As an enthusiast does it sadden me to see the park gone? Well, only for the people who never got the chance to go there and experience the rides as a collection. Luckily, some of the rides will be able to be experienced in other parts of the country. For example, I got to ride Dungeon Drop in Missouri last summer in its new scenic location.
For the people who lived there, it's obviously a different story. To lose both a themepark and waterpark probably stung for some people. Six Flags had obviously started to pay some attention to it as well when they added SWAT and Diablo Falls.
A new coaster probably would've been a great addition at some point too (and losing Mr. Freeze to OT probably didn't sit well with some enthusiasts either). But a hypercoaster? Where? Astroworld was a small park. Some kind of launched coaster would've been cool, but I think you would had to have ripped out your land-hog to put that in and that was XLR-8.
With a little creativity AW had plenty of room to build more coasters.
Of course SFAW is gone and had Six Flags been in better financial condition, the park would have been relocated. Many of the rides would have been moved to the new location and the proceeds from the land sale would have helped with costs of rebuilding. With more room to expand, the park could have added the additional attractions that would make it a bigger draw.
A number of parks have closed or relocated in the past because they were TOO successful. One of the best examples was Elitchs Gardens in Denver which got too crowded for its small, landlocked location. It's just too bad that a greater effort wasn't made to preserve the feel of the original park at the new location.
They decide that Great Bear had a great run, but they need something else to bring the kids in. The ride is still pretty decent though and so they think about transferring it to Six Flags Fiesta Texas whose last coaster was Thomas the Tank Engine's Big Spin in 2007 (no one knows who Tony Hawk is anymore, except for old Skater geeks).
But after Mark Shapiro takes a look at Great Bear he proclaims that it has too many custom supports--particularly behind Sooper Dooper Looper--and custom terrain. The cost to rebuild would be too great and they can get a lot of money for the steel. So they go with an Xtreme Wiggles World instead, and Fiesta Texas loses out again:)
That's the mindset you have to get into whenever you bring up a park that's managed to wedge in a ride like an Indiana Beach or a Hersheypark. There's nothing wrong with the concept, but for most park operators if you can't move it to another park easily, then it's not worth the effort financially.
Looking at the map from 02', the only possibility I see for room for an extra coaster would be to run parallel to Texas Cyclone, Ultra Twister, and Batman the Escape, and that would be assuming that they owned any property beyond the train tracks (east of the entry plaza). Afterall, there was a GM dealership right next door as well.
In the back of the park there were picnic pavillions, the Southern Star Amphitheatre, and light-rail track. To the west of the entry plaza there was Six Flags Waterworld. Listen, they had already tore down Texas Tornado to put in SWAT and Diablo Falls. To put anything else in, something else would've had to have gone.
Some people like the stack-it-on-top of each other approach to building a park. If that's your only choice like Indiana Beach, then fine, but it doesn't necessarily look that attractive either.
Maybe it was nostaligia, but when I first laid eyes on Great Bear the year it opened, I didn't think it looked like it fit in at all. To me, it ruined the classic midway look. But then again, after seeing the waterpark they're putting in, Hershey is pretty good at ruining classic midways.
Why are coaster enthusiasts, almost as a whole, unable to grasp the idea that nostalgia and sentiment don't matter worth a damn when it comes to making and losing money?
Can you point out to me exactly where this is going on in this thread?... Because without some direct quotes or something it sounds like you're just ranting for the sake or ranting, without backing up any of your perception about "coaster enthusiasts" without anything to back it up.
That's exactly what he's doing... ranting for the sake of hearing himself rant. Lately this site is populated by more and more people that think they're business gurus and financial wizards and insist on trying to convince everyone that they're capable of seeing the big picture that others cannot. I recall no instance in this thread of someone failing to grasp the concept of losing money. All I've suggested is that the loss of Astroworld was a blow to the community, and I'm pretty much alone with that opinion, it seems. Not once did I insinuate that I fail to comprehend the idea of a business needing to make money.
