Endangered Park List?

Endangered Park List?

Post by deadandrestl.. » Thu, 29 Jun 2006 13:17:12


Yeah, about a year ago, I had replied in a thread about park closures
that I deemed to be at the brink or getting close to it. Well, here we
are in June 2006, and its already starting to look obvious.

In case you missed it then, the top 10 were:

1) Joyland (Kansas)
2) Bushkill
3) Conneaut
4) Margate Dreamland
5) Pavilion
6) Clementon
7) Williams Grove
8) Visionland
9) PNE Park
10) Your local overexpanding FEC

Honorable Mentions:

-Untold numbers of Japanese Parks
-Lakeside
-Various Six Flags
-Arnold's Park
-Wildwood

Parks that are going absolutely nowhere:

-Paramount Parks
-Disney's Parks
-Kennywood's Parks
-Cedar Fair's Parks
-Coney Island
-Funtown USA

So how'd I do? Well, from the top:

1) Joyland - Still in danger, even with new management, as Roller
Coaster is deemed unsafe to open. The park was on sale for only $1.65
million, which is terribly low for having a classic wood coaster,
unique rolling stock, and a bunch of acreage.

2) Bushkill - Didn't even exist last year, but somehow, they're trying
to make a comeback. They've actually reopened this year. Again, let's
see in a couple years before striking them off the endangered list.

3) Conneaut - Another off season with tons of uncertainty, and Blue
Streak reopens once more. Barely. Again, it'll be on the endangered
list for a good long time.

4) Margate Dreamland - Again, a two year lease keeps the park going.
Still endangered.

5) Pavilion - Its a wrap. Last operating day has already been
announced.

6) Clementon - Get there this year.

7) Williams Grove - Well, the hobby aspect finally ran out for the
owners, and now you can probably kiss it goodbye.

8) Visionland - New management seems to be keeping the place afloat.
Probably off the list for right now.

9) PNE Park - No one ***ing knows what's going on here. Just that one
day, it will move. One day.

10) Your local overexpanding FEC - A few are already going down that
are kiddie credit homes, but expect more. Many more.

Honorable Mentions:

-Untold Numbers of Japanese Parks: Yup. This should have been #1 in
retrospect. But hey, I had never been.

-Various Six Flags: Well, we're down two right now, a third may be
closed in Oklahoma, and there's 6 openly on the market. That ain't
good.

Lakeside, Arnold's, and Wildwood are all doing decently right now.
Lakeside will get a huge boost depending on what happens to SFEG.
Arnolds is still a mystery, and Wildwood is probably doing alright,
with ride sales being mainly in the realm of cost cutting rather than
clearance sales.

----------------------------------------

So, to update now with the new top ten of endangered parks....

1) Japanese Parks Not Owned By Disney: The market is total shit over
there and has been, with horrible growth even with 0% interest rates.
At least 5 or 6 parks have already dropped dead or will at the end of
this season. Additionally, the growth in China is likely to keep their
folks home rather than travelling abroad, which is a further blow to
the industry there.

2) Adventure City: Already announced tenatively.

3) Santa's Village (IL): You can't operate without electricity or
water.

4) Bushkill: Ya gotta root for 'em, but again, the park basically
didn't exist last year.

5) Joyland: Has competition opening, doesn't have an operating coaster,
has been in trouble for the last 15 years.

6) Clementon: I'd be terrified if I were a local to this place. If I
were their accountant, I'd wonder what the hell they were doing when
they bought J2.

7) Various Six Flags (particularly unprofitable parks): Astroworld was
under the old regime, but the new one is just as anxious to close some
gates and get some condos built as anyone.

8) Conneaut: What else can happen to the place?

