Arrow confirms restructuring and has filed for Chapter 11 reorgranization

Posted Tuesday, December 11, 2001 1:19 PM | Contributed by Jeff

Arrow Dynamics president Fred Bolingbroke confirmed to CoasterBuzz today that the company has filed for reorganization under Chapter 11, due in part to the current economy and financial loss related to X (Magic Mountain's new 4th Dimension coaster). Arrow will also discontinue internal steel fabrication in favor of outsourcing. Engineering and parts service personnel, in addition to project management, QC and field service departments are being retained. Bolingbroke says he feels strongly that Arrow is on the right path to making a comeback in the industry.

Tuesday, December 11, 2001 1:24 PM
Jeff's avatar I can't say I'm surprised that they ditched the steel fab. The natural way of doing business is to stick to your core competencies, and I think theirs is engineering and design. It's the reason magazines don't own printing presses and restaurants don't grow their own food.

A bump in the road this might be, but I think long term Arrow is indeed headed on the right track (and I'm not just saying that because I know the guy who runs the place).

Jeff - Webmaster/Admin -
"As far as I can tell it doesn't matter who you are. If you can believe, there's something worth fighting for..." - Garbage, "Parade"

Tuesday, December 11, 2001 1:29 PM
nasai's avatar Have to agree, Jeff.  I have never seen a successful company that does it all in house.  I take that back...  Yamaha is one, but hey, they don't make rollercoasters!  Regardless, this is a step in a positive direction for the struggling company, and hopefully one that will allow them to reclaim their status.
Tuesday, December 11, 2001 1:32 PM
Wow, when I first saw this it took my breath away, thankfully the company is only doing what it needs to do in order to survive. *** This post was edited by RagingBullGuy on 12/11/2001. ***
Tuesday, December 11, 2001 1:45 PM
Where did this come from? I had heard nothing of Arrow in money trouble and then this came out of the blue.
Tuesday, December 11, 2001 1:58 PM
excerpted from the IAAPA interview hosted elsewhere on this very site

"CB: A lot of people don't realize that Arrow does more than amusement rides. What else does the company do?

FB: That is a very good question. About 7 years ago, Arrow brought back in-house the manufacturing of track and structure, which gives us much greater control over the schedule and product quality. Over the last couple of years, we have made strides in diversifying our business and using our talents outside of the amusement industry. This has mainly involved steel fabrication and fiberglass work. We recently completed a large truss sculpture out of aluminum tubing (with many similarities to roller coaster track) for a government building in Baltimore. This fall we are working on major structures, including the cauldron, for the Winter Olympic Games in Salt Lake City. We also fulfill weekly fabrication orders for companies in the aerospace and airline industry.

Even though Jeff is not suprised, I, for one am. Fred so much as said that having the fab 'in-house' was a good thing AND was pretty much what kept the company busy. It's very curious that now they are going to dump it.

But hey, as long as they dont tell me what patent applications to allow, I wont tell them how to run *their* business.
--Arrow fan for life!

Tuesday, December 11, 2001 2:07 PM
So what how bright is the future of the 4th Dimension? Bad? Good? Will X be the only reminder of the concept?
Tuesday, December 11, 2001 2:11 PM
The problem is deciding what business you are in.  Steel fabrication is one business and roller coasters is another.  To do both, you need two organizations.  It's possible to do this under one roof, but it's difficult to keep one from diluting the efforts in the other.

Also, judging by they repairs that I've seen in X photos, Arrow wasn't doing the steel fabrication very well.

Tuesday, December 11, 2001 2:19 PM
JUST GREAT!!!Aother great company gone for awhile.First Vekoma and now Arrow.Please don't tell me B&M are next!Coasters are gonna start getting dull because companies are filing chapter 11.As long as Intamin and B&M are still here and don't go away the coasters still have a future.
What in the world is in that bag?Watch u got in that bag!?!?!?!?!?!?! *** This post was edited by Nitro230 on 12/11/2001. ***
Tuesday, December 11, 2001 2:41 PM
"Aother great company gone for awhile.First Vekoma and now Arrow"


Since when was Vekoma a Great company?? ;)

Doesn't surprise me, it was acutaly mentioned on the midways of CP on closing weekend when I was talking to a couple of Silver tags. What would happen first, X opens or they file.


