MBA students study failure of 1960's Space City USA theme park

Posted Monday, August 27, 2012 10:50 AM | Contributed by Jeff

Dr. J.P. Ballenger decided Space City's failure would make a good topic for his graduate students in the University of Alabama in Huntsville's summer Project Management class. Ballenger called the park failure a "perfect case study" because it was "local, very interesting, and its failure was listed as 'mysterious.'"

Read more from The Huntsville Times.

Monday, August 27, 2012 10:56 AM
sirloindude's avatar

I want a study by Kent State on the failure of Geauga Lake. I still say conspiracy, dangit!

13 Boomerang, 9 SLC, and 8 B-TR clones

Monday, August 27, 2012 11:04 AM

I wonder if the Kentucky Kingdom fair board can get advice from this guy or at least his input on feasability of proposals submitted.

Monday, August 27, 2012 11:30 AM
sws's avatar

If only the park had built all of the thrill rides that enthusiasts had demanded....

Monday, August 27, 2012 11:42 AM

There were enthusiasts back then? ;)

The amusement park rises bold and are huddled on the beach in a mist

Monday, August 27, 2012 2:22 PM
janfrederick's avatar

If there had been a demand, it would have been built already. ;)

"I go out at 3 o' clock for a quart of milk and come home to my son treating his body like an amusement park!" - Estelle Costanza
Monday, August 27, 2012 3:01 PM
sws's avatar

Mike Gallagher said:

There were enthusiasts back then? ;)

Last edited by sws, Monday, August 27, 2012 3:15 PM
Tuesday, August 28, 2012 7:07 PM

That entire project basically can be summed up with Jeff Foxworthy's "Huntsville, Alabama and Space Program" should not be in the same phrase. its tough for many Americans to make the connection.

To actually build a thrill complex themed to space-experiences may work at Kennedy Space Center on a larger scale, although now what they have is operated by a third party. Not much money in education. My last cruise stopped at Port Canaveral, and without any live action, I am not sure what is so big about the VAB and the rest of the place. Its neat-o once, but what will really change until the next program gets any Obama money and astronauts are training, and not selling freeze-dried ice cream from a kiosk next to a Saturn V rocket.

Alabama, for some reason, along with that region of Louisiana, Arkansas, and Missisippi cannot support a full fledged theme park. The whole gulf region just never had a major park. Now, Busch Gardens Tampa is lively, but not until 1980 or so, and once Pontchartrain Beach closed in 1983, its been a hot bed for traveling shows, but never a gated park.

Its a shame, since the region needs a strong park, giving opportunity for seasonal jobs, vendor opportunities, etc, but locking into that single theme is the death of many parks. And the space program just doesn't change a whole lot.

Tuesday, August 28, 2012 10:19 PM
Steve Shives's avatar

Agent Johnson said:

That entire project basically can be summed up with Jeff Foxworthy's "Huntsville, Alabama and Space Program" should not be in the same phrase. its tough for many Americans to make the connection.

Really? Having lived in Huntsville and now in Northern Ohio, most people I have met here know that Huntsville is home to the U.S. Space and Rocket Center and Space Camp. Throw in NASA's Marshall Spaceflight Center, and Huntsville is widely known as a key in the US space program.

The problem with an amusement park working in that part of the county is a lack of a major population base. They just don't have enough people living within a reasonable distance to make a park work. See Visionland, then Alabama Adventure and now Splash Adventure.

Steve Shives
First Cedar Point visit - 1972

Tuesday, August 28, 2012 11:06 PM

They should have had them practice with an easier case study, like say, Hard Rock Park.

Wednesday, August 29, 2012 3:37 AM

The thesis for HRP's demise would be exactly four words long: Marketing Really Does Matter.

My author website:

Tuesday, September 4, 2012 10:32 PM

If you build it, they won't necessarily come?


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