Carowinds example of regional theme park success

Posted Tuesday, May 27, 2003 5:28 AM | Contributed by Jeff

Recent attendance trends at Paramount's Carowinds theme park more closely resemble a merry-go-round than a roller coaster ride. Six of the past eight years have set attendance records for the park. And the ups and downs have been relatively mild. This reflects a nationwide pattern, where regional theme parks have been less affected by the lingering economic malaise than national destinations such as Disney and Universal Studios parks.

Read more from The Charlotte Business Journal.

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Tuesday, May 27, 2003 7:17 AM
Charlotte has beena *growing* city for a while now, and the park has made considerable improvements based on my (very limited) experience....they certainly are showing the love for their coasters, which were running in top-notch form last month. Bringing David Mandt into the mix is only going to help further, and I see PCar soon joining the ranks of PKD and PKI as *top-tier parks* in the Paramunt family...
Contents sold by humor, not volume. Some settling of contents may occur during translation...
Tuesday, May 27, 2003 8:00 AM
And for everyone who says Carowinds is 'crashing and burning!!!11!!!!!111' because they haven't installed a large coaster in the past few years, I give you this article.

/\ Jonathan Hawkins | ThrillSpot
Howard Dean for President!
*** This post was edited by StarCoasters 5/27/2003 12:01:14 PM ***

Tuesday, May 27, 2003 8:23 AM
Yay Carowinds!!! This months trip was great!!(see my trip report for 5-9-03). I really enjoyed the coasters they have gotten since my last visit(which was 99, Top Gun's first year), and was really impressed with Scooby Doo's haunted mansion. The park is looking better than ever, with them re-theming and sprucing up much of the park. Only a couple of things which I talk about in the trip report would make this a better park. I think a few more Thrilling flats and another world class coaster or two Will bring this park up to PKD and PKI status, it's only a matter of time. And again, for all those Carowinds winers and Naysayers, here is an article that proves the park is doing good. I'd expect something major in the next couple of years.....

Yeah, if coasters WEREN'T men we'd have Raging Cow instead!

Tuesday, May 27, 2003 11:50 AM
Just in time. :) Went to Carowinds Sunday. I love the park, it's doing excellent and adding things that were needed to ensure its business profitability. Yes we haven't gotten a major roller coaster since Top Gun, but you can't deny that Carowinds has gotten a roller coaster each year since Taxi Jam with the exception of 2001 [Taxi Jam, Top Gun, Super Saturator, Ricochet, and Runaway Reptar]. They're focusing on the right areas, it seems; and indeed, it shows. I was impressed with last and this years' improvements. I actually bothered to go around and visit all coasters on Sunday.

Now where is the hypercoaster?! ;)

The Jet Coaster ROARS!
Will Johansson

Tuesday, May 27, 2003 12:54 PM
It's not really surprising that Carowinds hasn't really suffered from the economic downturn considering there aren't any competitors within a 3-4 hour drive. Without competition there is no reason to make major installements often. Thus there is no hypercoaster..... I am not complaining.... but wouldn't it be nice..... NTR?! now thats a superb idea!*** This post was edited by nascartheridein05? 5/27/2003 4:56:45 PM ***
Tuesday, May 27, 2003 5:45 PM
I agree that Carowinds has become a fine park. We make our annual stop there in June (this year the 20th), and we always look forward to it. We love the coasters and everything else, plus the convenient interstate access and comfortable lodging right across the parking lot. One feature we really like is the huge observation tower right by the main entrance. I wish Kennywood and Holiday World had one of those. We've brought back some magnificent photographs of coasters and other rides from up there, using a good telephoto lens.
Wednesday, May 28, 2003 7:04 AM
I visited in 2000. I agree that this is a solid all-around park, with much to do for everyone. The park is well-themed, well-laid out, clean, and has a nice variety of attractions. I enjoyed my time.

That said, it wasn't a thrill seekers paradise. Top Gun was outstanding, but the time has come for a new coaster to pacify the enthusiasts.

Buy "Stereotype Be" from Kevin Max at

Wednesday, May 28, 2003 1:54 PM
I'm glad Carowinds is getting it's praises.. finally. I've been a big fan of this park ever since i first visited back in either 92 or 93, can't remember what year. But i do remember that Vortex was there, and it was my first Stand-Up coaster.

This park continues to be awesome. It is by far my 2nd favorite place to visit, and seeing as it's only 4 hours away and relatively closer then most parks to my rural arse, it makes for an easy ONE DAY trip.

Im tired of everyone going off about how Carowinds needs a Hyper... I don't think they do but if they do I'm sure it'll be B&M because of two reasons.
One reason, they have a good relationship with them and have 2 of their rides.

Two, Intamin isn't as FAMILY related in hyper coasters as B&M's are. Raging Bull is a family hyper, while S:ROS is a sick twisted outcast of the family (so to speak) ride.

Would rather have a hyper then the *rumored* flyer over on Smurf Island!

"I'm starting to doubt your comitment to Sparkle Motion"

Thursday, May 29, 2003 6:57 AM
I visited Carowinds last year (since 1997) and I was impressed with the many improvements to the park.


Saturday, June 28, 2003 1:47 PM
Since Carowinds is my home park (20 minutes away) I visit about once a week. They have made huge strides lately but still have a long way to go I.M.O. I will agree that we really don't need the biggest and badest coaster around but what we do need is some unique coasters not smaller clones. We also lack alot in the flat ride area. My biggest beef with the park is the kids who run it. I say that because there is no supervision there and the "Fun Technitians" do what they want. It is obvious they are just there for a job and for the most part none are reall people persons. Feel free to read my report from my site if you wish.

Saturday, August 16, 2003 9:35 PM
Just about finished with my re-write. Hopefully you all will see a major change in my attitude towards the Park.

I got the priviledge to sit down and speak to some of the upper brass at the park. Seems they were intrigued by my T-shirt that I got from PKI (Son of Beast) We chatted for about 25 minutes.

Saturday, May 15, 2004 11:05 PM
Well I know this thread is old, but thought I would add my comments. I moved to North Carolina in 1988 after getting out of the Air Force. I first went to Carowinds back in 1990 I think. I was not impressed with it. I grew up in Ohio and went to Cedar Point, so I guess I was a little spoiled. However, I just returned from my first visit back to Carowinds. I wanted to ride the new Borg coaster. To me the park is not pleasent to look at, the ride ops are not very friendly (they don't even talk to you). The park has added a lot since my last visit which makes it very crouded. Loading and unloading was very slow. After this trip, I say the same as I did after my first visit. I would never pay $42.99 or the $37.99 online to get into this park. If I had not gotten tickets for $25, I would not have went.

The park needs to work on its capacity-getting more people on rides faster. There is a huge lack of smaller rides. By crowded I meen they have built stands in the walkways and with the amount of people, it makes it hard to walk around. I had thought about getting a season pass since we are only 1 1/2 hours away, but I see no reason to after my trip. I guess if this is the parl I grew up with, I may look at it differently. I just can't see where the park is worth the admission price they are asking.

They definetly need to work on their getting people into the park, It took us a half hour to get into the park and we already had our tickets. To many people trying to go through a very small six lane entrance.*** This post was edited by John Carle 5/15/2004 11:07:38 PM ***


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