Non-SF Rocky Mountain Coasters....

Saturday, August 9, 2014 7:07 PM

So far, I have been *extremely* impressed by the continuing glowing reports from parks with RMC rides. The company builds thrill rides that coaster geeks can debate all they want, but the public (glad the term GP has fallen into disuse) is willing to wait in significant lines to ride. And they seem to want to do it again. Because the travel writers, as annoyingly "family" as they often are, do tend to reflect more widespread opinions that are hard for us to grasp since we're often too close to the situation.

Six Flags is apparently ordering a bunch more work for this coming year...and still no mention of anyone other than SF getting one. We know that RMC has done work on a number of non-SF rides, including the Silverwoodies and IB's Cornball/Hurricane. But none of them has been announced as a NEW attraction, they're called repairs and maintenance. Gravity Group did Hades 360*. Hope to see more from those guys in the near future (2015 announcements maybe?) But back to RMC....

It seems impossible to believe that SF *didn't* make an offer that Rocky Mountain couldn't refuse. RMC's new facility more than doubled their capacity, and the money had to come from's typically pretty hard to get major loans as a new (OK, young) business. SF could easily have offered to keep them busy...pretty much exclusively...for 5-7 years before another company (CF, Busch, HFEC, Palace, HerCo, etc.) could get an RMC ride/rehab. From Grubb's point of view, it would have looked like he went to Shark Tank...and "won"! :P

The obvious problem with this kind of conjecture is that anyone who really knows anything is not at liberty to discuss it. But at this point, in year 4 currently, it's more hindsight than anything. It looks like SF is going to own year 5 even with the expanded capacity of the additional P&E. But soon SF is going to have "all the RMC trackage they can use" and the plant will still be there. The park in Sweden has the first full RMC coaster going to a non-SF park in 2016...will the first US park other than SF happen that same year...or a year or two later? Maybe DW's Thunderhead will really roll... all the way over?

Saturday, August 9, 2014 8:01 PM

I'm confused about whether you're overlooking Outlaw Run.

Sunday, August 10, 2014 1:19 AM

Maybe the answer lies in "pretty much exclusively" -- IF Six Flags came along and said here's a mountain of money, now make over a bunch of our wood coasters please, RMC in return MAY have said, sure, but we still get to design and build coasters for other parks if we have the time and resources.

Thunderhead is practically perfect in every way. No need to change that beauty.

Sunday, August 10, 2014 3:14 AM

There's also Kolmarden.

I think you might be reading too much into this to be honest.

Sunday, August 10, 2014 1:00 PM

In response: slithernoggin hit it - "pretty much exclusively" allows for the one instance of their first built-from-scratch ride in Outlaw Run (as proof of concept).

RB: Kolmarden's announcement is what led me to think about this, as that would be "year 6" - which led me to think it might have been a 5-year agreement. And yes, I could be reading too much into it. But it made for a semi-interersting theory at least, and I'd grown (VERY!) tired of the debate over whether these rides qualify as wood or steel.

Sunday, August 10, 2014 7:54 PM

Maybe it's just a matter of who gets to the contracts first, and how fast they can grow. And if they've established a successful working relationship with Six Flags, then why not? We can all think of examples of wooden rides across the country that are in need of some kind of treatment or complete overhaul, but IMO the SF rides might need it the most and I say go ahead. When they ain't got any left, then move along. (to Cedar Fair...)

I don't think any of it points particularly to exclusive agreements. I was at IAAPA a few years ago, (three maybe?) and I stopped by the RMC booth for a look see and a visit. They were rather new at the time, and I was shocked by how forthcoming the rep was about projects we were likely to see. (Disclaimer: I was wearing a buyer's tag, but in reality I was there to shop for a chicken wing fryer for our state fair restaurant booth, and made that clear to any reps at ride companies that swooped down on me when I visited.) Anyway, as I asked my enthusiassy questions about their products he was rather loose-lippy about Six Flags, Cedar Fair, etc. etc. and how they'd all been through and how they would be working on those rides in the future.

Maybe he was just enthusiastic, and it was a while back, but I got the impression at the time that they were looking forward to eventually ridding the universe of bad rides.

As for the wood/steel argument I don't get it. Some of RMC's rides are clearly steel rides and others are clearly not.

I've had a fear that they may alter the face of coastering permanently, that the traditional wooden rides as we know them will eventually disappear and all we'd see would be these new hybrids. Then I thought about it some more and decided that we will always have the Blue Streaks and Thunderbolts of the world for "old fashioned" thrills.

Sunday, August 10, 2014 9:05 PM

The track topper stuff they've done is definitely innovative, regardless of whether or not you think it's still a traditional wood coaster at that point (and it probably doesn't matter if it's a good ride). While it's interesting that they're "saving" a bunch of crappy wood coasters, I'm not sure I'd consider the steel I-beam/box track as a particularly big deal, because in my mind it's kind of just Arrow mine train stuff with a different shape. Again, if it results in good rides, I suppose it doesn't matter. Good on them for finding a market and kicking its ass.

Sunday, August 31, 2014 9:22 AM

Six Flags seemed to hint in their announcements they had an exclusive rights to some RMC technology. I remember at some point hearing of a some designer and some park chain working hand-in-hand on some new technology which would then be designed and manufactured by the designer and used exclusively in that park chain. Perhaps that's what happened here with the retrofit technology?

