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Why no American Vekomas?


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Okay, so I've been complaining about this for a while, but I am genuinely curious to see if anyone knows the reasons for this.    American parks seem to have an issue with buying from Vekoma nowadays and I don't understand it.  Back when the SLCs and Arrow looper knockoffs were trash, American parks couldn't buy them fast enough.  But now that Vekoma has been producing really top-tier loopers in Europe and China for 5 years now, it's crickets in America.  Other than WDW, the only other American Vekoma coasters of the last decade have been family suspended coasters... and there are only 3. 

Is the company difficult to deal with?  Do they have a bad reputation for service?  Considering they have 30 year old Boomerangs still running all over the world, I feel like the answer to that is no.  Are they more expensive now than they were?  Or are sit-down loopers just too retro in America and not marketable enough without a record and/or gimmick?

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21 minutes ago, CedarFlags said:

Are they more expensive now than they were?  Or are sit-down loopers just too outdated in America and not marketable enough?

I think it's a combination of those factors, and the reputation that Vekoma earned here after 30+ years of making rather uncomfortable rides.

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4 hours ago, Mike240SX said:

I think it's a combination of those factors, and the reputation that Vekoma earned here after 30+ years of making rather uncomfortable rides.

Even RNRC isnt the most comfortable ride. Everest isnt too bad though. Interested to see how GOTG:CR turns out for comfort, im sure no inversions will keep it fairly smooth. 

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Doesn't it have something to do with Sansei owning both S&S and Vekoma, with S&S handling the coasters over here and Vekoma for the ones in Europe/Asia? I thought I read that somewhere but it could be a load of crap too. I'd love to see a new gen Vekoma here. Lots of parks could use a modern, unique traditional sit-down looper.

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^^-- they make the Vekomas in Europe and S&S in US so there is surely some price difference. They are significantly different coasters though overlapping niche. 

It can take years to plan and complete a project, and their improved reputation is fairly recent so there is still hope.

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It could be competition too. Maybe from a park's perspective that at least as far as launch coasters go they can get the same or similar experience from Premier for probably less, with a more proven track record. The RMC raptor also seems similar to me to Vekoma's non-launch models, at least to a certain extent.

Larger parks are probably staying away for capacity reasons more than anything else too?

Those are just my thoughts, although it is a puzzler.

Personally, I'm not even sure what all the hype about the "new age" Vekoma's is about. I kinda get the sense that it's one of those "some people have been to Europe and ridden them but most haven't" deal. I've always wanted to know are they really as good as they make them out to be?

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4 hours ago, thrillseeker4552 said:

Doesn't it have something to do with Sansei owning both S&S and Vekoma, with S&S handling the coasters over here and Vekoma for the ones in Europe/Asia? I thought I read that somewhere but it could be a load of crap too. I'd love to see a new gen Vekoma here. Lots of parks could use a modern, unique traditional sit-down looper.

This is a common theory and I'd like to call bs on that since S&S still makes roller coasters in China and has one planned for a European park.  China and Europe has gotten a good amount of next gen Vekomas.  My personal theory is that Vekoma is booked and busy (~30 projects under construction according to RCDB) and Vekoma wants to focus their North American attention on Disney parks. 

 

It should be noted that every coaster Vekoma built in America in the past 4 years has either been for Disney parks or family coasters

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21 hours ago, CedarFlags said:

Do they have a bad reputation for service?

Yes. Even if you get past the phone tree, you can't get anyone who speaks English well. Tech support is terrible and they always tell you to do a power cycle and consult the owner's manual.

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