The Intamin factor

Tuesday, December 21, 2010 3:15 PM

I was just thinking about this. If i were to build a new roller coaster/attraction which company would i want to build it. With the recent success of Intamin roller coasters being at the top of many people's favorites would you not consider them to be the one to go with when making an attraction.

However, as we have seen with the risk and reward factor that comes with intamin's rides over the years. There have been a few that have not been ready on time, a few that needed to be modified and lastly there have been many that have experienced alot of downtime.

A company such as B&M who seems to have most of their products well liked and have a more outstanding track record of reliability seems like a more safe choice to ask to design a ride.

My question is why do companies continue to go to intamin, when they seem to cost the most in the long run to get the products running as opposed to other companies who have products that seem to be more reliable?

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Tuesday, December 21, 2010 3:21 PM

I want to see more Premier myself. If I were to go with Intamin, a wooden is what I'd go with :).

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Tuesday, December 21, 2010 3:33 PM

Gravity Group, No Question!

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Tuesday, December 21, 2010 3:58 PM

My question is why do companies continue to go to intamin, when they seem to cost the most in the long run to get the products running as opposed to other companies who have products that seem to be more reliable?

To actually answer the question, I dunno. Not sure if Intamin offers more bang for the buck, even with the risks or what. I would think that with the companies out there now, you could get similiar rides to what they have for the same costs, and maybe without the risks, but I dunno.

Premier, B&M, and any other steel coaster company have all stayed 300' or under, and not all of them launch coasters. Of the ones that do, none of them have particularly tall or fast launches outside of Intamin, so maybe the other companies simply haven't done it becasue they charge more than Intamin. Sure, you could say over time that Intamins cost more when they don't work right, but how much more or less than going with another company?

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Tuesday, December 21, 2010 6:49 PM

I-232 cost 23 million while I-305 cost 25 million. That really isn't that much more for a ride that was the blockbuster of last summer and will probably be the blockbuster of this upcoming summer as well. I have no idea how much Kings Dominion has been paying in addition to that 25 million, but I can't imagine it's enough to make up for the ride of the year 2010 and probably 2011.

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Tuesday, December 21, 2010 7:24 PM

I would be very interested in how much it cost to fix I-305 as well. While were talking Intamin fixes, what about how much it cost to fix Maverick. Did the launch coasters, such as Kinda Ka and Dragster, cost more than anticipated with ongoing maintenance? What about Shoot the Rapids? how much did it cost Cedar Point to fix, and how much money did they lose because it was not open on time?

Than after those questions were answered (it probably can't, really), it would be interesting to ask if it was worth it, in terms of return on investment.

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Wednesday, December 22, 2010 7:28 AM

I would assume that for I305, StR and Maverick, Intamin footed most or all of the bill for their repair. In fact, I wouldn't be surprised if StR not opening on time - provided it was a design problem, rather than a construction one - cost Intamin money as well.

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Wednesday, December 22, 2010 9:32 AM

Yeah, I have no hard evidence, but I figured as much in the I305 thread as well. And maybe thats why companies go with Intamin. Pay $23 million for a standard B&M hyper, or pay $2mill more for a 300' coaster and hope that it doesn't have any issues, and if it does, make sure the company that built the thing pays for the repairs. In the end, you're likely to get a product that eventually works and still draws people to the park.

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Wednesday, December 22, 2010 9:43 AM

True enough - in a way. But think of all the marketing that goes into a brnad new attraction. Then when your new giant StC (Pilgrim's Plunge) doesn't create the wave indicated, or your flume ride has boats sinking (StR), or your new launched invert can't run full trains (V:tBC), or your new Impulse coaster requires additional supports (multiple installations), or your restraints don't sufficiently restrain riders (two RoS rides)....that all adds up in terms of "hidden costs".

