Is Wildwood the future home for the NRCM?

Jeff's avatar

Rob Ascough said:
You act as though there is no interest whatsoever in roller coasters... this, coming from a guy running a website that has a few thousand members.
It's funny that you should mention that, because that's exactly the reason that I feel the way I do. CoasterBuzz will never be much bigger than it is. Sure, it will continue to see modest gains in traffic every year, but it won't go much further than it already has. Why? (Insert pop up ad joke here.) Because the audience is too limited. IfI want to build a sustainable business that I can make more than enough to buy nice toys and travel with, I need to branch into something else with a bigger audience.

And if you don't think so, maybe you should tell the NRCMA how dumb and misguided they all are. I'm sure they'll change their minds once they hear from you, seeing as how you clearly have more experience and more information than they have accumulated.
Dude, don't change what I said. I never said it was a bad idea, I said putting it in New Jersey was a bad idea. If I were going to tell them anything, I'd tell them to find some people who had the balls, the vision and the experience to make it happen, because so far they've failed miserably.

Rob Ascough said:
Culture is whatever you want it to be.
Yes, that we agree on, but as I've said over and over, business and sustainability doesn't always intersect with what a few people desire.

Jeff - Editor - - My Blog - Phrazy

I'm interested in hearing a real reason why New Jersey is a bad location other than the lack of midwest vacationers.
rollergator's avatar

Agent Johnson said:The Morey's offered the Pier level of a steel-prefab building, that once housed the arcade for Dino Beach. The building was built in 1996, and upstairs houses the maintenence offices.

The building is in great shape, and can be quickly turned into something special for the museum, since no one else has really stepped up and said 'here you go'.

Maybe I missed this earlier, this was the first I heard about that *uber-generous* offer. If I were in charge of the NRCMA, I'd readily accept...but I'm not. ;)

Is Coasterbuzz limited because there is no audience, or because the potential audience doesn't know it's there? And keep in mind this is no knock against you, it's just that the internet is packed with millions of websites to get people's attention. Your competition is pretty much endless. Let's also not assume that a lack of people interested enough in roller coasters to talk about them online means that the potential audience for anything coaster-related is small. Just because people don't take part in a discussion forum doesn't mean they have no interest. I love the Yankees, the Giants, all things Disney, a couple hundred bands, cars, railroads, video games, home theater systems and The Simpsons and I don't talk about any of those things online. That doesn't mean I wouldn't go to a museum illustrating any of those things.

I still don't get why you think New Jersey is a bad idea for the museum because you haven't given me a reason why you feel that way. And using the "people have to drive through bad areas" excuse doesn't fly. Who doesn't have to drive through a "bad area" every now and then? I could respect your opinion if you gave a few reasons but you're not... meanwhile a bunch of people have chimed in with reasons why New Jersey- and Wildwood in particular- would be an excellent spot for a coaster museum. Where do you propose the thing be built? You think a bunch of gamblers hopping from casino to nightclub in Vegas are going to care? Are people in Orlando really going to convince their kids that a trip to the coaster museum is better than a few extra hours at Disney? Just because a place is hyper-populated by tourists doesn't mean the audience is right.

And for the record, I completely agree with your thoughts on the current state of the coaster museum- something I expressed a year ago on RRC, resulting in a lot of crap directed at me. I think the museum board has done an absolutely abysmal job getting this thing off the ground- more than a decade later there is still nothing at all to show for this thing? Warehouses full of artifacts just sitting around because no one seems to be stepping up and making this a reality? It's pitiful, and IMHO, if they pass on this offer, I sincerely question their dedication to making this happen.

*** Edited 7/27/2007 6:53:26 PM UTC by Rob Ascough***

Jeff's avatar
That's because people on RRC live in their own little world. How many posts go on and on about the alleged "censorship" here? And that's based on how many posts they've made here? I mean, you've made 6,000 posts here and I've agreed with probably two of them. Censorship my ass. :) But you get my point, you criticize something a particular group of people are advocates of and they get their panties in a bunch over it.

Kinda sounds like our Conneaut story. ;)

Anyway, like I said, the seasonal nature is a negative, as is the lack of those general properties that successful museums tend to have. I love museums, and make it a point to visit them whenever I go to a city I've not been to. Again...

Successful museums have a pretty consistent set of attributes:
1) Huge corporate sponsors that dump a ton of cash into them.
2) Association with a purely philanthropic group.
3) Located near or in a district of culturally significant things like universities, other museums, theaters, restaurants or sports venues.

