The 2011 Endangered Park Thread

The 2011 Endangered Park Thread

Post by GodsOnSafar » Sun, 06 Nov 2011 01:38:00


Last time I did one of these, it was 2008. In the time since then,
we've seen many more park closings than openings stateside. Hard Rock
opened and promptly closed (twice), Kentucky Kingdom is now vacant,
Celebration City has sat idle for years, Astroland is outta here, as
well as a bunch of parks overseas (Expoland, Luna Park Rome, Terra
Encantanda in Brazil). I suppose then it would be good to update it
with who seems to be in danger.

1) California's Great America: The 49ers want a new stadium. They need
a parking lot. Turns out that Great America would make a great one.
The park is already sold and seems destined for the s***heap; quite
the unfortunate end for one of the two Marriott parks.

2) Alabama Adventure (formerly Visionland): On the market,
questionable if it opens next year. Since day one, this park has been
in financial trouble.

3) Amu***ts in Primm: Made the list before. Still uncertain how
exactly they're still open in 2011. The biggest factor separating them
from Speed/Wet and Wild Vegas/Manhattan Express is that they aren't on
the strip, and in fact the hotel/*** they are attached to is
probably barely*** on as well and lacks the funds to just tear
the whole thing to the ground.

4) Indiana Beach: Why is this park here? Well, the family who
successfully operated the park and made money stopped wanting to, so
they sold it to an operator of trailer parks and RV parks that has
promptly ***ed the place up beyond recognition. Attendance was still
good, its just that the people running the show are clueless. I wonder
if they even had the money to buy it or just took out a line of
credit? I bet I know the answer to that. See also: The Ruination of
America.

5) Clementon: Still here. Still kicking. Just a struggling park.

6) Ferrari World: A monument to waste and excess in the deserts of Abu
Dhabi. My wife and I initially considered going this month some time
ago when laying out our plans for the year, but then we started to see
the trip reports for the place and....yeah. Not interested in crossing
the planet for a half finished amu***t park that, it would seem, no
one attends.

7) Name a park in China. Any of them: All sparsely attended state
funded projects intended to make the country look better. The older
you are, the closer you are to completely ghetto horrible. The newer
you are, the more likely you are to have a Chinese built ride kill
passengers. Like a lot of things in China, the coaster boom there (did
you know they have more coasters than any other country except the
USA? THE MOAR U KNOW) seems to be all about appearances to the west
rather than meeting a need for the millions of Chinese suddenly making
purchases with disposable income.

8) Tokyo Dome City: Down to one operating coaster. The city had a
bunch of changes in the last 5 years, some of which were poorly
planned. Take Korakuen Hall for instance. You've probably never heard
of it; most gaijin haven't. But it is the spiritual home of combat
sport and pro wrestling in Japan. Roughly every three days in Japan,
there is a boxing event there. Pretty much every other day, there is
pro wrestling, kickboxing, MMA, or full contact karate. Sometimes
there's even matinee shows and night shows. The issue here is that it
wasn't supposed to still be running all these shows. The bigger
promotions and the boxing were supposed to use a purpose built
facility called JCB Hall that was constructed a couple years ago, and
lots of money was poured into it. As is often the case, a bunch of it
disappeared, it ran over budget, and now the charge to rent the
facility is so high that fight/wrestling promoters can't make money
getting the hall and selling 2500 (or fewer) tickets inside of it. So
there's been two wrestling cards, no MMA shows, and no boxing events
in the facility this year.

What I'm getting at here with that long is that Tokyo Dome City is a
place money goes to die, and the natural reaction to that fact is
going to be cutbacks elsewhere. Its not coincidence that Linear Gale
and Geopanic have left the site.

9) Lakeside: I love this park, but Rhoda is only getting older,
people.

10) Any newly constructed park in the West: Mark Rosenzweig had a post
many moons ago in some topic here talking about how new parks were
guaranteed to lose money for about the first 2 owners or so due to the
cost of construction and what not. Then you see empty parks like
Rainbow MagicLand in Italy, and you wonder who the hell is funding
things like that?