9) Overexpanding FECs everywhere: Delgrosso's understands their
business. They might be able to get away with a wood coaster. But they
don't think so. And thus they have a far cheaper spinning mouse instead
to accompany their slides. They're still profitable. Others who thought
building a midsize wood coaster was their ticket to the big time? Well,
okay. How is Boomers making money? They have a wood coaster, 1200
arcade machines, and I've NEVER heard anyone say that place is packed.
It doesn't add up. There's so many joints like this; Castles And
Coasters or Timber Falls for instance. Hell, there's others opening up
all over the place that seem to be running on the Pharoah's Lost
Kingdom business plan. I can't imagine all of them working. The FEC is
the hot new thing for dry parks, but I can't see it lasting. At least
PLK has water slides.

10) Lakemont: Let's be honest here. A all day pass to Lakemont costs as
much as an all day pass at major themers...if they're in Thailand. I'm
sure that there are decent nights when the baseball team plays home
games, but its still minor league AA level ball. They can't be pulling
more than 2500 or 3000 people to a game. Maybe 20% of that goes to
Lakemont? That's not a lot for your busy nights. Again; have you seen
it busy? Ever?

Dishonorable mentions:

-Somewhere on the Jersey Shore: I think Steel Pier is already scheduled
to get the axe, but condos are big business on the shore, and a smaller
place could get knocked out relatively easy, like a Gillian's.

-Arnolds Park: Actually improving. Debt load is falling, income is
rising. This is very good stuff. May be off the list in a couple years
if I'm still doing it.

-Parks in floodplains/hurricane zones: A bunch of FECs in the
Mississippi and SFNO were all KOed last year by Katrina. Similar and
lesser storms hitting New Jersey, South Carolina, the Gulf Coast, etc
could be devastating to struggling parks.

-Bell's: Before even the tornados hit, there were all sorts of
questions about what would happen if their coaster didn't get approved
and where the future might lay for the venerable Oklahoma park. With
the future of Frontier City in doubt, it would be silly to close up
shop now.

-Amu***ts in Vegas/Primm: Kid friendly attractions are so completely
out right now when it comes to development in Vegas, its not even
funny. The Wynn is hyper expensive, geared to ***, high end
shopping, and expensive tastes, and is the least kid friendly place
ever. Thing is, its the future of the strip. Expansion at Venetian and
future plans for the Stardust site ensure this. Manhattan Express,
Speed, Desperado, and probably the entirety of Circus Circus may all be
gone in 15 years. Circus Circus will be the last to go, though, as it
will be a family friendly island out in the North Strip, while the
remainder is totally revamped. Expect Tropicana to disappear in the
next few too as the strip pushes in both directions, seemingly on a
course to one day reach both South Coast and Stratosphere.

-Lakeside: Always got to worry.

Parks that don't need to be mentioned here:

-Disney, Busch, Universal, Cedar Fair. Obvious. Though perhaps Geauga
Lake will see large amounts of land sold off.

-Dixie Landin'. If you told me this would be on the list a year ago,
I'd debate your sanity. It was an inconspicuous FEC with some mediocre
rides, but some nice folk running it. Thing is, with SFNO in need of
ground up rebuilding and Baton Rouge doubling in population overnight,
everything has changed.

-Water parks where its not worth more to build condos: If you want to
get into the amu***t industry, become a lifeguard. I'm not
bullshitting you. Don't waste your time operating rides and shit,
because you can be inspecting park safety procedures within one year
(and making what a lot of Americans do in a year in a summer doing so)
and have a full time managerial job in a exploding industry within 3.
There is nowhere near saturation yet in the industry. Nowhere near it.

WTF Parks ("The How Do They Make Money?" Facilities)

-Boomers (Dania Beach)
-Wild Adventures
-Upper Clements Park
-Calaway Park
-Fun Spot

Discuss or whatever.

 
 
 

Endangered Park List?

Post by Tim Melag » Fri, 30 Jun 2006 07:31:27


Quote:
> 8) Conneaut: What else can happen to the place?

They dodged the big bullet this year so it makes sense that they move down
the list. At this point things are looking up and the situation is under
control. But the park was about as close as you can get to closing forever a
few months ago.

