Expected Opening Day for Steel Vengeance

Wednesday, January 3, 2018 11:56 AM

Hi All,

A friend of mine and I are planning on taking a big road trip around the rust belt, and into Canada, and are planning on hitting Cedar Point, KI, Canada's Wonderland, Darien Lake, and a few smaller parks. Preferably, I would like to plan it for the week before Memorial Day weekend, to cut down on the crowds, and the kids in the park, but he's worried about Steel Vengeance might not be up and running.

From Cedar Point junkies, what is your general gauge of when rides tend to open, and stay open for the public. Would we be fine if we planned to go the week before Memorial Day weekend, or would it pay to wait a few weeks to give it some time?

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Wednesday, January 3, 2018 12:36 PM

The park is actively advertising the ride will open with the park on May 5.

That said, no one knows for sure what delays or difficulties may pop up between now and then, or what kind of downtimes the ride will experience once open. You should be fine any time in May, but there are no guarantees for any ride any day.

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Wednesday, January 3, 2018 2:40 PM
HeyIsntThatRob?'s avatar

Echoing what BrettV that nothing is ever guaranteed with a new ride opening.

However...

It would be completely surprising if Steel Vengeance didn't open with the park on May 5th. They have said in previous tweets that they anticipate beginning of testing in April and that should give them ample time to run in the trains, test operations and get state certified.

Barring an unforeseen natural disaster, weather event, state government issue, or mechanical failure I think its safe to say that any day in May that the park is open you should be able to ride.

But if it doesn't there's a ton of other awesome coasters to ride.

***Edit: forgot to add - or if a roll or two needed removed...

Last edited by HeyIsntThatRob?, Wednesday, January 3, 2018 2:41 PM
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Wednesday, January 3, 2018 4:31 PM
Rick_UK's avatar

I am still a little astounded that this thing hasn't been testing yet, it looked not far off complete 6 months ago.


Nothing to see here. Move along.

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Wednesday, January 3, 2018 5:27 PM

It would be hard to test without things like mechanics, brakes, electric, a chain,... trains,... stuff like that. We had a nice fall in Ohio, but once the visitor season was over it grew cold. Now we’re having temps in the minus degrees.

I’ve always suspected the two-year build was designed to spread expense, time, and trouble over time. I don’t know details about the fiscal year at CP, but at least it appears that one season was dedicated to razing and reconstruction then the next year would involve the technical details required to get the ride up and running.

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Wednesday, January 3, 2018 5:32 PM

Even if they had the ride ready in late-summer or fall, it wouldn't have made sense to test it and then let it sit all winter just to have to do a lot of the same testing again in the spring.


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Wednesday, January 3, 2018 8:02 PM

RCMAC said:

I

I’ve always suspected the two-year build was designed to spread expense, time, and trouble over time.

Time and Trouble maybe, as it may just not have been possible to reasonably expect it to open in May 2017, and opening a big ride mid-season just isn't something CP normally does.

As for spreading the cost over two years, I don't think that entered the equation at all. CF is arguably in its best financial position ever, (certainly very healthy given Revenue, Per Caps, OOP spending, geographic diversity, season expansion, etc) with a very healthy balance sheet. Annual revenues of over $1B and capex of +/- $100 million a year. The cost of SV, even if >$25 million isn't enough to affect cash, cash flow or financial covenants in any one year; and wouldn't be seen as anything out of the ordinary for CF.

More than likely it was just the timeline that RMC and CF needed to get the job done, and by working on SV on RMC's "off-season", it may have actually helped on cost. Who knows, maybe there was a discount for building summer/fall, as opposed to winter when the RMC buildout crews are already slammed

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Wednesday, January 3, 2018 8:44 PM

Just don't plan to go for opening day. It often doesn't go smoothly every year there's an entire thread devoted to how "awful" it was over at Pointbuzz. I've always had fun opening day but I don't live that far away and my standards are pretty loose since I'm there sometimes almost weekly.

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Wednesday, January 3, 2018 8:49 PM

Well, with deep pockets like that, who needs a discount?
If it was me I’d prefer to write two smaller checks over time than one big one all at once. But like I say, financials aren’t my thing, so what do I know?
Oh, except the ride wasn’t ready for testing in the fall and it sure won’t happen anytime this winter.

