Astroworld as it stands today

I'm a Devils fan so I know exactly who Ken Daneko is. He's one of many great players the team lost to either free agency or retirement the past few years, and if I was as hardcore about the Devils as I am about the Yankees, I would certainly find his retirement to be reason for disappointment, and perhaps even sadness.

What some of you are ignoring is the fact that many of us "emotional" enthusiasts do understand the financial climate that leads to many of these decisions being made. It's insisted time and and time again that we don't get what's going on, but we do. Just because I think it sucks that Astroworld closed and that the loss of the parek is a blow to both the city of Houston and coaster enthusiasts doesn't mean that I can't comprehend Six Flags' need to make money, nor does it mean that I'm not willing to engage in a conversation about the financial aspect of amusement park operation. I simply take offense when someone suggests that I'm foolish for feeling bad about what's going on and that I just basically just shut up and deal. We have entered an age when financial statistics are thrown up in our faces, but that doesn't mean I have to like it, and it certainly doesn't mean that I can't mourn the loss of parks and coasters.

Jeffrey brought up a good point. Why does everyone just assume that all business decisions made are good ones? Last time I checked, it was many BAD business decisions made my Six Flags that got themselves into their current hole. The decision to close Astroworld was made by that pre-Shapiro regime, making me wonder why it's regarded as genius. EVen well-respected amusement park operators like (former) Paramount, Cedar Fair, Busch and DIsney are capable of making poor decisions.

Someone I very much respect in the world of business once told me that a "good business person" makes the right decision more than the wrong one, and that is often very close to being 51% right and 49% wrong. That being the case, even the best business people are going to be wrong much of the time. Just something to consider.

Lord Gonchar's avatar
But that's exactly where I have to laugh about it, matt.

You're comparing the emotional attachment to a living thing that has spent many years in your home with you caring for it as essentially another member of the family with an amusement park.

I'd let 20 parks burn to the ground to save Fluffy. (Hell, I'd burn them myself)

That's the scale of importance I'm operating on.


Lord Gonchar's avatar

Rob Ascough said:
What some of you are ignoring is the fact that many of us "emotional" enthusiasts do understand the financial climate that leads to many of these decisions being made. It's insisted time and and time again that we don't get what's going on, but we do. Just because I think it sucks that Astroworld closed and that the loss of the park is a blow to both the city of Houston and coaster enthusiasts doesn't mean that I can't comprehend Six Flags' need to make money...

So that's where I liken it to a whining child. They know they can't have things the way they want but the still mope and cry about it.

I think that's exactly where I lose the connection. There's nothing any of us can do about it. The park is gone, it's not coming back and we had no say in the decision. Coming here and saying some park owner sold out or doesn't get it or that the community got shafted just seems like sour grapes.

I can't speak for anyone else, but it seems like a waste of time, energy and effort (just like the whining child who won't give up long after he's been shot down) - it all seems so selfish.

"But, I liked that park, so it shouldn't be gone"


^I don't understand your objection to someone posting pictures of what the site looks like today, or why you object to a few people stating remorse over the loss. I found the pictures interesting even though I just recently saw the site in person. It seems that the discussion was going along just fine until a few of you decided to chime in and state it's gone--get over it.

I especially like how Impulse-ive closed his post with "end of discussion" as if his is the only opinion that matters.

I think you're interpreting it the wrong way.

It's not like a child stomping his feet after his mother told him that he can't have any more candy before dinner, or a young guy saying that he's never going to date because the girl he asked out turned him down. I don't get the impression that anyone is throwing a tantrum here. At least that's not the impression that I get.

What's wrong with saying that something sucks? It's human nature to complain about the things that people don't like. Maybe some are perfectly fine to look past things they don't like, I think the majority of people dwell on their displeasure. My original post in this thread touched upon two things:

1. People don't realize what they have until it's gone, and,

2. "Fun" things like amusement parks, arcades, bowling alleys and roller skating rinks are giving way to commercial projects like condo developments and strip malls.

How can any of that be construed as whining? All I was doing was voicing how I felt about the loss of an amusement park. It's not like I said I'm going to hunt down Mark Shapiro and talk him into building a new Astroworld. I'm not going to chain myself to the door of the first retail building that opens on the Astroworld site and hold it hostage or anything. I fail to see how that is crying or even moping. Getting back to what I said earlier, this is a coaster enthusiast forum. What am I supposed to say? I'm happy that it's gone... that the world is a better place without Astroworld? If I didn't care at all, I wouldn't be able to call myself a coaster enthusiast. Why that's so hard to understand is beyond me.

