Knoebels upgrades infrastructure, Flying Turns a work in progress

Posted Thursday, April 22, 2010 11:58 AM | Contributed by Jeff

While there are no new rides or attractions scheduled, the biggest improvements relate to infrastructure of the 84-year-old resort, which opens this weekend. Construction started on Flying Turns in 2006, but issues with the ride's wheels and other complications have pushed back the opening. Recently, the park ordered a new set of cars for the ride, and testing continues on them.

Read more from The Republican Herald.

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Thursday, April 22, 2010 3:52 PM

Can anybody else remember...

I seem to recall reading a similar article a few years ago in which it was noted that Knoebels had installed a comprehensive high-speed fiber-optic data network specifically to connect their POS terminals, but presumably for other data applications as well...

It was a few years ago, but even today it seems that Knoebels has assumed an IT posture that makes Cedar Fair look even more backward than it is by comparison. And Knoebels doesn't even have hotel rooms! :)

--Dave Althoff, Jr.

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Thursday, April 22, 2010 7:16 PM

Their first attempt was flooded out. Their replacement that same summer was above ground. They actually have a decent infrastructure, considering they have expanded to real master plan or timetable.

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Thursday, April 22, 2010 8:43 PM

I know I am going to take heat for this but at what point do you scrap a project and move on? With what has been put into Flying Turns and what will go into it maybe the money could be better spent?

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Thursday, April 22, 2010 11:26 PM

Be there opening day. Hoping the weather holds up. Calling for 30% chance Saturday.

The Golden Nugget was excellent down in Wildwood. Miss it being there, but I have faith that it'll be in good hands at Knoebels. Some good childhood memories riding that over and over.

^I think they invested too much in the Turns to not get it operating. They'll figure out as they have been thru trial and error.

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Friday, April 23, 2010 12:05 PM

It's their money to do with however they see fit. I'd rather they get the Turns going than use the money to buy anymore attractions (note I am very excited about Black Diamond).

Anyone else going for opening day? I plan to at least be there Sunday unless the weather is dreadful by Knoebels standards.

Last edited by Acoustic Viscosity, Friday, April 23, 2010 3:42 PM
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Friday, April 23, 2010 12:16 PM

Going opening day for the Ace event.. Knoebels can't just scrap something that now is 80% done! It will be worth the wait for us coaster Nerds!

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Friday, April 23, 2010 1:30 PM

You mean like the Superconducting Supercollider or the Ares rocket program? Organizations, companies, and governments abandon projects that prove unfeasible or simply don't meet their changing expectations all the time, even after spending trunkloads of money. If it turns out that Flying Turns simply won't work, of course Knoebels will give up. Doing otherwise would be a case of throwing bad money after good.

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Friday, April 23, 2010 2:21 PM

^ Son of Beast?

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Friday, April 23, 2010 2:29 PM

Son of Beast arguably could be helped by saving what's salvageable and turning the rest into something else, but yeah. The analogy applies.

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Friday, April 23, 2010 3:46 PM

The Turns is kind of a pet project for Dick Knoebel though. It's not simply a financial investment. There is a lot of personal desire for it to succeed, so I don't think DK will give up until his dream is realized. It's not the same as WIll Koch trying to get Intamin's mistake to work the way it was intended. ;)

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Friday, April 23, 2010 3:51 PM

Ensign Smith said:
Son of Beast arguably could be helped by saving what's salvageable and turning the rest into something else, but yeah. The analogy applies.

I honestly wonder if CFEC is looking to Texas Giant (and presumably Rattler if rumors are true) to fix that ride. They don't seem to want to get rid of it, and I can't think of a better candidate for the Texas Giant Treatment. Bring back the loop too.