 
 
 

The 2011 Endangered Park Thread

Post by jimvi » Sun, 06 Nov 2011 07:32:11

And I'll add on to this - Dippin' Dots filed for Chapter 11 today - I guess we'll have to get our rumors from another source.

http://news.yahoo.com/ice-cream-maker-dippin-dots-files-bankruptcy-19...

 
 
 

The 2011 Endangered Park Thread

Post by ldnayma » Sun, 06 Nov 2011 08:50:02


Quote:
> And I'll add on to this - Dippin' Dots filed for Chapter 11 today - I guess we'll have to get our rumors from another source.

> http://news.yahoo.com/ice-cream-maker-dippin-dots-files-bankruptcy-19...

But that's the ice cream of the future!!!!!!!

If they go under, we'll be in serious time paradox trouble.

 
 
 

The 2011 Endangered Park Thread

Post by Jerem » Sun, 06 Nov 2011 09:09:45


Quote:
> 7) Name a park in China. Any of them: All sparsely attended state
> funded projects intended to make the country look better. The older
> you are, the closer you are to completely ghetto horrible. The newer
> you are, the more likely you are to have a Chinese built ride kill
> passengers. Like a lot of things in China, the coaster boom there (did
> you know they have more coasters than any other country except the
> USA? THE MOAR U KNOW) seems to be all about appearances to the west
> rather than meeting a need for the millions of Chinese suddenly making
> purchases with disposable income.

Based on my observations, the local Chinese parks are doing *much*
better than the local Japanese parks, although that might have been
due to the ongoing earthquake recovery efforts and power plant
disaster. I think the biggest problem facing the newer Chinese parks
(Happy Valley, for instance) is that their ride capacities are too
restricted due to horrible operations, which effectively puts a cap on
their daily visitorship that would be a mediocre day's business for
any medium sized US park even though all the queues are overflowing.
As long as they're profitable with those numbers I doubt they'll
change their practices, and they certainly won't be closing any time
soon. Yeah, there are maybe some safety concerns but that's all of
China for you, it won't be permanently damaging for business. They're
still a relatively new innovation for the culture, but especially in
the wake of Disney I don't see them going away any time soon.

Japan, however... I could name you one park for every finger on my
right hand that I personally visited that I'm skeptical reached a
daily attendance in the triple digits. Space World, Mitsui Greenland,
Parque Espana, Yomiuriland, and Tokyo Dome City (see below; that one's
a bit harder to classify since it's an open gated mall area in
downtown Tokyo, but I'll count in terms of people who bought any ride
tickets). Nagashima Spaland and even Fuji-Q Highlands were not doing
much better. The only way I can explain how they're able to turn a
profit is that a one-day ticket price for each of these parks is
generally in the $50-$60 (a lot of that is favorable JPY exchange
rates, however).

Interestingly, South Korea was the one place in Asia that really has
their amu***t park act together (efficient operations, clean
premises, evening hours) and it showed in the fact that they're seeing
huge attendance numbers that keep the parks packed all the way to
their 10:00pm closings. Even Woobang Towerland, which would be a
pretty ghetto establishment in China or Japan, had a very lively crowd
with even a number of westerners present when I stopped by for a few
hours. Besides the American influence in Korea, I've also noticed that
Korean culture seems to be very socially oriented compared to China
and Japan (it was hard to find any place to eat which would serve
meals for only one person!), which is perhaps why their amu***t
parks are doing so well.

Quote:
> 8) Tokyo Dome City: Down to one operating coaster.

Wait, which one is that? I'm pretty sure the RCDb is outdated because
when I stopped by, Thunder Dolphin was SBNO and I was vaguely told it
had been closed for several months (since the earthquake?) and that it
would continue to be closed "long term" (their words, printed on the
official English-language guide). The Spinning Coaster I couldn't even
find, but if it was under the big canopy area I'm fairly certain there
was nothing left to find save for s***metal. The only things
operating were the log flume (with empty logs), the Ferris Wheel, and
a few children's rides. I think calling this place "endangered" is a
little too optimistic.
 
 
 

The 2011 Endangered Park Thread

Post by Surf Dance Chri » Sun, 06 Nov 2011 11:21:35


Quote:

> > 7) Name a park in China. Any of them: All sparsely attended state
> > funded projects intended to make the country look better. The older
> > you are, the closer you are to completely ghetto horrible. The newer
> > you are, the more likely you are to have a Chinese built ride kill
> > passengers. Like a lot of things in China, the coaster boom there (did
> > you know they have more coasters than any other country except the
> > USA? THE MOAR U KNOW) seems to be all about appearances to the west
> > rather than meeting a need for the millions of Chinese suddenly making
> > purchases with disposable income.

