Is Paramount "out of touch"?

Saturday, August 30, 2003 5:47 PM
You know, I look back over the years and see what type of coasters all the major park chains have added. The top 3 brands appear to be B&M, Intamin, and Vekoma. Non looping steel hyper coasters have been wildly popular over the past 5 years. It's a matter of opinion as to who has the best style of hyper. I prefer Intamin. I'm tired of 4 across seating and I love the narrow track gauge and the openess of the trains that Intamin offers.

Sometimes I think Paramount is out of touch with what a really good coaster is. Ok, Ok, the chain does offer a pretty good lineup (especially PKD) but if you took the top 5 Six Flags parks and put them against the 5 Paramount parks, there is NO comparison. First of all, there are ZERO hyper coasters in the Paramount chain. What are they thinking?? They are clearly out of touch with what guest want.

Paramount does like to gamble on a prototype coasters though. Hypersonic, Volcano, Super Saturator are hits, but.....not hypers.

There are only 4 B&M coasters in the entire Paramount chain and they belong to the smallest parks, PGA & PCWi. There are 7 Vekoma coasters in the chain. Vekoma engineers just haven't mastered the art of non-headbanging coasters. Paramount is clearly out of touch here. Is it the money? There are plenty of Arrow coasters in the chain too but most (if not all) were there before Paramount took over so I will give them that one. There is only 1 Intamin (adult) coaster in the chain I believe and that is just another example of Paramount being out of touch. Intamin by far offers the best that a steel coaster can offer. No B&M hypers have the steep drops or airtime that Intamins offer.

Ok, I had to get this off my chest. I wish I lived closer to a Six Flags park. Paramount just doesn't have the thrills to keep me comin back. PKD is by far the best of the batch.

And poor PCWo is getting the Zamperla, poor mans flyer for 2004. OUT OF TOUCH AGAIN!!!! Has any of the Paramount decision makers ridden one of these? Clearly the most uncomfortable and rough coasters next to Vekoma.

Paramount, WAKE UP!!!!! Do your homework!!! Travel to other parks and RIDE the best before you sign a deal with Zamperla or Vekoma.

Thank GOD Togo is out of business!!!!!!!

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Saturday, August 30, 2003 6:01 PM

Sometimes I think Paramount is out of touch with what a really good coaster is. Ok, Ok, the chain does offer a pretty good lineup (especially PKD) but if you took the top 5 Six Flags parks and put them against the 5 Paramount parks, there is NO comparison. First of all, there are ZERO hyper coasters in the Paramount chain. What are they thinking?? They are clearly out of touch with what guest want.

But, the real comparison, when considering issues of capital improvements and corporate decision-making, is at the company level and it's clear that Paramount is performing better than Six Flags is. While certain Six Flags parks may outperform the Paramount parks, that could have as much to do with market as it does with coaster lineup. On the whole, though, it seems like the Paramount chain is far more successful and thus, better managed and more "in touch."

Maybe Six Flags is the company that's really out of touch with what the people want. Money talks, after all, and Six Flags doesn't have a lot of it.

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--Maddie--
What do I Listen-To?
May the Schwarz be with you.
*** This post was edited by Chernabog 8/30/2003 10:05:20 PM ***

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Saturday, August 30, 2003 6:19 PM

Chernabog said:

On the whole, though, it seems like the Paramount chain is far more successful and thus, better managed and more "in touch."

Maybe Six Flags is the company that's really out of touch with what the people want. Money talks, after all, and Six Flags doesn't have a lot of it.

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Thanks for the reply. I believe the only reason Paramount may be more successful economically would be the fact that they have fewer parks to manage. Compare that to the countless number of Six Flags properties and that may be part of THAT problem. Of course, my original complaint was that Paramount was out of touch with what guest want. Not that they perform better economically. You would think a better managed chain would add better quality coasters. The long term costs of maintaining a second rate brand may come back to haunt them down the road.




*** This post was edited by HarryTraver 8/30/2003 10:19:57 PM ***
*** This post was edited by HarryTraver 8/30/2003 10:20:22 PM ***
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Saturday, August 30, 2003 6:20 PM
Completely the opposite. They're probably more in touch with great business decisions since 2001 than any other chain at there (who cares if Hypersonic or Flying Coaster has/will have low capacity, it got/will get people into the park for the season). Cedar Fair tends to do an excellent job as well. Just because the parks don't build what you or coaster enthusiasts want, it doesn't mean they don't know what they're doing. The only SF park with a higher attendance than PKI is SFGAdv (which also has larger attendance than CP) and compared PCW to SFDL, PKD to SFA, PGA to SFMW, and PKI to SFKK, all the Paramount Parks have a higher attendance. Paramount is looking for surefire, low-risk investments this year and I bet all the additions will be a great success. On the subject of hypers, PKI does have Son of Beast. :)

-Danny
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Coaster Insomniacs- Coastin' the Night Away

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Saturday, August 30, 2003 6:31 PM
Well I'd love to see hyper coasters at Paramount parks, but maybe they're opting for something different.

