Arthur Bahl said:
This was also the second park, Holiday World being the first, to offer free soft drinks.
Actually Lake Compounce was #3 ... Kiddieland in Chicago was #2.
Also Mgic Springs seems is a nice little amusment park in Arkansas, the Arkansas twister is AMAZING, combine that with a nice water park and a decsent variety of other coasters and flats and you have a very nice place to be for a family
Great Lakes Brewery Patron...
I wouldn't consider Lakemont on its "last legs". I'm not sure how that place makes it with the $7.95 admission but there seem to be some special cicumstances around it's operation.
Years ago, I'd asked Tim O'Brien (then at Amusement Business) and he said he always went with attendance figures:
Under 1 million = small park
1 million+ = large park
...or is it more family-owned/independent vs. corporate ownership?
It really DOES make more sense to define it using attendance....but with an eye towards LOCATION moreso than ownership...
Or so goes *my* theory... :)
As for Idlewild, this is indeed a very nice park well suited to families. It appears to combine many of the qualities of Knoebels and Holiday World. I believe that this park could use a midsized wooden coaster and a darkride of some kind. Maybe they should look into relocating Zingo if Bells goes under.
I would also like to see Idlewild add a Christmas theme area some day. They already do a Christmas in July event each year and currently the closest Santa Claus park to it is about 500 miles away. What a park that would be! Misterrogers, Fairy tale characters, and Santa all in one park.
Raven Maven said:
So how are we defining "small"?
Ha! I ask this very question at the end of this week's podcast. (to be posted later today)
Personally, I don't think you're at a 'small' park, Paula.
It seems most enthusiasts make the distinction based on the whole corporate/independent thing.
I think size, attractions, pricing, attendance all add up to give an answer.
HW is a decently sized park with some major attractions and listed admission pricing that is on par with much bigger corporate parks..and now does an attendance of >1,000,000.
Nothing there says small park to me...except the attitudes of the people in charge. (and I mean that in a good way :) )
....and still going!
Imagine the Crystal Beach Cyclone with a Gerstlauer train
If that is the case, they can get by with smaller crowds-- no shareholders to keep happy, no execs with their benefit packages. (Just taxpayer money, yay). And I think having the Dips there gives them some impetus to keep the place going, at least a little.
Leap the Dips generates $0 dollars for the park, except publicity. LP inspects the ride every morning, and makes repairs, plus they staff the ride.
LTD Co. keeps the revenue from the ride, plus the gift shop, which also operates rent free. LTD could not function as a sole entity. LP does not generate the needed foot traffic.
And for the record, Morey's Piers is considered by IAAPA standards, a Class A facilty, with 3.4 million in attendance.
IAAPA goes the following:
2,000,000 and up
A lot of parks think they are 'big' parks, and a lot of 'big' parks try to stay small.
Fortunately, most parks operate in the 'medium', and it works.
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