Busch on VisionLand: No thanks

Posted Tuesday, August 13, 2002 4:58 AM | Contributed by SyntaxError

VisionLand officials said Saturday that Busch Entertainment Corp. was one of the handful of companies looking to buy the bankrupt park, but Busch officials said Monday that was not the case.

Read more from the Birmingham News.

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Tuesday, August 13, 2002 6:01 AM

If I were looking at this deal I would really be careful. There is something about the dynamics in Birmingham that leads me to believe that it will be difficult for a park to be self supporting. Wild Adventures management has shown that they can run a successful park in a small town like Valdosta, GA and if anyone can make this work, then they can.

I sure would like the park to reopen wo I would have the opportunity to ride that woody.

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What have you gotten me into?

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Tuesday, August 13, 2002 6:14 AM

I wouldn't trust these officials any farther than I could throw them. Scratch that--than my 5 year-old could throw them.

Hats off to Busch for publicly refuting the story. I guarantee you they were using this fictional suitor to prop up the propsed selling price.

MA was a proven entity drawing 300K-400K visitors a year and sold for $30 million in stock--and that was in a stronger economy. What gives them the idea their loser is worth $25 million?

Talk about delusional...

-'Playa

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The CPlaya 100--6 days, 9 parks, 47 coasters, 2037 miles and a winner.....LoCoSuMo.

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Tuesday, August 13, 2002 6:42 AM

well, remember that Busch was also the company that *believed* they could get 4.5M for Drachen Fire.....perhaps they've been watching enough South Park to "learn something" about theme parks from Eric Cartman....so Busch at one point WAS the "delusional entity"....

parks that RELY on local government for anythng other than tax breaks are not your best investment....;)

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Tuesday, August 13, 2002 7:20 AM

The fact that Busch listed DF for 4.5 million doesn't mean they expected to get that. Prices of used rides are extremely negotiable. Same goes for the park price. Also, in terms of park prices at lot depends on what is included in the price. The liabilities that may be included can mean as much as the assets. For example, no purchaser is likely to be willing to accept the liability of Visionlands debt. It would have to be a bankruptcy purchase.

The whole Birmingham political thing on this park is a mess, and I wouldn't believe anything that they say. They say that they are controling costs so it's not so bad that attendance was only 25,000 people. That's an annual attendance for a miniature golf course not a theme park or significant water park

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Tuesday, August 13, 2002 2:52 PM

There was no way Busch was going to buy Visionland ....

They need the money to buy the Universal Theme Parks from Vivendi!

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If Lifes a Rollercoaster, I want a Flawless

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Tuesday, August 13, 2002 4:18 PM
I had my doubts about Busch, but I am hoping that Wild Adventures will buy them. I have not visited this year because I thnk the waterpark is only fun for a couple of hours to break up the Rampage rides.

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Top 5 steel: 1)S:UF, 2)S:ROS(SFA), 3)Alpen.BGW) 4)AC(BGW)5)Hypersonic; wood 1)Rampage, 2)Roar SFA, 3)Grizzly PKD, 4)G Cyclone SFOG, 5)Wild One SFA
CCI 1992-2002, 36 rides.

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Tuesday, August 13, 2002 6:24 PM
Wild Adventures simply does not have the money to do what needs to be done to this park. But I think we're overlooking something here. The Birmingham News listed four possible suitors for the park. With Wild Adventures and Busch as being two of them. Now let's assume they were flat lying about Busch. That still leaves another two parties interested. Now, who could pump money in quick, and have the clout to pull the deal off? Only one name comes to mind. Cedar Fair. Through some sniffing around, it appears they are still interested. And were very close to signing a management contract once before back in 2000. Now, with total control of the books, all the things that scared them off to begin with are gone. Just some food for thought.
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Tuesday, August 13, 2002 7:47 PM
Cedar Fair actually was managing the place for about 2 months. I still am an employee, and when I was hired in March of 2000 Cedar Fair was there. Basically what I heard from upper management is that Cedar Fair was going to get rid of everyone and bring in their own people. The main reason Cedar Fair backed out is that Larry Langford, the amazing founder of the park lied to them about debt and other things associated with the outlet mall adjacent to the park that the West Jefferson Amusement Authority also started. The contract that was negotiated with developers has them pay $1, yes $1 a year for 99 years. The Ogden/Alfa deal was basically a last-ditch effort to bring someone in about 2 weeks before the park was to open.
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Tuesday, August 13, 2002 7:55 PM
If SDC hadn't bouught Branson USA I'd say them, mainly cuase it would put them close to 2 other major SDC properties, and give um a powerblock agaisnt their only real competetion SFoG, by offering vaction deals to Stone Mt., Visionland and Dollywood/Dixie Stampede. Other then Folrida it would give um more park in the southeast then anyone else.

Six Flag being a close 2nd, but only if you count White Water Atlanta (now owned by SF) as a seperate park. Which I didn't do with Dollywood/Splash Country in Gatlinburn TN.

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Wednesday, August 14, 2002 2:47 AM
I was aware of the $1 deal Langford made. Which, in my opinion, was a stupid move at the time, but with the influx of tax dollars into that area, has actually turned out to be a halfway decent idea. At the very least, there is something interesting finally happening out in west Birmingham. Even if it doesn't involve the rides in the park. It should be a fun couple of months to find out who will buy it. Because at 25 million for a park that cost almost 100 million to build, it still is a bargain, in spite of the financial foes.
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