You said, "But, I liked that park, so it shouldn't be gone". What's wrong with, "I like amusement parks, and it sucks that it's gone"?

rollergator's avatar
Much like our Wal*Mart discussions, I lament the fact that our society has placed such *value* on so-called "values". It does NOT mean that I'm going to change anyone's mind, or that society will thrive or fail based on MY impressions...

Emotional reactions are NOT necessarily counter to intellectual reactions. By the same token, they also don't normally make for the best decision-making.

None of us is *completely* right or wrong in any of these discussions...but I don't think they're "pointless" either. Ideally, there would be a way for GOOD business decisions to go hand-in-hand with maintaining *recreational activities* that enhance MORE than just the bottom line. I believe there IS....and that's why I'm here in the first place. :)

*** Edited 2/19/2007 5:39:38 PM UTC by rollergator***

matt.'s avatar

Lord Gonchar said:
But that's exactly where I have to laugh about it, matt.

You're comparing the emotional attachment to a living thing that has spent many years in your home with you caring for it as essentially another member of the family with an amusement park.


You're completely missing the point.

I wasn't equating a cat's death with the closing of an amusement park, I was using it as an example.

You can still make what you think is a good decision and still be sad about it. It's not that complicated.

Just because I am "sad" because Astroworld closed doesn't mean I am the same "sad" about Fluffy dying. Can there not be different levels of "sadness" ?

It's a metaphor, not an equation.

One thing for sure, looking at those photos, the city of Houston has to be worse off economically. Anybody have any figures for lost tax revenue?
matt.'s avatar
^The tax revenue will be regained once the property is redeveloped, it's not the plan to keep the lot empty forever.
The tax revenue won't be regained unless the difference between what Houston would have gotten is made up in higher revenues in the future. Is redevelopment actually in the works?

If you've got politicians in Houston who can get that kind of result, could you send some to my part of the country? We seem to be a little short of those around here. :)

Lord Gonchar's avatar

Jeffrey Seifert said:
^I don't understand your objection to someone posting pictures of what the site looks like today, or why you object to a few people stating remorse over the loss.

I don't object to the photos one bit. They're great.

I don't even object to the 'sadness' over it.

I just don't get it - that's all I've said - that it doesn't make sense to me. You guys can be sad all you want - I've got bigger fish to fry. (like discounting the expressions of sadness ;) )


Gator said:
None of us is *completely* right or wrong in any of these discussions...but I don't think they're "pointless" either.

Gator gets it. Gator always gets it. :)


Yeah, I don't understand why there can't be different degrees of sadness. I would surely be hideously upset if my cat died, but that doesn't mean I can't be somewhat sad over an amusement park closing. It's not like there's a universally-accepted list of rules that dictate what one can be sad about.
rollergator's avatar

Rob Ascough said: It's not like there's a universally-accepted list of rules that dictate what one can be sad about.

I normally wouldn't quote the post above mine, but...it's kinda like a riddle, so I needed to... ;)

If there's one universally-accepted list for what counts as a "coaster credit", then why CAN'T we have one for *sadness-acceptable life events*... ;)


You still have Zoidberg.... You ALL have Zoidberg! (V) (;,,;) (V)

Wow! I had no idea posting some casually snapped pics while in the general vicinity would wreak such havok in the coaster world. LOL

*Warning* the following comments are my viewpoints and nasty replies will likely be met only with me blowing a loud raspberry. ;-)

As I said, I wasn't sentimentally attached to SFAW, rather I just found it interesting at just how shockingly different the area now looks without the park.

However, I can say with all sincerity, that I am terribly sentimental when it comes to Kings Island... my favorite park. Were it to be closed and levelled, I would feel terribly sad for it's loss. That doesn't make me any less of a person. It doesn't make me a wimp, or unable to comprehend business decisions (bad or good.) It just means that the park held many fond memories for myself, friends and family.

Here's an example I'll give... the church I grew up in as a kid burned to the ground several years back. That building held the memories of family baptisms, weddings, and even my own Mother's funeral. True, it was just a building. However that building "physicalized" those very happy (and one terrible)memories for me. If (on very rare occasion) I pass by the property today, I am saddened by it's loss and become sentimental.

It's no different with SFAW. Although it was literally a dump the last time I went, I can still see how it could be of sentimental value to those that grew up around it and enjoyed it through the years.

Everyone gets sentimentally attached to something inanimate... why is that a bad thing? As a kid, didn't you have a favorite teddy bear, or cry when your balloon popped? Putting someone down for "caring" for something inanimate just reads as a lack of understanding.

