Are Coaster Designers/builders rich?

Monday, April 29, 2002 1:48 PM

Do they make a lot of money or are they just normal? Do B&M have huge mansions with jeeves or regular houses? Roller Coasters seem to cost a lot but how much does that steel and concrete cost?

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Monday, April 29, 2002 1:49 PM

Id like to know that too. That has always bothered me ;)

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Monday, April 29, 2002 1:50 PM
You got two of the same topics. go to edit and delete one of them

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Are roller coasters my life? NO, but I certainly like them!

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Monday, April 29, 2002 1:50 PM
Well, I'd assume the B&M are both pretty well off, since they seem to own their company. I wouldn't think that most people in the industry make a lot of money -- the only rich ones are the owners // president... etc. I don't know any of this for sure, but that's what I would assume.
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Monday, April 29, 2002 2:31 PM
I'm guessing they make a nice amount of money but not as much as bill gates.

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Monday, April 29, 2002 3:34 PM
Well, they're engineering geniuses, so of course they're pretty well off. We're not talking billions here, but in the 125-150K range, most likely. And the owners? Hell...Millionaires, most likely.

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-Kyle Brylczyk
KoRn - Untouchables, June 11th, 2002

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Monday, April 29, 2002 3:53 PM

From what I know of similar businesses, I highly doubt that anyone without an ownership position makes over $100,000 per year. For the owners it all depends on how well the business is doing. That means not only that they are selling a lot of coasters, but also that they are managing the business so that they are making a profit on the coasters that they sell.

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Monday, April 29, 2002 4:07 PM
Personally, I have a hard time understanding how some coaster firms, for example, GCI with a total of 5 coasters built since 1995(6?), can stay afloat!

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I get the feeling there's a conspiracy over at King's Island to remove anything that has "K" or "C" in its initials.

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Monday, April 29, 2002 5:39 PM

MooreOn said:
Personally, I have a hard time understanding how some coaster firms, for example, GCI with a total of 5 coasters built since 1995(6?), can stay afloat!

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I get the feeling there's a conspiracy over at King's Island to remove anything that has "K" or "C" in its initials.



GCI has been doing lots of retracking jobs around the country over the past 2-3 years. They arent getting a lot of PR for doing them, but they do a wonderful job smoothing out rough woodies. For instance, they retracked the Arkansas Twister at Magic Springs and did the rebuild of Dollywood's old Arrow mine train (now called Big Bad John) at that park as well.

GCI is still very much in business. They are still financially stable because they manage their cash well. Being in the business, I know how much money a project takes. It takes many projects before a firm will even turn a profit. For me, I have to have engineers, graphic artists, 3d modelers, and other technical staff on retainer, which eats lots of cash flow even before you sell your idea. People dont realize how much even the smallest project costs to spec, conceptualize, and present for bid. Then, the costs skyrocket when you win the bid.... The best thing to have is venture capital. That is what keeps the smaller companies afloat in slow economic periods like what we are in today.

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Monday, April 29, 2002 6:41 PM

Agent Johnson said in the duplicate (now deleted) thread:

Mostly normal. By the time you have paid for developement and the engineering, you have to cover the install, the labor, warranty claims, financing both ways, shipping and or customs charges, and a whole host of other surprises, like 'sudden permits', property line disputes, work and production shortages, etc.

Next is the fact that no one person does the whole thing. You need an electrical engineer, a mechanical, a structural, welders, draftsmen, and the list goes on. Then you have sub contract work. There is a basic fixed % markup on the ride, but it dwindles at a steady pace when the ride openes late, or if there are unforseen problems.

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Monday, April 29, 2002 8:24 PM

Dubious. The coaster industry seems to be a great one to go into if you're looking to go under. Very cyclical, extremely small market, very fad oriented and just "cool" enough to always have some yahoo wanting your job.

It's jsut like the computer industry. Game programmers work the longest hours and earn the least, because their job is "glamourous" so the number of applicants is high. I imagine roller coasters are similar. If you want to make the big money go work for the government on construction projects...

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Tuesday, April 30, 2002 3:15 AM

Jim Fisher said:

From what I know of similar businesses, I highly doubt that anyone without an ownership position makes over $100,000 per year.

Don't know about over there, but here. Virtually any Engineer working for a firm, as an engineer is getting in the vicinity of $80,000-$200,000.

A rollercoaster would make similar profit, porpotional to virtually any other similar trade, and generally, this markup is very high. It is a luxury item, simply, the demand far exceeds the supply, therefore manufacturers can confidently charge (within reason) what they want.

Slightly off topic: Personally, if I were a company like B&M, I would be very scared of Intamin, Arrow, and other similar companies. Intamin for one, having moved to a lighter cheaper track style, that requires less steel, yet are capable of doing the same things, and much more than B&M. Then Arrow, well, they have always been very cheap rides, and still are. Whats more with their comfort problems worked out, they are a huge threat to B&M's business.

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Tuesday, April 30, 2002 4:39 AM
Well for Civil Engineers in general make around 55,000 which isn't bad. But if you really want a job at a company you may have to take less money because of overstaffing. But I guess you could maybe try an apprencticeship or something.

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You can hear the laughter, you can hear the mighty roar. From the brickyard down in Indy to the white Chicago shore. It's a rollin', twistin', turnin' and might we both suggest. You get you fanny ridin' on the Cornball Express!

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Tuesday, April 30, 2002 4:44 AM

Intamin requires less steel? Somehow I doubt that to be true. A box strikes me as having a lot less steel, not to mention a lot fewer welds, than truss, leading me to believe it's far from cheaper.

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Jeff - Webmaster/Admin - CoasterBuzz.com, Sillynonsense.com
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Tuesday, April 30, 2002 4:58 AM
Of course, there are also the cases where you hire your design out, say for example, Werner Stiegel (Im spelling that wrong), works a lot with many of the designers. His services don't come cheap.
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Tuesday, April 30, 2002 7:43 AM

Intamin's design requires less steel than B&M's, but it requires more labor.

auscoasterman:

Our US dollars are about $1.85 Austrailian. Your $80,000 to $200,000 works out to $43,000 to $108,000 US. Usually the higher end of this scale is found with large manufacturing firms. Smaller outfits like coaster companies usually don't pay quite as well

*** This post was edited by Jim Fisher on 4/30/2002. ***

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Tuesday, April 30, 2002 8:22 AM
IF one company's design were to utilize less steel, it would probably be inconsequential in the end. The difference in material cost could easily be offset by anything, like a set of trim brakes or a one-day delay in construction. I am sure that cost depends a lot more on design (and design talent) than on total material cost. At least with steel coasters... the situation with woodies is most likely the direct opposite, with total materials being one of the most important factors in project cost.
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Tuesday, April 30, 2002 8:27 AM

I think it's safe to say that Bolliger and Mabillard (or however the heck they are spelled) are very wealthy.

But the designers, engineers I have met all seem to live middle income lives.

I think if you want to know who would be the highest paid person in the coaster industry, then you need look at Werner Stengel. He has his hands in everything. He is near genius and genius pays well.

Shaggy

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Shaggy
A.K.A. John K.

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Tuesday, April 30, 2002 8:56 AM
If you want to get rich in the amusement industry, try to join the executive ranks of a major chain, such as Disney or Six Flags. It's more stable and pays better than building rides.
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Tuesday, April 30, 2002 2:01 PM
B&M track isn't hollow. It's all thick steel in that boxy track, Intamin track is pretty much hollow and the spine's are the same width as the rails, which means less steel. Also, there is no solid body of steel, just trusses connecting, making less steel used overall.

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