What's the point in PKI building a hyper coaster when Cedar Point has three coasters over 200ft? Similar thing for PKD with Apollo's Chariot on its door.

I would presume PGA and PCW have strict height restrictions.

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Saturday, August 30, 2003 6:45 PM
Paramount may be out of touch with you, but clearly they've got the pulse on what the guests want. The kiddie sections at PKI and PKD are awesome (as I imagine PC and PGA after their makeovers this year). A lot of parks have hypers, but how about extreme flats and really high, high-capacity drop rides? For the most part, only Paramount has them. As for the comment about Vekoma not being able to build a ride that doesn't headbang, have you tried Face-Off? I've only ridden its twin Two-Face, and it's relatively free of headbanging.
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Saturday, August 30, 2003 6:58 PM
Paramount has done a great thing with the Flat rides. They are cheaper than coasters , about as thrilling , and bring the guests in. SF has been building mega-coaster after megacoaster , and look at the money situation they're about to face. Paramount's are much more Family Oriented , and it works very well.

On the other hand , it *would* be great if PKI got the new Hyper , for a total of *two*......

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Now funny unless told otherwise.

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Saturday, August 30, 2003 7:27 PM
Paramount knows what it's doing. Their emphasis is proper and correct given the markets that each park rests in. I'm particularly impressed with the way they've expanded and developed Kings Island and Dominion. There are some things I question (I'm still not so sure SOB was a good idea), but clearly they're doing their best to differentiate themselves from their competition and appeal to families.

Enthusiasts never seem to see the big picture.

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Saturday, August 30, 2003 8:06 PM
Dammit, Jeff...that's twice tonight you took the words right out of my mouth. I couldn't agree with you more, especially regarding PKI.

mOOSH

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Saturday, August 30, 2003 8:22 PM
Saying Paramount is out of touch compared to Six Flags is like saying Sears in Creola, Ohio is out of touch compared to Tiffanies in NY. Two totally different markets and approaches. No matter what Six Flags tries to sell they are Thrill Parks for the most part. Paramount has gone against the grain and went with "family park".

PKI is probably one of the most family oriented parks I have been to. There is something for everyone to do all day. Not just a ride or two for each category of thrill seeker they cover you from 4 to 104. Cedar Fair is in touch with their guests because they made their guests want bigger, Six Flags is still working on finding guests ;p , and paramount continues to work at a different pace. They could ad a new coaster every year and cloan the heck out of it at every Paramount Park, and people would complain. They could go with the tallest and fastest and have ample down time, and people would complain. Why ruin what they have built up?

Paramount has some world class parks for the areas they are in and they are very enjoyable to attend if you are looking for a day of fun. For a day of coaster riding maybe they aren't the best. That is why they are an "Amusement Park" and not just a "Coaster Park". Enjoy what you have and be glad it is their. Amusement is a tough industry and at any time most of the parks in the US could disapear. Look a LeSourdville Lake, great park, nothing incredible, and a terrible loss.

Sorry, had to rant on this one!

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*** This post was edited by ldiesman 8/31/2003 12:25:10 AM ***

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Saturday, August 30, 2003 8:25 PM
Jeff, be careful where you take words from, you don't know where they've been.

Is Paramount starting their own ride rotation program?

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Saturday, August 30, 2003 9:09 PM
I appreciate and respect everyone's reply. The concern I have is with their coaster selection. Wasn't speaking of any other aspect of the park. I tried to make that clear with the first sentence in the second paragraph of the original post.

It's clear to me that Paramount excels in may areas.
I took the Paramount polls that were sent out recently, as with thousands of others. The results of the poll were emailed to me and they clearly show that the public wants what none of their parks have. A hyper! So, in a sense, yes, they have been out of touch with a large segement of their guests over the years.

Listen, I am not some kid hung up on hyper coasters. I appreciate all coasters, flat rides, dark rides, etc.
And yes, they have been gearing their parks more towards families over the past several years. I feel, according to the poll results that Paramount may be ready to take some bold moves in the coming years and start gearing things towards teens and adults. I just hope they make the right choices. It's a tough business I know. I have and had friends in D&E, PR & Maintenance with Paramount over the years. I've learned to appreciate these aspects of the business.

It's clearly a matter of opinion. But the poll results speak for themselves. Financially, the chain may be doing well, that's great! It's obvious these polls were meant for non other than public feedback on future attractions. So, to me, that in itself is a feather in Paramounts hat.

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Saturday, August 30, 2003 9:38 PM

Mamoosh said:
Dammit, Jeff...that's twice tonight you took the words right out of my mouth. I couldn't agree with you more, especially regarding PKI.

