Michigan's Adventure will add flying scooters for 2013

Posted Monday, December 17, 2012 4:08 PM | Contributed by Jeff

[Ed. note: The following is an excerpt of a press release. -J]

Michigan’s Adventure Amusement Park has announced plans to add a timeless classic to its thrilling collection of rides and attractions.

A flying scooter attraction will be added to Michigan’s largest amusement park and waterpark in 2013. The flying scooter attraction is a classic, interactive flying ride which appeals to all ages. Guests will board the flying vehicles and rotate faster and faster fanning out over a large area. The flying vehicles have a stationary rear wing and a moveable front wing which allows the guest to control their flight experience.

“We are extremely excited about adding another family ride to our collection of attractions. We believe that families will find this to be a perfect addition to their park experience,” said Camille Jourden-Mark, Vice-President and General Manager of Michigan’s Adventure. “Our guests will love it. They will want to ride the flying scooter attraction again and again!”

The flying scooter attraction is one of the most popular flat rides in the amusement and theme park industry dating back to the 1940’s. It is designed by Larson International Inc., of Plainview, Texas.

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Tuesday, December 18, 2012 11:22 PM
Jeff's avatar

That's a total strawman argument. You're so stuck with the idea that the parks are all kids and mom and dad have to distribute Christmas presents fairly and evenly.

Your crappy little park doesn't get the shaft, it gets what it needs to maintain attendance and interest in the park. It's not a popularity contest. As long as people keep showing up in record numbers, generating high margins, there's no reason to put money into the park. That's how business works, and all of the bitching and moaning that you do at every possible opportunity will not alter that arrangement.

Jeff - Editor - CoasterBuzz.com - My Blog - Music: The Modern Gen-X - Video

Tuesday, December 18, 2012 11:31 PM
Fun's avatar

Timber-Rider said: The point is MA always gets the shaft, and their time for a much greater attraction then a lame Flying Scooter is over due.

I think your lack of understanding here is centered around the idea that the same mathematical variables works for both parks. You can't spend 20-30 million on a new ride at Michigan's Adventure and expect to make that back the same way you can at Cedar Point. Michigan's adventure is not nearly as important to Cedar Fair's overall picture as you think it is. They are a small park. Perhaps one day Michigan's adventure will get to a place where they are dropping $20-30 million on new rides, but until they can support that with revenues consistent with 2-3 million visitors, that's not going to happen with the current park size. Whether you like to admit it, MA is a flying scooter sized operation, and Cedar Point is a Gatekeeper sized operation.

Last edited by Fun, Tuesday, December 18, 2012 11:32 PM
Tuesday, December 18, 2012 11:34 PM

Timber-Rider said:

Oh quit complaining, after all, it's just a business, and they have the right to do what they want with their business money

Quoted for truth. ;)

Last edited by bigboy, Tuesday, December 18, 2012 11:37 PM

Tuesday, December 18, 2012 11:41 PM
Timber-Rider's avatar

Notice how my question wasn't answered. Just turned around to slam me once again. NO mention of what you would think of MA getting Gatekeeper, a windseeker, and a Dinobore attraction over the other parks. I know it wouldn't happen, but what if it did?
MA, makes a huge amount of money. To say that it doesn't have the resources is balony. The problem is all the money MA makes goes to improve other parks.Would you be happy, if your business was making a ton of money, and it was taken away to make the other stores in your chain better, and give them all a new lexus, while you get a little red wagon?I don't know about you. but, I would be pissed.

Last edited by Timber-Rider, Tuesday, December 18, 2012 11:45 PM

I didn't do it! I swear!!

Tuesday, December 18, 2012 11:45 PM
Lord Gonchar's avatar

I would think Cedar Fair lost their minds and pull any money I had invested with them. It would be one of the worst decisions they could make.

You don't spend money where it's not needed. Simple as that.

You said earlier:

With record attendance, and soaring profits, I think the park could, and should do better.

