Kings Island cancels Winterfest (2006)

Posted Monday, July 24, 2006 7:55 PM | Contributed by CoastersNSich

After only one year, Paramount's Kings Island officials announced Monday they will cancel WinterFest because of disappointing attendance in 2005, said Maureen Kaiser, spokeswoman for the park.

Read more from The Dayton Daily News.

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Monday, July 24, 2006 9:03 PM
The fat trimming begins.
Monday, July 24, 2006 9:41 PM
This is also true of Carowinds' Winterfest event.
Monday, July 24, 2006 9:46 PM
The Mole's avatar Too bad, and pretty narrow sighted. Given it was a new addition after years of not having one, I think it deserved another year or two of marketing before pulling the plug. CF really has been pushing my buttons the wrong way the past few years after TTD in regards to operations and parks.
Monday, July 24, 2006 10:46 PM
I agree with THE MOLE they should have given it time to work it's attendance back up. Plus they were selling tickets that could one be used on 1 certain date and again it had been gone for several years. I went last year and had a really good time.
Monday, July 24, 2006 11:00 PM
That is really too bad. Paramount was certainly giving it another go. I'd say that they were heading in the right direction by offering tickets for $9.99 from day one of the season. I think they realized that it was over priced and that would help draw people in.
Monday, July 24, 2006 11:17 PM
Jeff's avatar Fat trimming? Narrow sighted? Which part of low attendance isn't clear? I never saw the value in trying it in the first place. Neat idea, but I could do without freezing my ass off at something like this.
Tuesday, July 25, 2006 2:29 AM
I have to chime in on this one.

Once my wife and I heard of Cedar Fair, buying out the Paramount's Parks, the FIRST thing we thought of was, "There goes Winterfest!" And behold...

You know, I could understand if it was four or five years of low attendance, but one FREAKN' year, and they are calling it quits? I have yet to talk to a person that didn't like it. Heck, I came back and told everyone about it, and I know of at least 20 people that already bought there tickets this for this year, who didn't go to it last year.

King's Island did an UNBLEVIABLE job at it this past year, I went when it was 10 degrees, we dressed for the weather, it snowed, we stayed warm, they had warming stations all around the park, it was just an awesome time for the season.

I posted the Winterfest video, and people have asked me when's the next one going to be. Stop taking the charm from parks!!!!!

Yeah, Cedar Point is great, but people need diversity. We can go back to the whole GL, Sea World thing on this but it's not going to help anyone.

I think to put the blame on attendance is bull over this. We all can name sleeper hits at amusement parks that took more than a month to get the word out, and now they are legends. I wish they would just say, "Yeah, we don't want to take the time or effort this holiday season to decorate the park. Shoot, we to take this whole place and make it look like Cedar Point before April 5, 2007...Heck WOW that's too early to open even then, let's make it May 5 to save some dollars. And you want us to do something that was a tradition?....Now where's my tree cutter?"

Tuesday, July 25, 2006 4:30 AM
You can say it's fat trimming all you want, but when it boils down to it, it's simply business.
Tuesday, July 25, 2006 6:30 AM
I wasn't complaining when I said fat trimming. Fat isn't really a good thing and sometimes it needs to be trimmed off. I'm not really even disappointed. I wouldn't have gone to something like this anyway. Probably wouldn't go to one at CP either. Going to an amusement park in the middle if winter to do ??? is not my idea of a fun time and other people must feel the same way given the lack of attendance. They said the attendance was in the thousands each day. I'm surprised it was that many, frankly.

I was merely stating that this is likely the first of a few things that will save cost for the park. I wouldn't be surprised if those walkbacks get axed too. And maybe the way the park opens in early April. Nor would I be surprised if wages get cut.

I agree that I don't want them to strip everything out of that park and turn it into CP, but I'm not going to shed any tears over this move.
*** This post was edited by MDOmnis 7/25/2006 6:32:55 AM ***

Tuesday, July 25, 2006 8:18 AM
I was at Cedar Point for our attempt at a winterfest. Many of us said it was insane. The powers that be did it anyway and, what happened? Bubkus. It was a dismal failure.

In fact, I'm not aware of any winterfest events (in northern climates anyway) that I would deem successful. Sea World tried and failed. King's Island and the Point couldn't make it work.

It is too freaking cold to be outside. Stone Mountain in Georgia does a great winter fest and I will say there's is pretty great...but they are also in 50 degree weather instead of 20-30 degree weather. That is a big difference.

You can blame Cedar Fair if you want to, but as a unitholder I'm happy they are making these kinds of decisions.

Tuesday, July 25, 2006 8:21 AM
The problem with winterfest now is that there are a dozen other winter events including the beach up the street now. Holiday in lights at the zoo and a couple county parks ect. ect.

Id honestly like to see KI just open up the main street for ice skatiing, a restaurant or two.

Have it open daily 6-10 for five bucks a person.

They already got the decorations and stuff and it wouldn't have to hinder whats going on in the rest of the park.

Yeah, I believe it was a little short sighted and a ton of money that would have probably built a beemer for the park but then again, people asked for it and didn't come in the numbers needed.


Tuesday, July 25, 2006 8:23 AM
Well I heard good reports about the event. The only really bad thing was the prices. It was WAY too expensive and no perks for passholders. It was around $25 to attend per person then add in charges for skating and purchasing stuff and very expensive meals. I was glad to see that the price dropped way down to $10 for this year. I figured that would draw in a crowd now that they got back to reality. But guess not.......
Tuesday, July 25, 2006 9:15 AM
Jeff's avatar

I think to put the blame on attendance is bull over this.
What would you blame it on then? Some evil conspiracy by Dick Kinzel to piss you off?

It floors me that people still think this sort of thing is an emotional decision. If it made money, they'd do it. Why is that so hard to understand? All the touchy feely good will on the planet doesn't make it a contributor to the bottom line.

Remember, PKI did $108 million with more attendance than CP, which did $210 million. I realize that includes hotels, but clearly PKI has a whole lot of room to grow.

Tuesday, July 25, 2006 9:32 AM
crazy horse's avatar I thought it did great from what I heard.
Tuesday, July 25, 2006 9:35 AM
Hersheypark has Christmas Candylane, where for six weeks (mid-November to January 1st) half the park is open. Even rides like the Monorail and Skyview are open (no coasters, though). Dollywood stays open during the Christmas season. What I don't understand is, after one year, you decide it's not profitable? I've never been to a Paramount park for Winterfest, but it looked very show-oriented, and that's one thing I think Cedar Fair doesn't do very well at.
Tuesday, July 25, 2006 10:48 AM
Jeff's avatar Nonsense. Have you ever seen the shows at CP? Besides, it's not like they fired the live entertainment division and brought in their own people.
Tuesday, July 25, 2006 12:10 PM
Yes, I heard the entertainment was fine. In fact I agree that CF (CP) does a much better job of live entertainment and it is something that KI is SERIOUSLY lacking even during the regular season.
Tuesday, July 25, 2006 1:30 PM
Ok, a short lesson. Who are the live entertainers? College students. Where are the live entertainers during the winter? College.

Anymore questions?

Dollywood can stay open because the Gatlinburg/Pigeon Forge area is a tourist destination year round. Sandusky is not...and having lived there for many years I can say for certain that there is a good reason for that. It isn't a fun place to be in the winter...not withstanding the new indoor water parks.

Tuesday, July 25, 2006 1:51 PM
Yeah, there's nothing like walking down the midway at the Point when the temp is -46 with the wind chill. Been there, done that. One of the reasons I'm on the left coast.

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