The Beach waterpark closes, cites competition, economy

Posted Saturday, March 10, 2012 9:36 AM | Contributed by LostKause

After more than 27 years in business, The Beach Waterpark announced plans to close for the 2012 season Friday. The park said the closure begins immediately and is the result of a challenging competitive and economic climate and changing patron entertainment habits.

Read more from The Enquirer and WLWT/Cincinnati.

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Wednesday, March 14, 2012 9:12 AM

I guess we've just been lucky, but we've had pretty good results with the go early/go late approach, with the caveat that this is mostly during periods when the parks have longer operating hours to begin with. Often, late is better than early, but even in the morning, sometimes you have a couple good hours if you order the slides right---and that means you have to plan a little bit in advance. We've used this approach to good effect at Dolly's SC, WC USA, the two Disney's, CP-SC, Noah's, Mt. O, etc., all in peak season. Two hours working your way through the slides, followed by an early lunch and the wave pools/lazy rivers is a pretty good half-day.

Of course, sometimes you have less time, and those are good days to resort to Plan B. I remember one visit to Typhoon where even the lazy river was uncomfortably crowded by about 10:30 or 10:45, on a 9AM open. We retreated to our go-to "get me away from these PEOPLE" spot for lunch, Olivia's at Old Key West, and people were STILL streaming into the park (to go where, I don't know). Spent the afternoon back at the resort (Wyndahm Bonnet Creek) and came back after a rainstorm cleared the park out.

It's also worth pointing out that we tend not to "commando" on vacation---we almost always take the middle of the day off, and we revisit places a couple times to explore nooks and crannies as well as spread out the line-generating slides/rides. If you want to hit an entire park in just one day, that would probably be a lot less fun.

Last edited by Brian Noble, Wednesday, March 14, 2012 9:14 AM
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Wednesday, March 14, 2012 10:03 PM

CoasterDemon said:
^Found out who that guy is last night. I'm all for catching the criminal, but that guy is just a dick.

To Catch a Predator with Chris Hansen has been on TV since 2004, Billy, and has been parodied a lot since it began. Where have you been, buddy?

The show has had it's share of controversy, including a lawsuit claiming that the show caused the suicide of a District Attorney who was being served a search warrant at his home when he failed to show up for a meeting with an "underage" boy working for the show.

It has since been canceled, to the dismay of many CoasterBuzzers, before catching and arresting Aamilj meeting with and hooking up with hootchies that he met at his local waterpark.

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Wednesday, March 14, 2012 11:19 PM

Going back a couple of pages...

Not making the $WATERPARK at Kings Island a second age seems like a frightful missed opportunity from a purely business perspective until you look at the horrible mess that describes ride operations at Kings Island. For a top-3 seasonal amusement park, they really have a very limited ride collection, a collection that under the Paramount Capital Expansion Plan was getting smaller every year. For a variety of reasons, operations were typically horribly inefficient (dispatch intervals in excess of six minutes on The Beast were not uncommon, that is with three trains running) and even today, Diamondback is the highest capacity coaster in the park at 1,200 PPH...slower than about half the coasters at Cedar Point.

So you have 3,500,000 customers coming through your gates, you have an inadequate collection of rides that...often for reasons that cannot be fixed...have horrible capacity. What is the quickest way to alleviate this problem (multiple hour waits were not uncommon!)? Open a water park and drain a large number of people out of the main park for an hour or two.

Oh, and at Waterworks, an hour or two is all it was really good for. All the attractions were designed like dry rides, where you wait in line, ride, then move along to something else. The first expansion, with the wave pool, really should have been in Phase I, and it really wasn't until the Boomerang Bay relaunch that Kings Island really 'got' the whole concept of "waterpark as hangout space."

Anyway, keeping the waterpark as part of the standard admission package has succeeded in helping to alleviate the unmanageable crowds in the main park in the peak season. It has worked, and for the moment at least, the park still really doesn't have the capacity needed to separate them.

--Dave Althoff, Jr.

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Thursday, March 15, 2012 12:06 AM

That's a straw man, Dave. Formerly crappy operations have nothing to do with making a second gate today.

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Thursday, March 15, 2012 1:35 AM

^^^I have probably been watching too much Science Channel and cold case file type stuff. I can tell you I sure have not been at "The Beach," though.

I'll have to look around for some parodies of that jerk.

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Thursday, March 15, 2012 3:31 AM

This is mildly amusing news about Chris Hansen.

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Thursday, March 15, 2012 10:10 AM

I think his wife is prettier. I hope I'm that pretty when I'm 53.

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Thursday, March 15, 2012 10:50 AM

They look very similar. If you're going to cheat, at least go for some variety.