I'll always be fascinated by the losses of various parks. Cincinnati's Coney Island... Buckroe Beach... Ocean View... etc etc. I expect it's because of all the haunting memories that still fill the air blowing through their long since redeveloped land.

Do others think I am a nerd, or freak for that? Perhaps. But other person's opinions rarely affect how I "feel" about something. I still remain attatched, intriged and interested.

And I'm okay with that. LOL

Shaggs

*** Edited 2/19/2007 6:44:10 PM UTC by Shaggy***


Shaggy

Someone here gets it. Well said Shaggy.

I survived a Japanese typhoon and the Togo flat ride of death!!!!!!
Lord Gonchar's avatar

Rob Ascough said:
Yeah, I don't understand why there can't be different degrees of sadness.

Lack of understanding seems to be the gap we can't cross. I don't understand sadness over anything park related and you're on the other side looking back at me thinking, "WTF!?"

Communication breakdown.

Then again, I don't even understand how a thread trying to figure out which coaster isn't the Blue Streak gets 25 replies. ;)

I suppose everyone is an enthusiast in their own way and for some it's sadness over parks closing and detective work on 40 year old photos, while for others it's the business approach of a new CEO and an unhealthy acceptance of old Arrow and Togo coasters as not really that bad while dismissing newer B&M's as lame. :)

Continue lamenting the tragic loss in Houston - I'll stay out of it. I'd hate to be the guy that crashes a funeral with a lampshade on his head. (actually, I wouldn't hate it, but still...)


matt.'s avatar

Lord Gonchar said:
I just don't get it - that's all I've said - that it doesn't make sense to me. You guys can be sad all you want - I've got bigger fish to fry. (like discounting the expressions of sadness ;) )


It's not like we're putting some sort of effort out there.

I see a park that I've never visited, and will never get a chance to visit, that a lot of other people enjoyed that don't have the chance to enjoy anymore.

So I see the pictures and think "Awww."

That's it. I'm not flying down to Houston to protest, I'm not even getting on the internet to protest. And my bigger fish to fry aren't being neglected because I'm wringing my hands over an amusement park a thousand miles away from me I'll never get to visit.

This all started by a handful of folks trying to discount other people's emotional reactions by presenting business arguments. All folks like Rob and me are trying to say is that the two aren't related, we're allowed to understand both independently, and *gasp* post about it independently of it, too.

In other words if I think the closing of a ride or park is sad don't berate me with business jargon like I'm too dumb to understand the difference.

matt.'s avatar

Lord Gonchar said:


Lack of understanding seems to be the gap we can't cross. I don't understand sadness over anything park related and you're on the other side looking back at me thinking, "WTF!?"


We're using "sadness" interchangeably with the way you use the word "disappointment."

It's essentially semantics and it's boring.

rollergator's avatar
One of the things that came to mind when reading Shaggy's (VERY good) post.

For me, there's very little *park stuff* for which I really hold any level of PERSONAL emotional attachment - and it's those items we've mentioned before as hold-overs from the original GAdv...the Ice Cream parlor, the Wagon Wheel restaurant next to the flume, the mine train, the flume itself....stuff I vaguely remember from visits to the park when my father was still alive over 25 years ago. Even though *many* return visits since I joined this hobby in 1999-ish have convinced me *intellectually* that the place is one SMALL step above SFMM, there remains in my heart *nostalgia* for the GAdv that I can barely recall. If those items were lost from GAdv, I'd feel a sense of *personal loss*.

When something happens like SFAW, I think to myself how *I* thought the park was chock-full of "the wrong clientele", and how the employees seemed to want to be ANYWHERE else....but I also know that for the people who grew up with AW, that the place holds LOTS of great memories....er, HELD. I can understand that it's ONLY an amusement park, and I can still feel sorry for those people who have lost *touchstones* to cherished memories of visits with THEIR families and friends.

The parks are places, places of business to be sure. But they're also places where MANY people share some of their most cherished memories with people who mean, or meant, an AWFUL lot to them. It really is more about the people than it is about the rides and attractions...IMO.

Does this make sense? Didn't think so... ;)

*** Edited 2/19/2007 6:50:32 PM UTC by rollergator***

^^^ That last sentence says it all. Thanks Matt.

I have no problem with enthusiasts being enthusiastic in their own way. Variety is the spice of life, and that's what makes sites like this so interesting. But don't forget that some enthusiasts are just soft-hearted when it comes to things like this, that's all.

*** Edited 2/19/2007 6:49:29 PM UTC by Rob Ascough***

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