Setpoint founders ready to focus on amusement rides

Posted Thursday, August 9, 2007 9:17 AM | Contributed by Jeff

Four executives of Ogden's Setpoint Systems have acquired a controlling interest in the Ogden company from its founders. The deal allows founders Joe Cornwell and Joe VanDenBerghe to partially liquidate their stake in the company, which designs and builds automated equipment used to manufacture a variety of products. The pair, who will remain on the board but will no longer be involved in day-to-day operations of the company, plan to focus their efforts on an affiliate company, Setpoint Inc., which manufactures amusement park rides.

Read more from The Salt Lake Tribune.

Thursday, August 9, 2007 9:21 AM
Jeff's avatar You know, I wondered what happened to these guys. I figured they just went on to other things because the potential for business in the amusement industry wasn't very good. I met VanDenBerghe in 2000 at IAAPA, and then hung out with some of his crew in 2001 at the IAAPA social at IOA, and I thought they were a bunch of really smart and passionate people. I really thought they'd be a driving force with the success of the soaking water coasters. I suspect that a high capacity ride design is what they really need.
Thursday, August 9, 2007 1:14 PM
Focussing on the amusement industry is surely a risky business these days. The market is so saturated and covered.

Do they really offer an outstanding product, especially if they would try to go for the asian market?
The Roller Soaker/Swing Thing seems to be their prime product, and AFAIK they could only sell two of them.

The botched deal with the Frequent Faller was really bad for them and I would nt be surprised if this is still a millstone round their necks.

Meanwhile the other "small footprint coasters" (S&S Screaming Squirrel and Intamins Ball Coaster) could sell a few units, but are still far from being the market niche that the manufacturers thought they would become.
I think, that with the arrival of the Ball Coaster the days for the Frequent Faller are already over.

DidnĀ“t they build the rides for the Stratosphere Tower? I think those are great ideas, bot I am afraid that the location is more than 90% responsible for the appeal of those rides. On the ground they are hardly competiting with anything built by Chance, Moser, Zamperla, etc.

I marvelled at the concept for their "splitting coaster" and would love to see one. I also think that their rides look good and solid and I wish them the best. Maybe they have another wicked concept up their sleeve which will finally catch on.

Thursday, August 9, 2007 1:37 PM

Quoted by Coasterkid200 in the Dollywood announces a new 5 million dollars river battle ride.

Maybe Setpoint is back in the game.

Looks like i was right about them being back. ;)

Thursday, August 9, 2007 2:01 PM
You've got your companies confused.

Setpoint manufactured the single-rail suspended family coasters at Hershey & Carowinds. Interactive Rides was behind the rides on the Stratosphere and the Frequent Faller.


Thursday, August 9, 2007 2:08 PM
Preston and Barberi are creating River Battle at Dollywood, def not Setpoint.

I still think a Dueling Roller Soaker would be a great way to handle the low-capacity issue and incorporate great interaction between the two sides. Why don't water parks want things like this??*** This post was edited by coasterfreaky 8/9/2007 4:02:24 PM ***

Thursday, August 9, 2007 3:57 PM
Jeff's avatar As far as I can tell, they haven't sold anything in years, and they have nothing to do with Interactive Rides or the Hershey deal gone bad. Come to think of it, they weren't at IAAPA the last year I went (2004 I think) either.
Thursday, August 9, 2007 4:28 PM
Oh, I really messed the companies up. Sorry for this. So its only a tiny point of my post that still holds true.
Thursday, August 9, 2007 5:20 PM
I like tricktrack's unintentional pun of "saturation." While it can not be confirmed at this point, Screamscape has a rumor that Flying Super Saturator at Carowinds may be on the way out after the season is over.

The low capacity of these rides really hurts their appeal. And the fact that Roller Soaker sometimes doesn't work very well doesn't help either. There's nothing worse than waiting in a hour-long line only to have no water in your tank (and you didn't pull the handle in the station).

