Shapiro says new Gurnee resort can only be good for Six Flags Great America

Posted Saturday, March 1, 2008 10:09 PM | Contributed by Jeff

There are now two 800-pound family entertainment gorillas staring across Grand Avenue at each other, but Six Flags President and CEO Mark Shapiro said he doesn't view KeyLime Cove as a threat in a marketplace dominated for years by Great America and Hurricane Harbor. Shapiro says the resort will likely draw people to Great America, and divert visitors from the Dells.

Read more from The Lake County News-Sun.

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Saturday, March 1, 2008 10:48 PM
I think that this waterpark indoors will hurt SFGAm. I think that waterpark has some of the same stuff that Great America has. They are going to have a bowl slide (HH has two), lazy river, wavepool (HH has one), two body slides (HH has 2.), two tube slides (HH has 8), and a kiddie interactive thing plus more. It's competing with SFGAm entirely.

I don't think SF wants to be hostile with the new comers on the block. I do agree with Shapiro that people have some place closer to go now rather than the Dells, but you pay a much higher admission at SFGAm than you do at the Dells. You also have the fact that Wisconsin Dells is a whole lot bigger. Everything is water over there except a couple places, and stuff is unique over there.

I can avoid the Dells because there are rides at SFGAm that the Dells also has. When I think of the Dells, I only think of the Riverview park, and Noah's Ark. Noah's Ark has tube slides, multiple raft slides, water coaster, Tornado like ride (Stingray), bowl slide, and just about every water ride you can imagine. SFGAm has a lot of it except the water coaster, and the Black Lightning ride. This ride, you go almost straight down in a tube. Noah's Ark used to have an awesome ride which they now put Black Anaconda in. It was like a lazy river tube, and you would go down the side of the hill (not exactly), and it would get stuck in a certain spot until you were ready for the next water drop.

The water coaster is at another park that's not that far away from SFGAm without going to the Dells. So, now there is only ride for me that's drastically different. Techinically, they have this raft ride at Noah's Ark that is in the dark, and that's pretty fun, but it wasn't the greatest ride in the world. I don't need to satisfy my hunger for that ride, but Black Lightning or Thunder (I never know the name because they show the lightning bolts on the sign, and than I forget.) I feel that's awesome. Another ride similiar to that ride is the Double Downs at Blizzard Beach even though I think Black Lightning is better.

Saturday, March 1, 2008 11:42 PM
^ I think the idea behind Hurrican Harbor was to keep Chicago people local instead of going to the Dells. That demographic isn't going to be staying at the hotel and therefore has little detratction to SFGAm.

The people who are staying at the hotel will have chosen the Gurnee resort over the Dells as well, and they might visit Great Amercia. Where is it hurting Great America? The two attractions may be similar in waterpark offerings but their target audiences are completely different.

Sunday, March 2, 2008 12:17 AM
Well with having to have to stay at the resort to use the waterpark, I can only guess that the hotel wont cannibalize off SFGAm. Although I can see it being a win-win for both entities feeding off each other.
Sunday, March 2, 2008 12:33 AM
Are the four (or is it five?) indoor water park resorts in Sandusky hurting Cedar Point? I think not.
Sunday, March 2, 2008 1:22 AM
It does not hurt SFGAM, it will drive more attendance. Even if the water park at Key lime Cove is better then HH it does not mater because they don't have a theme park. Since water park is FREE with theme park admission, you are paying for it if you use it or not.
Sunday, March 2, 2008 2:26 AM
Right, Jeff. How many indoor water resorts are in the Wisconsin Dells? Do any of them hurt Noah's Ark? No, because Noah's Ark has it's own demographic it caters to, which differs from the indoor park demographic. This is the same for SFGAm and Key Lime.
Sunday, March 2, 2008 12:35 PM
My take is that the indoor waterpark resorts are complimentary, not competitive. It's a different experience, and let's not forget also a different price point. The resorts are more expensive, but generally also more exclusive.

(Gee, where have we heard that before?)

We like the Sandusky versions, especially early and late season when the weather can be dicey, or the park hours are short. Rather than be in the park late at night on one of those cold-rain October Halloweekends, we can kick it indoors after the sun has set.

It will be interesting to see how much the Dells attractions view this as a threat.

Sunday, March 2, 2008 2:23 PM
When it's nice out, people want to be outside. When it rains or is cold, people want to be inside. The businesses should compliment eachother well.
Sunday, March 2, 2008 6:47 PM
Jeff, of course those water resorts don't hurt Cedar Point. Cedar Point is a regular amusement park with a couple water rides. It might hurt that waterpark next to Cedar Point though that is Cedar Fairs. Cedar Point has a waterpark hotel, and that waterpark outside. I've seen a video of that waterpark hotel, and those rides are nothing like the ones outside.

They aren't competing with themselves because it's not the same stuff outside. They are completely different attractions in that waterpark. That's my point. It's competition when the rides outside are very similar to the rides inside. When they are different, it's you go there, and come over here too.

If people are spending tons of money on a waterpark hotel stay, why go on about the same slides at SFGAm's HH which is included with admission? That's completely what this park sounds like. It sounds like an indoor HH to compete with them. It sounds like come over there, and don't go there. I guess we will see what's really going to happen.

And now even if it's just a little too cold, (Before, they had no option. Now, they have a choice. Which choice would you make? It depends how much you like the amusement park compared to water rides.) people will think that they can just stay at the hotel instead of going to the amusement park. So, it does hurt SFGAm. If you are vacationing (short vacation or 4 hour drive), you are stuck in that vicinity no matter how crummy the weather is.

I guess the mall is a threat to SFGAm to. You spend tons of money at the mall, and you don't spend at SFGAm. Does the mall bring in more tourists to the area? Yes, I would think so, but it's also taking people's dough in which they might not be able to spend a lot at SFGAm, or go there a lot. How about all those restaurants? I go to Olive Garden instead of eating at SFGAm, and is SFGAm happy about this? No. They are happy in a way that the area around the park is built up, but they don't like I'm not giving them all the money they could handle.

Thus, you can make the argument for the Orlando area. They have Universal, Disney World, Cypress Gardens, Sea World, and Busch Gardens (isn't that far away). Are they feeding on one another? Of course, they are, but they are in severe competition also with one another. Stay with us for so many days so you don't have to go to that other park.You pay full admission for one day, and we want you to come back to our park another day for free on us so you don't visit those people.

Sunday, March 2, 2008 6:58 PM
I don't even see a point in what you're saying. You argue that this new place is going to hurt SFGAm, and I'm saying it's not by example. And curiously, you're giving more examples of why it wouldn't hurt them.
Sunday, March 2, 2008 10:59 PM
Someone already has experienced this place and has pictures of it. I have to say this is one impressive looking resort. It has alot more to it then just hotel rooms and a waterpark. This place has a midway.

Click here.

Monday, March 3, 2008 12:08 PM
I don't know why anyone in their right mind would spend a hot summer day INSIDE doing outside things while there's...well, you know...a nice sunny outside to do them.

I suppose that may be why my local indoor waterpark offers $17.95 admission most of the summer, but charges $41.95 on Saturdays right now...


Sunday, March 9, 2008 10:54 AM
Why don't you ask Water Country USA how badly the Great Wolf Lodge has hurt their attendance in the last three years...

Oh, wait, Water Country had its second biggest attendance year ever last year you say?



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