New theme park in Michigan?

Thursday, December 21, 2006 5:20 PM
crazy horse's avatar Autoworld was a failure from the start.

I think with the right mix of rides and coasters, this park could make some good money. There are a lot of parks in small towns. If you give people a reason to visit, they will.

If it was not for cedarpoint, I would have no reason to visit sandusky.


what you've just said is one of the most insanely idiotic things I have ever heard.
Everyone in this room is now dumber for having listened to it.
I award you no points, and may God have mercy on your soul.

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Thursday, December 21, 2006 5:36 PM
Actually the area also has some Terrific Lakes and is highly visited in the summer. The summer also happens to be the time of year that this park would do at least the majority of its business.

My parents have a cabin near by on Higgins Lake. Once upon a time, I called the area Up North. Now that I live fifteen minutes from Mackinaw City, I realize that Grayling is actually pretty much smack dab in the middle of the state. A reasonable driving distance for many people. Also, the site being talked about is directly off of I 75 which is obviously a very traveled highway. A well run park could work. *** Edited 12/21/2006 10:37:21 PM UTC by Natas***

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Friday, December 22, 2006 2:03 AM
"What's with all the in your face crap in here lately anyway?"

I dunno... have you read 9/10th of jeff's posts?

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Friday, December 22, 2006 5:37 AM
The spelling police need to get a life. Was the spelling so poor as to stop communication? If the answer is no, then just let it go. Does a spelling error make the thought not worth discussing?

The poster seems to know more about that area of Michigan than most of the folks on this board, so why not overlook a spelling error and try to learn something. I guess if you did that you would have to stop feeling superior and we can't have that.

I knew there was a reason why I don't post much here. Just read this entire thread and note who actually ruined the communication.

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Friday, December 22, 2006 9:05 AM
Let me offer an opposing view.

In my experience, CoasterBuzz is significantly different from almost any other amusement industry-related board. There is really only one other that I find comparable.

Why is it different? While there are the infrequent snark-fests that this thread has become, there are also some very interesting, deep discussions about the amusement park industry. There are also sometimes interesting discussions about tangential topics. These threads seem to happen more here than they do at any other board I've tried---and I've tried a dozen or more.

There are two things that make this board different from all others but one I know of:

First, there is little tolerance for sloppy language. This encourages people to take their time when they post, and that encourages them to post something of substance rather than the one liner "Yeah, that's a really great/rockin/suckful ride!"

Second, some members pay money to use the site. This is like the difference between owning a house and renting one. When you own it, you tend to take better care of it, because you are trying to *increase* the value of the house. When you rent, all you care about is making sure you don't lose your security deposit. So, while you try not to destroy anything, you also don't care about making any improvements.

What about the other board where I spend significant time? It's a completely-for-pay site (no freebies at all), has an even larger moderator-to-member ratio than CoasterBuzz does, with an even more aggressive moderation policy.

Granted, not everyone likes the Language Nazis, or the idea that you are encouraged to pay money to help support the site. If that's you, there are easily a dozen other posting boards you can frequent instead that will better meet your needs. Enjoy them with my good wishes.

Back on topic, I happen to disagree with Jeff, and think that a smallish seasonal park in the north end of the Lower Peninsula makes a lot of sense. From about weeks 25 through 34 (mid-June through Labor Day) the Northwest coast is positively packed with tourists from the Detroit and Chicago metro areas. If you want, say, a timeshare exchange into that area during those weeks, you better have a good trader on your hands. Traffic from weeks 20 through 24 (Memorial Day forward) is okay, too.

As far as I can tell, this isn't the sort of traffic that is strongly affected by the price of gas, or the manufacturing economy. The rental market during this time tends to get good money---a couple hundred per night is about average for a place that has a patch of coastline. There are also a lot of families who own second homes up there, and share with/rent to other family and friends. It's a pretty high-end clientele.

That's a 15-week season you could pull off, and as long as you didn't over-extend yourself, you could make it work. That's especially true because there isn't much in the way of "modern" entertainment up that way. There's a lot of golf, boating, and hiking, but not an over-abundance of FEC-type places. It would be easy to imagine a family spending a week at, say, the Grand Traverse Resort and Spa (which is fabulous, btw) wanting to make a day trip to a nearby family fun spot.

There are also a lot of campgrounds that fill up, but that traffic might be more sensitive to the economy.

The one part that *doesn't* make sense to me is putting it in Grayling. Grayling is a place you stop for gas on the way to your eventual destination. It's not a place you *go*. Putting it farther to the west (closer to the summertime action) would make more sense to me.