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Friday, April 23, 2010 5:12 PM

I will be there on Sunday from around 1:30-2 until the wristband runs out, I think 6. It's buy one, get one free. Can't beat $12 a person. :)

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Friday, April 23, 2010 6:10 PM

Consider that as delayed as the Flying Turns project is, there are a number of other coaster projects that were at least as delayed...just consider...

o Quassy's new coaster
o Waldameer's Ravine Flyer 2
o Dorney Park's Steel Force

...that's just off the top of my head. The big difference with Flying Turns is that Flying Turns got delayed in the testing stage, rather than in the permits and planning stage. Furthermore, we also know from various reports, heck even from seeing the @#$% thing, that the ride DOES work. The train can be hauled up the lifts, it can complete the circuit, and I would not be surprised to hear that the SARC results are within spec. That means that the park could suspend the development on the ride, throw together a couple of trains, and let it run for a season or so. It would be open. But we also know that if they did that, the ride would not run in the manner which Knoebels intends. It would most likely be difficult to keep running, difficult to maintain, and would end up with a very short service life.

It is obvious from the way the ride has been treated through the whole process that Knoebels does not intend for the Flying Turns to have a short service life. If getting the long-term viability, popularity, and reliability they want out of the ride means delaying it now, then delay they should.

And the project has a long way to go to take even half as long as Ravine Flyer II took.

--Dave Althoff, Jr.

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Friday, April 23, 2010 6:58 PM

Orphan Rocker was built 22 years ago in Australia and they still haven't gotten it right. Dragon Mountain in Canada is still getting theming that was supposed to be there 27 years ago.

This is kind of like Arrow developing the suspended coaster. The Bat was a falure, but ultimately they figured it out and got Big Bad Wolf to last 25 years.

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Friday, April 23, 2010 8:36 PM

That's not a very happy analogy. Considering this is the first of its type in 50 + years, Flying Turns could be the equivalent of The Bat in your scenario...i.e., the one that closed down first because they couldn't get the kinks worked out. (But I'm not guessing that's going to be the case, and still hope and expect to ride it, either this year or next.)

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Friday, April 23, 2010 9:59 PM

I didn't intend to imply the KFT is the Bat and will ultimately fail and replaced more than a decade later with a half-sized version. I meant the suspended coaster in general. Think of Knoebels as Arrow (without the future bankruptcy hopefully) and not as Kings Island. They are tweaking away until it's right instead of opening it with known problems.

I am confident Dick is not going to give up on his dream to return the Flying Turns to the public and it will be accomplished in the near future.

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Friday, April 23, 2010 10:30 PM

It doesn't sound like it's a case that the ride doesn't "work" at all, but that the ride isn't giving exactly the ride Knoebels wants it to. The circuit is complete, the structure and all the operating pieces are in place. The only piece missing is a train they are satisfied with. They could probably use one of the trains that have been tested and open the ride, but the ride would be "meh," maybe even enjoyable to a large number of people, but nothing like the experience from the original Flying Turns.

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Saturday, April 24, 2010 12:01 AM

From what I remember reading a couple of years ago, the experience would be a little frightening and that is part of why they are not satisfied with it yet. There was an article where the parks said something along the lines "we want it to thrill riders, but not scare them." The train reportedly reached above 90 degrees on the banking in one section of the trough. :)

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Sunday, April 25, 2010 1:49 AM

KnoebelsGrandCarousel said:
I will be there on Sunday from around 1:30-2 until the wristband runs out, I think 6. It's buy one, get one free. Can't beat $12 a person. :)

The weather was beautiful on Sat. and you can't believe the line for the wristbands. It was a sea of people at the windows, extended across the covered bridge, past the birthday pavilion and under the Knoebels sign by at least 30 people at noon. A friend arrived about 30 min. after that and told me it was reaching down to the ferris wheel.

I don't think Sun. will be quite the same with the forecasted weather. Mid-afternoon they made an announcement that due to the great weather and crowds the wristbands would be good till 7 pm. Never heard an announcement of any kind there before but this was a very nice gesture.

By the way, I did not wait in the line for a wristband. However, if I had I would have gone up past the pool and turned at the Flyers, a line was started there it appeared and not nearly as long.

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