Diamondback a good investment?

Monday, April 20, 2009 8:03 AM

It is apparent that the plans for Diamondback were well under way before the economy sux the way it does. I can't help but wonder that with hindsight if CF would have reconsidered the $22m for DB?

I also wonder if DB going to make that much of a difference in guests. I know being there OD guests were thinking "this park is packed!" but...with that being said, maybe DB did bring in more people-but how many more?

Noticed ALOT of season passes for the early ride time, we all know they are good for the initial cost to the guest for the park, but after that it doesn't profit them too much. Season pass holders aren't exactly known for their spending once in the park(s)

The line for DB was crazy long in the morn and early afternoon (I would have been on it too but had my share of rides already) so we didn't even go near it until after 5pm. Our wait was 1.25-and we still got a t-shirt.

Naturally the park appeared crowded but it was OD, a Saturday and the weather was outstanding. When I got up on the Eiffel tower after 6pm I was surprised to see the parking lots were FAR from full :(
Does anyone remember how crazy packed CP was OD because of MF?

Maybe it's just too early in the season yet, but I sure hope for CFs sake they are right that more people will be swapping their true vacations for a trip to KI.

Nitro used to be my fav B&M steel--forget that now! ;)


Monday, April 20, 2009 8:10 AM

Its way early in the season. CP don't open till mid may and it was always about the first weekend of May that KI started to get really busy on satudays.That ride will pay for itself many times over. I have no doubts on that.Chuck

Monday, April 20, 2009 8:29 AM

From the conversations I heard, the GP was there BECAUSE of Diamondback. And why wouldn't they be? The park received thousands of dollars in free advertising, plus everything they've done on their own to promote the ride.

Also, with the short wait when compared to the quality of the ride, it only enhances a guests experience and increases their likelihood of returning. Even I, on the drive back to Cleveland, was thinking - Man, I wish this was my home park for the year.

Last edited by d_port_12E, Monday, April 20, 2009 8:32 AM
Monday, April 20, 2009 10:22 AM

I looked at the parking lot from the Eiffel Tower, too, and it looked pretty full to me! The North lot was about 80% I'd say and the South lot was almost to the edge ( the far South lot had a few cars in it too)

Good investment? Absolutely- this new ride is already bringing em in with a crowd and a morning line the likes of which I've never seen in 37 seasons. I'm just sure it will continue that way as well.

I'm always amazed at the amount of season pass business KI does - the line for processing was out to the parking lot for a good part of the day - and when I finally joined the line for Diamondback it was only 9:30, meaning everyone in line so far was a passholder. If season passes affect spending and the bottom line negatively I think they would have caught on to it by now.

Last edited by RCMAC, Monday, April 20, 2009 10:23 AM
Monday, April 20, 2009 11:42 AM

RCMAC said:
...and when I finally joined the line for Diamondback it was only 9:30, meaning everyone in line so far was a passholder.

Thats because they really werent checking to be sure everyone had a pass before letting them thru for early ride time. I stood there (I didnt go in cause I actually paid for my tik-getting my season pass at CP Thursday) and maybe 1 out of 10 people actually had a pass in their hand-the other ones were just coasting by without being stopped. There was one guy who came back to show the group he was with he got in by flashing his ticket. So there really wasnt that many season pass holders as it may have appeared.


Monday, April 20, 2009 11:47 AM

The park will see a boost in attendance, there's no doubt of that. The question is whether or not it means a $22 million+ boost in revenue, amortized over however long they believe they should to justify the ride.

Monday, April 20, 2009 12:11 PM

Sure it will.

There was a story on the news here in detroit about diamondback. At my work, there are people that are now going to be going to the park that have never been there before after hearing about the coaster.

It just makes the whole park experiance even better.

We were there opening DAY, and everyone was very excited about the ride and it seemed to be a big hit. We got 3 rides on it, and the last ride of the day was the best as I got some insane airtime.

Last edited by crazy horse, Monday, April 20, 2009 12:13 PM
Monday, April 20, 2009 1:21 PM

I think you're talking about an anecdotal fringe case. It doesn't give any meaningful measure to the ROI gained a week from now, next month or next year.

Even in the best of times, expensive rides were mostly a break-even proposition. There were of course exceptions now and then (Millennium Force was allegedly credited for paying for itself and Breakers Express, for example), but those exceptions are unusual. Diamondback may be one of those exceptions as well, but I doubt it would work that well at most of the parks.

Monday, April 20, 2009 2:36 PM

I recall reading in a Cedar Fair report many years ago that their depreciation schedule for major rides is something like 13 years.

Last year I recall Monty Jasper talking about how for every ride, they figure out what it costs them to put one person on the ride. So it's total operating costs divided by the number of riders carried. With that information, they can somehow extrapolate out with the variations in admission revenue and figure out whether a ride is pulling its weight or not.

