Worst year ever for enthusiast community?

Friday, November 2, 2007 4:36 PM

ApolloAndy said:
^^Is that why Six Flags went into debt when they built multi-million dollar thrill rides every year?

And is that why every major player is gearing towards families now?

Buying too many parks so soon is the real reason. Adding extra expensive rides was a plus. How much were ALL those parks they bought in those years that they didn't make money from?

Saturday, November 3, 2007 9:51 PM

Kevin Max said:
ripping them out --many people's favorite rides, I might add--for no clear, documented reason is another.

I really don't think you need a clear, documented reason in most instances. These are not rides (and I say rides, because we've been losing all kinds of attractions) that are without reputations in 90% of the cases.

For example, see how many enthusiasts you can fine who've ridden even one of the Deja Vu's. I'd bet you'd come up with a fairly low number. How about Chiller in the last couple of years with lapbars, and can claim both sides?

Kevin, I agree that it would be great in the other 10% of the time to know exactly why a ride was ripped out. For example, we lost The Tilt (Tilt-a-Whirl) at SFA this year, which was replaced by a basketball game. This is a ride that was a true workhorse with very little downtime.

Was it a fairly old version for whom parts were hard to come by? Was there potential metal fatigue? I'm sure both of these reasons may have been the reason to take it out, but when the product is still available for sale, why not replace it?

Ultimately though, the main intention is to remove rides that are costing you a fortune to maintain. At some point, you have to look at areas where you can make cutbacks to offset debt.

For example, Six Flags Great Adventure had two Arrow log flumes on either side of the park. Riptide, the one closest to Nitro, bit the dust last year (but it's station lived on as a Wiggles stage). The flume rarely ran, maybe due to staffing issues, but I'm sure there were mechanical issues as well.

Monday, November 5, 2007 9:35 AM
For some reason people never rode that flume like they did the flume in the frontier section of the park. Maybe it had something to do with being tucked away in a corner, off the beaten path.
Monday, November 5, 2007 1:37 PM
It was also hard to find the entrance to it. I haven't been to Great Adventure in years but I used to go quite a bit. That section of the park was always rearranged. Especially with the addition, and eventual subtraction, of the Adventure Rivers thing. The flume was about the only thing that stayed constant but good luck trying to find the path to it!
Wednesday, November 7, 2007 7:48 AM
Going back to almost the begining of the post, somebody said 2003 was the worst year ever. I did try to do some searching on my own. I did see all the terrible accidents, but one caught my eye, being at my home park.

In Hershey, they say Tidal Force hit the Guard rail and hurt some people (rideaccidents.com) but there are no details. Can anybody elaborate on what happened for me?


Wednesday, November 7, 2007 9:10 AM
^ I don't even remember that incident!

^^ Another thing hurting that flume was the fact the name was changed on what seemed to be a yearly basis. No one knew what the thing was called by the early 90's, especially since it was part of Adventure Rivers, and then it wasn't.

Wednesday, November 7, 2007 9:19 AM
Gary B,

In May of 2003, Stark Raven Mad was being held at Holiday World. The second day of the event one of our own (a coaster enthusiast) made the mistake of riding the Raven without a seatbelt and was standing up. She was ejected from the coaster on one of the drops and died.

The coaster enthusiast community lost someone who should have known better. Consequentially there was a backlash towards this group, it took two and a half years for Holiday World to even hold an event again. Since then, events have not been the same because it was shown that the enthusiast community was not immune from riding irresponsibly to the point that it cost someone's life.

I remember that time and how parks weren't holding events like they had in years past. I felt guilty to be associated with the coaster enthusiast community because of what had happened and I know I wasn't alone. It is now just getting back to the point where park sponsored events are becoming normal, with safety being enforced in a more strict manner. Not that I can blame them one bit.

~Rob Willi


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