Quote:
> 9) Overexpanding FECs everywhere: Delgrosso's understands their
> business. They might be able to get away with a wood coaster. But they
> don't think so. And thus they have a far cheaper spinning mouse instead
> to accompany their slides. They're still profitable. Others who thought
> building a midsize wood coaster was their ticket to the big time? Well,
> okay. How is Boomers making money? They have a wood coaster, 1200
> arcade machines, and I've NEVER heard anyone say that place is packed.
> It doesn't add up. There's so many joints like this; Castles And
> Coasters or Timber Falls for instance. Hell, there's others opening up
> all over the place that seem to be running on the Pharoah's Lost
> Kingdom business plan. I can't imagine all of them working. The FEC is
> the hot new thing for dry parks, but I can't see it lasting. At least
> PLK has water slides.

I don't consider DelGrosso's an FEC as much as a small park. Picnics, low
prices, good food and a clean atmospshere keep them in good shape. There's
always a healthy crowd when I go there.

Quote:
> 10) Lakemont: Let's be honest here. A all day pass to Lakemont costs as
> much as an all day pass at major themers...if they're in Thailand. I'm
> sure that there are decent nights when the baseball team plays home
> games, but its still minor league AA level ball. They can't be pulling
> more than 2500 or 3000 people to a game. Maybe 20% of that goes to
> Lakemont? That's not a lot for your busy nights. Again; have you seen
> it busy? Ever?

From what I understand, the park owner is a successful local businesman who
keeps the prices low and the park going with what they have as more of a
community service than a money making business. Seriously, they could double
the wristband price and probably still draw just as many people. Any other
park would have closed long ago with attendance and ridiculously low prices
like that.

--Tim Melago

 
 
 

Endangered Park List?

Post by Wolf » Fri, 30 Jun 2006 11:41:14

Quote:
> 9) Overexpanding FECs everywhere: Delgrosso's understands their
> business. They might be able to get away with a wood coaster. But they
> don't think so. And thus they have a far cheaper spinning mouse instead
> to accompany their slides. They're still profitable. Others who thought
> building a midsize wood coaster was their ticket to the big time? Well,
> okay. How is Boomers making money? They have a wood coaster, 1200
> arcade machines, and I've NEVER heard anyone say that place is packed.
> It doesn't add up. There's so many joints like this; Castles And
> Coasters or Timber Falls for instance. Hell, there's others opening up
> all over the place that seem to be running on the Pharoah's Lost
> Kingdom business plan. I can't imagine all of them working. The FEC is
> the hot new thing for dry parks, but I can't see it lasting. At least
> PLK has water slides.

Timber Falls -- major tourist area
C&C -- Look, Phoenix is a city the size of Philadelphia.  How many parks
does the Philly metro support?

1/2 Dorney
1/2 SFGAdv
1/2 Wildwood
1/2 AC
Clementon
Bushkill
Blue Diamond
Sesame Place

That's good for what, 5 million patrons per year?

Why does C&C survive? Because in Phoenix, they're it. There's nothing else
within an easily driveable distance.

Quote:
> -Lakeside: Always got to worry.

Ironically, Lakeside is probably in its best shape in a decade. They've
finally turned around their extended decline and have started re-opening
rides. Elitch is a mess with Six Flags thrashing around -- and with Elitch
potentially in trouble, what else is there? That would leave Lakeside as the
only notable amu***t park in like a 300 mile radius.

The other big factor is the owner absolutely loves the park.

Quote:
> Parks that don't need to be mentioned here:

> -Disney, Busch, Universal, Cedar Fair. Obvious. Though perhaps Geauga
> Lake will see large amounts of land sold off.

> -Dixie Landin'. If you told me this would be on the list a year ago,
> I'd debate your sanity. It was an inconspicuous FEC with some mediocre
> rides, but some nice folk running it. Thing is, with SFNO in need of
> ground up rebuilding and Baton Rouge doubling in population overnight,
> everything has changed.

> -Water parks where its not worth more to build condos: If you want to
> get into the amu***t industry, become a lifeguard. I'm not
> bullshitting you. Don't waste your time operating rides and shit,
> because you can be inspecting park safety procedures within one year
> (and making what a lot of Americans do in a year in a summer doing so)
> and have a full time managerial job in a exploding industry within 3.
> There is nowhere near saturation yet in the industry. Nowhere near it.

