Birmingham May Cut Off VisionLand

Posted Monday, March 11, 2002 5:29 AM | Contributed by rampagelover

A Birmingham City Council committee recommended Monday that the city stop its annual $1 million payments to VisionLand because the park is not making money. Park officials have hired an international marketing agency to search out buyers. Birmingham is one of several municipalities that contributes money to the park's operation annually.

Read more from the Birmingham News.

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Monday, March 11, 2002 6:35 AM
Maybe it is a good idea that Cedar Fair isn't moving on this "opportunity."
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Monday, March 11, 2002 7:00 AM

pardon the expression, but it seems more than a little "short-sighted" of Birmingham. Perhaps the park needs some new management, etc., but should Visionland go away forever, I bet the city would miss the park's positive impact pretty quickly.

bill, firmly of the belief that ADVERTISING dollars, well-spent, can do wonders for any tourism-related business. Also, suggesting a partnership with the SEC for Lake Winnie, Visionland and others...LOADS of folks travel to watch their fav teams play, that's why we're #1 in hoops AND on the gridiron...

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Monday, March 11, 2002 8:43 AM
This is very bad news for fans of smaller parks. I haven't been down to Visonland yet (and it's beginning to look like I never will since it's not going to be able to make the agenda this year) but from all accounts Rampage is a true world class woodie.

I can only hope that if the park does end up folding that some park will buy and transport Rampage rather than letting it go to waste (are you listening Dick Knoebel? Are you listening Holiday World???)
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* The Legend @ HW
* Superman: Ride of Steel @ SFNE
* Mondial Top Scan

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Monday, March 11, 2002 12:02 PM
This is sad. Small parks are such a refreshing relief from the business of huge amusement parks. They're often prettier, more relaxing, have better prices and food and usually have better wooden roller coasters.
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Monday, March 11, 2002 12:49 PM
I would have dumped funding to that park before it began. One million a year is ridiculous... maybe give them a special tax incentive or something.
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Monday, March 11, 2002 2:31 PM
When I think of number one tourist/amusement park destinations, I think of Orlando, Colonial Williamsburg, and of course, BIRMINGHAM, ALABAMA.
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Monday, March 11, 2002 2:36 PM
GO BAMA!

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If Lifes a Rollercoaster, I want a Flawless

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Monday, March 11, 2002 3:21 PM
First off, I dont think anyone here has a good idea on whether B-ham could *better* spend that mill on something else, so I guess our thoughts on that are pretty much a non-issue.

2. While the SEC has so many teams involved in postseason play, and *may* even be the best in football, there is no way the SEC can claim supremacy in b-ball (begrudgingly, I have to give that to the ACC). Furthermore, after Illinois disposes of Florida on Sunday, we can put Da Gators to rest until Rex-time.
lata,
jeremy
--that is, of course, supposing that UF can get past Creighton...

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Monday, March 11, 2002 3:26 PM
I hate getting cut off.....

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Daniel Haverlock
magnum count :2166
www.spiritofthepoint.com

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Monday, March 11, 2002 3:33 PM

Well, Rampage is amazing, but Visionland isn't. Its my home park, and its better than nothing, but... There is no such thing as scenery or good food at VL. I do hope that the park stays alive, though.

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Monday, March 11, 2002 5:22 PM
Actually I'm majoring in urban planning and economic development. A lot of this field is devoted to how tax incentives and "gifts" to places like amuesment parks work. This is called growth pole theory. For a city the size of Birmingham, one million bucks is a fairly large amount of money, probably too much just going to Visionland. It could be better spent elsewhere. My suggestion would be to offer tax benefits rather than outright giving them money (if that's what they're doing). This seems like an [economically] unhealthy subsidy.
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Monday, March 11, 2002 5:27 PM
...jeremy, earning his name by hatin' on Da Gators...just gotta say this much, Jeff Hammersly isn't the ONLY J-Ham that knows how to operate a well-oiled machine, Justin Hamilton and Brett Nelson WILL step up, and my brackets say Gators will go DEEP, but nobody's beating Duke 'til the REAL Jason Williams goes where he belongs - in the PROS! Billyball may have taken its lumps this year SO FAR, but it's March Madness baby, and Vitale is getting revved up. THAT guy makes Jeff Siebert look sleepier than Jerry Tarkanian. I'll give props to the Illini, Frank Williams has finally hit his stride, and the Big 10 certainly is no weak sister, but really, beyond MD and the Dookies, I can't say the ACC is tops in hoops, which is the only thing other than coasters that GETS me (at least here on a family site...)...the SEC is deep this year, but no standout teams after Bama fell to Miss State's withering defense just like my beloved Gators did...Bulldog hatin' again...

Help me, I'm trapped in hoops hysteria and I can't get out...

And while that money ($1M) might have other uses, tourism and recreation are a CLEAN industry, something places like B-Ham and that "other" steel city, the one on Three Rivers (which has a FANTASTIC park, right across from the dirty industry that gave rise to the city in the first place), could really use...The undisputed King of run-on sentences has returned.
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*** This post was edited by rollergator on 3/11/2002. ***

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Tuesday, March 12, 2002 5:03 AM
Hey, hey, hey, I like the crocs :). I mean, they *do* bleed orange and blue too. And I *would* have picked them to go all the way to the final four. HOWEVER, they are going to run into that "2nd round KO" (borrowed from a Cannibus song :)) from the I-L-L....I-N-I. With the foul trouble Haslem is having, and the great defenders/flop artists of Johnson and Archibald, he's going to be resting a lot. And Cook presents a matchup problem for most teams and the gators in particular. By being able to step out and shoot the J, he's going to loosen up the d in the hole and "Big Frank" is going to take it to the cup.