In light of your rant, let me pose this question: Why do people on this site fail to understand the fact that this is a COASTER ENTHUSIAST website and not an economics forum? The majority of us here are COASTER ENTHUSIASTS, and as COASTER ENTHUSIASTS we think it sucks that a seemingly healthy amusement park was claimed in the name of so-called progress. COASTER ENTHUSIASTS like COASTERS. COASTER ENTHUASISTS don't like to see COASTERS destroyed and AMUSEMENT PARKS closed. What on Earth is so difficult to understand about that, and why is it necessary to throw into the faces of COASTER ENTHUSIASTS why it's something they should just deal with in silence?
I'm a businessman so I know all about a company needing to turn a profit- the need for income to be greater than expenses- but let's face it, even the most dim-witted of people can wrap their minds around that concept. Is it really necessary to constantly remind people that they're thinking with their hearts? Because seriously, I doubt that many of us are buying into the suggestion that you have all the answers and we're just a bunch of morons that don't "get it."
Want to make business a part of the conversation? Fine. But understand that some of us are able to appreciate things on a multitude of levels, not just the one where the buzzphrases are "earnings per share", "return on investment" and "distribution of captial". If you insist on acting all high and mighty, take it to a college and teach economics, but don't put people down because they're able to look past the dollar signs and realize that something just plain sucks from where they're standing.
*** Edited 2/19/2007 4:53:49 AM UTC by Rob Ascough***
--Brett, the other anti-enthusiast, who is probably ranting to deaf ears, other than Gonch's who at least in principal agrees with me
But I have to say it nicer than you do. ;)
I don't understand the emotional attachment either, but that's no secret. I'll probably never comprehend how an amusement park closing or a ride closing is 'sad' in any way. A disappointment maybe, but if sadness overcomes you at the loss of a park or ride...well, then...I don't even know what to say.
(and I do think there's a subtle but important difference between using "sad" and "disappointed")
I'm not an overly emotional person, but I admit that I do feel sadness AND disappointment over things like this. I tend to be very passionate about the things that I enjoy, and when something happens that negatively affects the things that I enjoy, I respond with negativity.
I'm a huge Yankees fan and I felt sadness last year when the Tigers beat them in the ALDS. I felt some more sadness when it was said that manager Joe Torre would lose his job because of that. Neither one of those things affected me directly, but considering I'm passionate about the Yankees, I couldn't be happy about what was going on. When it was said that Pink Floyd wouldn't be reuniting after Waters rejoining Gilmore & Co. for that Live 8 thing, I felt sadness. I always wanted to see Pink Floyd perform like and because I would never get that chance, I wasn't all that thrilled. When I'm not happy or thrilled, chances are I'm sad and disappointed. Weird as it may sound, I have very little middle ground.
While I can understand why some people don't feel the way I do about certain things, I don't understand why those people find my feelings so unbelievable and unjustified... especially when it comes to coasters and amusement parks on a site that's built upon a community of people with a common fondness for coasters and amusement parks. It's not like I'm talking about getting nostalgic for coasters and amusement parks on a website about yachts or bodybuilding.
1: I'm sad that the park closed.
2: Wow, I don't feel that way at all, that doesn't make sense to me. Parks are a business, get over it.
3: I'm going to miss it too.
2: You guys are insane.
1 & 3: Screw you, business boy.
It works both ways to me. If we can come here and talk about our disappointment and sadness over the situation then we can come here and talk about the our lack of it too.
It'd be kind of like me getting all up in arms everytime someone disagreed with my often professed love of Mark Shapiro. I've been disagreed with more times than I can count - and yes, people don't seem to see how I can support his choices or think $15 for parking is a good move or whatever. I don't understand how so many people seem to find my feelings so unbelievable either, but I continue to throw my opinion out there...quite loudly even. :)
"I'm gonna miss that coaster" and "TAER IT DOWN!!!" are both generally welcome. (but you will get slammed for your spelling if you go with the latter ;) )
I do want to address what Rob said. He thinks that there are too many financially-minded people on this site nowadays. Well, what do you expect? There are facts and figures put in front of our faces every day on here and other sites.
