Great America in Washington D.C.?

Thursday, May 22, 2003 5:38 PM
I was doing some research on the Internet this evening and discovered that Marriott originally wanted to build Great America in Howard County, MD or Prince William County, VA according to a old Washington Post article from the early 1970's. I didn't read it closely but plan to do so in the coming days, but, the park was originally planned for Howard County, MD on about 500 acres of land east of Columbia, MD (I believe it was east). However, the Howard County planning board later voted down the proposal and Marriott set it sites on Prince Williams County, VA. Anyone around to remember any of this and admit it?

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www.sfafans.org

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Thursday, May 22, 2003 5:58 PM
Yeah, I'll admit it. This was after the merger with Cedar Point fell through. Marriott had ordered three of everything, and already taken delivery of a number of attractions. This was during and just after the first Middle East oil crisis. The climate in the business was still was a bit unsure, and the decision was made to finish the Chicago and Santa Clara parks, and shelve the Washington,D.C. area park. Some of the rides that were intended for that park were sold while some of the more unique ones wound up being used for spare parts for the other two parks (the Columbia carousel for example).I've heard that even then Marriott was considering getting out of the park biz.
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Thursday, May 22, 2003 6:12 PM
Merger with Cedar Point? Marriott attempted to aquire CP at some point? This is news to me.

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Thursday, May 22, 2003 6:27 PM
Oh geez yeah, the negotiations were during the winter/spring of 1973-74. We even had Marriott people roaming around the Point in May of that year.Lost a few middle management types to them. This was also during the time that CP was planning to build a park in the Irish Hills. Ultimately, as I understood it George and Emil decided to not join forces with Marriott to concentrate on the Michigan project. Of course the NIMBY' shot that down, and with the passing of Emil LeGros the winter of 74-75 , and the "retirement" of George Roose the company took a different course.
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Friday, May 23, 2003 4:48 AM
There is a chapter about the Prince William site in a online book. Someone on rec.roller-coaster posted the link. You can view the book here:

http://www.cr.nps.gov/history/online_books/mana/adhi7.htm

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www.sfafans.org

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Friday, May 23, 2003 5:49 AM
Yeah,I saw it on SFN.

It was an interesting article & it's really too bad that the park wasnever built because if it were then I'd have a park within a ten minute drive from home.

Coasterguts:did you change your SN on SFN to Penquin by any chance? I noticed that on the boards this morning & when I saw your sig I knew it was probably you.

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Friday, May 23, 2003 6:42 AM
It's okay that the washington one wasn't built , because there is now SFA.

Imagine if Marriot had bought Cedar point and was then later turned into a Six Flags park when Marriot got tired of it. Yuck.

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Friday, May 23, 2003 7:01 AM

thepinkdoomofmonkeys said:
It's okay that the washington one wasn't built , because there is now SFA.

Imagine if Marriot had bought Cedar point and was then later turned into a Six Flags park when Marriot got tired of it. Yuck.


Actually, I was thinking of a slightly different scenario. Would Marriott sold the Washington, D.C. park to Cedar Fair seeing how Marriott's California park was sold to Paramount and Great America in Chicago was sold to Six Flags.

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www.sfafans.org
*** This post was edited by coasterguts 5/23/2003 11:02:44 AM ***

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Saturday, May 24, 2003 5:57 AM

Dutchman said:
Some of the rides that were intended for that park were sold while some of the more unique ones wound up being used for spare parts for the other two parks (the Columbia carousel for example).I've heard that even then Marriott was considering getting out of the park biz.

What rides were sold to other parks? I knew that they were planning a third park but I didn't know they had already ordered and taken delivery of some of the rides for the DC area park.

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Mike
Favorite Wood: Viper at SFGAM,Shivering Timbers
Favorite Steel: Magnum and Raging Bull

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Saturday, May 24, 2003 6:27 AM
Earlier someone mentioned they ordered "3 of everything." Thus being Whizzer, Demon, etc. Just my guess!

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If at first don't succeed, find out if the loser gets anything.

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Saturday, May 24, 2003 9:30 AM
Understand that while they had ordered three of everything, that they hadn't taken delivery of all of them. A few of the catalog rides were stored in trailers in Maryland for a while, then sold. Which ones I don't recall. The custom orders were for the most part cancelled , with the exception of the third "Columbia", which was already on hand.It wound up being used for spare parts. Marriott didn't want to sell it as a whole unit as it was going to be a trademark piece for the existing parks
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Saturday, May 24, 2003 10:11 AM
Perhaps some of the rides were sold to SFA back in it's days as Wild world?