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Thursday, March 15, 2012 10:51 AM

Actually, Jeff, I was mostly trying to recap how they got to where they are today. NOW the problem is more one of how you make a second gate out of something that was previously included. The infrastructure is there to allow for that; has been since Waterworks opened, and I think long-term that's probably going to happen. I'm kind of surprised that wasn't the point of the Soak City expansion and rebranding: to turn it into a standalone second-gate attraction. But I am not sure that the park has built up to the point of being able to jettison the attached waterpark yet. Nice days in the spring and fall still make for some miserable crowds. There is an opposite issue, too, in that there are some amenities missing from the waterpark that exist in the main park, including a variety of food and merchandise options. If waterpark patrons are denied admittance to the main park, are they giving anything up?

I suspect that they will be watching the attendance patterns at Soak City very carefully this season, with a particular eye towards time of stay and in-park spending. Soak City is looking more and more like a separate park; I just don't think they're ready to pull that trigger yet.

--Dave Althoff, Jr.

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Thursday, March 15, 2012 12:12 PM

I thought one of the main drivers for making Cedar Point's Soak City a separate gate was the fact that they have the hotels/resorts on-site. With the water park being a separate gate that would entice people to stay for two days (one for rides, one for slides) while spending a night in the Cedar Fair hotels.

With King's Island not having hotels/resorts I figured that makes it less attractive to Cedar Fair to make it a separate gate.

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Thursday, March 15, 2012 6:29 PM

Isn't Great Bear and Kings Island hotel at least partially owned by kings Island? They have hotels.

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Thursday, March 15, 2012 8:45 PM

I agree with Dave, I think it's a no brainer that Soak City will be separate admission in the future. I personally love water parks but I would not pay seperate admission for Soak City. I'd rather spend two days at Kings Island than spend a day at Kings Island and Soak City and pay separately. I have a plantinum pass so it doesn't matter to me though but I think it'll deffently be seperate admission soon. Especially with The Beach closing.

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Thursday, March 15, 2012 11:43 PM

Via KI on facebook...

Kings Island, in conjunction with the Beach Waterpark, is making a special offer
to 2012 Beach passholders. All 2012 Beach passholders will be able to use their
pass for one free visit to Kings Island and the all-new Soak City Waterpark
during public operating days April 28 through May 28. In addition, Beach
passholders can upgrade to a Kings Island Gold pass for just $49.99 when the
park's Season Pass Processing Center opens April 13 through May 28.

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Friday, March 16, 2012 12:01 AM

LostKause said:
Isn't Great Bear and Kings Island hotel at least partially owned by kings Island?

No.

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Friday, March 16, 2012 12:05 AM

I mean Great Wolf? Didn't they at least have some kind of partnership with KI when they built it?

And all Wikipedia says about who owns Kings Island Inn (not hotel, excuse me please) is, "As part of the Kings Island resort, in 1972 Taft Broadcasting Company also built a world class golf course, hotel, and campground for guests to enjoy." So the golf course, hotel, and campground were somehow not sold along with the park over the years when the park changed hands?

I thought that Kings Island sold Great Wolf Lodge the land from their campground to build on.

I'm no expert. that's why I am asking.

Last edited by LostKause, Friday, March 16, 2012 12:22 AM
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Friday, March 16, 2012 10:15 AM

Paramount did have a stake in the Great Wolf in Mason, and my understanding is that investment came with the park when Cedar Fair bought it. No idea if they hung on to it.

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Friday, March 16, 2012 2:34 PM

Seems that I remember that Cedar Fair did not keep the investment in Great Wolf (Mason) at the time of the Paramount purchase, but I have no proof.

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Friday, March 16, 2012 7:37 PM

I had no idea there was ever a relationship to GW. But, I've asked and was told they don't own the KI hotel. Not sure who does.

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Wednesday, March 21, 2012 1:03 PM

Latest update: No refunds to season passholders.

source: http://www.wlwt.com/entertainment/30730163/detail.html

Beach season pass holders, will instead get some kind of discount package, which offers such perks as a day and discounted gold pass to Kings Island, some free tickets to Coney Island, discounts at Dave and Busters, Morgan Canoe Rental Ozone Zipline adventures, and others.

For some reason, I don't think a discount and trial offer package, valued at over $200, will quite ease the pain of the $90 lost on the Beach. Those other offers really only have value if you have any interest at all in them, and are not already pass holders for those attractions.

In carnival parlance, I think this qualifies as "Burning the Lot" Their financials must be even worse off than they were letting on, and how soon until the "breach of contract" lawsuits start to be filed. Then again if the owners are nearly bankrupt, there may not be enough assets to sell. I recall from the Wyandot Lake auction that old waterpark fixtures have almost no resale value, though the land itself may be worth something.

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Wednesday, March 21, 2012 1:55 PM

I don't know that suing them would help. It's like trying to squeeze water out of rock at this point.

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