Six Flags Great America acquires roller coaster in Kiddieland auction

Posted Tuesday, November 24, 2009 6:53 PM | Contributed by stevesteve8383

Kiddieland, the Melrose Park amusement park, opened one last time this morning for an auction of its rides. A private collector from Atlanta bought the first major ride of the day, with a winning bid of $17,000 for the bumper cars. The carousel later went for $355,000 to a Westmont business owner who plans to refurbish it. The Little Dipper roller coaster sold for $33,000 to Six Flags in Gurnee; it will be put in the park's kiddie section, hopefully by 2010.

Read more from Chicago Breaking News.com.

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Tuesday, November 24, 2009 7:00 PM

Didn't see that coming.

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Tuesday, November 24, 2009 7:11 PM

I like the purchase for the same reasons rollergator mentioned in the other thread. The coaster will be saved, stay near it's original location and SFGAm got it very cheaply.

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Tuesday, November 24, 2009 7:38 PM

$355,000 for a three abreast PTC? Haven't seen a figure like that since the Idora Park auction back in the early 1980's. Depending upon what kind of shape it's in I'd say he got a deal (that is not counting Norton's percentage over and above the actual winning bid).

Last edited by Dutchman, Friday, November 27, 2009 11:08 AM
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Tuesday, November 24, 2009 7:41 PM

$33,000 for a coaster? That's cheaper han a lot of new cars! I wonder if it would've fit in the back yard? :)

Last edited by Hopman, Tuesday, November 24, 2009 7:41 PM
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Tuesday, November 24, 2009 10:20 PM

I call American Eagle Jr.

or...American Eaglet.

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Tuesday, November 24, 2009 10:25 PM

Little Eagle :)

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Tuesday, November 24, 2009 10:31 PM

If it's going in where I think it will go (Bugs Bunny National Park), it will most likely get a Looney Tunes name.

Or they could keep the name Little Dipper and market it as being saved from the defunct Kiddieland.

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Tuesday, November 24, 2009 11:44 PM

That is what I would do. Keep it the same name and market it as Kiddieland's Little Dipper.

While $33,000 sounds cheap, I wonder what the true cost will be. I would think it will be at least 10x that amount to get it disassembled, moved & reassembled.

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Wednesday, November 25, 2009 12:01 AM

Even if it ends up being ten times that amount with everything, they are still coming out ahead here. Kiddieland kept all of their rides in excellent condition. Logistically moving the coaster won't be to bad as SFGAm and Kiddieland are about an hour away from eachother so no long distance moving.

And of course this is a family coaster that they will benefit from.

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Wednesday, November 25, 2009 12:35 AM

It was heard first-hand, the ride WILL keep the Little Dipper name AND it is intended to open in 2010. Should be SFGAm's answer to Beastie/Scooby Doo. GREAT SURPRISE today!!!

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Wednesday, November 25, 2009 8:32 AM

Plus they'll get a lot of bonus points from the locals for saving this piece of Chicago history. They might even get more families coming to the park just for this fact alone.

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Wednesday, November 25, 2009 9:09 AM

Open this ride along with Chang in 2011 and we can have Deja Vu 10 years later with two roller coasters opening in the same year!

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Wednesday, November 25, 2009 11:24 AM

I highly doubt that just since it sold at auction for 33K you would have been able to add it to your backyard for 34K.

I have a feeling the representatives of Six Flags went to that park auction with one mission in mind: Save the Little Dipper, and at the same time earn a TON of Goodwill points from their local customer base. We'll never know how much the Six Flags representative was authorized to bid. 33K for Six Flags, "Just take it out of petty cash!"

I have a hunch the GM of SFGAm might be a Chicagoan himself or at least is intently familar with what the coaster means to the people of Chicago. For just 33K he was able to salavage a lot of peoples cherished childhood memory, maybe even his own families. Then he gets to turn around and profit from it. What's not to like there? Look at the official press release from the park - they are already using the Little Dipper as a hook to buy season passes.

Cost of Coaster at auction 33K

Cost to Move Coaster - 330K (using above figures)

Local marketing value of Coaster: Priceless.

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Wednesday, November 25, 2009 11:29 AM

got2havefun said:
Open this ride along with Chang in 2011 and we can have Deja Vu 10 years later with two roller coasters opening in the same year!

Chang won't be rebuilt at SFGAm.

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Wednesday, November 25, 2009 11:59 AM

As an outsider to Kiddieland I don't see the marketing value that SFGA can play up. To me this would be like Stricker's Grove closing its doors and Kings Island buying the Teddy Bear and then marketing it as a classic local coaster. While we all appreciate that angle I don't think the GP would care much. They would likely say what is the point, it is just a kiddie coaster.

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Wednesday, November 25, 2009 12:05 PM

That is great news to Hear!! Does anyone know if any the other rides ended up being sold to Big named parks or even Small parks?

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Wednesday, November 25, 2009 12:11 PM

First, Amazing job by Great America saving this coaster. I guess it helps when your CEO is from Chicago. The ride will be going in BBNP, which will be a lot different next year. The park also bought the raceway cars, which are the same model as SFGAms. Great America’s cars have not ages well, so these will be a great fit.

Second, Great America will be taking SSA down by the end of the year. It has been completely ripped apart on the inside. This has been part of the rumored Chang area, so saying that Chang is moving is kind of insane. I know you have sources, but as far as SFGAm is concerned, they think it is staying here.

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Wednesday, November 25, 2009 1:10 PM

Great America has disclosed that Litte Dipper will open for the 2010 season under the same name.

http://www.sixflags.com/greatamerica/info/news_thelittledipper.aspx

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Wednesday, November 25, 2009 1:29 PM

What's the price of nostalgia and lasting memories?

Six Flags puts it right around $65 :)

Guests can create a season of memories on The Little Dipper with a 2010 Season Pass which is on sale now at sixflags.com for the low price of $64.99.

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