If the DC area park failed due to lack of planning board approval then perhaps they moved that park to NJ,remember Marriott was the original developer of what is now SFGRADV,along with what is now PGA in California & SFGRAM in Illinois,it wouldn't be surprise because at the time they only had plans to build the first three parks of what they hoped would be a nationwide chain of Marriotts great america parks across the united states.

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Saturday, May 24, 2003 10:29 AM

BATWING FAN SFA said:
Perhaps some of the rides were sold to SFA back in it's days as Wild world?

This was way before Wild World was even conceived. Wild World opened in 82 and didn't have any amusement rides till 85. I don't think any of the rides are at Wild World or SFA for that matter.

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www.sfafans.org

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Saturday, May 24, 2003 11:16 AM
rollergator's avatar I remember passing by Adventure World several times, but since we're on the topic of *old* parks in that area, does ANYONE here at all have any memories of Marshall Hall park...reading about it in an old ACE issue got me a little curious.
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Saturday, May 24, 2003 11:30 AM
I beg to differ about Great Adventure being a Marriott endevour. It was the built by Warner LeRoy. It originally had a much more international feel to it than the Marriott parks.

As far as Marriott wanting to build a chain of moderately sized parks nationwide, yes that was the original intent. Stay at a Marriott, walk across the street to a Great America. The Arab oil embargo of the winter of 1973-74 put the fear in the entire industry.The price of gas doubled at the pump,and there was serious concern about it's affect upon the amusement industry.That's when they went courting Cedar Point, looking for an experienced partner. Like I said the deal fell through , and Marriott went to plan B. Finish the Illinois and California parks, try to get the D.C. park started and put the chain idea on hold.

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Saturday, May 24, 2003 12:41 PM
Man, how's that for handy, right here in Manassas...

The more parks I hear about that never made it to this area, the more I question if we'll ever get a theme park of any kind...

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~ Blast Coaster | BlastCoaster@coaster-net.com | www.COASTER-net.com

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Saturday, May 24, 2003 12:48 PM

Blast Coaster said:
Man, how's that for handy, right here in Manassas...

The more parks I hear about that never made it to this area, the more I question if we'll ever get a theme park of any kind...

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~ Blast Coaster | BlastCoaster@coaster-net.com | www.COASTER-net.com


I know one thing for sure, no one will ever try and build a park anywhere close to the battlefields again. I have always thought the area around Hagerstown, Maryland would be a good place for a park. You have Pennsylvania, to the North, Virginia and West Viriginia to the South. Two major interestates run through the area (I-81 and I-70). Another major interstate (I-68) about 30 miles away and the PA Turnpike isn't that much further either. A park in Hagerstown could draw from Harrisburg, Washington, D.C. and other areas, plus their is lots of land that farmers would be willing to sell. Hagerstown is really beginning to become a nice area. Thought about moving their myself (would move their if they ever fixed the parking lot on I-270).

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www.sfafans.org

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Saturday, May 24, 2003 12:58 PM
The question is, how close is too close to the battlefield? Some development has popped up immediately bordering the battlefield in the last few years, and there's non-battlefield land aplenty off just to the west of Manassas along 66.

It's really the ideal area for a major theme park, IMO, right near the nation's capital, and it's a shame that it hasn't been taken advantage of, except, of course, by SFA up in Prince George's county.

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~ Blast Coaster | BlastCoaster@coaster-net.com | www.COASTER-net.com

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Saturday, May 24, 2003 3:27 PM
Howard County is about 15minutes from my house. That would've been great. Please, please Coasterguts, stop using the post quote option. I'm not a moderator, but is it really necessary to repeat what someone has already stated right above your post? Seeing as most people read from top to bottom, your repetition is completely unecessary.
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If you have a problem with clones, the solution is real simple—Stop traveling.
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Sunday, May 25, 2003 10:09 AM
Since i'm from Illinois, I may be able to ans. it.

Probably since Honest Abe lived here, maybe they did it because of mr. Lincoln. I dunno, just a geuss.

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My favorite coasters:

1)Shockwave (SFGAm) 2)..... There is no # 2.

I'm going to place a cross with SHOCKWAVE's logo by the enterance to Superman Ultimate Flight.

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