> WTF Parks ("The How Do They Make Money?" Facilities)

> -Boomers (Dania Beach)
> -Wild Adventures
> -Upper Clements Park
> -Calaway Park
> -Fun Spot

> Discuss or whatever.

I think Fun Spot is kind of a perfect storm. Their near enough to a vacation
area to get tourists. They are close enough to major highways to get spot
visits. They aren't close enough to either for their land to be worth a ton.
They don't over-extend themselves.

--
|\-/|
<0 0>
=(o)=
-Wolf

 
 
 

Endangered Park List?

Post by Wolf » Fri, 30 Jun 2006 11:42:39

Quote:
>> 9) Overexpanding FECs everywhere: Delgrosso's understands their
>> business. They might be able to get away with a wood coaster. But they
>> don't think so. And thus they have a far cheaper spinning mouse instead
>> to accompany their slides. They're still profitable. Others who thought
>> building a midsize wood coaster was their ticket to the big time? Well,
>> okay. How is Boomers making money? They have a wood coaster, 1200
>> arcade machines, and I've NEVER heard anyone say that place is packed.
>> It doesn't add up. There's so many joints like this; Castles And
>> Coasters or Timber Falls for instance. Hell, there's others opening up
>> all over the place that seem to be running on the Pharoah's Lost
>> Kingdom business plan. I can't imagine all of them working. The FEC is
>> the hot new thing for dry parks, but I can't see it lasting. At least
>> PLK has water slides.

> I don't consider DelGrosso's an FEC as much as a small park. Picnics, low
> prices, good food and a clean atmospshere keep them in good shape. There's
> always a healthy crowd when I go there.

They've got a water park, too.

If that highway expansion ever finishes, they're actually pretty nicely
positioned.

--
|\-/|
<0 0>
=(o)=
-Wolf

 
 
 

Endangered Park List?

Post by deadandrestl.. » Fri, 30 Jun 2006 13:04:36

Quote:
> Timber Falls -- major tourist area

Yeah, but amu***t operators in tourist areas can be fly by night.
Even in the Dells.

Quote:
> C&C -- Look, Phoenix is a city the size of Philadelphia.  How many parks
> does the Philly metro support?

> 1/2 Dorney
> 1/2 SFGAdv
> 1/2 Wildwood
> 1/2 AC
> Clementon
> Bushkill
> Blue Diamond
> Sesame Place

> That's good for what, 5 million patrons per year?

> Why does C&C survive? Because in Phoenix, they're it. There's nothing else
> within an easily driveable distance.

C&C lacks water park facilities though. I keep hearing rumors about
their coasters being on the market too.

Quote:
> > -Lakeside: Always got to worry.

> Ironically, Lakeside is probably in its best shape in a decade. They've
> finally turned around their extended decline and have started re-opening
> rides. Elitch is a mess with Six Flags thrashing around -- and with Elitch
> potentially in trouble, what else is there? That would leave Lakeside as the
> only notable amu***t park in like a 300 mile radius.

> The other big factor is the owner absolutely loves the park.

The big reason for my inclusion last year was Rhoda. It'll be around as
long as she's alive, god willing. The issue is a post-Rhoda world. I
think we'll see Lakeside operate for a few more years, but 10 years
from now? That I worry about.

Quote:
> > WTF Parks ("The How Do They Make Money?" Facilities)

> > -Boomers (Dania Beach)
> > -Wild Adventures
> > -Upper Clements Park
> > -Calaway Park
> > -Fun Spot

> > Discuss or whatever.

> I think Fun Spot is kind of a perfect storm. Their near enough to a vacation
> area to get tourists. They are close enough to major highways to get spot
> visits. They aren't close enough to either for their land to be worth a ton.
> They don't over-extend themselves.

