What's More Expensive To Build & Maintain??

Friday, May 17, 2002 8:06 AM

This has been bugging me for the past week or so...

What is more expensive to build and maintain throughout the long run (ie: 10 + years)... Wooden coasters, or Steel coasters?

Now, I'm not talking about a wooden coaster with steel supports (ie: Villan @ Worlds of Adventure), I'm talking about a wood track with wood supports vs. a normal steel coaster with steel supports.

Which would be more expensive to build AND maintain?
I heard that the average cost of a wooden is around $4-6 million (some as low as 1 million), while the average steel is $8-10 million (nearly double). However, don't the long-run factors bring up the price eventually?
-- Maintaince crews who daily check the entire track.
-- Yearly replacing of rotted or bad wood
-- Complete refirbershing of the track
(if it becomes too rough).

Can anyone help?

Friday, May 17, 2002 8:09 AM
You may be about right but it is initially easier to put in a woody and then pop in a few hundred grand every year for maintainance of it that it is for a small park to shell out twice as much money originally for a steel coaster. It is hard to recoup the cost of a steel coaster in one year, it is pretty easy to do so with a woody and then also easy to keep enough mone around to maintain it every year.

The Beast and Night, They go together like Peanut Butter and Jelly

Friday, May 17, 2002 8:18 AM

also, woodies are paying for themselves in that they bring people in WHILE they are incurring that maintenance expense....also (being an economist), I have to add that $100K or so down the road a few years is considerably less expensive than the same money now....

or perhaps I'm just trying to steer folks "on the margin" to woodies....don't put it past me...:)

Friday, May 17, 2002 9:20 AM

You need to look at the costs in a manner such as net present value that takes into account the time value of money.

However, talking to park management, what I hear most often is not what the coaster costs so much as the cost/gate receipts ratio. That's what really counts to a park.

Friday, May 17, 2002 10:23 AM
Another important factor is whether or not your coaster is good enough to draw repeat customers! You can shell out the big bucks, but if it isn't an awesome ride, down the road, people won't come back for more.

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