Is Wildwood the future home for the NRCM?

Im saying that as the parks grew, They added more to spread out the crowds and lines. Kept the lines short and kept it affordable to visit and revisit.

Im saying SF, CF are once a year or every two year visits for most families where HW and Knoebels get them back every year, Often several times a year.


But Chuck, even parks like CF and most of the SFs started out small and added more to spread out the crowds. If Knoebels or Holiday World had 3 million visitors, they'd be much different parks than they are today.

If Knoebels doesn't increase its attendance by 100,000 or 10 percent every year, it won't bother me. I don't think the big parks are "better" because they attract more people. Just like I don't think the small to mid-sized parks get "better" when they attract more people.

Knoebels is in sort of a 'no growth zone' of population. That has a huge affect on attendance. Look at Kennywood. No growth.Conneaut Lake, Lakemont, etc., its all the same.

They shook the trees with their new custom rides, but word of mouth was their biggest mover.

Cedar Point has been at 3 million since 1989. Do the math. Their biggest markets, Detroit and Pittsburgh, aren't growing, and Motowns economy is dropping faster NASA's reputation.

Plenty of factors allow the steady growth. Population growth, highway access, competition from parks, fec's, malls, pools, group facilities, etc.

These so called regional parks try to stay away from the arms race of the big themers, while investing in long term projects. Are there any SF's with major increases? What about CF? If Geauga Lake's attendance goes back to 1.1 million, there will no money fights in Kinzels office. Their only park with any increase potential would be Bonafate Gardens.

SF bought many regional parks, and could not sustain attendance. Knoebels, Kennywood, and HersheyPark all bring in the crowds year after year, without the capital expenditures.

The way I see it, the only way any park is going to grow is by turning themselves into a vacation destination with hotels, restaurants and a second gate... likely a waterpark. Since no specific part of the country is experiencing huge increases in population, that's going to be the only way to attract large numbers of new guests. Either that, or try something new that appeals to people that don't traditionally visit amusement parks. Call in the "Nintendo Wii approach".
Being a west coast of New Jersey person, I know of the lore of family vacations to Wildwood. It's a strong tradition. I just rather day trip it instead. I wouldn't be too successful in this hobby if I took a vacation to the Jersey shore every year. There's plenty of Jersey people that do it.

Wildwood a family destination - Yes. It's still a near 100 miles drive for me within my own state. *** Edited 8/2/2007 2:24:31 PM UTC by CHILLERLC1***

Since you're close to Wildwood, it makes sense that it's more of a day trip for you. But many, MANY people drive from as far as Canada and Michigan to visit Wildwood (I anecdotally know people who do both) and because of that, it's a place that attracts people for a week and sometimes more. As I said, it's one of the nation's most popular vacation destinations.
Oh yeah? If that's true, then why are all the motels selling out for condo development to attract people who want to turn it into the next Belmar? ;)
As a former operations Supervisor at Morey's Piers who has since moved back to Pittsburgh, I agree with some of the comments already listed above.

*During the peak season, the area is quite busy, however in the winter times, the island does become a ghost town. The population swings from roughly 5,000 in the off season to nearly a quarter million in the summer. Many of the summer crowds are families from New York, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Delaware, and Ontario.

* Wildwood has effectively marketed itself as a "Doo-Wop" quasi-historical resort town which is a safer, family-friendly alternative to Atlantic City.

As for hurricanes, I believe this to be a red herring. Is it true that Jersey might be "overdue" for a storm? Sure. But can't the case be made for California being "overdue" for another earthquake, or Chicago "overdue" for a tornado, or any other area of the nation being "overdue" for some disaster?

Midwestern tourists might not make the trip to Jersey to see a "coaster museum", but tourist who are already coming for the environment from the neighboring states could take an afternoon from the beach to visit and spend more disposable income there than in any number of shops lining the boardwalk. Enthusiasts have proven that they will drive long distances for thrills and for preservation. No doubt, whether this museum was located in Orlando or Minneapolis, enthusiasts would make the effort to visit.

The case has been made for the museum to be in a year-round warm climate. However, for an industry built on summer days, maybe a seasonal location could be fitting. The patrons could experience the past, then run outside to experience the present.

Wildwood may not be the absolute best choice for this museum, but it not the worst idea, by far.