> Based on my observations, the local Chinese parks are doing *much*
> better than the local Japanese parks, although that might have been
> due to the ongoing earthquake recovery efforts and power plant
> disaster. I think the biggest problem facing the newer Chinese parks
> (Happy Valley, for instance) is that their ride capacities are too
> restricted due to horrible operations, which effectively puts a cap on
> their daily visitorship that would be a mediocre day's business for
> any medium sized US park even though all the queues are overflowing.
> As long as they're profitable with those numbers I doubt they'll
> change their practices, and they certainly won't be closing any time
> soon. Yeah, there are maybe some safety concerns but that's all of
> China for you, it won't be permanently damaging for business. They're
> still a relatively new innovation for the culture, but especially in
> the wake of Disney I don't see them going away any time soon.

> Japan, however... I could name you one park for every finger on my
> right hand that I personally visited that I'm skeptical reached a
> daily attendance in the triple digits. Space World, Mitsui Greenland,
> Parque Espana, Yomiuriland, and Tokyo Dome City (see below; that one's
> a bit harder to classify since it's an open gated mall area in
> downtown Tokyo, but I'll count in terms of people who bought any ride
> tickets). Nagashima Spaland and even Fuji-Q Highlands were not doing
> much better. The only way I can explain how they're able to turn a
> profit is that a one-day ticket price for each of these parks is
> generally in the $50-$60 (a lot of that is favorable JPY exchange
> rates, however).

> Interestingly, South Korea was the one place in Asia that really has
> their amu***t park act together (efficient operations, clean
> premises, evening hours) and it showed in the fact that they're seeing
> huge attendance numbers that keep the parks packed all the way to
> their 10:00pm closings. Even Woobang Towerland, which would be a
> pretty ghetto establishment in China or Japan, had a very lively crowd
> with even a number of westerners present when I stopped by for a few
> hours. Besides the American influence in Korea, I've also noticed that
> Korean culture seems to be very socially oriented compared to China
> and Japan (it was hard to find any place to eat which would serve
> meals for only one person!), which is perhaps why their amu***t
> parks are doing so well.

> > 8) Tokyo Dome City: Down to one operating coaster.

> Wait, which one is that? I'm pretty sure the RCDb is outdated because
> when I stopped by, Thunder Dolphin was SBNO and I was vaguely told it
> had been closed for several months (since the earthquake?) and that it
> would continue to be closed "long term" (their words, printed on the
> official English-language guide). The Spinning Coaster I couldn't even
> find, but if it was under the big canopy area I'm fairly certain there
> was nothing left to find save for s***metal. The only things
> operating were the log flume (with empty logs), the Ferris Wheel, and
> a few children's rides. I think calling this place "endangered" is a
> little too optimistic.

Regarding Tokyo Dome City:

Really? I visited the park in July 2008 and apparently the whole
indoor section was closed for refurbishment (I didn't realize it was
even there until long after I returned home). Is it only in trouble
because of earthquake damage or was it having problems beforehand? It
seemed to be thriving fairly well when I was there (it was a weekday
in the middle of the day, and the parks in general were not too
crowded, even Disney due to the time of year from what we were told-
everything was a walk on at Disney).

Additional parks to add to the list:

I'm surprised Conneaut Lake Park wasn't on the list. That park always
seems in danger if you ask me.

Also, Old Town in Kissimmee, Fl seems to be losing the attraction park
war with next door neighbor Fun Spot. While I wouldn't be surprised to
see Old Town continue to operate, I also wouldn't be surprised if they
had to cease ride operations as well.

-"Surf Dance" Chris

 
 
 

The 2011 Endangered Park Thread

Post by Jerem » Sun, 06 Nov 2011 12:19:05


Quote:
> Regarding Tokyo Dome City:

> Really? I visited the park in July 2008 and apparently the whole
> indoor section was closed for refurbishment (I didn't realize it was
> even there until long after I returned home). Is it only in trouble
> because of earthquake damage or was it having problems beforehand? It
> seemed to be thriving fairly well when I was there (it was a weekday
> in the middle of the day, and the parks in general were not too
> crowded, even Disney due to the time of year from what we were told-
> everything was a walk on at Disney).

