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Michigan's Adventure (MiA) Discussion Thread


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I will admit from being a regular that they have horrible staffing issues. They really need some dorms to ship some workers in. I laugh when you look at the timeline. The old owners never had problems adding rides every year. Heck they added Shivering Timbers, Mad Mouse and Big dipper in 2 years.

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Cedar Fair doesn't need to add rides here every year because the park does so well financially. It is usually one of if not the best performing park each year. And when you think about it, there is not a ton of competition nearby to really draw people away. They have a good thing going right now. If it aint broke don't fix it. The nearest large parks are between 3 and a half to 4 and a half hours away. Many average people wont drive that far just for an amusement park. Not to mention anyone North of the Park has even further to drive. Cedar Fair knows they have a good thing going. Sure it would be nice to add a ride every couple of years just to keep things fresh, but people don't seem to mind and keep flocking here.

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I will admit from being a regular that they have horrible staffing issues. They really need some dorms to ship some workers in. I laugh when you look at the timeline. The old owners never had problems adding rides every year. Heck they added Shivering Timbers, Mad Mouse and Big dipper in 2 years.

 

Most of the cedarfair parks have staffing issues, but still receive new attractions.

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A very disturbing timeline.

 

I knew it was bad, but dang.

 

Forgot to mention the Timbertown Railway addition around 2008. Timbertown used to be just a loop between Shivering Timbers and Wolverine Wildcat. Around 2008, a second station was added between Grand Rapids and ThunderHawk.

 

MiA (along with the other smaller CF parks such as Dorney and Valleyfair) is a cash cow for the big CF parks (I went there once this year and the park was packed, especially the water park area)

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Plus Geauga Lake is more of the anti-story of Michigan's Adventure.

 

First it was just a decent local park with an okay attendance.

 

In comes 6 Flags who purchases it and builds so many rides in a outright -has to constantly be high on drugs- amount of time to not be able to handle the attendance for shopping, eating, accesability and proper amount of bathrooms for guests.

 

During said time on higher spirits, they've way out spent their money chain wide and on the brink of epic proportions of bankruptcy decide to sell off the park to CF

 

CF seeing it as a way to lose competition and bring more attendance to both CP and KI decide to take a big chunk of their rides to other parks and slowly but surely turn it into a water park only resort.... and eventually raised it like you were bored on RCT.

 

Not only does Michigan's Adventure not have the same story, it will never see the highest of highs and lowest of lows from which Geauga came from.

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Yeah I’m sure Cedar Fair is in a big hurry to close a park that has solid attendance year after year and makes a steady profit without the need for any notable investment whatsoever. That sounds like a real nightmare...

 

From all accounts that I'm aware of(trip reports, visits to the park), the place has been a ghost town. No new significant attractions in years.

Does cedarfair release attendance figures?

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From all accounts that I'm aware of(trip reports, visits to the park), the place has been a ghost town.

 

Just from reading through this thread and tripadvisor for a few minutes I have no idea where you're getting that from. I'm not a local but that doesn't seem to be the case at all. People like grsupercity and DirkFunk routinely state otherwise. On our one visit last season, the park was definitely crowded but (again) that's a small sample size.

 

Cedar Fair does not release attendance figures.

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Parks getting new rides every single year and coasters every other year is a modern phenomenon and doesn't need to be universal. The real estate is not in great demand. The park makes solid money for the corporation in spite of a really short season. It's not going anywhere.

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Wow MIA getting a lot of board discussion all of a sudden. I remember this park as Deer Park Funland back around 1980. My have things changed. The old Corkscrew coaster was my first coaster going upside down. I hope they do get some love from the home office.

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Enthusiasts tend to look at things differently than business people do. To enthusiasts if a park isn't adding a major ride every single season it must be a failure and the corporate office hates them cause they're not getting what they're owed. But the fact that MiA can continue to operate profitably year after year with little investment should be evidence enough that the park is successful.

 

I think a lot of lessons were learned in the late 90s to mid 2000's about unnecessary investment in parks. Someone mentioned GL. I think the reason this park is left alone is due to the lessons learned from GL. I have a feeling before any major investment happens at this park, even a small new coaster like Tantrum at DL you'll see something older like Corkscrew removed. Not for space, but more for balance and to not tax an already limited labor pool. No point to add more and more rides to a park if the park can't find the additional help to staff them.

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No, but they did build a completely new from ground up waterpark in 2005 and 2006 when Six Flags opened a new waterpark in 2000. That was a huge investment.. 25 million dollars or so if I recall correctly(I believe this includes demo of SWO). This was kinda unnecessary in all honestly. A fraction of that could've been spent on swapping out the old (from the 80s) speed slides for a new slide complex or two. Plus in 2005 they completely rebuilt the catering pavilions next to the lake by the old waterpark. Which was also a weird choice as you then closed that waterpark and moved all those people to WWK. (and then in WWK catering was done in tents)

 

They also demolished almost everything that was Sea World, 3 large stadiums, the penguin exhibit, etc.. Also disposed of tens of thousands of gallons of salt water from those stadiums which had to be trucked out and disposed of, it couldn't just go down a drain.