You win Mr. Jasper...
One of us.. One of us..
June 11th, 2001 - Gemini 100 *** This post was edited by Red Garter Rob on 12/11/2001. ***

Tuesday, December 11, 2001 4:11 PM
john peck's avatar Don't forget kids, those B&M folks' main office and engineering dept are within a small building as their track and supports are fabricated elsewhere, including Ohio.

This will be a wise step for Arrow at this time. Im not worried, I just think they have had some bad timing here with the X issues and putting the Stratosphere project on hiatus.

Tuesday, December 11, 2001 4:13 PM
"X" is one of those things that sounds interesting but is not practical.  If Arrow sticks with this they can kiss Chapter 11 goodbye and say hello to Chaper 7 ---> liquidation!  BTW, X just feels like an accident waiting to happen and I have serious questions whether it will stay in operation for very long even if it ever opens.

In-house steel fabrication is not the problem, the problem is not knowing when to dump an idea.  Somehow Arrow got infatuated with this "4th dimension" BS and it's gonna sink their ship.  They should be putting energy into how to start making 300 foot coasters and break the 100 mph barrier.  Everyone knows Arrow is a great company and the innovator of the modern steel coaster, but if they go down it will be nobody's fault but their own.

Tuesday, December 11, 2001 4:22 PM
How bad actually is this? Haven't they withstood at least one other bankruptcy before? They can probably withstand this.
CP! Still the coaster capital of the world in 2002!
My fellow Americans; Let's Roll!
Tuesday, December 11, 2001 4:26 PM
For those of us living on the wrong coast, what makes X an accident waiting to happen?

"You are what you think about all day long" Ralph Waldo Emmerson

Tuesday, December 11, 2001 4:29 PM
Question, lets imagine Arrow in a scenario where they are bandrupt, do you think any other company would save them or buy them? If Intamin got their hands on the 4D designs............
Tuesday, December 11, 2001 4:31 PM
Ahhhh yes!!! Outsourcing, that evil word. Companies look at it as saving money, but in the long run it comes back to haunt you. If your vendor is not passing inspections of their products to you , it creates more headaches and pissed off customers. You are better off paying your own employees to create your own custom product.

Then again I am referring to the business that I am in(Medical manufacturing equipment). Maybe in the coaster building industry it is a smart move.

""An hour wait for a 2 minute thrill. Yes, we need our heads examined""

Tuesday, December 11, 2001 5:13 PM
Wow, a replay of Vekoma.. too pressure to rush a new product out to market.  Of course, this isn't specific to the amuesment industry, it happens in virtually every industry.  But, Vekoma made it out okay by slashing R&D and relying on their tried-and true stuff.  I think we'll see Arrow do the same.  There [was] just too much pressure to rush things out to market during the coaster wars, but since they've slowed a little, it will give firms time to regroup and reorganize.
Tuesday, December 11, 2001 5:17 PM
Yikes. Although Screamscape has had it's share of detractors after the Tomb Raider plans were leaked, I wish there information about Arrow was wrong.
SFA 2002-What are they building? *** This post was edited by Intamin Fan on 12/11/2001. ***
Tuesday, December 11, 2001 5:29 PM

Outsourcing is a necessity in all businesses unless you want to own your own oil wells, iron ore mines etc.  The problem is to do it intelligently, decide what amount of outsourcing is proper, and to use only quality suppliers.  Obviously insourcing didn't work well for Arrow.

Usually when outsourcing becomes a problem is when upper management decides to control it based on some grand plan; instead of allowing the people who know the real issues to decide when, how, and to whom to outsource.  I could tell horror stories about both screwed up outsourcing and insourcing, but not in an open forum

Tuesday, December 11, 2001 5:49 PM
john peck's avatar Oh, BTW, Back in the Early 80's, HUSS bought Arrow for a time being before Arrow bought themselves back.

It was a good and bad thing. Huss allowed Arrow to stay in the industry, but it didn't like a lot of the designs that Karl Bacon had come up with...For example, Bacon had designed a swinging ship ride and several other flat rides that HUSS turned down development on.


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