Knott's scraps plans for Skycoaster due to non-compete with Six Flags
Posted Wednesday, February 14, 2001 1:45 PM | Contributed by Skyboss
According to The Orange County Register, Knott's Berry Farm has cancelled plans to build a Skycoaster free-fall ride at the park due to a non-compete agreement between Skycoaster and Six Flags. The park budgeted $2 million for the attraction.
I really hope they have listened to some of the outcry from the Haunted Shack's closing, and build some sort of flat, walk-thru ride. Something like a Vekoma Madhouse, or some sort of year round haunted attraction. How great would that be. As for Six Flags, I think they did me a favor on this. I really didn't want to see another lame Skycoaster in California.
------------- Thank you Disney, thank you...
*** This post was edited by Middleman on 2/14/2001. ***
This had been a rumor floating around for some time on message boards that cover the west coast parks. As a Knott's local and fan I'm glad that this has happened. I'd rather not see an attraction that requires even more money out of my pocket to ride, let alone a skycoaster. If Knott's insists on installing a pay per play attraction I hope they can come up with something new to So. Cali, such as a skyscraper. It shows you just how profitable these rides are when Knott's wanted to install one despite the fact that a nearby competitor has had for years.
I've been hearing about this one for a while. Forgive me if this is addressed in the article, but does this mean that Skycoaster Inc. can never make another skycoaster for Cedar Fair? Or just in the nearby area of California?
Maybe it's just for parks within a certain distance from a SF park. I'm willing to bet that if CP didn't already have one, they would never, because of SFO.. ahem.. SFWOA.
That's kinda what Paramount and Vekoma had going with the flying dutchman. But that deal fell through, and now it is popping up at an SF park.
The problem I see, is that if big corporations allowed park chains (of course, it'd be the richer, or Six Flags/Paramount) non-compete clauses, parks will essentially buy out the company themselves, because no other park would be allowed to use it. That doesn't seem right, but, oh well, it's come to this.
Parks pay for the 'exclusive' of the deal. The Skycoasters want a 50 mile radius. This ensures that they are a unique attraction to the area, And in most cases, they are operated by separate staff, not the in house parks. No doubt, SFMM called the deal to the legal table, since both parks have been purchased by new owners recently.
KBF will probably install a Skyscraper like at Dorney. But if they really want a skycoaster, we have a THIRD one sitting in the warehouse doing nothing. Have Falfas email me, and he can have it.
Anyway Dorney did have that same problem last year. From what I heard from a guy at Dorney SFGadv extended their radius agreement to 100 miles. Dorney was 90 some miles away! Skyscrapers are fun though. ------------- 2000 stats: 135 coasters in 26 parks Not Too Shabby For A Summer
Geez, do you folks ever check out the news links before posting? The news article linked above clearly states:
Knott's said in November that it would buy the ride and undercut prices of a rival Skycoaster at Six Flags Magic Mountain. But Six Flags has exclusive rights to the ride for a 100-mile radius around its Valencia park.
Knott's is about 60 miles from Six Flags.
Furthermore, in response to the "egg on the face" comment someone made, the article has this to say:
Knott's General Manager Jack Falfas said Tuesday that he had a verbal agreement with Six Flags that would have allowed him to install a Skycoaster at Knott's. Six Flags backed out of the deal after news reports, Falfas said.
I guess it's a reminder that a verbal contract isn't worth the paper it's printed on.
I have a question... isn't there more than one company that manufactures SkyCoasters, or something very close? If that is true, would there be anything to prevent KBF from buying from another manufacturer, thus avoiding the non-compete agreement?
Sorry, but Sky Coasters don't cut it. Just a couple weeks ago, I did the 300 foot Kissimmee Sky coaster. It costs $37 for a single, more than my ticket into IOA. Sure, the view was incredible. But the ride was over in a few seconds. You drop, swing back and forth, and it's over. Low capacity ride, that costs alot of money, that only gives you a thrill for a few seconds. The same thing with simulator rides, they also blow. We've got bean counters thinking people will ride in a simulator because it's "like" a roller coaster.
Knotts should save that money so they can build something big in the future.