I don't think Wildwood, NJ has those qualities.

Oddly enough, few places that make you think of roller coasters really have any of that. But I think of a place like the Inner Harbor in Baltimore, and think, yeah, that would be a good place. The aquarium and ships have all of those qualities. If the people running the effort to make that museum a reality, that's the kind of place I'd go.

Jeff - Editor - - My Blog - Phrazy

matt.'s avatar

Rob Ascough said:
I think the museum board has done an absolutely abysmal job getting this thing off the ground- more than a decade later there is still nothing at all to show for this thing?

This *is* ACE we're talking about here.

Jeff, I live in the Baltimore area (20 minutes to downtown) and only a handful of the museums in the Inner Harbor area are doing all that well. Let's use the analogy of the Sports Legends Museum at Camden Yards for the proposed roller coaster museum.

Theoretically, it should be pulling in huge numbers. It's attached to the Baseball Stadium, and Baltimore has lots of sports legends. But then there's that $10 admission fee to look at a bunch of jerseys, baseballs/footballs, pictures etc. that probably doesn't excite that many people. Luckily, they currently have a Cal Ripken exhibit to get them through for a little while longer.

Unless you're The National Aquarium in Baltimore or The Maryland Science Center which are centrally clustered together with the Pratt and Light Street pavillions, it's gets tougher for other museums, some which are only located a few blocks east, west, or north of the harbor.

One thing these other museums (the Reginald P. Lewis Museum of Maryland African American History and Culture, Port Discovery kids musuem, and aforementioned Sports Legends Museum) have though is financial backing and donors.

Say the roller coaster museum doesn't pull in the numbers. Who is going to bail them out? ACE only has about 8,000 members worldwide, and we all know that a significant amount of them are blowing excessive amounts of money on expensive multi-day trips to faraway locations or to multiple individual events. I just don't see it working out.

I,m in wildwood now and I still don't know where the so call areas that are bad driving here.
you can do AC Expressway to parkway or take the scenic back roads but no bad areas.
got to go heading up to the boardwalk to watch the weekly fireworks .
then tomorrow watching the national frissbee competition.
then head down to the beach.
the water was warm today.
they also have the national marbles competition down here.

no place on earth like wildwood so much to do and never enoigh time.
its funny I didn't do any rides this visit

RRC is a unique place, I'll give it that. Personally, I never bought into the censorship allegations. Like you said, we've gone back and forth countless times- mostly in complete disagreement- and somehow I'm still here... you haven't kicked me out and I haven't had the desire to leave. The whole "say whatever you damn well please" thing sounds good but in reality it doesn't always play out that well. Of course, RRC is a great place to talk about ACE, and as some people know, I have a lot to say about that organization despite having been a loyal member for 16 years.

You're right that Wildwood is seasonal- it's a busy place five months out of the year and a ghost town for seven. But as you said, there are few roller coaster destinations that meet your criteria. I don't buy into the Baltimore Inner Harbor- nice as that area is, it's seasonal like New Jersey. And maybe a limited season might be a blessing. The museum could operate half the year while there are a lot of people in town and stay shuttered and not cost anything to operate when people are no longer there. I'm not sure if there are any "seasonal" museums but I think it's a concept to explore because I don't see a huge number of corporate sponsors lining up, especially with the people currently steering the project... if you want to call what they're doing "steering".

Matt, the NRCA is not an ACE project. It operates separate from any and all enthusiast groups, although ACE obviously contributes a lot... as I would expect of the world's largest coaster enthusiast organization. The fact that many current and former ACE leaders are on the museum board is a good indication of why progress on this thing moves at a snail's pace. That is, when it's not moving backwards.

This seems to be a genuine offer from a well-respected amusement park that is more than capable of supplying traffic that will frequent the museum. The building is being offered free of charge and I'm sure the park would lend a hand in the museum's operation. Seems to me that the NRCA should be beating down Morey's door willing to accept this. What are they waiting for? Kennywood to offer them a building?

Jeff's avatar
I personally think ACE is a joke. I've watched from the outside as a handful of officers have fought with another handful that actually had a clue and got their way on a lot of really stupid things. I met Sanderson last year and she had never heard of CoasterBuzz. Are you kidding? As many as 10,000 coaster dorks visit the site in a day and you've never heard of it? And you wonder why I can run a club for $20 a year and people are down with that.