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Thursday, January 4, 2018 2:51 PM

For a publicly traded company that adheres to Generally Accepted Accounting Principles, it wouldn't matter when payment was rendered, or really when the work was completed. The expenditures hit the income statement when they are put into service and begin to help the company earn revenue. In this case, they would be depreciated over the useful life of the ride (I would imagine that it would be subject to a 40 year recovery period). But either way, all of the construction in progress wouldn't be depreciated until the ride opens anyway.

From a cash flow standpoint? I doubt that the parks are cash poor. And they should have enough credit that they can get bank loans if they need to, so I'd imagine that there is little reason to put off activity if it could benefit the company.

From a tax standpoint? Cedar Fair is big enough that would never be eligible for 179 expensing. It would be in their best interest to get all of their assets depreciating as quickly as possible. But again, they would not be able to start taking deprecation expense on their tax return until the ride was put into service and helping to earn revenue.

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Thursday, January 4, 2018 7:41 PM
Fun's avatar

I will just throw into the mix that building in the dead of winter has the potential to be expensive from contractor standpoint because no one wants to be out there freezing their ass off- and they will charge more because of that. Add in overtime expenses when you have a tight project timeline, it clearly makes sense to extend the timeline on a ride like this if you have the time to build over two seasons.

Last edited by Fun, Thursday, January 4, 2018 7:42 PM
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Thursday, January 4, 2018 8:41 PM
Pete's avatar

I have every expectation that SV will be running opening day 2018. With the extended build schedule, they have the luxury of time for testing and working out all of the bugs. I'll be there opening day with Fastlane in hand ready to ride.


I'd rather be in my boat with a drink on the rocks, than in the drink with a boat on the rocks.

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Friday, January 5, 2018 6:53 AM

I imagine part of the calculus was that by closing early, they save on an off season's worth of maintenance cost. It would have been pretty absurd to spend money on a ride that would have been closing in the middle of the season.


Brandon | Facebook

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Friday, January 5, 2018 3:55 PM

I’ve already bought my plane tickets. Wait, I drive, plains tickets might be better.

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Friday, January 5, 2018 5:54 PM

Fun said:

I will just throw into the mix that building in the dead of winter has the potential to be expensive from contractor standpoint because no one wants to be out there freezing their ass off- and they will charge more because of that. Add in overtime expenses when you have a tight project timeline, it clearly makes sense to extend the timeline on a ride like this if you have the time to build over two seasons.

I highly doubt there's much going on over there right now. Just walking to my mailbox sucks and I'm not even on the lake.

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Friday, January 5, 2018 8:03 PM

I don’t care what anyone says, I still expect Steel Vengeance to open in 2017. 😜

Last edited by ShaneDenmark, Friday, January 5, 2018 8:03 PM

But then again, what do I know?

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Monday, January 8, 2018 10:09 AM

Very good news guys. My is very insistent on getting Steel Vengeance in, but preferably, I'd like to get the trip in before Memorial day weekend. I just think that's when crowds will be the lightest, and hopefully fewer kiddies.

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Monday, January 8, 2018 10:28 AM

May weekdays can be good days at Cedar Point, but once we get closer to the season keep an eye out on the events calendar for when they do the Math & Science days in the park. I have been burned a couple times on May weekdays where the park was loaded with high school kids on field trips.

May and June Sundays have been some of the absolute best days in the park over the years for us, even better than some of the May weekdays honestly.

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Monday, January 8, 2018 12:14 PM

BrettV said:

May weekdays can be good days at Cedar Point, but once we get closer to the season keep an eye out on the events calendar for when they do the Math & Science days in the park. I have been burned a couple times on May weekdays where the park was loaded with high school kids on field trips.

May and June Sundays have been some of the absolute best days in the park over the years for us, even better than some of the May weekdays honestly.

Righto. I was worried about field trips as well. This is why I generally try to avoid going to aquariums, zoos, and lightweight museums during the week. Do you know where I could find the listings of field trips?

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Friday, January 12, 2018 9:54 AM

Fun said:

I will just throw into the mix that building in the dead of winter has the potential to be expensive from contractor standpoint because no one wants to be out there freezing their ass off- and they will charge more because of that.

Interesting that you say that as I've found as a homeowner, there are far more 'home improvement' deals offered in the colder weather by the local contractors. They even say in their advertising that 'business is slow, so we lower prices to just our costs.' Is this true? I dont know. But I have noticed that I have to wait longer for a scheduled appointment in the spring/summer than in the late fall/winter. Just a thought.


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