I love B&M rollercoasters. But what will become of them once every park has got one or more of their rides. It seems that the USA is packed with B&M rides. I have heard that because of this, they are focusing on the European parks and their new flying coaster protoype. But the question remains, are the B&M Steel Freeform's (Floorless, Sit-Down & Stand-up) beginning to die slowly out?
Maybe. I think it just will depend on what the park wants. They will die if all the parks start only wanting out-and-backs or twisters, but if the park wants a B&M freeform, sure, they will be built. They might have a slowdown, but they will always be around, and new ones every year. It's not B&M's choise on what they build, but the park's. So this all relys upon the park, not the company. (But, the company could turn down the job, but why would they?) ------------- Next up: Stupid human tricks! Followed by: Stupid pet tricks! Why can that never happen?
Coaster building in the US is down this year, and based on the announcements from Six Flags and Busch plus the slowing economy will probably be down again next year. B&M, Intamin, and CCI are all down in US sales this year. Only Vekoma is up in sales and then only by one coaster.
By the way, while there are lots of B&M's, Vekoma has out sold B&M in the US by 43 to 17 over the past four years.
What's the matter with B&M's being in every park? They're such well designed, good quality rides that they're really popular with the GP and enthusiasts alike. They also tend to be unique so there are plenty of different variations throughout the country except for the obvious Batman clones.
------------- "If we built a ride that everyone wanted to ride, it would be called an elevator, and that's not an amusement ride." -Stan Checketts, S&S Power
But think about this though, Parks wont want a Floorless, Sit-Down and Stand-up all at the same premises. B&M's versions of those rides are coming close to the end of their hayday in the US, because most popular parks have one, and smaller parks cant afford them. B&M have three choices; build in the sparse European market for the parks swimming with cash there; lower the price (and thus the qulaity of their rides so Six Flags might consider getting one for Elitch Gardens or keep accepting offers from theme parks in the US, untill the market is so full of them that they become, well, samey. B&M is a wonderful company, who pay great attantion to their designs, but unlike Intamin, who are diverse in their range of products spanning a large price braket, B&M don't have the ability to provide for all markets and parks. Oh, Jeff said "Everything's about money" Most things are, but some companies really are dedicated to their rides and not the money. Hard to believe, but making people happy is payment enough for some.
B&M will produce the coasters the park asks for. Dorney asked for Inverted, Silver Dollar asked for Sit down. Janfunsun asked for Floorless. SFGAd asked for Speed. SFA asked for stand-up and dumbed it.
While these may become samey in the future the company will not always focus on these. Stand up was the starting focus then Inverted then Floorless. They will keep working on new technology (posibly with parks eg. Alton Towers helped to create both Vertical and Flying prototypes). This keeps the market fresh for these new products.
You can only imagine what comes in the future, perhaps a return to the Suspended coaster ideas or their own 4D or Tilters.
As for Europe there are few B&M's here and the market s not small or obscure as there arre lots of parks but few big ones (although more do emerge.) A list of B&M's in Europe is below:-
1) Dragon Kahn - Port Aventura (Sit) 2) Nemesis - Alton Towers (Inverted) 3) Katun - Mirabelina (spelling? - Inverted) 4) Batman - WBMW Madrid (inverted 2002) 5) Superman - WBMW Madrid (floorless 2002) 6) ???? - Europa Park (hyper not confermed) 7) Oblivion - Alton Towers (vertical) 8) Air - Alton Towers (flying)
That is only 8 coasters in 4 different countries so a large market yet. Plus there has never been a B&M stand up outside the USA.
Yes, you guys have too many Beemers. My country (Australia) does not have one at all. I wonder why. Is it because B&M won't do business or are too busy with other projects? It should be possible as our parks have done business with Intamin, Vekoma & Arrow. Maybe another reason is B&M are too expensive, aren't they, over the other companies I mentioned?
I would love a Beemer, even if it's a small, cheap one or is that an oxymoron? :) What's the cheapest one out there? B:TR? Talon? Wildfire? Top Gun? Georgia Scorcher?
So far no one I've talked is dissapointed that the standup was changed to a Vekoma Flying Dutchman at SFA. Are there too many B&M's? No, but I feel that some of there designs have become too cookie cutter. The two floorless coasters (Medusa East & BKF) I've ridden in particular have done nothing for me. Sure they're smooth but they're also boring.
*** This post was edited by Intamin Fan on 5/29/2001. ***
See, Vekoma doesn't do it right (or the parks don't, anyway). There are 8 bazillion Vekoma rides in existance. Unfortunately 80% of them are identical. (half of that boomerangs/invertigos, the rest SLCs). However, B&M can flood parks all they want. They do not clone rides all that often, because they are of higher quality, and I think that if parks are going to dish out the $$ for a B&M, they usually want an original design. As long as that trend continues, and parks don't start ordering clones like mad, I'll take 4 B&Ms in every park in the country, thank you!