TDC was in dire condition when I went this past June. A lot of stuff
had been removed well before the earthquake, check the RCDb. I have no
idea if the quake had any impact on the place, I was trying to talk to
some of the employees there to figure out what happened to Thunder
Dolphin but the communication barrier was a bit of a problem. I got a
general time frame of when it went down so it seemed within reason
that the quake was part of the cause. The one thing that was made
clear was that I shouldn't wait around for it to reopen.

Quote:
> Additional parks to add to the list:

> I'm surprised Conneaut Lake Park wasn't on the list. That park always
> seems in danger if you ask me.

I'll be interested to follow Conneaut Lake Park. On the one hand the
place is in very poor condition and struggling to generate a positive
cash flow. On the other hand, there does seem to be a genuine
community effort to keep it alive and operating after the last closure
made them realize what they'd be losing, and I'd be very surprised to
read a news headline saying that they're throwing in the towel after
all the work put into it so far. It might be a zombie but it's still
walking around.
 
 
 

The 2011 Endangered Park Thread

Post by GodsOnSafar » Sun, 06 Nov 2011 13:57:45

Quote:
> Based on my observations, the local Chinese parks are doing *much*
> better than the local Japanese parks, although that might have been
> due to the ongoing earthquake recovery efforts and power plant
> disaster. I think the biggest problem facing the newer Chinese parks
> (Happy Valley, for instance) is that their ride capacities are too
> restricted due to horrible operations, which effectively puts a cap on
> their daily visitorship that would be a mediocre day's business for
> any medium sized US park even though all the queues are overflowing.
> As long as they're profitable with those numbers I doubt they'll
> change their practices, and they certainly won't be closing any time
> soon. Yeah, there are maybe some safety concerns but that's all of
> China for you, it won't be permanently damaging for business. They're
> still a relatively new innovation for the culture, but especially in
> the wake of Disney I don't see them going away any time soon.

I just feel like there's likely to be a lot of turnover. You see in
the Middle East that the parks built outdoors are closing and the
money invested by the local royalty has gone into indoor FECs. I guess
someone realized it is hot as hell in the desert.

Quote:
> Japan, however... I could name you one park for every finger on my
> right hand that I personally visited that I'm skeptical reached a
> daily attendance in the triple digits. Space World, Mitsui Greenland,
> Parque Espana, Yomiuriland, and Tokyo Dome City (see below; that one's
> a bit harder to classify since it's an open gated mall area in
> downtown Tokyo, but I'll count in terms of people who bought any ride
> tickets). Nagashima Spaland and even Fuji-Q Highlands were not doing
> much better. The only way I can explain how they're able to turn a
> profit is that a one-day ticket price for each of these parks is
> generally in the $50-$60 (a lot of that is favorable JPY exchange
> rates, however).

I've had a friend who recently had to help free a professional fighter
who has a fairly large profile (a search for his name nets 97,000
results) from a contract with a promoter there to come get a contract
with a major mixed martial arts organization here. It basically
confirmed everything an acquaintance of ours (Zach Arnold, who runs
fightopinion.com) had to say about the fight industry there. Business
are supposed to make a profit, but their chief purpose is to generally
launder money first and foremost, and hopefully after doing so, a
profit is made.

Zach may, at times, be overzealous talking about organized crime
there, but he's gotten a few pieces of validation through the years:
Kaz Ishii going to prison for tax fraud, PRIDE Fighting Championships
going from the biggest mixed fight promotion in the world to off TV
and purchased by the UFC in less than a year after getting outed as a
conduit for Korean mafia money, Shoichi Arai's "suicide", and so on.
What I would say is this: considering that people have had the same
reports of the same parks being empty year after year after year,
maybe the purpose of some of these parks isn't really to make a ton of
money?