Sunday, August 31, 2014 11:51 AM

To get more specific (thanks, Andy!), the link below contains the following statement in the SFMM section (bolded emphasis is mine).

"Twisted Colossus....Iron Horse Track. The advanced technology, available exclusively at Six Flags, provides ride experiences never before possible on wooden coasters, such as over-banked turns and inversions."

That seems pretty apparent that SF and RMC have something more than a handshake agreement and "let's keep them so busy they don't have time for other projects."

Last edited by rollergator, Sunday, August 31, 2014 11:56 AM
Sunday, August 31, 2014 2:23 PM

Sounds like Six Flags is to the amusement park industry what Microsoft is to the video game industry.

Sunday, August 31, 2014 9:00 PM

That analogy doesn't make any sense.

If there is some kind of exclusivity deal with Six Flags, why would they bother marketing the tech at IAAPA?

Sunday, August 31, 2014 10:03 PM

Exclusive could mean there is an agreement in place, or it could also mean one just hasn't been built in another park yet. It's hard to say because of the marketing jargon and the fact that this was a pretty small company just a few years ago. I think back to the "agreement" that Busch had with B&M regarding dive machines, and that made more sense because we knew B&M was a big company and could have installed many of them all over the country.

I also find it interesting that although they are marketing the topper track for existing wooden coasters, it has only been used on new ones so far. I can see how many parks would love to reduce maintenance on a wooden coaster, but having to buy new trains would be a deal breaker.

Sunday, August 31, 2014 10:06 PM

I noticed the "available exclusively at Six Flags" bit in their press release and found it interesting.

Perhaps it's a limited window of exclusivity? A year or two or three?

Six Flags would get to promote the exclusive technology until they've added it to all the coasters they can or want to; RMC is at IAAPA with an eye to lining up customers after the window closes.

Sunday, August 31, 2014 10:23 PM

^Somewhere earlier we counted. 2015 is year 5.

Seems like it's not RMC in total, but the Iron Horse track concept for re-making wooden coasters. RMC is building their own "from scratch" rides independently with other parks/chains.

Which would also answer Jeff's question, assuming the arrangement ends in 2016. We'll know (or guess with better accuracy, or even more conspiracy theory?) if/when someone other than SF gets a wooden coaster rebuilt with Iron Horse trackage.

Sunday, August 31, 2014 11:28 PM

I say "available exclusively at Six Flags" means we just ain't seen em anywhere else yet, and Six Flags is putting a spin there.

I think the notion of parks having exclusive rights to certain rides is weird, like maybe it's a myth manufactured by enthusiasts. I've never heard concrete evidence of such contracts, and maybe it's more like a certain chain might contract for x number of rides to be distributed amongst the parks they own. Package deals, yes, and that seems like more of a convenience than anything.

I don't see how an exclusive limited contract would benefit either party. If I were RMC I'd be robbing myself of business if someone like Cedar Fair came calling. And if I were Six Flags I'd guess I could type press releases, but why spend the extra money to keep those guys under an exclusive contract for a period when eventually it's all going to break loose anyway.

Amusement parks around the world kept GCI busier than one-armed paper hangers for a minute there, so it's not a peculiarity in the industry to see particular technologies or designs appear in various parks owned by different chains.

Monday, September 1, 2014 12:05 AM

What I was trying to get at with the Microsoft video game analogy was mostly about Rise of the Tomb Raider. It was initially announced as a multiplatform game, then recently it became an Xbox One exclusive. Many gamers were outraged, at least on GameFAQs. It's pretty obvious MS wrote Square Enix, the publisher of ROTTR a massive check. PS4 has sold double what Xbox One has so far and going exclusive cut their market down massively and would need to be compensated for lost sales. And it was a middle finger to gamers who planned to buy it for other systems.

With RMC supposedly being exclusive to Six Flags, they are also limiting their market. If they were exclusive, Six Flags most likely wrote them a check to cover the lost potential sales.

Last edited by Thabto, Monday, September 1, 2014 12:07 AM
Monday, September 1, 2014 12:10 AM

To me, the "available exclusively at Six Flags" wording indicates some type of contractual agreement.

All the various "this park has an exclusive deal with that company" rumors have always struck me as, well, just talk -- unsubstantiated rumors.

To my admittedly oddball brain, if Six Flags was saying the technology had so far only been used at Six Flags parks, they'd have gone with "only available at Six Flags parks". "Available exclusively" to me indicates a legal basis for the use of "exclusively".

Monday, September 1, 2014 1:08 AM

^ I agree. And I don't see how this would hurt RMC at all, especially since we've reached the point where they are building two coasters a year for the chain, while other companies might be taking a "wait and see" approach anyway.

Monday, September 1, 2014 1:36 AM

I think it just means no other park chain has used the ibox track in a refurbishment project. If Rocky Mountain really did have a exclusivity contract, why would they be advertising the ibox track on their website?

Monday, September 1, 2014 6:45 AM

Perhaps it's exclusive to SF in the US? No harm to them if they sell it to someone in Europe since they flogged all their non-US properties?


You must be logged in to post

POP Forums - ©2019, POP World Media, LLC