We have a CEO whose doing a financial Podcast that is laying it all out for us to listen to. There's a midsize midwest park that openingly talks about its departments budgets and areas where they need to cutback and it's on their blog for anyone to read.
We know about major park debt problems, how much this or that ride cost to build, park acquisition costs, bankruptcy proceedings, liquidations etc. No one is hiding any of this information either, so we the enthusiasts are becoming more informed as a whole.
Face it Rob, you can't shut off the financial end of your brain when every financial transaction could affect you somewhere down the line.
Lord Gonchar said:
But I have to say it nicer than you do. ;)
Well that's cause you're the diplomatic one, I'm just the a-hole that pops in occasionally anymore to launch my opinions at people ;)
I think my problem with it lies in the fact that typically, these "feelings" come out directed towards things that aren't necessarily seen as "all stars" of this hobby. If you're comparing to sports (which I think is a good comparison ... although I have to use hockey, don't follow baseball at all) to me this is like having an outpouring of grief and disappointment and "fond memories" when Ken Daneko retires (yes, I'm looking for people to say "who?") vs. those same feelings coming out when Wayne Gretzky or Mario Lemieux retires. I could understand the feelings of disappointment and sadness to see something great in the coaster world (or sports world) go away in favor of the next new thing (or something completely different) ... what I don't get is the (in my opinion) overly emotional response to the loss of minor, relatively insignificant parks and coasters that aren't well known, aren't that well-regarded and honestly, in a couple of years, other than the bleeding hearts, won't be missed. If Holiday World closed, or one of the larger SF parks closed, or CP closed, ok, yea, then I can understand a little "why did it have to go away" and "couldn't they have found it in their hearts to save it", but for Astroworld? Come on ...
Amen Intamin Fan, nice post ... it's difficult not to be business-minded these days, and I never professed to be an expert. But, I do absorb those types of facts, I find them fascinating, and I will use those facts to justify an argument if necessary. Sorry Rob, information is killing emotion, like it or not. You can't just put your hands over your ears and go "la la la I'm not listening" anymore ...
The enthusiast (kid) side of me clamors for the sweetness and the nostalgia.
The businessperson (adult) side of me understands that parks cannot survive on love alone - gotta have some wheaty biscuit or all that sugar just rots your teeth.
So, I can feel bad that a park like Erieview (or MBP, or MSAP, or SFAW, or LibertyLand - but NOT Bell's) has to close...but I can also understand where the parks weren't successful ENOUGH to keep them operating.
... what I don't get is the (in my opinion) overly emotional response to the loss of minor, relatively insignificant parks and coasters that aren't well known, aren't that well-regarded and honestly, in a couple of years, other than the bleeding hearts, won't be missed. If Holiday World closed, or one of the larger SF parks closed, or CP closed, ok, yea, then I can understand a little "why did it have to go away" and "couldn't they have found it in their hearts to save it", but for Astroworld? Come on ...
What makes a "sad" or "disspointing" is a completely subjective call, and one that you don't get to make for everyone else.
If you have a differing opinion state is as you wish but I don't think discounting people's emotional reactions under the guise of what you think is a good business decision is valid at all.
I have a cat, her name is Fluffy. I find out that Fluffy has feline leukemia, and she's suffering.
I realize that she is better off being put down. Not only is she better off but my family is too because we can no longer take care of Fluffy.
We take her to the vet and let them do their business. We know Fluffy is in a better place and is now no longer suffering, it was definitely the right decision....
But oh wait, my cat is still dead. That's sad. :(
There was nothing wrong with AstroWorld, Burke was looking for a quick fix, and he didn't get it.
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