Moosh, you took the words right out of my mouth... except for the "twice" part, because that's just the first time.

I'm loving PKI more and more every time I visit. PKI is getting close to taking my "home park" status away from Cedar Point even though it's almost three hours further away.

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- John
Homepark: Cedar Point
Home-away-from-homepark: Paramount's Kings Island

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Sunday, August 31, 2003 5:22 AM
Paramount also has a knack for seeing what works and spreading it around (Scooby dark ride, Nick Central area, Drop Zone, etc.). You never get the feeling they make hurried decisions. I think everyone knows which coaster company they've been talking to, and I seem to recall a statement from someone at Paramount that they were willing to take their time to get the best possible rides. So be patient, 2005 is really not that far off.
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Sunday, August 31, 2003 7:46 AM
Do we all keep forgeting that PKI does in fact have a hyper? True, it's made of wood, but it deffinitly is over 200' tall classifying it as a hyper. If you're talking about a hyper in the traditional form, then I'd agree, the chain really does in fact need a nice Intamin or B&M hyper...

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Sunday, August 31, 2003 8:59 AM
But why? Why do the Paramount parks need a hyper? Why are they [or any park] complete without one? This is something I have never understood.

Using the generally accepting definition of a hyper [non-looping coaster with top height and/or drop of 200 feet or more] there are only 16 in the US, according to rcdb.com. Of those, one park claims three of them [CP, with Millie, Maggie, and Dragster] so a total of 13 parks have hypers: CP, SFMM, SFNE, SFA, SFDL, SFOT, SFGAdv, SFGAm, VF, WoF, DP, KW, and KBF. I have not included shuttles or coasters with standard inversions in that list so SOB, Manhattan Express, Speed, Wicked Twister, and the like are not on that list.

16 parks...out of 267 parks currently operating in the US. So are you telling me that there are 254 parks in the US in dire need of a hyper?

mOOSH

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*** This post was edited by Mamoosh 8/31/2003 12:59:32 PM ***

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Sunday, August 31, 2003 9:23 AM
Moosh, I think that they're implying that Paramount as a large chain should have a hyper. CF and SF as the other major chains have multiple hypers and paramount doesn't. "We" believe that they're "falling behind".

I personally believe that PKI and PGA need new coasters; PKD and PC are just fine coaster wise.
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Sunday, August 31, 2003 10:08 AM
Thunderstorm, I tend to disagree with you on that point. While you are correct that PGA NEEDS a new coaster, it makes no sense for PKI to receive a hyper (I know you didnt mention them getting a hyper, I'm just using other people's suggestions). As someone stated above it would make no sense with CP so close. PGA, PCar, and PCW are the parks that a hyper would make the most sense in, seeing that they dont have very near competition with hypers. PKI and PKD however are very close to parks with hypers and it wouldnt really make sense to challenge TTD, MF, Magnum, or Apollo's.
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Sunday, August 31, 2003 12:07 PM
well i'm glad we at least got this conversation geared towards the interests of us thrill seakers rather than the intersts of the marketers and bean counters.

people on this thread have mentioned that it makes no sense for PKD to try to compete with BGW's Appolo's Chariot. that's silly. Apollo's Chariot, and its Hyper status, are the only thing that makes BGW remotely competitive with PKD in the coaster department. if PKD also had something that large, there would be little to no reason for any thrill-seeker trying to decide between the two parks to choose BGW instead of PKD.

in the 80's and 90's, PKD was world-class in terms of coasters, but Paramount's refusal to build bigger, more modern rides is quickly reducing their status in the eyes of coaster enthusiasts. if paramount were to replace one coaster in each of their parks with a B&M or Intamin hyper, they would almost undeniably have the greatest coaster selection of any chain. they've got the room, they've got the cash, and yet they keep putting in kids rides .. expanding in an area in which they are already number one. sure, it brings in the money, but it leaves us thrill seekers out in the cold a bit, having to make do with prototype rides and midget coasters from second-rate designers.

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Sunday, August 31, 2003 12:45 PM

HarryTraver said:

I took the Paramount polls that were sent out recently, as with thousands of others. The results of the poll were emailed to me and they clearly show that the public wants what none of their parks have. A hyper! So, in a sense, yes, they have been out of touch with a large segement of their guests over the years.


From the poll results I have checked out. the results didn't say anything about a hyper coaster. Yes, 71% of the results do mention a coaster without inversions (that doesn't totally define as a hyper to me), but those same results show that the top choice of a "awesome" ride (with 91% of the votes) goes to a coaster that goes upside down.

While I think it would be fantastic to see a brand new steel coaster (or coasters), inversions or not, at a Paramount Park sometime soon, I have no doubt in my mind the park knows exactly what they are doing and it shows.

Below is the link to a downloadable .pdf of the results.

http://www.thrillresearch.com/results/Ride_Survey_Results_2003.pdf

-Sean

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