Posted Monday, August 11, 2008 1:14 PM | Contributed by Jeff
Jeff, Mike and Pat review this week's news in the amusement industry.
- Olympic fever! Gonch loved badminton until the US lost, Jeff is all about the indoor volleyball.
- Moron criminal uses his daughter to scam people for worthless Cedar Point ticket coupons.
- Blackstone allegedly interested in Busch parks.
- Busch Gardens Europe adding a Sesame Street area with solid family attractions.
- Kings Island announces Diamondback, the ride that KI fans have been waiting for. Is there any reason to really keep Son of Beast?
- Asian-American activists offended by Six Flags TV spots. We're not entirely sure how it's offensive. Even PC Jeff doesn't entirely get it, and thought it was emulating a Japanese game show or something.
- Gonch gives his take on the Great Wolf results, believes that the occupancy percentage number is the missing thing in the financials. Is the indoor water park result concept a success so far?
- Six Flags says they're still going to have positive cash flow this year. Gonch says this is indicative of them doing things right.
- Cedar Fair results seem positive enough, but Jeff's concern is that per cap has finally slid a little, and even with a slight boost in attendance, this seems like the inevitable bubble we've been talking about for years.
- Dick Kinzel says "people have to eat" and it's unsettling to a lot of people. The bigger picture issue is a belief that he has lost touch, and doesn't have the experience to manage a company of this size. See errors in the last few years.
- Has the "Wal-Marting" of America caused people to settle for crap? Is poor service the result of consumer complacency? Jeff thinks Chipotle is a case study in high quality with high margin.
- No closing weekend for two-hundred-something a night for cobwebs and burned out lights.
- CoasterBuzz Club events coming up this year: The Fall Affair at Holiday World, and BooBuzz at Cedar Point. Visit the CoasterBuzz Club page for more information.
Link: CoasterBuzz Podcast
Monday, August 11, 2008 1:56 PM
They replaced those horrible premier Trains on Son of Beast with the Gerslaurers last season. The ride tracks much better, but it's still pretty intense in the Rosebowl.
An additional note: they moved all 4 G-Trains from Geauga Lake (RWB, Villian) to Kings Island, but have not done anything with them yet. Also, one of those G-trains, used primarally on RWB, came from Holiday World and was Legends first train.
*** This post was edited by john peck 8/11/2008 1:57:07 PM ***
Monday, August 11, 2008 6:28 PM
Top Gun was built that far back because the animal safari monorail was still there. The monorail station was out where the Skycoaster entrance and the restrooms are now, and the return track crossed over the entrance and exit paths to Gun.
The narrow steel building between the queue and the amphitheater was the monorail maintenance building, and the transfer track was there too.
You can see what I'm talking about here: http://kiextreme.com/historyphotos/albums/contributed-1982/PKI-Aerial-2.jpg
Tuesday, August 12, 2008 11:43 AM
I agree about the food prices at parks. Way out of contol. So we eat before and may or may not eat during the day. As a kid I went to KD once and you should see the masses leave the park during meal hours. There is fast food (used to be) across the street and people do go. So is that park still that bad?
Tuesday, August 12, 2008 4:51 PM
You know who I'd think would like to buy the busch parks? Disney. Now before you delete the comment, they won't keep them at all, but they'd buy them for one thing: Sesame Street. They wanted them but couldn't get the license, and combine that with the muppet license, they could have a very powerful product.
Tuesday, August 12, 2008 7:40 PM
I'm not sure I understand because I can't find any current landmarks in that historical photo. I see the long building in the background, but where is the image taken from? Is the wooded area behind it where Top Gun is now? If so, the area I'd really be interested in seeing would be a little to the right, so you can see where the boundaries of attractions were at the time.
Tuesday, August 12, 2008 9:08 PM
That wooded area to the right of the monorail shed is where Top Gun is now. If it helps any, that little building on the very right edge of the photo is where the restroom and SOB entrance is now.
I've been trying to hunt down a photo of that area from the one season that Top Gun and the monorail coexisted, but so far no luck.
Wednesday, August 13, 2008 1:36 PM
Yeah, that's the building. You can see the remnants of the monorail transfer track area next to it.
It's currently used for Steel Coaster Maint.