Quote:
> Interestingly, South Korea was the one place in Asia that really has
> their amu***t park act together (efficient operations, clean
> premises, evening hours) and it showed in the fact that they're seeing
> huge attendance numbers that keep the parks packed all the way to
> their 10:00pm closings. Even Woobang Towerland, which would be a
> pretty ghetto establishment in China or Japan, had a very lively crowd
> with even a number of westerners present when I stopped by for a few
> hours. Besides the American influence in Korea, I've also noticed that
> Korean culture seems to be very socially oriented compared to China
> and Japan (it was hard to find any place to eat which would serve
> meals for only one person!), which is perhaps why their amu***t
> parks are doing so well.

South Korea's GDP has gone up 40% in the last ten years. In 2010,
their economy grew 6.2% over the prior year. 5 our of the last 7
years, they've had growth of at least 4%. That's very, very good.
Japan, meanwhile, has exceeded 4% once in the last 20 years: that was
in 2010. Suffice it to say, that won't happen this year. In short,
Korea has a booming economy with people that have money. Japan has had
a crappy economy for a long time.

Quote:
> > 8) Tokyo Dome City: Down to one operating coaster.

> Wait, which one is that? I'm pretty sure the RCDb is outdated because
> when I stopped by, Thunder Dolphin was SBNO and I was vaguely told it
> had been closed for several months (since the earthquake?) and that it
> would continue to be closed "long term" (their words, printed on the
> official English-language guide). The Spinning Coaster I couldn't even
> find, but if it was under the big canopy area I'm fairly certain there
> was nothing left to find save for s***metal. The only things
> operating were the log flume (with empty logs), the Ferris Wheel, and
> a few children's rides. I think calling this place "endangered" is a
> little too optimistic.

RCDB said Thunder Dolphin was back up and running. Not sure how
current that is.
 
 
 

The 2011 Endangered Park Thread

Post by David Sandbor » Mon, 07 Nov 2011 00:20:36

What, Conneaut Lake Park too obvious to put on the list?

In article

Quote:

> 1) California's Great America: The 49ers want a new stadium. They need
> a parking lot. Turns out that Great America would make a great one.
> The park is already sold and seems destined for the s***heap; quite
> the unfortunate end for one of the two Marriott parks.

I have only visited twice, but never quite found it as compelling as
SFGAm.  Perhaps that's just becuase the Gurnee version was my home park
and still relatively frequently visited and I've seen it evolve over the
years, whereas Santa Clara went in different directions that weren't
familiar to me, and in recent years just sort of stagnated.  It just
doesn't seem to get love from anybody any more.

Quote:
> 2) Alabama Adventure (formerly Visionland): On the market,
> questionable if it opens next year. Since day one, this park has been
> in financial trouble.

Kind of surprised it's lasted this long.  I should probably look into
making one more trip if I can.  Hard to believe it's already been more
than 3 years since the last visit, and that was my first visit in almost
10.  Rampage would be a bad loss.

Quote:
> 3) Amu***ts in Primm: Made the list before. Still uncertain how
> exactly they're still open in 2011. The biggest factor separating them
> from Speed/Wet and Wild Vegas/Manhattan Express is that they aren't on
> the strip, and in fact the hotel/*** they are attached to is
> probably barely*** on as well and lacks the funds to just tear
> the whole thing to the ground.

I can't remember the last time I've heard anybody mention them at all in
any sense whatsoever.

Quote:
> 4) Indiana Beach: Why is this park here? Well, the family who
> successfully operated the park and made money stopped wanting to, so
> they sold it to an operator of trailer parks and RV parks that has
> promptly ***ed the place up beyond recognition. Attendance was still
> good, its just that the people running the show are clueless. I wonder
> if they even had the money to buy it or just took out a line of
> credit? I bet I know the answer to that. See also: The Ruination of
> America.

I've heard rumors about the way the sale went down and it didn't sound
pretty at all.  I won't say more because I have no way of judging what
really happened, but if they're true, the way things have gone is all
the more tragic.  I believe my last visit was just after the sale, so
not so much had changed at the park, but it sounds like I wouldn't enjoy
it now.

Quote:
> 5) Clementon: Still here. Still kicking. Just a struggling park.

It's parks like this that I wonder how they manage to continue at all.  
And that reminds me, what about Lakemont?  Ever since I've been visiting
I've felt it was a park that was*** on the edge.

Can't really comment on the worldwide parks you mention, so I'll skip
to...

