Ouimet continues Cedar Fair tour at Kings Dominion, says he listens to consumers

Posted Wednesday, July 27, 2011 12:01 PM | Contributed by Jeff

Matt Ouimet, who spent 17 of his 20 years in the theme park and hospitality industry with The Walt Disney Co., said businesses need to listen to their customers and react accordingly. He's currently touring Cedar Fair's amusement parks around North America.

Read more from The Times Dispatch.

Thursday, July 28, 2011 8:44 PM
Tekwardo's avatar

If there is lightening in the area (which you may not even see) they close them, they have too.


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Friday, July 29, 2011 3:34 AM

I've noticed in the last couple of years that rides are much, much slower to open back up after a storm than in the past. I don't buy that lightning is the reason in all cases.


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Friday, July 29, 2011 9:16 AM

Yes, it's an al-Qaeda conspiracy to destroy America by denying us our leisure time enjoyment.

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Friday, July 29, 2011 10:28 AM
LostKause's avatar

I think that Chris is alluding to coasters having to dry off before opening back up, so that the coaster train actually stops befoe colliding with another train. I think that a minor incident occurred on Magnum a few years ago, and it has resulted in the park either running one train until the breaks dry off, or not running at all.

I think that is pretty stupid, and overly cautious. Rides ran for decades in the rain with no problem, but one minor collision and the parks have to resort to this?

But, I could be totally off on this one.

Good point Chris.


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Friday, July 29, 2011 12:19 PM
Jeff's avatar

I was there this weekend, and I saw Raptor reopen, with riders, before it stopped raining. My anecdote wins.


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

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Friday, July 29, 2011 3:55 PM

Carowinds and Great America in CA are victims of the Paramount years. The heart and soul was ripped out of both parks during those years, leaving few reasons to go to the park unless you are a local wanting to something to do. Nothing too original there, placed in a horrible atmosphere.

Hard to believe Carowinds was once a high-quality Taft park and Great America CA was almost identical to the one in IL.

Carowinds, as is, would be better of being entirely converted to a waterpark.

Last edited by super7*, Friday, July 29, 2011 3:56 PM
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Friday, July 29, 2011 6:01 PM
Jeff's avatar

They did no such thing to GA. They wanted to unload it because it had always been an underperformer. You don't keep spending money on something you want to get rid of. Rumor has it even Cedar Fair wanted the parks, but not that one.


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

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Friday, July 29, 2011 8:10 PM

Interesting how on my visit to Carowinds this spring I remember getting back near the Hurler and thinking how much the place reminded me of Great America. Except that Carowinds had a better wood coaster sitting there.

--Dave Althoff, Jr.


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Saturday, July 30, 2011 11:52 AM

I'll have to do a little digging to confirm it, but it wouldn't surprise me if they were designed by the same person/firm.

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Saturday, July 30, 2011 11:41 PM
CoasterDemon's avatar

Sooo.... do you guys really think Great America is going bye bye? I've never been there, and know about the reports, but still would like to be there once before (if it happens) is shut down.


Billy
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Sunday, July 31, 2011 12:59 PM
ApolloAndy's avatar

Well, they keep taking things out and nothing seems to be going in, so...


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Sunday, July 31, 2011 3:06 PM

It does seem to be in the early stages of Geauga-ification.


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Sunday, July 31, 2011 5:34 PM
Jason Hammond's avatar

Ironically, Texas Twister, was moved from Geauga Lake to Great America. If it does close, they may have to move it again.


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Sunday, July 31, 2011 9:02 PM

If I were a park manager, I'm not so sure I'd be inclined to take it. It's getting to be a bit of a bad penny...


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Sunday, July 31, 2011 11:28 PM
Fun's avatar

There is a significant gap in performance between Great America and the other parks due to the unfavorable lease terms. With that said, Cedar Fair is in a better financial position today than it was when Geauga Lake was "corn-holed". There is a lessened sense of urgency to raise capital to pay off debts.

Last edited by Fun, Sunday, July 31, 2011 11:30 PM
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Monday, August 1, 2011 11:07 AM

If I were a park manager, I'm not so sure I'd be inclined to take it.

What would you do, hold your breath until you turned blue?


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Monday, August 1, 2011 12:10 PM

Well, that and shake my little fists.


My author website: mgrantroberts.com

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Monday, August 1, 2011 1:36 PM

That a lease arrangement exists for Great America is unfavorable...

But Great America suffered greatly during the Paramount years. I am not sure what Paramount's grand plan was, but their capital expansion plan at all of their parks with the exceptions of Carowinds and Canada's Wonderland always seemed to result in negative growth in attractions. Kings Island seemed to get off easy, usually losing only two or three rides for each new ride installed. Great America had practically been stripped bare of it's flat rides before Cedar Fair bought it, and the ones that remain are poorly run. Great America is the only place where I have ever seen a Break Dance *literally* operated as a kiddie ride. Their Bayern Kurve is a quarter-speed embarrassment, and of course the Grizzly has been ranked as the Worst Wood Coaster in North America for fourteen straight years.

I'm sure Geauga Lake fans would ask the same question. But if a park is not performing well, how is it going to improve any if the attraction count goes down every year and the rides that remain are poorly operated? If the patrons are voting with their feet, staying away in droves, why do the problems that prompt people not to come not only persist, but get worse? Why would the park appear to willingly accelerate its own death spiral?

I hear that Cedar Fair is trying, perhaps not hard enough, to turn things around. Installing the Top Spin was a step in the right direction, and I understand they are trying to do something about the Grizzly (!). Well, hey, the other two Wildcat copies are reasonably well regarded, why is this one a steaming pile of crap? But at the same time I have to wonder how far they are going to go to save a park they do not own...

--Dave Althoff, Jr.


    /X\        _      *** Respect rides. They do not respect you. ***
/XXX\ /X\ /X\_ _ /X\__ _ _ _____
/XXXXX\ /XXX\ /XXXX\_ /X\ /XXXXX\ /X\ /X\ /XXXXX
_/XXXXXXX\__/XXXXX\/XXXXXXXX\_/XXX\_/XXXXXXX\__/XXX\_/XXX\_/\_/XXXXXX

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Monday, August 1, 2011 10:27 PM
Tekwardo's avatar

Carowinds would be better as is as a water park? Yeah. Keep whatever it is you're smoking to yourself.

I guess all of those people rolling in every day standing in ride lines would rather be at wet n wild.


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