Posted Thursday, September 10, 2009 10:17 AM | Contributed by Jeff
Gary Wachs devised a plan to relocate Coney Island and model the new park after theme parks that offered a “pay one price” admission. However, he aimed to include a crucial element ignored by those parks — rides. Wachs also reasoned that if attendance totals were to expand beyond 1 million, the park needed a more expansive area, one that was located far from the flood plain.
Read more from The Oxford Press.
That's a great story, and I kind of knew KI had its roots in Coney Island (the trees on the Coney Mall, etc.), but I didn't realize it was actually Coney Island moved, I thought it was a completely different park venture by Taft. Very cool bit of history.
Gary Wachs seems like a guy who really "gets" the amusement industry. This story and the videos posted earlier on the Cincinnati PBS affiliate explain why this guy was such a visionary. I wonder why he decided to switch to an alternate business later. He should send DK some memos.
That's a great story.
The fact that KI was basically Coney Island "moved" allowed them to open the park with a lot more rides than you would typically see in a new-built theme park. (for example, I attended the opening season of Six Flags Mid America and it was nice enough, but the thing we noticed was lack of rides, like 9 all together) So KI spent money on sparkling new coasters and infrastructure, but their flat ride bill was low. It's what gave then a leg up on other parks from the get-go.
I miss Coney, but it was land locked and flood prone, in the end KI is a better alternative. Besides, if Cincinnatians need a Coney fix it's still there to enjoy.
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