I'll agree with that last part. There hasn't been serious expansion
there in, what, a billion friggen years? I can't even think as to their
newest ride. They're fairly affordable to the nearby families that may
want to visit (its not the highest income part of Indiana) and seem to
have picnic facilities available for them. Still...its Fun Spot, you
know?

Wild Adventures makes no sense to me. There's millions invested in the
place, its run 12 months out of the year, at least 4 days a week, it
never seems to be busy, and yet it makes money? Is there a warehouse
full of *** on the premises?

 
 
 

Endangered Park List?

Post by Wolf » Fri, 30 Jun 2006 14:27:13

Quote:
>> Why does C&C survive? Because in Phoenix, they're it. There's nothing
>> else
>> within an easily driveable distance.

> C&C lacks water park facilities though. I keep hearing rumors about
> their coasters being on the market too.

The little one is. C&C has some concern that the mall adjacent to them is
closing/dying and their neighborhood in general is somewhat in decline.

That said, it's not like they compete against much.

Quote:
> The big reason for my inclusion last year was Rhoda. It'll be around as
> long as she's alive, god willing. The issue is a post-Rhoda world. I
> think we'll see Lakeside operate for a few more years, but 10 years
> from now? That I worry about.

I plan on winning the Lotto by then.

If I could run any park in the country, it would probably be Lakeside.

Quote:
>> I think Fun Spot is kind of a perfect storm. Their near enough to a
>> vacation
>> area to get tourists. They are close enough to major highways to get spot
>> visits. They aren't close enough to either for their land to be worth a
>> ton.
>> They don't over-extend themselves.

> I'll agree with that last part. There hasn't been serious expansion
> there in, what, a billion friggen years?

They added a kiddie Miler like three years ago.

Quote:
> Wild Adventures makes no sense to me. There's millions invested in the
> place, its run 12 months out of the year, at least 4 days a week, it
> never seems to be busy, and yet it makes money? Is there a warehouse
> full of *** on the premises?

Never busy can be deceiving. Knoebels never really seems jammed either.

--
|\-/|
<0 0>
=(o)=
-Wolf

 
 
 

Endangered Park List?

Post by Shawn Mamr » Sat, 01 Jul 2006 02:42:57

Quote:

>The big reason for my inclusion last year was Rhoda. It'll be around as
>long as she's alive, god willing. The issue is a post-Rhoda world. I
>think we'll see Lakeside operate for a few more years, but 10 years
>from now? That I worry about.

Don't forget Rhoda's husband, too.  But yeah, that is a good point.
That's the one thing about the family-owned and -operated parks;
all it takes is for the health (or even just the opinion) of one
family member to change before a park becomes seriously endangered.

I can't help but think that Whalom Park might still be operating
today if John Bowen had been an only child.

-Shawn Mamros
E-mail to: mamros -at- mit dot edu

 
 
 

Endangered Park List?

Post by Keith Hopkin » Sat, 01 Jul 2006 03:50:18


Quote:

> I don't consider DelGrosso's an FEC as much as a small park.

Okay, I missed the Acronym memo.  What's an FEC?

--
Keith Hopkins

[clear up the hissing to email]
"I once threw a dead stingray into someone's pool, and when we were
in college, Aaron and I taped a dead lizard to the wall of an elevator, on
top of a card that said, 'Emergency Lizard. Squeeze to Operate.' "
                    Steve H., http://www.hogonice.com

 
 
 

Endangered Park List?

Post by deadandrestl.. » Sat, 01 Jul 2006 04:10:09

Quote:



> > I don't consider DelGrosso's an FEC as much as a small park.

> Okay, I missed the Acronym memo.  What's an FEC?

Family Entertainment Center. Its a concept that sort of grew out of the
tourist trap towns like Gatlinburg, Hyannis, Wisconsin Dells, etc.
Basically, lots of surcharge attractions put in one convienent
location; combined lazer tag/mini golf/go kart/driving
range/arcade/pool hall/kiddie park/large playscape type joint.
Increasingly, FECs are adding things like water slides and roller
coasters to their lineups to differentiate themselves from their
competitors. Most buy kiddie coasters to go along with a smattering of
children's rides, while others (Timber Falls, Boomers, Blue Diamond
Park, Grand Prix Myrtle Beach) are buying portable/portable style
midsize steel coasters, and sometimes fullsize wood coaster.

