VisionLand turn-around still on track

Posted Monday, March 29, 2004 8:08 AM | Contributed by Jeff

After tanking under the ownership of a consortium of local governments, VisionLand is thriving since being purchased for $5.25 million by Southland Development, LLC. The park has since drawn attendance of a half-million, and is working with developers to attract hotel space.

Read more from The Birmingham Business Journal.

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Monday, March 29, 2004 8:36 AM
That's good to hear, hopefully things continue to go well for them and perhaps someday I'll get to take a few spins on Rampage!
Monday, March 29, 2004 8:42 AM
I know that Cedar Fair wanted no part in the management track they tried early on, but I wonder why they passed on the opportunity to outright buy the park?
Monday, March 29, 2004 9:00 AM
I think if I remember correctly, Visionland was being sold as an amusement park with an outlet mall and they would not split them. Cedar Fair didn't want the mall so they backed out on the deal. I heard recently that since no one wanted the mall with the park, they decided to split the two and sell them seperately. Cedar Fair got word of this and was offered the park as a stand alone item, but it was to little to late as Cedar Fair had moved on to bigger and better things and didn't have any further interest in the park. Southland bought the park as a stand alone item and some one else bought the mall as a stand alone item. Last year, the mall dropped all tie in's with the park and the only thing they have in common now is being next door neighbors.
Monday, March 29, 2004 9:24 AM
Wow, if only. Think the park will be sold to someone like CF or SFI in the future?

Just how often does a company buy an amusement park and an outlet mall anyway? Sounds crazy for them to expect to sell it that way at first.

*** This post was edited by Raptor Pilot 3/29/2004 9:25:42 AM ***

Monday, March 29, 2004 10:06 AM
Six Flags has expressed that they have no interest in buying Visionland. Besides, they are to close I would think. How many other Six Flags parks are with 2 hours of each other? I wish Cedar Fair would've bought them when given the chance (again). They could have done wonderful things for the park as well as upping the competition level in the Southeast. It's sad that the Southeast is the ONLY region without a hyper coaster. lol.
Monday, March 29, 2004 10:44 AM
I don't recall CF ever having the option to outright buy the park... only manage it with an option to buy at the end of the contract.
Monday, March 29, 2004 11:03 AM
I'm sure that is what it was. I just knew there was an option for them to come in and clean up. Whether through buying or managing. Either way would have made a tremedous difference in the way it WAS run...
Monday, March 29, 2004 12:47 PM

Think the park will be sold to someone like CF or SFI in the future?

I would think that would be a lot less possible as the park continues its turnaround. It won't be nearly the value that it was when it was in trouble.

Monday, March 29, 2004 1:54 PM
Last year they made some great additions and changed a lot of things. They added a wave pool and beach area that was nice for the kids and those who love the water park. They also added a pretty tall speed slide that most people were afraid of. They all stand at the bottom and watch the few brave people that will go on it. Its seemed to entertain them at least.I hear again this year that they're going to add more things in the water park and they even found a use for those silly dinosaurs that Larry Langford bought. They're going to put them around the log flume and make a themed ride.

So far it looks like they're leaving the amusement park side of Visionland untouched. No new coasters, no new flat rides. They're spending more money on the shops and the water park which is probably a smart business move since people around the area are more into water parks than coasters but it really irritates me that Visionland has been in existence for so long and still only has one coaster. Its an awesome coaster but they need to add a few more awesome coasters to get me excited. It looks like the company that owns it is doing much better. Hopefully if this season is as successful as last season they'll pay some much needed attention to the amusement park side.
*** This post was edited by Kryten6000 3/29/2004 1:55:17 PM ***

Monday, March 29, 2004 6:35 PM
I think it's great that they are adding new things to the water park, but I think a good idea would be to put in a used Schwarthzcoph(pardon the spelling) with a new paint job. This is my hometown's park and I wouldn't even mind an SLC right now if they took care of it because it would appeal to the general public a lot, but one thing I wouldn't really want going in there would be a Boomerang because if it got stuck it would be even worse because of the accident with the employees and the raft ride. Also, if they are going to use the dinosaurs for the flume ride are they going to expand the ride because that flume ride was TINY.

Monday, March 29, 2004 7:19 PM
Go Visionland! I hope it continues to thrive in the very tough Birmingham market. I thoroughly enjoyed my trip here back in the fall. Yes, it could use more flats, a large steel coaster, and more entertainment for the Moms and Pops out there. Rampage is incredible.
Monday, March 29, 2004 9:33 PM
The word from many people is that CF did offer to outright buy the park in 99 or '00 but the offer was refused.
Monday, March 29, 2004 10:49 PM
The image problem they seem to suffer around here is that many people have just always gone to SFoG. At this point, SFoG has 10 coasters, and a good deal of theming. A lot of people seem to forget all the years when there was just the mine train, Mindbender and GASM.

Visionland needs to first establish itself as a profitable business before another dime is added to expansion of the amusement park side.

Tuesday, March 30, 2004 12:49 AM
Do they have room for Shockwave or Orient Express? :)

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