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Friday, December 22, 2006 10:07 AM
Jeff's avatar

Brian Noble said:
Why is it different? While there are the infrequent snark-fests that this thread has become, there are also some very interesting, deep discussions about the amusement park industry...
Exactly. I've said it before and I'll say it again... My little piece of the Internet is not going to be home to substandard discussion. If it ever got that way, it wouldn't be fun to me anymore and I'd stop doing it. I will not allow the piece I'm responsible for contribute to the general decline in our ability to communicate effectively. I find it sad and "rediculous" [sic] that we have the most powerful means of communication ever created and people can't spell grade three words. If you don't like that, seriously, no one will be hurt if you stop visiting the site.

Anyway, I still don't think the potential for a park there is very promising. People are going two hours from Detroit to Cedar Point in fewer numbers, so why would they go the other direction, for less of a park? Sure, it's "on the way" to Mackinac Island, but I'm not sure if that audience is the same demographic that would want to go to an amusement park. The "high end" people don't seem to be that into our lowly past time.

Remember, all of the tourism you're describing is exactly what goes on in the Carolinas, and Pavilion closed. Granted, the developers seem to think that the Hard Rock park will be a hit, but only with more retail and condos.


Jeff - Editor - CoasterBuzz.com - My Blog - Silly Nonsense

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Friday, December 22, 2006 10:30 AM
Ah, but Pavilion is practically on the beach---much more valuable real estate. As I understand it, it's not so much that Pavilion was losing money as it is that it's worth more as a timeshare/condo development. After all, if you think getting a place on the Traverse City coast is hard in peak summer, try exchanging your spring Orlando week for a place on Myrtle Beach between weeks 22 and 32. Not going to happen.

So, I suspect that something in between Grayling (too far away) and on the lakefront (real estate too valuable) could work.

The Detroit to Cedar Point observation is also a little bit different, I think, because there you are talking about day-trippers from their "normal" lives. This location is a side-trip from an already established vacation destination. Tourists in the area are already in vacation mode, and now they're just looking for something to do.

As for the market segment being attracted or not: that's a good question. I know my family is, as are many other dual-doctor/doctorate families with school-age-to-tween kids we know. So, anecdotally it seems as if it could work, but I don't have any data.

One place I do agree with you, though, is that "on the way" isn't worth much. On my way up north, I just want to get where I'm going. On my way home, I don't have an extra day to spend. If I did, I'd've spent it on Mackinac or in Grand Traverse.

I think they picked Grayling because it is "on the way" to both Mackinac and Traverse City. But, it seems to me that you'd want to pick one or the other, and be 30 minutes away where the land is still practically free. If it were me, I think I'd pick the NW coast, because it's larger and not quite so "exclusive" but still attracts people with money to spend. The Mackinac crowd is a bit too upper-crust even for me. ;)


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Friday, December 22, 2006 10:36 AM
rollergator's avatar I know NOTHING of the area....but this line struck me:

"The "high end" people don't seem to be that into our lowly past time."

I don't know exactly where I'm headed with this, but it seems that Mark S. and Lord G. have a slightly different take, something along the lines of "they (the high-end folks) will be more INTO it when they can spend their way out of a poor cost:benefit ratio." To put it terribly bluntly (and potentially offensively) - "if you have a boatload of cash, you're time IS worth more...at least to you".

SO....spending hours and hours in lines, that turned the upper-crust away from the regional amusement mega-park pie. Making it possible for those same people to enjoy the parks within THEIR time/cost-benefit preference curves, that's (theoretically, at least) bringing them back.

One quite high-end area I've been to that supports a quite-small FEC - Long Beach Island on the Jersey shore. Fantasy Island qualifies as a "park" by no definition I've seen....but seems to do well enough in an area where the yearly tax burden would likely pay for my entire mortgage (taxes included). I guess what I'm saying is that I think the high-end clientele WILL go, but demands a park experience tailored to fit THEIR wishes (and isn't that really what everyone wants, LOL).


You still have Zoidberg.... You ALL have Zoidberg! (V) (;,,;) (V)

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Friday, December 22, 2006 11:00 AM
janfrederick's avatar

Ah, but Pavilion is practically on the beach---much more valuable real estate.

Man, that doesn't bode well for Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk. ):


"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
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Friday, December 22, 2006 11:14 AM
Could be. Santa Cruz is much more preservationist, though. I also was under the impression that the beach itself was publicly owned, but the boardwalk could own it, too---I'm not sure.
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Tuesday, January 9, 2007 1:20 PM
Timber-Rider's avatar Aside from all the spelling errors. I actually have something to say about the topic! Imagine that!

Building an amusement park near Grayling is not a bad idea at all. I live in Michigan. The northern counties bring in a majority of Michigan's summer tourism. Traverse City, Mackinaw City, and, Mackinac Island bring in over a million visitors every summer.

