Astroworld as it stands today

Thursday, February 15, 2007 12:18 PM
... or at least two weeks ago.

I was on business in Houston 2 weeks ago and while there I had business meetings at Reliant Stadium with the Houston Texans. Reliant Stadium is on Reliant Park Property, which includes the Astrodome. The Astrodome, of course, is (or was) directly adjacent (across the highway) to Astroworld.

I last visited the park in it's final season, and other than driving by quickly on subsequent visits, had not paid much attention to the former park property.

Here's a link to the 3 pics (not tremendous quality... taken with my cell phone... but you'll get the idea) of the property as it now stands. They are taken from inside Reliant Stadium's office area.

You'll see that there's NO trace left of the park. Pretty amazing, pretty sad.

http://hometown.aol.com/jhnktr/coasterpics.html

Shaggs *** Edited 2/15/2007 5:20:59 PM UTC by Shaggy***

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Thursday, February 15, 2007 12:43 PM
With all the development going on, you can see why it was important to get the park torn down ASAP... /end sarcasm.

Sad all the way around... :(

Nontheless, thanks for the update Shaggs...

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Thursday, February 15, 2007 2:10 PM
I wonder how many people don't know the park is gone and still show up to visit.

Man that must be hard to explain to your kids.

"Um...that park was right here last time..."

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Thursday, February 15, 2007 2:25 PM
You may be more accurate than you know.

I did some informal polling of folks on my various visits to Houston. In casual chatter I mentioned Astroworld to a few when the conversation of local entertainment venues arose. I asked things like "Isnt' there a Six Flags park here?" or "I heard Astroworld closed. Is that true?"

Out of the 5 or so people I mentioned it to, all of them didn't really know anything about the park being demolished. Most *knew* of the closure but said that it was "still there."

Even before the park closure, those I asked about Astroworld were very flippant about the park. Most said they hadn't been there in years and didn't care for it.

No wonder it closed. It obviously was an afterthought in Houstonian's minds. I would suspect most don't really realize it IS gone until they either drive by, visit Reliant or perhaps try to visit the park.

Oh, and I asked one of my business acssociates at Reliant about Astroworld being gone. "What happened to the park that was there?"

His response was simply a non-concerned: "The park couldn't make money, so they bulldozed it. No big loss."

Shaggy *** Edited 2/15/2007 7:29:04 PM UTC by Shaggy***

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Thursday, February 15, 2007 3:08 PM
I can't get the page to load for some reason but I'd love to see the pictures.

As I stated in the Miracle Strip thread, it's really sad how people don't appreciate things until they're gone. Except in this case, it doesn't seem like people miss it at all.

Welcome to America of the 21st century- no room for fun diversions like an amusement park as long as there are plenty of malls and condos to go around. Heaven forbid people have a little fun outside of shopping for crap and buying housing with a beautiful view of the highway and high-tension alongside them.

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Thursday, February 15, 2007 3:51 PM
That's exactly what I've been saying all along. To most people it isn't a big loss. Shaggy's informal, unscientific study ;) helps confirm this.

The only ones who seem to be pissed are a bunch of enthusiast who don't even live there.

I suspect this is often the case. If the community wants a park saved, they'll do it.

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Thursday, February 15, 2007 4:00 PM
Those pictures are so erie, I mean, a nice big parking lot and a path that just leads to nowhere. It reminds me somewhat of roller coaster tycoon before you start on the park. Someone could photoshop a park in there. It still looks a bit sad and quiet, to think of what used to be there. All of the memories for some people, everything flattened completely. Sort of a ground zero, alot of figurative energy. *** Edited 2/15/2007 9:02:16 PM UTC by P18***
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Thursday, February 15, 2007 4:24 PM
Gonch should change his screen name to Anti-Enthusiast. ;)
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Thursday, February 15, 2007 4:40 PM
As the pics show, it's a depressing site to see.

However I was not emotionally connected to Astroworld, and really don't have a bevvy of outstanding memories from the park.

Well, correction, I do have one outstanding memory... Astroworld is the only park that I have witnessed two minors copulating. (In a darkened corner, near the exit as I left for the final time.)

I visited the park several times over the years, but really am not affected by it's removal. You'll hardly find me lamenting the loss since it was so run-down, so overrun with bad.

It does concern me that Houston, a major US city, has not fought for an amusement complex elsewhere. If I were a Theme Park backer, I'd be all over that town scouting for the best possible location for a new park. There's major money to be had there.