I guess now that you put it that way, the fact that someone is offering them space and they're not taking it, that is pretty stupid. That's close enough to condition 1 I mentioned before.

Jeff - Editor - - My Blog - Phrazy

matt.'s avatar
When I go to

I see a big fat ACE logo saying they are a member of ACE. Their first mission statement is "To support and promote ACE’s goals of education, enjoyment and preservation of roller coasters." When I go to their board of directors I don't recognize every name there but I do recognize Ray Ueberroth and Carole Sanderson (and Gary Slade rings a bell for some reason).

I mean I understand that this isn't officially an ACE project but you can label it anything you want, like you already said Rob, the show is being run by the popular kids at ACE so it might as well be one in the same.

Jeff said:
I personally think ACE is a joke. I've watched from the outside as a handful of officers have fought with another handful that actually had a clue and got their way on a lot of really stupid things.

I'm sure as a non-member you're well aware of what goes on at ACE Executive Committee meetings.

thrillerman1 said:
On a side note, who's been to the ACE warehouse in Plainview, TX at the Larson Mfg. plant? Is it open to ACE members anytime or only during certain times of the year when Texas coaster events happen?

It's just a storage warehouse and not really set up for public viewing. However, if you happen to find yourself in Plainview, and make prior arrangements, I don't think the folks at Larson would mind showing you around.

Jeff said:

I guess now that you put it that way, the fact that someone is offering them space and they're not taking it, that is pretty stupid.

That kind of thing makes me wonder how serious this museum actually is. Tom Rebbie being involved lends it a little credibility but half of the museum board is comprised of former ACE presidents, almost like it's a way for them to remain in some kind of position of power long after their terms are over. Maybe I'm wrong- maybe they are really trying to make this happen and nothing is turning out in their favor. But so many years later (the idea for a coaster museum was brought up not too many years after I joined ACE in 1991) there is no museum and the one legitimate offer I know has not been given any kind of press whatsoever, so I can't help but wonder if this is ever going to happen. As with ACE, lack of communication seems to be a major issue.

matt.'s avatar

Jeffrey Seifert said:
I'm sure as a non-member you're well aware of what goes on at ACE Executive Committee meetings.

Is it a secret kept amongst those who are members? Is a secret handshake needed?

No, a secret handshake isn't needed, but it is a closed door meeting. If there was any infighting amongst officers, do you really think such things would be made public, especially to non-members? has been my major long-standing issue with ACE. It seems that everything is decided behind closed doors and none of the members know anything (not to turn this into an ACE discussion, but since it did come up...)
matt.'s avatar

Jeffrey Seifert said:
No, a secret handshake isn't needed, but it is a closed door meeting.

Just what I would want for my $60 a year....closed door meetings.

And let's not pretend this is a member vs. non-member thing. Your average Joe ACE member doesn't know anything more about what goes on in there than anybody else. It's not like all ACE members are by default more privy to what goes on in the organization than Jeff or anybody else would be. *** Edited 7/28/2007 11:04:26 PM UTC by matt.***

I figured this was going to happen. You do realize that 90% of the organizations and business out there whether governed by a board of directors, executive committee or steering committee have meetings behind closed doors? This is nothing unusual. We publish summaries of each and every meeting in ACE News and the minutes of our meetings our available to members upon request, or they may go to the website and download them. We also publish an annual report, and hold an annual business meeting that is open to all members. If you want to know anything at all about the organization each and every officer is a simple e-mail click away.

So please, spare us all the secretive organization innuendos.

matt.'s avatar
I'm merely reacting to what you said to Jeff. Jeff claimed he's seen what he's seen (not speaking for Jeff here) and you replied with "I'm sure as a non-member you're well aware of what goes on at ACE Executive Committee meetings."

I mean if everything is so transparent what does being a member have to do with it? I was a member at one point, and I was never privy to anything that a non-member wouldn't have been.

I mean, which is it? Either Jeff wouldn't know because he's a not a member and there are plenty of things Jeff and us other non-members wouldn't be privy to or everything is out in the open.

And I'll add this just to say for the record I'm not a member so I really don't care that just seems funny to me, implying "you wouldn't know because you aren't a member" and then saying "everything is out in the open, we're not being secret about it." *** Edited 7/28/2007 11:44:26 PM UTC by matt.***

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