With record attendance and soring profits the park is doing better. This is the end result of smart business. They don't need to spend more money now - they've reached the point where their investments are paying off.

This is the thing you keep either ignoring or not understanding.

Tuesday, December 18, 2012 11:47 PM

Timber-Rider said:

Notice how my question wasn't answered.

Fun's post that is 2 posts above ^this one^ did a pretty good job of answering you're question without the snark and smartassery you deserve.

Tuesday, December 18, 2012 11:50 PM
Timber-Rider's avatar

You know if they built a ride like gatekeeper at MA, people would flock there in droves to ride it. Look at Shivering Timbers. People thought it was a crazy investment for such a small park, and it ended up putting MA on the map, and now Cedar Fair owns it, because of Shivering Timbers. Do, you really think Cedar Fair would have purchased MA if ST wasn't there? I highly doubt it.Do you think people will flock to MA for a flying scooter? No.

I didn't do it! I swear!!

Wednesday, December 19, 2012 12:57 AM
Pete's avatar

If they built a ride like Gatekeeper at MA I would question the sanity of Cedar Fair management. Gatekeeper is at CP because they will get a great return on investment and CP has the maintenance budget to support large rides like Gatekeeper.

I'd rather be in my boat with a drink on the rocks, than in the drink with a boat on the rocks.

Wednesday, December 19, 2012 1:39 AM
rollergator's avatar

Yeah, you're not going to last long putting a $30M ride into a park that will pay it off in 3 or 4....decades... ;~)

Wednesday, December 19, 2012 1:45 AM
Lord Gonchar's avatar

And aside from the ROI that these guys keep talking, the market is finite. You just don't keep building rides and magically more and more people appear.

You build just enough to get the people to come. As long as they come, you don't need to build more.

There's a reason it's been 15 years since Shivering Timbers was built. It still draws the market. It's still paying for itself. Adding another ride would not pull a significantly larger number of people to the park. It would just add to the debit side of the ledger.

As Six Flags how "build it and they will come" worked out in Aurora.

You just can't magically pull guests (and their wallets that make these rides worthy investments) out of nowhere.

Wednesday, December 19, 2012 1:48 AM
LostKause's avatar

If you don't like the new attraction that a park gets, you can always go to another park that is getting a ride that you are more interested in.

CoasterBuzz has once again turned into the Timber-Rider show. I, Dr. Krause, am writing you a prescription to attend Cedar Point at least once next year, and I am instructing you to not go anywhere near Michigan's Adventure for a few years. That'll be $300.

Wednesday, December 19, 2012 9:27 AM
ApolloAndy's avatar

Not to mention the fact that Cedar Point has all kinds of other extra ways of getting money from the people coming for Gatekeeper. Water Parks, hotels, multiday stays, etc. etc. I don't know the numbers, but I bet the per capita at Cedar Point (if you include all the extras) is significantly higher than MA's.

Hobbes: "What's the point of attaching a number to everything you do?"
Calvin: "If your numbers go up, it means you're having more fun."

Wednesday, December 19, 2012 10:04 AM
slithernoggin's avatar

But it is "just" a business. They do have the right to do what they want with their "business money."

MA doesn't get the shaft, MA makes a bunch of money and doesn't need to add new attractions at the level of other parks in the chain.

It's almost like you think the Cedar Fair board is sitting around the board room cackling with glee over giving the shaft to Michigan's Adventure, year after year; over here in the real world, the decision makers at Cedar Fair make decisions grounded in data.

Life is something that happens when you can't get to sleep.
--Fran Lebowitz

Wednesday, December 19, 2012 10:05 AM
Fun's avatar

You can get a feel for the percentages of revenue by looking at Cedar Fair's fun-forward presentation on page 19. Looks like it is around 20% for revenue, and 30% for adjusted EBITDA at Cedar Point, the most in the chain.