I think you also need a warmer environment than Hershey can provide early on in the season. I have seen numerous people return back to the brakes freezing and teeth chattering while waiting for the other cars to get out of the way.

I also think RS moves too fast through it's course for it to be effective, which is why it's almost better to skip the ride and head straight for the "watergun playground":) I think this is where the shorter course of FSS has the edge. I found it much easier to navigate where I was.

Thursday, August 9, 2007 9:36 PM
I went on Roller Soaker this past June with three of my coaster-happy girl friends - none of us felt comfortable on RS. To each of the four of us, we felt that there wasn't sufficient structure to brace onesself during the ride. If the lapbar even had a second parallel bar above it that the rider could hold on to in order to steady themself, that would be good - but there's nothing. i mean, the cars do quite a bit of lurching, and there's nothing to steady onesself with.

The release of water from the seat itself was really anticlimactic. And the line for the ride was absolutely abysmal. On a Thursday when most rides were walk-ons or ten minutes tops, this ride took 2 hours waiting in line just because it is so inefficient in ride capacity.

I also thought that the water "fountains" that just shot water into the air to fall onto the concrete walkways with no apparent purpose and no feedback system were a dumb waste of water. The whole thing seems like an overall waste of water.

- E

Friday, August 10, 2007 3:22 AM
I'm sure all the water is recycled in an underground tank... it's not like they're getting fresh tap water every time someone presses a button to activate a geyser.
Friday, August 10, 2007 12:22 PM
PhantomTails, if there was some form of feedback system for all that water, I sure couldn't figure it out nd I'd need someone to explain it to me. It simply appeared to fall on the concrete mindlessly. Now, I'm not some big fanatical environmentalist, and I adore Tidal Force and Canyon River Rapids (they both have obvious feedback systems), but I was thinking that if they're going to throw away all that water (re RS), they should throw it in the direction of the farmers losing their crops this summer. I'm going back to hershey on Sunday September 2nd - I should obtain some pictures of what I mean and ask if anyone can explain where the water feedback system is for RS. I don't think there is one.

- E

Friday, August 10, 2007 12:48 PM
As far as I know, there is a recycling system in place underneath the station. But, with the temperatures we've been having this summer, I'm sure a certain percentage of that is evaporating.
Sunday, August 12, 2007 12:55 AM
Ah, Roller Soaker! What a disaster. Can a ride be over-engineered and under-engineered at the same time? This one was. Setpoint way overestimated the capacity. The original spec was to run nine trains. We tried it once. Then we tried eight. Nah... Seven? Barely. It's comfortable at six. You do the math. The only reliable way to run it is one at a time over the course and send the next one after the running train enters C block (last before station). And if it's cold or windy--well, let's not go there.

Every year (except this one) since it was built, it has had some kind of makeover. Mag brakes, re-programming, removal of prox sensors that weren't needed in the first place. The list goes on and on. And what a rust bucket! Setpoint has always been pretty good about following through with the changes, but I think some prudent engineering on the front end would have made things better all around.

To answer a question above, ALL of the water is recycled. Two large tanks under the concrete capture all water that runs off (including some storm water if it's raining). Look for the white grates in the concrete--those are the recycle inlets--you'll find them all over the ride area. They're not storm drains, although they can (in off season) be diverted by valves to the storm sewer system. That doesn't help with evaporation and what stays with the guests, but we were required to recycle a specific amount of water for the plan approval process. Everything that goes "down the drain" is metered by the municipality and monitored by the Susquehanna River Basin Comission. That also applies to all of the other water attractions, again, per municipal mandate.

Soaker is definitely a unique concept, and it fits a bit better now that the water attractions have come out to meet it. Unfortunately, the pitiful capacity and high upkeep don't make it very desirable from the park's standpoint.
*** This post was edited by Comet Rider 8/12/2007 1:03:13 AM ***


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