Quote:
> 9) Lakeside: I love this park, but Rhoda is only getting older,
> people.

Another park I should probably make plans to get back to, just in case.

Quote:
> 10) Any newly constructed park in the West: Mark Rosenzweig had a post
> many moons ago in some topic here talking about how new parks were
> guaranteed to lose money for about the first 2 owners or so due to the
> cost of construction and what not. Then you see empty parks like
> Rainbow MagicLand in Italy, and you wonder who the hell is funding
> things like that?

Yeah, it would take a really long term perspective to see forward past
the initial costs, and it's hard to imagine an investor wanting to do so
at this point...or able to see it through even if they did start.

--
Dave Sandborg
Remove Spam-away to respond via e-mail.

 
 
 

The 2011 Endangered Park Thread

Post by Jerem » Mon, 07 Nov 2011 10:30:46


Quote:
> South Korea's GDP has gone up 40% in the last ten years. In 2010,
> their economy grew 6.2% over the prior year. 5 our of the last 7
> years, they've had growth of at least 4%. That's very, very good.
> Japan, meanwhile, has exceeded 4% once in the last 20 years: that was
> in 2010. Suffice it to say, that won't happen this year. In short,
> Korea has a booming economy with people that have money. Japan has had
> a crappy economy for a long time.

Even though S Korea's economy has been growing in leaps and bounds,
average household income is still significantly lower than what you'll
find in Japan, which remains the richest country in Asia by a
considerable margin. I think the bigger problem facing Japan is a
negative population growth rate. Most families only have one child,
and now that this has been going on for more than a generation the
entire social structure of Japan is starting to crumble. The concepts
of brothers, sisters, cousins, aunts, uncles, etc. are becoming
obsolete. I was really surprised by how many restaurants I visited in
Japan consisted entirely of single businessmen, workers or students
sitting silently by themselves, especially compared to Korea where I
couldn't find a restaurant anywhere in a busy college district that
served anything other than large group portions and I had to take a
big box of left over food back to my hostel. Most Japanese have to
work exceptionally long hours and have little time to spend with the
small families they do have, so if/when they finally do get a weekend
off, they're going to go to Disney, maybe Universal or Fuji-Q,
especially with their excellent rail system that puts nearly the
entire country on their front door. Your mafia hypothesis seems
unprobable, but is the best explanation I've heard for how the small
fry still manage to stay afloat. Maybe the reason they bother to keep
them open is because the only alternative is unemployment and a
rusting hole in the ground that would drive down property values?

Quote:
> RCDB said Thunder Dolphin was back up and running. Not sure how
> current that is.

Did it ever indicate that it said Thunder Dolphin was SBNO? I remember
I checked the RCDb while I was on my trip and it said operating, and I
think it said that for a while afterward. From what I gathered by the
people I talked to at TDC, we shouldn't have expected to see it reopen
any time this summer, if at all in 2011. I just checked, the LaQua
website is also indicating it's still suspended.
 
 
 

The 2011 Endangered Park Thread

Post by GodsOnSafar » Mon, 07 Nov 2011 11:31:29

Quote:
> Even though S Korea's economy has been growing in leaps and bounds,
> average household income is still significantly lower than what you'll
> find in Japan, which remains the richest country in Asia by a
> considerable margin. I think the bigger problem facing Japan is a
> negative population growth rate. Most families only have one child,
> and now that this has been going on for more than a generation the
> entire social structure of Japan is starting to crumble. The concepts
> of brothers, sisters, cousins, aunts, uncles, etc. are becoming
> obsolete. I was really surprised by how many restaurants I visited in
> Japan consisted entirely of single businessmen, workers or students
> sitting silently by themselves, especially compared to Korea where I
> couldn't find a restaurant anywhere in a busy college district that
> served anything other than large group portions and I had to take a
> big box of left over food back to my hostel. Most Japanese have to
> work exceptionally long hours and have little time to spend with the
> small families they do have, so if/when they finally do get a weekend
> off, they're going to go to Disney, maybe Universal or Fuji-Q,
> especially with their excellent rail system that puts nearly the
> entire country on their front door.

