CoasterBuzz Podcast #89 posted

Posted Monday, September 24, 2007 6:53 PM | Contributed by Jeff

Jeff and Pat review this week's news in the amusement industry.

  • Wild West World owner owed big tax dollars. Who lent this guy money?
  • Toy Story ride coming to Disney's California Adventure. Disney can't build a $100 million ride every time.
  • Disney is also starting their first time shares out west.
  • Six Flags revises their disabled ride policy, essentially virtually queuing the disabled.
  • Cedar Fair announced that Geauga Lake will only be a water park next year. Rides will likely be distributed elsewhere. Jeff starts the conversation by theorizing that the park was doomed the day that Busch sold SeaWorld. A lot of emotional reactions, people want to blame someone. Jeff and Gonch try to sort it all out.

Link: CoasterBuzz Podcast

Monday, September 24, 2007 8:33 PM
To comment on the water park issue, where I grew up (Appleton, WI) we had a "mini water park" public pool and we loved it. However, that didn't stop us (and most of the families) from making our yearly trip to the Dells to go to Noah's Ark.

As long as you get a good rep in the community, and provide a fun day at a reasonable price the people will come. I actually think that Noah's Ark is a better example for CF to look at going forward since unlike Schilterbahn they have to deal with a 3 month season.

Monday, September 24, 2007 10:36 PM
Nice work, guys.

Jeff, I must ask, "What if" Geauga Lake Amusement Park and WildWater Kingdom Water Park co-existed as seperate gates? Your Sea World references made so much sense.. it's much clearer now... it's still sad, but it's much clearer.

Monday, September 24, 2007 10:38 PM
That would've been even worse I think. Geauga Lake's true boom happened when they started adding water rides, starting with The Wave. I remember those days pretty vividly, hanging out in The Wave, riding the half-dozen or so slides, and going in the really gross lake. :)
Monday, September 24, 2007 10:52 PM
Six Flags Bought Sea World Ohio for $110 Million

They invested $40 Million in 2000 on 4 Coasters.

There was also X-Flight in 2001

They also had multiple additions in 2002 and 2003.

Cedar Fair then bought the whole park in 2004 minus the animals for $145 Million.

<edit>I'm not sure how much Premiere Parks bought Geauga Lake for, but Premiere spent $35 Million between 1996 and 1999.
*** This post was edited by Jason Hammond 9/24/2007 11:02:54 PM ***

Monday, September 24, 2007 10:54 PM
Jason, you do know that means that they got the 1990s GL attractions/land for free then right?
Monday, September 24, 2007 10:55 PM
:) Riiiight
Monday, September 24, 2007 11:27 PM
That was a great podcast guys. Jeff you touched on some very good and intriguing points with the whole symbiotic relationship Geauga Lake and SeaWorld had. I don't think I would have ever realized how crucial (no matter how miniscule or great) SeaWorld's operation was to Geauga Lake's success.
Monday, September 24, 2007 11:33 PM
Jeff, I ment what if they tried to co-exist "today"

I know Im dreaming.. but really, it works for Kennywood.

Monday, September 24, 2007 11:49 PM

John P:
Nice work, guys.

That was a great podcast guys.

In a poor attempt to be modest, thanks and thanks. :)

Tuesday, September 25, 2007 12:01 AM
To answer your question about which came first, Double Loop came first (1977) and then Corkscrew was added (1978). And the Corkscrew is still in operation over at a park in India and is called Roller Coaster.
Tuesday, September 25, 2007 1:06 AM
yadda yadda yadda (and I'm sure I'll get the exact back)
I think alot of US are just sore at losing yet another classic coaster. A beautiful and sometimes wild ride where you can sit right smack in the middle of the seat, and 'let 'er fly' (thanks Bill Cobb).

With Conneaut (and I'm sorry, yet again, CP Blue Streak, I am lucky to have worked the ride in 92-93), and the endangered Coney Cyclone.. it's just 'no fun' with all these big PTC seat dividers, etc....

Tuesday, September 25, 2007 3:06 AM
Just listened.

Jeff, it was just a "what if" topic as far as if Shapiro was CEO back in 2000. Sure, he has unloaded some parks, but at the same time, he purchased SFDK outright which means he has high hopes for this park. It's essentially the same type of park that SFWoA was.

If he had his hands on SFWoA, I just believe the outcome would have been different.

Oh, and about Shouka being all alone when he was in Ohio, it seems they have remedied that as he is now performing with dolphins in the same tank and show at SFDK. Seems to be a popular show and I am sure Shouka doesn't feel lonely even if his companions are of a different species.

Tuesday, September 25, 2007 4:16 AM
I wonder how aggresively they are going to advertise this new "water park only" concept, particularly in the regions outside of Cleveland, say Pittsburgh....

There are going to be plenty of P.O.'d peeps who drive 2 and a half hours or so to find out the park is gone and they didn't bring a bathing suit.....

Tuesday, September 25, 2007 8:17 AM
If they drive 2 1/2 hours before checking to make sure the park is open, they deserve what they get.

-Tambo (using a little known thing called, common sense)

Tuesday, September 25, 2007 1:14 PM
^Now that's tough love ;)
Tuesday, September 25, 2007 2:02 PM
Jeff said that Dominator was getting relocated and that he knew where to but could not say.

No qualms with that at all.

And if I'm wrong my short term memory is completly shot.

I just hope he's been told it's going to a nice lot on a river flood plain in Minnesota.

Tuesday, September 25, 2007 6:58 PM
A good podcast, but I feel that one point that needed to be made wasn't.

GL, whether owned by Funtime, Six Flags, or Cedar Fair, regardless of whether Sea World existed or not, needed to be run as a family park.

Funtime understood that. They added coasters every so often, they built a waterpark, they added flats.

Six Flags, obviously, never understood that. They built mega coasters all at once. They took out flats. Under Six Flags GL was in competition with CP--and losing badly.

Cedar Fair never understood that either. They relocated and expanded the water park. Fine. But when did they ever try to run the ride side as a family park? They added no new flats, nothing that they could market as a new attraction. Just running it better than SF did not make it a family park, and I don't think CF ever understood that.

Why was no attempt ever made to tie the two sides together? CF understands that at Dorney, even if the waterpark is the draw, the ride park is where the percaps come from. How much traffic would Frontiertown at CP get without the railroad? If they spent $250,000 on a railroad or a people mover they only needed 50,000 people to come over to the ride side and spentd $5 each to pay for it. Not per year, total.

Cedar Fair never understood that to make GL work, they, like Funtime or SF needed to run GL as a family park, not like a CF version of a SF park.

Tuesday, September 25, 2007 8:13 PM
^ I totally agree with you. I've been trying to say that apparently unsuccessfully for quite some time. Everyone besides Funtime tried to make the place bigger and better. But, the park never needed to be bigger. It needed to be better. I thought Cedar Fair was on the path to make it smaller and better, but they just gave up. Even if they had succeeded in downsizing the park and cleaning it up, I don't think they would have ever been happy with the amount of money the park brought in. Its location sort of capped the profit level of the park to a certain degree. Small park = small profits. Cedar Fair likes big parks and big profits.
Tuesday, September 25, 2007 8:15 PM
What does that even mean? Run it like a family park? Are those people I saw there something other than families?

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