To the West Virginians.
"Pitching A Tent in My Pickup Truck" is my favorite country music song.
I hate country music, for the record. :p
That tent is awesome. I've helped her put it up a few times when she come to visit her camp near my home. If I was the kind of person who drove a pick-em-up truck, or liked to sleep outside with animals and bugs, I would totally have one.
That cineplex was built in the 90's, as Showcase Cinema, a popular Cincinnati movie chain. In the end it was a Rave and closed in 2011. While Mason and surrounding communities have grown by leaps and bounds, and can support a movie complex year round, I'd guess the residents just don't cross the freeway for much. The movies may have done well during KI's season, but probably not as a year round attraction.
Around or before 2008 a new theater opened in Mason (Regal Deerfield), just 4 miles away and located more in the heart of the local population and the restaurants. It was bigger and had stadium seating, and presumably more attractive. The KI theaters opened in late fall 1994, the same time as the AMC Lennox Stadium 24 across from Ohio State. Frequenting both, I remember thinking at the time the KI theaters were out of date from the moment they opened.
The land around KI had other failed projects. From 1978 to 1992 was the College Football Hall of Fame and a large high school football stadium (my high school, Moeller, played there). After it closed, I believe Carl Linder was to re-develop the land but it obviously never materialized.
In the 80s there was an outlet mall at the end of KI Drive (just past where GWL sits now. I visited once as a kid, and left unimpressed. It was converted into an office building of some kind.
Until GWL, I think the only two successful big tourism projects there are also seasonal: The Beach Waterpark and the tennis complex.
As a side note, if you get a chance I recommend visiting the Kings Mills Christmas Shop, just past GWL and across from Kings High School. It's one of those hundred year old houses that is now a little store. Unique local gem for those into that kind of thing.
Years ago a tenured KI man (I forget who) spoke to us and he said the biggest mistake they ever made was putting that College Football Hall of Fame so far away from the gate. They had their good reasons at the time, but it turned out to be a huge fail. He conjectured that if it had been near the front gate, or even had direct access to the parking lot somewhere, they might still be in business. But in the location they chose hardly anyone ever stopped. I know I didn't.
Life on that corner must be rough in the off season. I guess restaurants and hotels hope to pull from passers-by on the freeway, but the townies have better developments closer to town.
Bob Evans tried a couple of large general store restaurant concepts, one at Kings Mills/Mason and one in Myrtle I believe. It was the usual fare but had a nice large gift shop and bakery, Cracker Barrel style. We'd stop in there frequently, either for breakfast on the way in or for a late supper on the way out. I think it's closed now.
I haven't been to that Christmas store in a while, but you're right, it's a good one.
Yes, the Bob Evans is closed. I was shocked. Presumably there are old people living near by, and they love that place. We ended up going to Perkins instead this year.
I haven't been to a decent Bob Evans in years. Not sure if I've just been unlucky, but I've noticed a decline in the service and food quality. Not that it was ever stellar in the first place...
That's fair. I've been perhaps twice in two years, but got what I would have expected.
Just curious. Would Cedar Fair even consider purchasing the hotel? They are in that line of business.
My favorite MJ tune: "Billie Jean" which I have been listening to alot now. RIP MJ.
If Kings Island needed a hotel...
Bob Evans is our hometown company here in Columbus, and you can't swing a cat in this town without hitting one. Actually, the original restaurant and farm is in Rio Grande Ohio (say RYE-oh Grand... I know,... It's Ohio...)
Anyway, around here they're known as good home style cookin, and at breakfast time they're slammed. It's a standby for us if the good greasy diners and such are too busy on Sunday morning.
Once we were at SFOT and we stopped into a nearby restaurant called Owen's that looked suspiciously like Bob's. Same space, decor, menu, menu items, and I'll be darned, a picture of Owen on the back of the menu with a quaint story about the farm origins of his restaurant. It wasn't Rio Grande, but I suspect somewhere in Texas. So I asked the waitress about it, and all she said was "I know, I'm from Cincinnati." Apparently they're connected, and the blatant ripoff is a regional thing or something. I guess I'll Google it.
Anyway, Bob's has a new item called Broasted Chicken and its some awfully good fried chicken. I guess they sell out frequently.
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