Shaggy

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Thursday, February 15, 2007 4:42 PM
That's VERY true! What about CF building an all-new park from the ground up? Better yet, maybe Schlitterbahn could get into the amusment parl biz.
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Thursday, February 15, 2007 5:12 PM
My Astroworld anecdote: my only visit to the park was two weeks before it closed. A guy with his young son saw me taking pictures of the Cyclone, and we started talking about the park. He said he had ridden Cyclone when it was new but that he hadn't been to the park much in recent years because it had gotten so bad. Which is pretty much what I've heard from all the people I've talked to about Astroworld.

The whole thing just reminds me of sports franchises leaving town (e.g., Oilers, Browns, Hornets). Each of those teams had a fan base, but it got harder to draw when the teams were managed so poorly. All of the teams picked up and started fresh somewhere else, and within a handful of years, each of those markets had a replacement team.

I'm just curious if the major chains even feel it's even worth it to build a regional park from scratch these days. All regional parks are ultimately competing with Disney in the grand scheme of things (along with video games, movies, etc.), but it's hard to compete with Disney's wallet (I'm looking at you, Expedition Everest, and your $100 million price tag).

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Thursday, February 15, 2007 5:23 PM
...Didn't Disney recently say they were interested in smaller regional parks? Hmm... That would be quite interesting. They could join Seaworld in having properties in CA, FL and TX *** Edited 2/15/2007 10:24:06 PM UTC by P18***
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Thursday, February 15, 2007 5:57 PM
Quite honestly. Id rather have a park razed and gone than still standing and hoping against hope that someday it might reopen in some capacity that probably never will. (Yeah Im talking Lesourdsville here) I guess hope is better than gone but this guy won't tell anyone anything other than it'd cost several hundred grand to run that thing again.


Whalom stood for a decade before demolition. Idora even longer. Isn't the Lincoln Park Comet still sitting in the middle of a collapsed lifthill?

Chuck

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Thursday, February 15, 2007 6:08 PM
Evenually, some corp will have the BALLS to build a park from scratch again, instead of trying to take on an existing park with problems.

I'm not saying it hasto be on the scale of CP or Bush Gardens, but a good midsize park with 5 or 6 coasters and other rides. I don't care if it's any particualr theam, just well done.

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Thursday, February 15, 2007 6:33 PM
^Yeah, like maybe Hard Rock park.....only with fewer coasters... ;)
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Thursday, February 15, 2007 7:17 PM
A Houston area park should be build initially to have a projected attendance of around 2 million and could grow in the future. SFAW was around 1.5 million even with its faults so a first rate park could do better than this. Also the Houston area has continued to grow and SFNO is also gone (meaning additional business from Louisiana).

I believe that the park should start with about 8 different coasters (2 woodies, one hyper, one inverted or floorless, one conventional multilooper, a pair of dueling spinners (for capacity's sake), a family style coaster with theming, and a kiddie coaster) with 2 or 3 more to come in the future. There should be around 4 water coasters (remember -- this is Texas with all of that heat) including a whitewater ride, a flume, a shoot the chutes, and some other ride of this type along with some other water ride such as bumper boats. .

Other essentials include a carousel, an interactive darkride (4 passenger cars for capacity), a 3' gauge train, a double track car ride (again, capacity), a large drop tower, a bumper car ride, several high thrill flats (Top Spin, Frisbee, Hawk, Screamin Swing, Mega Disk-O or similar rides), several interediate intensity flats (Musik Express, Wipeout, Flying Carpet, etc.), a number of family flats (Balloon Race, Pirate ship, themed Tilt-A-Whirl, enclosed Scrambler, Swing ride, etc.) and 10 to 15 kiddie rides in addition to the kiddie coaster.

Upcharge attractions should include a double Skycoaster, a go-Kart track, a climbing wall, and maybe one other ultra-high thrill attraction.

Also there should be a good selection of shows including at least 2 musical shows, a dance revue, one or two stunt shows, a magic show, a motion simulator attraction, a panoramic or IMAX show, and possibly one or two animal shows. This should be supplemented by roving entertainers including some costumed characters.

The park should be well landscaped with planty of shade, fountains, etc as well as gardens.

There should also be a top notch waterpark either within or adjecant to the park.

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Thursday, February 15, 2007 7:20 PM
What you just descibed was almost what astroworld was.
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Thursday, February 15, 2007 8:20 PM
Thanks for the pics, Shaggy...but they must be taken from pretty far away as I can't see the park at all. Is it behind the trees in the distance?
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Thursday, February 15, 2007 8:30 PM
I think they just lowered the level of the park 100' or so and now you have to bury your way in to find the secret entrance.
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Thursday, February 15, 2007 8:37 PM
...on the other hand, this would be nice junk of land to build a brand new amusement park!
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