Coaster fans ponder the future of Son of Beast at PKI

Posted Monday, July 17, 2006 3:32 PM | Contributed by Jeff

Son of Beast broke five world records and drew roller-coaster fans from across the country to Kings Island when it burst from its lair in 2000. Now, some wonder about the future of the wooden giant. Will it reopen? If not, will the park get a new coaster to take its place?

Read more from The Enquirer.

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Monday, July 17, 2006 3:36 PM
Here we go again...
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Monday, July 17, 2006 3:40 PM
Jeff's avatar "Amusement parks need to introduce new rides every few years to keep people coming back for more. Roller coasters are often the best way to do that, said Steve Gzesh, public relations director for American Coaster Enthusiasts."

And what the hell else would expect someone from an enthusiast organization to say? If ACE people dictated the capital expenditures of amusement parks, they'd all be out of business.

"All parks know that roller coasters are the No. 1 draw for an amusement park."

Yeah, duh. That's how they've been packing them in at Disney parks for decades, right?

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Monday, July 17, 2006 3:46 PM
I totally agree with you Jeff. Although I go to amusement parks for the roller coasters the majority of the time, the majority of the general public goes (in my opinion) for the atmosphere of the park. We have a small park back home that is just now considering getting a small family wooden coaster, but this park (Bay Beach) only has a few children rides, a coupkle family rides, and maybe one or two thrill rides in the whole park. But every year is gets a great turout (for its size) not because of great coasters but becuase of the atmosphere.
*** This post was edited by MAGXL200 7/17/2006 3:46:54 PM ***
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Monday, July 17, 2006 3:49 PM
Acoustic Viscosity's avatar Maybe we'll finally get the Rye Airplane Coaster now! ;)
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Monday, July 17, 2006 3:51 PM
I would say that a "brand spankin' new" roller coaster would be a heck of a draw, at least in the short term. It's the park experience for me which is why PKI is a "must go" destination as often as possible for myself.
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Monday, July 17, 2006 3:56 PM
Well, maybe people in my area (north-western NJ) are spoiled by the vicinity of coaster-packed parks, but I think that new rides do in fact draw in guests, enthusiasts and non-enthusiasts alike. Just a week ago, I overheard a few of my coworkers talking about Six Flags Great Adventure saying (in summary) "I hate the park, but they just added the biggest wooden roller coaster in the world! I want to go."

However, it's worth noting that just because a park doesn't add a new ride doesn't mean that guests will simply stop showing up. Roller coasters aren't required for success, but they are a big help in targeting a young, thrill-seeking demographic that simply isn't interested in mice in red pants and a cocky bunny-wabbit.

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Monday, July 17, 2006 4:05 PM
With the change of ownership, I was pondering the fate of SOB BEFORE the accident after two rides on the thing. But enough of that.

Are coasters a draw? Absolutely... in the short term. A bright shiny new coaster (or one that is a fresh, unfaded shade of natural wood) will bring more people through the gates.

HOWEVER....

While a new coaster might get people in the gates to try it... seldom will it be enough to get people coming back, visit after visit, year after year, if the rest of the park offers little.

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Monday, July 17, 2006 4:20 PM
Jeff's avatar Where is Captain Obvious with his spiel about water parks? I would argue that the water park and Nickelodeon areas have done more for PKI than SOB and Italian Job combined.
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Monday, July 17, 2006 4:21 PM
Lord Gonchar's avatar

Roller coasters aren't required for success, but they are a big help in targeting a young, thrill-seeking demographic that simply isn't interested in mice in red pants and a cocky bunny-wabbit.

Yup, the same demographic that generally has the least to spend and the least reason to spend it. (see: SF's descent into crapdom)


While a new coaster might get people in the gates to try it... seldom will it be enough to get people coming back, visit after visit, year after year...

Indeed. Words of wisdom to remember.

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Monday, July 17, 2006 4:22 PM
Hmmmm, I'm surprised that paper didn't say SOB had like, 10 loops by now.

It wasn't the coasters that took me back to GL so much. It was the dolphins. i haven't had a season pass for GL since the last buy-out.