Wednesday, December 19, 2012 10:13 AM
Jeff's avatar

Shivering Timbers cost $4.5 million (CCI wasn't very smart about pricing, which is part of the reason it no longer exists). It was a smart decision for what was essentially a water park with a finite audience. Where are you going to get the people to come and pay for a $20 million ride? You have to jack up the admission for a ride like that, too. Grand Rapids and Muskegon aren't going to support that. Chicago folks won't swim across the lake when they can go to Great America. Motor City folk can get to Cedar Point faster.

Each park is largely treated as its own entity. If Camille could justify a $20 million ride with an enormous financial return, the CEO and the board would give her the money. Camille wouldn't do that because she's a lot smarter than that.

Jeff - Editor - CoasterBuzz.com - My Blog - Music: The Modern Gen-X - Video

Wednesday, December 19, 2012 11:05 AM
rollergator's avatar

Jeff said:
CCI wasn't very smart about pricing, which is part of the reason it no longer exists.

...and JUST under the wire, we have the Understatement of the Year for 2012. I mean, Big Chief's/Mt. Olympus saw the pricing "structure" and kept going back for more. Ifonly the park were as good as coaster maintenance as they were at procurement.

Wednesday, December 19, 2012 2:23 PM

I am not overly familiar with MA, but it appears to be a small park. Could it be that MA just doesn't have the space for a large new ride? I'm sure one could be squeezed in, but maybe not? Or perhaps they have height restrictions or other types of restrictions that do not allow certain rides.

I am probably in the minority that doesn't understand why Cedar Fair does not invest more heavily in some of the other parks. I would think that the closer Cedar Fair got each of their parks to Cedar Point, the more people would come to each park. Cedar Point is in the middle of nowhere, yet it is so built up with coasters and other stuff that millions and millions people flock to it every year. I get that if MA or another park is doing fine, they don't NEED to improve it, but in the long run, couldn't Cedar Fair benefit immensely from expanding even the smaller parks? Just a thought.

Of course, after the bad press and obvious mistake that CF made on purchasing the Windseekers, I think in this case, caution serves them well. Flyers to a family oriented park and a reliable B&M coaster to Cedar Point makes good financial sense. Of course I want to see every park thrive and get new coasters, but in light of both the economy and recent "meh" decisions, I think CF made exactly the right choices.

"Look at us spinning out in the madness of a roller coaster" - Dave Matthews Band

Wednesday, December 19, 2012 2:36 PM
Jeff's avatar

The park has plenty of room. But as many have said, over and over again, it doesn't make sense to spend money without a clear return on investment.

Jeff - Editor - CoasterBuzz.com - My Blog - Music: The Modern Gen-X - Video

Wednesday, December 19, 2012 2:48 PM

Okay, I understand CLEAR return on investment. Basically, the short-term investment return then? Because it would be a gamble if it did not return the investment within a certain window of time. Again then, it makes sense to be cautious.

"Look at us spinning out in the madness of a roller coaster" - Dave Matthews Band

Wednesday, December 19, 2012 2:58 PM
Tekwardo's avatar

Timber-Rider said:
Ok Jeff. Let's flip the debate.Let's say that Michigan's Adventure received Gatekeeper, Dinosaurs Alive, and Windseeker this year, and the rest of the chain received next to nothing. Maybe Cedar Point gets the flying scooter instead. If people complained about the lack of attractions at all the other parks, would you still say...Oh quit complaining, after all, it's just a business, and they have the right to do what they want with their business money? The point is MA always gets the shaft, and their time for a much greater attraction then a lame Flying Scooter is over due.

Ok. I'll answer you as seriously as I can.

If in e off chance that MM got those three rides this year and the other parks got nothing, most people wouldn't
Complain. Why? Because the rest of the parks have all recently got stuff, save for GA.

But seeing as how that would never happen, your point is moot.

Let me Ask this: if someone gave you $1000,000 dollars tomorrow, would you immediately go out and blow it all on a mansion, expensive car, and anything else you wanted, or would you use some of the money to pay off your debt, buy an affordable house and car, and then save/invest the rest?

Last edited by Tekwardo, Thursday, December 20, 2012 12:13 AM

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