And BTW I think *this* is the year MD finally does it to the old dookies. Steve Blake has put the clamps on J-will just about everytime they have played. Dunleavy can fill it up, but if the Terps remain committed to pounding the ball down low to Baxter and Wilcox, there aint a team in the nation that can stop them, let alone the b-devils who only have Boozer as a big option.

Anyway "In the Interest of Fairness", I also add that, like Nebraska, I have no desire to visit Alabama either. Park or no park.
lata,
jeremy
--who has the feeling that he's going to be "sick" on Thursday and Friday :)

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Tuesday, March 12, 2002 8:00 AM

MD's power game is the game KU wishes they had. I've been a fan of Gooden for awhile, but I just don't like Jayhawks' history in the Tourney when they have a good seed (and no D-Manning).

Spending time living in Md. growing up, I'm still a HUGE Lefty fan (and a lefty myself)...Until Gary Williams came in, I thought I'd never root for the Terps again...now, great guard play (Blake and Dixon is a tough twosome, wish WE had a PG). My natural spot, but being 34, slow, short and "pale", LMAO, I stand no chance of helping the club...next year, ROBERSON - then lookout! And if we had Kwame (currently wiping off the chairs so "Mike's guys" have a place to sit after playing and working up a sweat), U-D wouldn't be SO alone in the paint...not to mention Donnell Harvey, Teddy Dupay, Mike Miller, man this place has turned into the "real" NBDL, we need guys who'll stick around a few years and DEVELOP some game...Insider info time: Donovan made HIS guys stick around and watch the rest of the SEC tourney...I think/hope he got the point across...much like the playground, LOSERS WATCH! ( I have to admit that when I was "bracketeering", I chose with my heart instead of my head). If we get past Creighton (who's underrated IMO at least) AND the Illini, it will be a BIG upset in ChiTown...

All that being said, my brackets also say the 'Zags will go deeper than seedings suggest...again, guard play is CRITICAL in the "one-and-done" format.

Lastly, and finally back on topic, I understand your *reluctance* to visit some of the "less-enlightened" areas with parks, but once Chuck (the round mound who sheds no pounds) takes over at the Governor's mansion in 'Bama, it'll be all good - man, I'd have liked to see him play with that other old-timer...Visionland will be around at least another year or so, but had BETTER get to advertising the place....it IS the critical aspect of tourism, lettin' the people know you're there....

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Tuesday, March 12, 2002 8:35 AM
I really feel you, especially on the Creighton bit. Everyone has been talking about how stacked the West, but I think the MidWest is the roughest one. Every top team, 1-6 could take it all the way to ATL.

And the Zags got hosed, pure and simple, I'd have made them a 3 seed over Georgia. But I cannot in good faith pick them over Zona who has done nothing but beat Maryland, beat Illinois, and win the Pac-10 tourney. But hey, I could be wrong. It's happened before.....once...:)
jeremy
--who's not even going to try and sneak coasters into this post...OOPS, I guess I just did ;)

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Tuesday, March 12, 2002 9:51 AM
I completely agree with mindbender2001. Visionland, with the major exception of Rampage, is quite a crappy little park. It would be nice to see it stay alive though, just for Rampage. (Why are great coasters often at bad parks?)
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Wednesday, March 13, 2002 3:22 PM
Bad in reference to small parks is often completely in the eye of the beholder. I imagine a number of people would feel that Conneaut Lake Park, Holiday World and Knoebel's are all "bad parks" based on their small number of coasters and family atmosphere after they'd gone to corporate mega parks like CP, SFGAdv or SFMM but to me the small parks have a lot more personality and are natural homes to world class woodies...why? Because small parks care enough to tell designers what they want in a ride. They take care of their coasters because they don't have that many. The ones they do have are usually wood because it's a cheaper initial install. They take pride in the experience and will listen to the patrons instead of just sending you a form letter with a human signature at the bottom.

Small parks are the reason great rides like Legend, Raven, Cornball Express, Tremors, Timber Terror, the Riverside Cyclone, the Phoenix and their ilk exist! We'd all do well to patronize them and lend our support whenever possible because the corporate parks have a pretty hideous track record as far as world class installations go. Small parks are keeping the classic wooden experience alive and as a wooden coaster aficianado I support them all wholeheartedly whenver possible with both my voice and my wallet and encourage other woodie loving enthusiasts to do the same lest our current crop of world class woodies goes the way most of the ones built during the roaring 20's did, to the great park in the sky.
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* The Legend @ HW
* Superman: Ride of Steel @ SFNE
* Mondial Top Scan

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Friday, March 15, 2002 2:05 PM
2hostyl said:
And the Zags got hosed, pure and simple

Hahahahaha, loosers to Wyoming!? Where the hell did they come from?

Florida? Miami? Uh uh, see you later! It's upset city, baby!

-l(who's not doing so hot on his picks, but did pick creighton over florida)
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You are bold, but are you also...daring?

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Friday, March 22, 2002 6:17 PM
I live here and i must say that it be fine with me if the park cloased and rampage stayed ope as pay per ride. Though the SS maybe fun. BUt the park will lose money if something doesnts happen quick. Of course i thik birmingham should cut funding nad i thik the pakr should be sold by the city-composed group that runs it to a private company. Damn Bureaucrats. Oh and birmingham is not a samll city.
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