Another thing you have to consider with "mature" parks like Kings Island. They are in saturated markets. There is not a lot that they can do to increase their annual attendance. Adding a ride like Diamondback, which Kings Island fans have been clamoring for since about 1990, is one of the few things they can do which might actually bring a significant attendance boost...if not more customers, maybe they can get those customers to come more often. Sure, that probably means more season passes, but that doesn't necessarily mean less revenue than the average ticket buyer, it just means revenue comes through different channels. Or they can drive the season pass sales through the installation of a ride like Diamondback as people realize they want to ride it a lot. But I digress...

The park is in a mature market. They have reached a point where the primary goal in installing a big new ride isn't necessarily to get more people to come to the park, but rather to keep people coming back. Just watch; I won't be surprised if Cedar Point's attendance is down this year not just because of the economic implosion in key markets (especially in the Detroit area) but because there is "nothing new" up there this year. Meanwhile, Kings Island has a big new ride and they will probably see an increase this year.

Given the 'innovate or die' atmosphere of the park industry, I think there is no question that ultimately Diamondback is not only a good investment, but probably the best new ride investment Kings Island has received in almost 20 years.

--Dave Althoff, Jr.

Tuesday, April 21, 2009 1:11 AM

I think it's probably an excellent idea for a Cedar Fair park. If you think about it, only a few of the CF parks have B&M hypers, and the rest belong to Six Flags. While CF parks have other stellar rides, they seem to mostly skip B&M for hypers. To obtain a new coaster the likes of which most of the other CF parks haven't seen, could definitely draw a new crowd. I know that I will be out there at least next year if not this year to ride Diamondback, and I am buying a Platinum Pass this year on the hopes that it will be THIS year. I would be willing to bet that a lot of people that are bored with the attractions that CF has obtained lately will be newly interested in attending the parks. I could be wrong though (it's known to happen). ;)

Tuesday, April 21, 2009 1:36 AM

They don't mostly skip B&M. They built hypers in half of their parks before B&M offered them. "People" aren't bored with Cedar Fair because generally speaking "people" don't travel to multiple CF parks in massive quantities, or even identify their parks as part of the same family.

Tuesday, April 21, 2009 5:45 AM

^ How very true. It seems as a small, make that tiny sliver of the CP outside the coaster comunity know about CF owning a dozen parks at this point.

Gee, didn't we have this disvussion about CF "rebranding their parks under one banner about a year ago, when CF bought Paramount?

Tuesday, April 21, 2009 11:13 AM

RideMan said:
Just watch; I won't be surprised if Cedar Point's attendance is down this year not just because of the economic implosion in key markets (especially in the Detroit area) but because there is "nothing new" up there this year. Meanwhile, Kings Island has a big new ride and they will probably see an increase this year.

--Dave Althoff, Jr.

I totally agree with Dave. I've already told my hubby we will be going to KI way more than CP this season. Not just because of DB but because it is cake to get there for us. LOVE CP but that 6 hour round trip drive gets old big time fast!

Hey Dave isn't it awesome for us that KI is our home park?? ;)

Tuesday, April 21, 2009 11:20 AM


I am shocked that you are putting raptor in the back seat to diamondback this year? Whats going on with the world today? ;)

Tuesday, April 21, 2009 11:23 AM

LuvRaptor said:
Hey Dave isn't it awesome for us that KI is our home park?? ;)

Rub it in a little more! : )

Tuesday, April 21, 2009 12:12 PM

Problem solved for you all - I think everyone should move to Columbus, which I have long considered to be one of the best amusement park locations in the nation (even though we dont really have one ourselves, and don't even try to talk to me about the zoo). KI, CP, SFKK, HW, IB, KW, all within a 4 hour drive and very easy. The gettin was even better when we had GL and LLake.

I typically spend more days at CP, but I'm with Jo - I think I'll be making more frequent trips to KI this year; and for me it's the closest of them all.

Tuesday, April 21, 2009 12:30 PM

^^Indianapolis is not bad either...granted CP is 4+ hours away, you got SFGAm and SFStL both 3+ hours and MiA not far behind as well. But those PA folk and East Coaster's still have it made! ;)

Tuesday, April 21, 2009 12:52 PM

I've always thought the best city for an enthusiast was Allentown. Cut the driving radius to just 2 hours and you're going to have access to more solid parks than most places have in a 4 hour radius.

The only problem is that everything else about the Allentown area sucks. ;)

Tuesday, April 21, 2009 1:54 PM

^ You just left before the Iron Pigs moved in. :)

Tuesday, April 21, 2009 2:25 PM

Well, that's another good thing about Columbus, it's a great town. Fun, hip, relatively affordable, easy to navigate, people are nice, and no shortage of restaurants and retail! Not to mention Go Bucks.

Ok, we apologize for the interruption, now back to Diamondback...


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