My friend and I have had lifelong dreams of starting an amusement park chain (not that were really old but whatever) that will eventually become the biggest chain in the world. We aren't planning on making it anytime soon but we are saving our money (sort of ;-) ) and we were wondering if anyone knew what you have to do to start one (other then get funding and loans and stuff).
if anyone is a big help and the park is a success, you can say free passes...
Better get about 100 partners with at least $20 million doing nothing, and they don't need that money back anytime soon, and then take that cash and float bonds, and again, be prepared to not see any return before 20 years.
US park history dictates that every chain was started out of love, or a hobby, or by one park purchasing another as a defensive measure to protect their markets.
The only chain operating in the US that has a sharholder approved plan for financing acqisitions is Cedar Fair. Using your line of revolving credit to pruchase has only caused hardships with high interest rates, which leads to shareholders revolting.
Example, Six Flags and Disney, with the Euro Disney debacle. Paramount is unable to build on ther own, and Universal scrapped all their expansion plans. Its a terrible thing to stop growing. *** Edited 6/11/2005 6:39:06 PM UTC by Agent Johnson***
Step 1: Call Bill Gates and the rest of the richest people in the world.
Step 2: Pitch your idea.
Step 3: Pray. ;)
Honestly though, Work at an amusement park, go to college, get a big business degree, make lots of money, and when your around 50, take all of your retirement fund and put it towards an amusement park others can enjoy.
Figure $1.65 million for the park, plus .5 million for fixing it up and another $1 million for operating capital. supplies, and working funds. Still, and operating amusement park for around a $3 million investment isn't half bad. You might even be able to do it for 2.5.
And then you have to solve the problems that led the park to be sold on eBay for 1.6 million. If it were successful in the least, neither one of those things would be happening. ;)
I'm guessing that the park just has a bad location or needs tons of capital expenditures to make it a draw. So as Jim Fisher indicated, I bet it will take a lot bigger investment than the price of the park to get it doing anything but losing money.
Really, its simply too late. The best you could do is to buy a fairly sucsessful park and go from there. Building one from scratch really isn't an option. Coastermanmatt made a good point, its all about location, and on that note, most of the good locations are already taken. How is your tiny park supposed to compete with the huge parks of today? You could run a small park and not really make any money, but to make a huge chain, your going to have to buy big, sucsessful parks and go from there. Lifes all about money, so unless your parents or you are REALLY rich, and by rich, im talking more than $50 million, then your not starting ****. Thats just life, deal with it.
Actually, start by opening a small FEC. Over time add rides. Eventually Add a Coaster. Then change your name to Premier Parks, go in huge amounts of debt buying up all kinds of smaller parks and not take care of them. Then buy Six Flags Inc. and re-brand all of your small parks Six Flags Whatever, sell off your under performing parks, add a lot of stuff to just certain parks, and never paint anything in your L.A. market, your Kentucky Market, or add anything to your Darien Lake market.
When I was a little tyke, people would ask me, like they do other children, "Bubbis, What do you want to be when you grow up?"
I would reply, with great confidence, "When I grow up I want to own an amusement park".
On paper I designed all kinds of parks as a child. It was when I was about 16 that I realized that I sucked at math, and that I didn't do to well in school. Because of this, my answer changed, and people thought that I "grew out" of my desire to own a park, but still to this day I think that it would be a great thing to do.
It was about that same age that I got into volunteering as an actor and attraction designer for a local theater group that specialized in running seasonal Haunted Houses.
To me, a Haunt was very similar to an amusement park, only a lot smaller. It fulfilled a lot of the same kinds of passions I had with parks. Years later, it got to the point that I was practically in charge of the whole opperation. I never made any money from it, but it was still a whole lot like I had my own amusement park.
It all ended some 7 years ago, when I quit singing for my band and went to fullfil another dream I had-Working at CP. There was no way that I could help with the design and opperation of a Haunt when I was gone from my hometown for 6 months per year, and because I wasn't able to help, future projects faded.
I have been trying to get a Haunt started again, now that I have burned out on being a ride op. It's been a s l o w , uphill climb to even get anyone to listen to my ideas for helping their charity to make 50-100 Thousand Dollars per year, but I am not giving up.
The point of this long post is to offer you some advice. Keep your dreams alive, even when other people say they will never come true. You may have to settle with less when it's all said and done, but be thankful for it.