Their were plans of Bob Baranick supposedly going to bring a theme or two to Raleigh/Durham triangle area but those future plans have been put off the table and canceled. Do you think the research triangle could support another theme park or two even the triad since those regions of NC lack a solid good theme park. I know Hard Rock Park tried to be successful in South Carolina but failed and turned into Freestyle music park later on then closed altogether. The Carolinas I think could support another park.
I highly doubt that that Raleigh-Durham will ever have a Six Flags/Cedar Fair sized park as the cost of building a park of that size in this day and age would be astronomically high. Don't know how much it would cost to build a Waldameer or an Arnold's Park-sized park but that seems like the only real possibility if anything. With the population growth expected in the Research Triangle over the next few decades it they definitely have the population to support a park, but the enormous startup costs mean that it would take a fairly long time for park owners/investors to receive a good return on investment.
Having lived in Raleigh for about 7 years with a single mother, trips to theme parks like Busch Gardens Williamsburg, Kings Dominion, and Carowinds only occurred once a year for me. I fully support the addition of a theme park in that area as the growing population could easily support it. I would be fine if it was a smaller theme park as well like some of the parks in Pennsylvania, however a corporate park would probably not work out business-wise. Maybe the local FEC, Frankie’s could build a Gravity Group mini woodie or even an SBF Spinner.
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I believe that if the market called for it, the state would justify having more parks... Carowinds is the largest draw from a regional park standpoint, but there are several other size-able parks within a reasonable drive/flight that also pull guests from the state. I think for the market, North Carolina has with Carowinds (I know, on the border) and several smaller parks/attractions, all it can support at this time, given its proximity to so many large attractions within the relative spheres of influence for general public guests.
To be honest, as a Carolinian born & raised in Florida, I’d be thrilled to see the region get another park. Some mid-sized park, ala Knoebels (my favorite amusement park of all time <3) or even a smaller one like Fun Spot would be great. I’d love to see a Gravity Group kids wooden coaster come to this new park (even though in the Carolinas we have Swamp Fox, Phoenix’s often-forgotten Southern cousin), as well as some ride models that Carowinds doesn’t have. A Chance Hyper GTX, perhaps?
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While the driving distances are far, my family has friends from North Carolina who mention BGW, KD, and CW whenever a theme park topic comes up. While a closer one would be nice, I think a lot of NC residents are aware of a lot of the nearby parks. Hell, you even have Pigeon Forge not too terribly far away!
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Personally, I think that any part of the country could use more quality amusement parks and/or theme parks. There doesn't have to be one park that dominates a metro area. If many parks exist, are thriving, and put in great rides, people with money and families with money will just go to parks more often. If one amusement park dominates the market and has no competition, going to that park will just be something that the average person does once every few years for kicks.
The biggest competitor to a park is apathy, other entertainment options, and other travel options.
Granted, a key qualifier is quality attractions and the parks being well run. If they're pathetic and laughingstocks, then it won't help grow the pie at all.
I think if the region of the research triangle continues to grow I think a theme park about the size of Elitch Gardens or waldemeer park in Erie PA could actually work. Maybe the size of Oaks Amusement Park in Portland would work as well. I know KD, BGW, and Carowinds are close by but a local theme park in like Raleigh could benefit if it ever comes one day. Greensboro in the Triad has Wet’N Wild Emerald Pointe.
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