The idea is to have something for everyone, while not forcing an
upcharge fee (often at all) to guests who come in, thereby promoting
return visits.

 
 
 

Endangered Park List?

Post by Keith Hopkin » Sat, 01 Jul 2006 05:09:23


Quote:

>> Okay, I missed the Acronym memo.  What's an FEC?

> Fried Embryo Cup.

> Only served at the most exclusive parks.

Oh, those are the BEST.  Despite the little semi-***y bones.

--
Keith Hopkins

[clear up the hissing to email]
"I once threw a dead stingray into someone's pool, and when we were
in college, Aaron and I taped a dead lizard to the wall of an elevator, on
top of a card that said, 'Emergency Lizard. Squeeze to Operate.' "
                    Steve H., http://SportToday.org/

 
 
 

Endangered Park List?

Post by Mufass » Sat, 01 Jul 2006 08:57:26

Quote:


> >The big reason for my inclusion last year was Rhoda. It'll be around as
> >long as she's alive, god willing. The issue is a post-Rhoda world. I
> >think we'll see Lakeside operate for a few more years, but 10 years
> >from now? That I worry about.

> Don't forget Rhoda's husband, too.  But yeah, that is a good point.
> That's the one thing about the family-owned and -operated parks;
> all it takes is for the health (or even just the opinion) of one
> family member to change before a park becomes seriously endangered.

> I can't help but think that Whalom Park might still be operating
> today if John Bowen had been an only child.

> -Shawn Mamros
> E-mail to: mamros -at- mit dot edu

The Reason Boomers in Dania,fl makes money is because its the only show
in town for Palm Beach,Broward,and Miami/Dade counties and there are
ALOT people in those areas. trust me i use to live in Broward.
                            signed
                                       David G
 
 
 

Endangered Park List?

Post by Joe Schwart » Tue, 04 Jul 2006 02:57:50

Quote:

> -Amu***ts in Vegas/Primm: Kid friendly attractions are so completely
> out right now when it comes to development in Vegas, its not even
> funny. The Wynn is hyper expensive, geared to ***, high end
> shopping, and expensive tastes, and is the least kid friendly place
> ever. Thing is, its the future of the strip. Expansion at Venetian and
> future plans for the Stardust site ensure this. Manhattan Express,
> Speed, Desperado, and probably the entirety of Circus Circus may all be
> gone in 15 years. Circus Circus will be the last to go, though, as it
> will be a family friendly island out in the North Strip, while the
> remainder is totally revamped. Expect Tropicana to disappear in the
> next few too as the strip pushes in both directions, seemingly on a
> course to one day reach both South Coast and Stratosphere.

I agree with you, but why mention Tropicana?
 
 
 

Endangered Park List?

Post by deadandrestl.. » Tue, 04 Jul 2006 04:04:57

Quote:
> > -Amu***ts in Vegas/Primm: Kid friendly attractions are so completely
> > out right now when it comes to development in Vegas, its not even
> > funny. The Wynn is hyper expensive, geared to ***, high end
> > shopping, and expensive tastes, and is the least kid friendly place
> > ever. Thing is, its the future of the strip. Expansion at Venetian and
> > future plans for the Stardust site ensure this. Manhattan Express,
> > Speed, Desperado, and probably the entirety of Circus Circus may all be
> > gone in 15 years. Circus Circus will be the last to go, though, as it
> > will be a family friendly island out in the North Strip, while the
> > remainder is totally revamped. Expect Tropicana to disappear in the
> > next few too as the strip pushes in both directions, seemingly on a
> > course to one day reach both South Coast and Stratosphere.

> I agree with you, but why mention Tropicana?

Just as a quick mention of the development on the strip. There might be
a dedicated amu***t park one day, but its a long ways off.