The discussion comes up frequently at USF these days about the manufacturer of HRRR (granted, not Intamin product, but "cheaper and shorter lead-time" than the more expensive B&Ms that USF/IoA had gotten for their *big rides*)...do you think Universal wishes they'd been willing to wait a little longer and pay a little more to go with B&M? I know I do...

Last edited by rollergator, Wednesday, December 22, 2010 9:44 AM
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Wednesday, December 22, 2010 9:54 AM

But again, we don't know what the hidden costs are, vs. the cost for another company to do it.

If CF went to B&M and asked them to build a 305' hyper coaster, and B&M said "Sure, that'll be $40 million", but Intamin could install one for $25 million, and the hidden costs were maybe an extra $10 million, they've paid $35 million, $5 million less than B&M were offering to do it for.

And in those examples, Plunge still worked, it just didn't have a huge splash, and I doubt they had any less riders because of that, the Impulse coasters ran, and the work was done on the off season, again not impacting capacity or riders, and Volcano may have had longer lines, but it still ran.

Sure, STR has been a disaster, and 2 people were ejected on the RoS rides, and that's pretty terrible. But going forward, if Intamin offers a cheaper product that is still cheaper to build and re-build than B&M's cost to install period, thats likely who they'll go with.

And the thing is, there are lots of steel coaster makers out there, but how many offer large scale coasters? Surprisingly not that many, and those that do, other than Intamin, don't seem to offer much in terms of variety.

I think about RCCA and SoB. They've only built one coaster since they built SoB in 2000. But El Toro, T-Express, and a couple of big GG coasters have been built since then, so it isn't like that was the last 'big' wooden coaster built. But the other coasters were likely cheaper to install and maintain as opposed to SoB. And no one seems to have went back to RCCA for a new ride since.

Last edited by Tekwardo, Wednesday, December 22, 2010 9:58 AM
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Thursday, December 23, 2010 1:21 PM

So there is definitely the money factor in terms of what type of ride you can get for your dollar and the type of quality. Then there is the topic of which company builds a better ride, who runs smoother, which coaster is pain free, who carries a better line-up of trains and comfortability. This has been a hot topic before......Oops!

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Thursday, December 23, 2010 4:23 PM

I've heard the cost to modify V2 at Six Flags Discovery Kingdom was $3 million dollars. I know that one wasn't Intamin's fault but just to give a point of reference for modification cost. It's not cheap.

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Thursday, December 23, 2010 4:43 PM

Especially in that case. I mean, they had to reengineer and almost rebuilt that thing. That was a stupid mistake on SF's part.

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Friday, December 24, 2010 12:51 AM

...but it made for a vastly superior ride, so I'm okay with it.

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Friday, December 24, 2010 10:03 AM

Granted, I've ridden V2.1 about 250 times and V2 about 15 (and WT once), but I thought the holding brake was the best part of any of the rides and the removal of it on v2.1 makes the ride a little too repetitive. (Um, or maybe it's the fact that I've ridden it 250 times).

Last edited by ApolloAndy, Friday, December 24, 2010 10:16 AM
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Friday, December 24, 2010 2:02 PM

I can't even fathom riding any one ride even 100 times, let alone 250. Egad.

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Friday, December 24, 2010 3:13 PM

Vater said:
I can't even fathom riding any one ride even 100 times, let alone 250. Egad.

I used to kinda feel that way too. Then they had to go and build those stupid things in Jackson...

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Friday, December 24, 2010 6:16 PM

I spent a summer about 5 miles from the park doing an internship in San Francisco. What can I say? I was bored a lot.

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Wednesday, December 29, 2010 8:35 PM

It makes you wonder if the park management actually looks at polls since Intamin is right at the top of almost all of them.
Personally as a coaster enthusiast I prefer an Intamin over most B&M coasters. They are more forceful and have real airtime.

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Wednesday, December 29, 2010 9:28 PM

For me personally, it'd be Intamin every time (but that would also mean I could afford a TGG woodie on the other side of my back yard).

As a business decision for a park/chain I was responsible for...I'd go B&M...

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