The years with 40, 50 or more new coasters being built every year didn't start until the mid-90's.
Plus, they did biuld a coaster, Avalanche run. :)
Other 80's improvements included Soak City in 1988.
We are living in an unprecedented growth period for coasters... and I'm thankful for it!
I'll stick with the example of Cedar Point.
1870 is generally considered the Point's first "season".
In the 60 seasons from 1870 to 1929 Cedar Point built 7 roller coasters.
In the next 59 seasons from 1930 to 1988 Cedar Point built 14 roller coasters.
In the last 16 seasons from 1989 to 2004 Cedar Point built 9 new coasters. If they'd continue at that rate they will have built 34 new coasters in a 60 year period beginning with 1989 and ending with 2048.
Rather than asking about past droughts, a more correct question would be "Why the current popularity?"
Nothing personal, stuey. It is something that I personally find interesting. (coaster building trends)
I often think the internet holds a great deal of responsibility for the current boom in park/coaster popularity.
I know from personal experience that I've always been interested in coasters/parks to some degree. However in the "pre-net" days, I never really pursued it. With the ridulous amount of info available on the subject from fansites, park sites, manufacturer sites, etc - I think it has made more people pursue coasters as a viable hobby than before the online communities and wealth of info was so handily available.
I'd venture as far as to say a vast majority of people involved with online forums, organizations, websites and such have only gotten into coasters in the past 5 or 10 years or so since the internet became really mainstream and accessable to all. On top of this there's just some weird coaster appeal among teens and young adults that doesn't always transfer to adulthood. So you get a younger group of fans who quite simply haven't been around long enough to remember when the local park got a new coaster once or twice a decade.
What you end up with a whole bunch of "enthusiasts" who only know things they way they are now. Parks getting a major new coaster every couple of years. A dozen world class coasters going up each season across the country.
It makes me laugh when people complain that their local park hasn't gotten a new major addition for the past 3 years or the past 5 years or whatever. Pick your local park and check out what things were like before the current boom.
(just some of my ideas/theories :) )
*** Edited 5/7/2004 10:33:24 PM UTC by Lord Gonchar***
Like Gonch, I love studying trends. As Best Week Ever would put it, the '90s were the new '20s. And we know what happened to coasters after the '20s... not that that'll happen again, necessarily. But who knows? That's why it's interesting.
But you raise a good question about CP's strategy, stuey. I had never heard of Cedar Point until I saw an ad for it in the Chicago Tribune highlighting Magnum's debut in 1989. Advertising to markets over 300 miles away definitely indicates that they planned to make a big splash with that ride. And it seemed to work. Perhaps they watched the trends of the Arrow mega-loopers in the late 80s, or maybe they were trendsetters themselves.
But keep in mind what "new" attraction CP introduced the year after Magnum (Disaster Transport). They might not have been entirely sold on the record-breaker concept just yet, and maybe wanted to dabble in the multi-dimensional rides, too (themed rides with effects, or a story).
I'm always blown away when I look at the 1990 map of Cedar Point, though. It was pretty uncrowded back then.
But in the past 6 years(counting 99), they've added 5 good(in my opinion, but i know that isn't what most paramount 'fanboys' think) coasters, and a great dark ride. And yet we complain cause of no Hyper?
Makes me wonder how many people are doing this for the love of coasters, or bragging rights...
I grew up with my family visiting Cedar Point every year. And I loved roller coasters from the start.
However it wasn't until the internet that I really got into them. For years I just read articles/reviews on coaster sites, dreaming of riding coasters I never thought I would.
In the past year or so since becoming an enthusiast I've ended up going from one visit to Cedar Point a year, to trips across the continent to LA, multiple trips to CP, and nearly any other park I could hit within reason.
Without the net I still would be making my yearly trip to Cedar Point and nothing else.
Wood Coaster Fan Club - coming to a park near you
In 1988, my buddies and I planned to hit several parks for our Senior trip. Our spots? CP, PKI, and BGW. Why BGW? Because I knew about it from a prior family trip to colonial Williamsburg, and we were into military stuff at the time and wanted to see the shipyards in Norfolk.
Kennywood? At the time, we'd never heard of it. King's Dominion (just a few miles away from BGW)? Never heard of it. Hershey, Dorney, SFGAdv? You guessed it, never heard of 'em.
It wasn't until the Internet (I got on in '98 or '99) that I learned where all the good stuff was. I think back to those years before I was married, thus having a boat-load of free time, and wonder how much traveling I would have done if I only knew about all these places....
Oh, well. I can't complain too much, because now I have something to look forward to, as I've set a goal to visit at least one new-to-me park each year. I've been going strong the past five years. Now, to just figure out where to hit this year. Hmmmmm........
NWith more publicity beyond the local areas, parks can pull in more out of town guests which "fattens their wallets" giving them more to spend on improvements - which then in turn brings more customers through the gates.
Unfotunately, some chains (which will remain nameless) put the cart before the horse and determined that if they "build it, they will come." Without making sure to keep other aspects of the park up at the same time. So unfortunately, they were alienating as many customers (if not more) than they were bringing in new.
Perhaps (hopefully) they have "seen the light" and are correcting those earlier mistakes. Only time will tell.
Never in my wildest dreams as a kid did I realize just how many there were, and that I would hit some of the far away parks(SFGaM) that I'd heard of, but knew nothing about.
This started for me really about 2 years ago, when I stumbled upon some good coaster sites while looking for RCT downloads, and now I know what I was missing.
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