CoasterCon Non-riding activities -- 6/17 - 6/20

Associated parks:
None

Tuesday, June 26, 2001 10:42 AM
CoasterCon is NOT about just coasters.

Actually, let me clarily. It IS about just coasters, but it's not about just RIDING. ;)

Non-riding activities at the Con included a photo contest (which inspired me enough that I'll probably enter next year), a video contest, several workshops, the business meeting, and the annual banquet.

Some of the pictures for the photo contest were simply breathtaking. I don't remember offhand which ones won, but one shot that stands out in particular in my mind was a shot of Millennium Force's first hill that looked like it was taken from a boat on the lake.

The video contest was fun. There were 15 entries this year, up from 6 last year, but several people entered multiple videos. Again, I don't have very good notes, but I do recall that a video dedicated to Speed: The Ride (which was done by a pro with access to lots of cool equipment) won. The same contestant apparently won last year with a Dueling Dragons video. There were two entries for Phantom's Revenge. The oddest entry was titled "Goodnight Irene". It was pretty bad quality (obviously dubbed between 2 VCRs), which I wouldn't have minded if the video had made any SENSE to me ;) Some people said afterwards that they voted for it because it was different, which it was, but I found it more disturbing than anything else ;)

Gary Baker, the ACE Events Director, hosted a workshop on everything that goes into PLANNING an event. The discussion was interesting and made me appreciate how difficult that job is, but the coolest info from that workshop was that we have some details for the ACE European Tour next summer. The tour will be 2 weeks long, and members can sign up for either or both weeks at their preference. Week One will be July 13-20 in the UK, while Week Two will be mainland Europe July 20-27. I'm almost definitely going to the UK leg, and HOPE to hit the mainland leg as well, even if at the expense of the main Con (California) next summer. The schedule still has to be finalized, but tentative plans call for the UK leg stopping at Thorpe Park, Flamingoland, Lightwater Valley, Blackland Pleasure Beach, Southport Pleasureland, Alton Towers, Drayton Manor, Oakwood, Margate Dreamland, and Rotunda Park. The mainland tour should include Six Flags Belgium, Efteling, Six Flags Holland, Heide Park, Phantasialand, Warner Brothers Movie World, and Parc Asterix. (These are directly taken from the sheet that was handed out at the workshop).

The Business Meeting was interesting, but not for everyone. Among the interesting tidbits we got were membership figures (PA has the most ACE members with over 1000, ACE members come from every state except North Dakota; and international ACE members come from 10 different countries)

During the "open to the floor for questions and comments" portion, one woman came up and ripped into the ACE executive committee for "daring" to put the ACE logo on "a plastic toy". To fill people in – K’Nex is releasing a new roller coaster toy, and an "Endorsed by ACE" logo will appear on it. Personally I think this is a very cool thing, giving good publicity to ACE on a great toy, but apparently some people don’t like it. This woman ranted on about how "this is my club, and how dare you put our logo on a kid’s toy..." I respect her opinion, but I don’t agree. Neither did the ACE executive committee, obviously. Encouraging creativity and enthusiasm in kids is never a bad thing, and if ACE can get some positive awareness out of it, all the better.


The Banquet this year was at the Hershey Lodge. The food was, needless to say, excellent, especially the desserts ;) I was staying a the lodge, so getting to/from activities was obviously pretty simple. The lodge is VERY nice, and if I can afford it I’ll be perfectly happy to stay there again next time I’m in the area. :)

There was also a small sales room, where I bought the official CoasterCon XXIV shirt.


Overall, it was nice to have non-riding stuff to do. 4 uninterrupted days at Hershey, followed by 2 more at Dorney, would have made for a boring con otherwise ;)

-------------
--Greg

http://www.pobox.com/~gregleg/
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Wednesday, June 27, 2001 9:50 AM

GregLeg said:
"Gary Baker, the ACE Events Director, hosted a workshop on everything that goes into PLANNING an event. The discussion was interesting and made me appreciate how difficult that job is, but the coolest info from that workshop was that we have some details for the ACE European Tour next summer. The tour will be 2 weeks long, and members can sign up for either or both weeks at their preference. Week One will be July 13-20 in the UK, while Week Two will be mainland Europe July 20-27. I'm almost definitely going to the UK leg, and HOPE to hit the mainland leg as well, even if at the expense of the main Con (California) next summer. The schedule still has to be finalized, but tentative plans call for the UK leg stopping at Thorpe Park, Flamingoland, Lightwater Valley, Blackland Pleasure Beach, Southport Pleasureland, Alton Towers, Drayton Manor, Oakwood, Margate Dreamland, and Rotunda Park. The mainland tour should include Six Flags Belgium, Efteling, Six Flags Holland, Heide Park, Phantasialand, Warner Brothers Movie World, and Parc Asterix. (These are directly taken from the sheet that was handed out at the workshop)."


Sweet! Now it's time to give Gary a call and get a few more details. A trip to Europe will be my graduation present next summer, so I can't wait!
That is, if I can pass the finals (I'm a horrible test taker) and get over my phobia of needles (you need certain vaccinations to head overseas!)

Alas, for now, everything sounds great! Thanks Greg, keep the reports coming!
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