

 

Just my 2 cents.

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The no Halloween event comes down to two things, lack of staff and the sound ordinance. The park struggles with staffing even during late August and September due to colleges going back in session. And in terms of the sound ordinance its also the same reason the park doesn't do fireworks because believe me they would like to. Unfortunately the townships the park is in are not very easy to deal with, one better than the other which is why most of the rides are built on the west side of the property.

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I don't get the whole sound ordinance thing. The park is in the middle of nowhere. The only things near it that I remember are a racetrack, golf course, and now the campground.

It's a Fruitland township ordinance, which unfortunately is where a majority of the rides are located. The only exceptions are Grand Rapids, Shivering Timbers, and Timbertown Railway, which are in Dalton Township. The park can ask to extend the "quiet hours" as the township calls it, but they have to get approval to "run the park" beyond 11p. Fruitland township extends from back behind Wolverine Wildcat and goes all the way out to the lakeshore, but I know it's not in any form a densely populated township.

 

I have no idea where the complaining comes from either. I think when Rock the Coast happened in 2013, people complained about the "noise" of the concert and the park had told people about it months in advance.

 

I do know that Dalton township, which is their most problematic township in terms of dealing with expansion and why there's only 3 rides on that side of the property, one of the officials that was giving the park trouble when trying to add anything, was elected out recently, so I'm hoping that does signify that hopefully they'll start expanding out to the east.

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