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Monday, July 17, 2006 4:40 PM
I think the market has responded to these record-breakers with a degree of dissatisfaction," he said. "The attendance has not been up at the parks where they put together the longest, highest attractions."

People usually apreciate record breakers, as long as they're not too short, intense, or rough. Too short being TTD and KK. If TTD would have used its momentum after the hill to do other elements for another minute, it surely would have been #1.

MF broke ten world records and is a fan favorite.

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Monday, July 17, 2006 4:43 PM
I would go back to Cedar Point every year forever if all it had in it was MF. But maybe that is just me....
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Monday, July 17, 2006 4:46 PM
During our recent visit to Holiday World, while my wife was waiting for me to finish my second ride of The Voyage, she said she struck up a conversation with a woman who was there with her family. While this woman was also waiting for her husband and kids on the Voyage, she said that the main reason why they chose Holiday World over Hersheypark was because of the extensive waterpark. Both parks were about equidistant from their home (i.e. a several hour trip). So, Hershey with its ten coasters, lost out to Holiday world... not because of HW's big new coaster, but rather because of its water park. And if Holiday World and Hershey were about equal travel distances from them, this also meant that the Ohio parks were not THAT far out of their travel radius either... and they STILL chose the park known for its water park over parks known for their coasters.
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Monday, July 17, 2006 4:56 PM
john peck's avatar I was actually shocked that they didn't quote Mark Shapiro with his rantings on smaller coasters and rides for families.

Of course you could look at it this way: Raven and Legend and Voyage have done wonders for Holiday World, but they had a great product to begin with, and they continue to make improvements all around, just not on the same type of niche. Now everything compliments the other the way that it had.
Also, HW's 3 major coaster investments were built over a span of 11 years, as opposed to "almost" every 3 or 4 years at CP and PKI.. plus they cost a lot less.

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Monday, July 17, 2006 5:48 PM
"It's a great coaster among coasters," Spiegel said.

- Yeah, if you presume that the latter-mentioned "coasters" were of the drink-holding variety.

Later,
EV

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Monday, July 17, 2006 5:50 PM
I guess I kind of look at it like this:

If you have a really good park that is known for its atmosphere - such as Holiday World, the addition of a new roller coaster (particularly the quality of the Voyage) is going to do nothing but good things for your park.

If you have a struggling park (SFMM for instance) that brand spanking new Tatsu is gonna boost your attendance for maybe a weekend or two, but then... back to sucktaculation.

Simple math: Good park already + Good coaster = Better Park. Bad park + Good coaster (no matter HOW good) = same bad park.

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Monday, July 17, 2006 6:33 PM
Wow the link works I tried once, but couldn't figure it out. Sorry I didn't think this would be big enough to submit to news.

It says in the article that some manufacturers think B+M couldn't put a coaster in PKI because of contracts with other parks. Is this actually legal? I'm no lawyer, but it doesn't sound right. Then again when are lawyers ever right.

I like the simple math equation that's why I'm waiting to go to HW when they finally get that good steel coaster. However to argue with it I would absolutely love to get the funds to go to SFMM and try it out for all those good coasters.

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Monday, July 17, 2006 7:11 PM
First of all I am no financial expert or lawyer, but why would it be illegal to make a contract saying you wont build for certain parks. This is America where we have capitalism. You have a right to sell to whoever you want or don't want.
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Monday, July 17, 2006 7:26 PM
John Peck, the only reason HW's coasters cost a lot less (up until Voyage) is because CCI was giving them away. And we all know how that wound up...see you later CCI.

As for the two previous posts, it's perfectly legal to have a non-compete or exclusive clause with a company. To give you a real world example, last year I went to replace a lightbulb for my father. I could've sworn my dad told me that the lightbulb came from Lowe's. I'm looking up and down the lighting aisle, and finally fought my typical male traits, and asked a salesperson. The guy says "We don't sell Phillips lightbulbs." Sure enough, it was Home Depot that had the Phillips lightbulbs. Do you think Lowe's doesn't want to carry the Phillips lightbulbs? Of course not.

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