As a native Pittsburgher, I have to also suggest my hometown. The Pittsburgh area is home to Kennywood (founded in 1898), Idlewild (3rd oldest park in the nation, founded 1878), and corporate headquarters for Kennywood Corp which owns Lake Compounce (oldest park in the nation, founded 1846).

Pittsburgh has recently been ranked one of the top 3 North American Cities of the Future by Foreign Direct Investment Magazine, which based it's criteria on more than 60 criteria covering everything from cost effectiveness to human resources and infrastructure.

Pittsburgh, which is within a day's trip of much of the country, was the 2nd US city overall, Most Cost-Effective, and 2nd in Best Infrastructure.

Nice to meet you, B&MFan. You make so much sense, you're almost wrong for this site. How dare you come around here with that straight talk? ;)

You're right about the museum not making Wildwood a destination for midwesterners, but Wildwood is already a destination for some of those people anyway. Surely the idea isn't for the museum to attract people to Wildwood or even Morey's Pier- it's likely to succeed as something for people to do while in the area, coaster enthusiasts or not. I've visited plenty of musems that highlight stuff I have less than a passing interest in, so who's to say a roller coaster museum is only going to attract the hardest of the hardcore?

Like you said, it's not the best location but definitely not the worst.

More like 500,000 during the summer but no bigy

I live within an hour drive to WIldwood and would love to see it there/here.

But my second location would be a place Like Kennywood which already sports many Preserved rides.
ANd with the talked about New Coaster and section at Kennywood they would also get more traffic.

But bring it to Wildwood the potential is much greater with it being in the megalopolis

The only downside to placing the museum within a gated amusement park is that only park guests can drop by and visit. Since there is no cost to walk the Wildwood boardwalk and venture onto the piers, anyone would be able to get to the museum.
Lord Gonchar's avatar

RatherGoodBear said:
But Chuck, even parks like CF and most of the SFs started out small and added more to spread out the crowds. If Knoebels or Holiday World had 3 million visitors, they'd be much different parks than they are today.


They'll face the same issues the big parks do and their growth will slow and eventually stagnate as they become 'mature' parks.

Heck, look at the comments from millrace and Rob in this thread - IB having growing pains!? Gee, who would've thunk it. ;)

We're trying desperately to shed our reputations as unrealistic, nostalgic, babbling idiots ;)
Lord Gonchar's avatar

I didn't mean 'who would've thunk it" to you guys making those comments, but rather the situation itself.

It's exactly what I've been trying to say all along. As small parks become big they'll face the same problems and slow-to-no growth that the big parks do now.

Those parks aren't necessarily growing because they do certain things right (although that helps), they growing so much because they're small and have room to grow. When they've matured that growth will stop - even if they continue to do those certain things right.

rollergator's avatar

Rob Ascough said:We're trying desperately to shed our reputations as unrealistic, nostalgic, babbling idiots

Try harder... ;)

Paybacks! :)

I was just kidding around, Gonch!

And I do agree with you. Not all smaller parks are going to suffer in ways as they grow, but a lot will. Holiday World seems to have handled its growth very well. As for a park like Dorney and SFNE, they didn't- although that wasn't CF's and SF's fault, just the nature of the beasts. When a small regional park grows, whether it be on purpose or accidentally, there are bound to be problems. Some can be solved, others cannot.

As for Gator... IT'S ON!!!!

*** Edited 8/2/2007 8:23:27 PM UTC by Rob Ascough***

It's been said before, but looking at percentages doesn't mean much unless you know what the percentage up or down is based on.

Park A has attendance of 500,000 and has a 100,000 person increase in a year, which is a 20% growth. Park B with 2M attendance has a 100,000 head increase in attendance, but that's only 5% growth. So how do you define who had the better year? Truth is Park A will advertise their 20% growth, and Park B will say they had 100,000 more people through the gate than last year.

Park B needs 400,000 more people to show that 20% increase. How realistic is that for any size park to achieve (other than the Disneys)?

For Park A to continue their 20% growth, the second year they need 120,000 more people (based on 600,000 the previous year). A gain of "only" 100,000 people is only an increase of 16.67%... boy that rate is dropping.

So anyway, as far as this museum "thingy" goes, my totally random vote is for Jim Thorpe PA.

RGB, are you posessed or something? I mean, what the hell...? ;)
Actually, I wrote a bad check to my exorcist, so I've been "repossessed." :)

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