 

I don't wanna open the hindsight is 20/20 can of worms. But just because CF didn't add any new rides they did invest significantly in the new waterpark before deciding to pull the plug on the rides side in 2007. After that, yes WWK was not invested in heavenly as I'm sure it's days where numbered from the moment the rides closed. I used to say to my friends that if WWK didn't get a new attraction within 5 years of the rides closing to expect that park to be closed within 10...

 

Rides and coasters are not the only investments that cost money for a park... and if MiA doesn't need those investments due to consistent attendance and profit why spend?

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Enthusiasts tend to look at things differently than business people do. To enthusiasts if a park isn't adding a major ride every single season it must be a failure and the corporate office hates them cause they're not getting what they're owed. But the fact that MiA can continue to operate profitably year after year with little investment should be evidence enough that the park is successful.

 

I think a lot of lessons were learned in the late 90s to mid 2000's about unnecessary investment in parks. Someone mentioned GL. I think the reason this park is left alone is due to the lessons learned from GL. I have a feeling before any major investment happens at this park, even a small new coaster like Tantrum at DL you'll see something older like Corkscrew removed. Not for space, but more for balance and to not tax an already limited labor pool. No point to add more and more rides to a park if the park can't find the additional help to staff them.

 

People make too much of "lessons being learned" IMO - I think it's simply a situation where the park comfortably makes money but has issues in basic infrastructure and availability of labor/willingness to come up with creative solutions to labor shortages. That combined with what I understand to be the belief at the executive level that expansion at MiAdv probably would cannibalize visitation at Cedar Point from a guest base that is disproportionately likely to be staying on property and burning cash like no one's business means it is safe but never, ever going to be expanded significantly.

 

For me, I get this. I don't automatically defer to companies and their decision making, so I'd love to know what, if any, serious market research was done to make the choices they have. But I get what's happening. The park isn't in danger. It also isn't very good IMO. To make it "good" wouldn't even necessarily require tons of work or vast outlays of cash. I'm talking about improving pay to be more competitive in the labor market, adding a second train to Wolverine Wildcat, redoing the PLCs for the Wild Mouse so the hourly capacity can exceed 100 people per hour, modifying the restraints on Thunderhawk to make them more comfortable, adding a show - ANY live entertainment, adding a flat ride or two (used even!), upping the quality of the food ever so slightly; things like that. None of that is going to happen though unless they come to believe that making the park a more pleasing experience can actually benefit them, which is a very backhanded way of saying that Michigan's Adventure merely being "good enough" is what the chain and corporation wants.

 

Not going to Michigan's Adventure as a sort of protest move is only so helpful if Cedar Fair already has your money. OTOH, if you don't give them the same amount because you buy a regular season pass instead to Cedar Point only and give them the feedback that the synergy is important to you in making that specific purchasing decision, then maybe they'll heed us. Maybe not - just because they're profit oriented doesn't mean they're always acting in a rational manner based on evidence. It won't happen any other way.

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It would be nice just to see a few new flat rides in the ride side of the park. They removed Falling Star but replaced it with nothing. The Trabant is a bit tired, maybe something updated would replace that ride nicely. I’m saying give the loyal park patrons a new experience once in a while. I know this isn’t Cedar Point but a little treat for the locals who support the park wouldn’t be such a bad thing.

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It would be nice just to see a few new flat rides in the ride side of the park. They removed Falling Star but replaced it with nothing. The Trabant is a bit tired, maybe something updated would replace that ride nicely. I’m saying give the loyal park patrons a new experience once in a while. I know this isn’t Cedar Point but a little treat for the locals who support the park wouldn’t be such a bad thing.

 

Look, I don't disagree. You're not going to find me flailing about trying to justify that it is a good decision. That happens way too often in this hobby any time a park or chain does anything. It wasn't just the Falling Star, but they lost the Chaos quite awhile back too. So why not look at building some cheaper rides that could fit the demographics well and aren't total maintenance/operations nightmares? But again, this is about the park being "good enough" and not being "good". It sounds ridiculous to think that a Dartron Cliffhanger would be the thing that keeps someone from booking a trip to stay at Breakers for 2 nights for their family, but that's kinda the logic in place here.

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They added the fun land farm in 2016. That was actually expanded this year. They now even have horse rides. The park over the last couple years has built a new warehouse, a new employee training center, added catwalks to thunderhawk, connected to city sewer and updated the catering pavilions. That is just quick stuff off my head. I even forgot that they completely redid half pint paradise. Its really nice now. My young one loves it. Not to mention built new coke freestyle stations and the beer gardens. Even bunch of little stuff like new lights down the corkscrew midway which hopefully leads to more night time operations. I still have hope they we either get a refurbed Knotts Boomerang with vest restraints or Firehawk. I would even love a larson looper on the lake by the beer garden. We will see. As a local I see the all the little improvements from year to year. I have learned the park under the new Cedar Fair leadership the park will be nothing more then a family park and I am okay with that. So Ill just travel to thrill parks to get my fix in lol.

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