There are also several major Casinos and resorts in the area, including Great Wolf Lodge which is an indoor water park resort. There is a second water park in the area that was recently built. So, why they would want an amusement park up there. Does not surprise me at all.

As for parks that are in the middle of nowhere. Uh Michigan's Adventure is pretty much in the middle of no where. and Indiana beach might as well be in the middle of a cornfield. Both are doing well.

So. Don't second guess. I think it's a great idea. not only for the out of state people. But, the locals are probably starving for this kind of recreation! Please! bring us anything!!!!

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Tuesday, January 9, 2007 8:49 PM
Brian Noble, I like your idea of putting a park closer to Mackinaw City. That would make land in my home town on Cheboygan a potential location (only about fifteen minutes away.) That would be awsome! Somehow I don't think that it's going to happen though.
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Tuesday, January 9, 2007 8:59 PM
Article

Am I missing something? I copied and pasted the above word directly from Jeff's post. Isn't that how the word is spelled?

Jeff is short tempered sometimes.

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Wednesday, January 10, 2007 5:59 AM
dex, I think you may have missed the thread the first time around..

In the very first post of this thread, crazy horse misspelled the word "article". I do not remember how it was misspelled, only that it was.

Then Jeff spelled it correctly in his post pointing out the error.

Then crazy horse went back and edited it (and even commented on the edit that he corrected a misspelled word).

And somewhere in there, the bruhaha (is that spelled right? ;) ) erupted over spelling and grammer... my guess is that at least some of it happened before the edit, which then prompted the original poster to do the edit.

While I do think that sometimes we (yes, I do it too at times :( ) get a little carried away with some of the more esoteric words, there comes a point where it's inexcusable. There's a difference between a simple typo (like "teh" which is all too common from fast typists.. which can be corrected by the edit button if you re-read your post later and notice it... or someone points it out) and ignoring people when you get on "they're" nerves, and then telling them to blow off when they correct the poster.

(although how you can get on they are nerves astounds me... It doesn't even remotely sound like a coherent thought! :)


"Life's What You Make It, So Let's Make It Rock!"
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Wednesday, January 10, 2007 5:37 PM

Y'all are no better than anyone else.

It's annoying how serious some of you take yourselves. One accidental spelling error shouldn't matter as much as you make it. This isn't a newspaper or magazine. It's a message board open to the public, for profit even. To expect perfection from anyone is ridiculous. Everyone makes mistakes. The way this web site's owner to speaks to his "customers" the way he does seems to me very arrogant.

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Thursday, January 11, 2007 1:25 AM
Wow! Anal is the only word that I can come up with for the "type issues" on every thread here lately. Grow up people. If you're so high on your horse on spell issues, might you sit behind your keyboard in suit and tie as well? Sheesh.

What was I supposed to put here again?!?!

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Thursday, January 11, 2007 1:35 AM
Lord Gonchar's avatar

Y'all are no better than anyone else.

Except at spelling, of course. ;)


If you're so high on your horse on spell issues, might you sit behind your keyboard in suit and tie as well?

A tie? Always.

A suit? Nah, the tie is usually all I'm wearing.

(levity is good, right?)


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Thursday, January 11, 2007 5:30 AM
The things that gets us "anal" people is that it's not about ONE accidental typo.. there are many times when typos go un-criticised. But that's because it's a legitimate typo.. Not a blatant disregard for the English language. Certain users tend to have several (that's pronounced "countless") typos, and when they're commented upon, instead of correcting and putting forth future effort to learn/improve, they fight back. Why? IT'S IN THE RULES. Regardless what you think, this is not a public website. It's not owned by the government like a public library. It's a private site, owned by a private individual. Jeff chooses to allow virtually anyone to participate.. but he has standards and rules. If you don't like them, you won't be missed.

Let me put it this way... If you invited me over to your house and I put my muddy shoes up on your coffee table because *I* wanted to relax, I think you'd get a little more than upset. Would I call you anal because you're insisting I do something (not putting feet up on the table) which is just common courtesy? No. Of course not. It's something basic most people learn before they turn 8. You have a right to be pissed, especially since it's your private house.

I was always taught that being coherent when putting my thoughts in writing was common courtesy to the reader... maybe my mama just had high standards :)


"Life's What You Make It, So Let's Make It Rock!"
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Thursday, January 11, 2007 8:32 AM
^ So, the way you spell brake in the SOB thread is ok but the guy who started this thread is getting beat up?...

It's brake, not break.


SOB's biggest fanboy!
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Thursday, January 11, 2007 8:47 AM
Wow, another argument about spelling and grammar.

Who could have guessed it.

It is the off-season after all (for some of us) :)

Tambo

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