Which comes really as no surprise in so far as to where they go. They
also populate a bunch of areas coaster enthusiasts don't travel to
within the nation because there are no coasters, as well as foreign
destinations you and I don't really consider. In general, a week trip
to go play the slots in Macau is an outrageous concept to you or I
living in the US, home of Vegas, Reno, Atlantic City, and a couple
hundred indian ***s. But in Japan, where present day *** is
effectively reduced to pachinko parlors, that is a very different
situation. The statements about the family structure thing are really
interesting though. You always read about Japan being an aging society
in text, but its a different thing to really interpret that into how
it affects the whole.

This is an interesting viewpoint.

Quote:
> Your mafia hypothesis seems
> unprobable, but is the best explanation I've heard for how the small
> fry still manage to stay afloat. Maybe the reason they bother to keep
> them open is because the only alternative is unemployment and a
> rusting hole in the ground that would drive down property values?

Its developed over the years as a thesis I have, effectively untested,
given that its something that very few people want to broach when
there. There's still a certain level of naivete regarding, as an
example, the inability for people with tattoos to display them in
certain amu***t parks. It begs the question to me - if a park bans
the display of tattoos due to the association with body art and
organized crime, who's going to enforce that among the locals? I have
no idea how prevalent it is but I'm entirely certain it does happen
and probably to a rate that would surprise westerners. Rationally,
someone must be funding these parks to exist. Its possible that Japan
simply has an inordinate number of benevolent millionaires willing to
have a plaything such as an amu***t park, but I seriously doubt it.
Its also fairly safe to assume that it isn't state funded, nor is
corporate adverti***t widely happening. So what does that leave?

Quote:
> Did it ever indicate that it said Thunder Dolphin was SBNO? I remember
> I checked the RCDb while I was on my trip and it said operating, and I
> think it said that for a while afterward. From what I gathered by the
> people I talked to at TDC, we shouldn't have expected to see it reopen
> any time this summer, if at all in 2011. I just checked, the LaQua
> website is also indicating it's still suspended.

In that case someone should probably send Duane an email about
updating that. If it isn't running, it could literally be years before
anything is ever done to fix it. I wouldn't hold my breath.
 
 
 

The 2011 Endangered Park Thread

Post by Surf Dance Chri » Mon, 07 Nov 2011 13:39:59

So was Linear Gale demolished for s***metal? If so, that's kind of
sad, given it was the first impulse coaster. I know it has no turns,
but it was neat to have that different feel, after riding a few here
in the US, including Cedar Point's larger one. I think Impulse
coasters give ampretty decent and exciting ride, especially the brief
hold toward the end, facing down.
 
 
 

The 2011 Endangered Park Thread

Post by David H.--REMOVE » Mon, 07 Nov 2011 18:59:16



Quote:

>> 7) Name a park in China. Any of them: All sparsely attended state
>> funded projects intended to make the country look better. The older
>> you are, the closer you are to completely ghetto horrible. The newer
>> you are, the more likely you are to have a Chinese built ride kill
>> passengers. Like a lot of things in China, the coaster boom there (did
>> you know they have more coasters than any other country except the
>> USA? THE MOAR U KNOW) seems to be all about appearances to the west
>> rather than meeting a need for the millions of Chinese suddenly making
>> purchases with disposable income.

>Based on my observations, the local Chinese parks are doing *much*
>better than the local Japanese parks, although that might have been
>due to the ongoing earthquake recovery efforts and power plant
>disaster. I think the biggest problem facing the newer Chinese parks
>(Happy Valley, for instance) is that their ride capacities are too
>restricted due to horrible operations, which effectively puts a cap on
>their daily visitorship that would be a mediocre day's business for
>any medium sized US park even though all the queues are overflowing.
>As long as they're profitable with those numbers I doubt they'll
>change their practices, and they certainly won't be closing any time
>soon. Yeah, there are maybe some safety concerns but that's all of
>China for you, it won't be permanently damaging for business. They're
>still a relatively new innovation for the culture, but especially in
>the wake of Disney I don't see them going away any time soon.

Except that they're apparently doing so poorly that the government has
halted any new construction of any amu***t park project that isn't
already physically in the building stage, with a few exceptions, such as
Shanghai Disneyland.

http://SportToday.org/
and
http://SportToday.org/
via a thread in TPR.

Quick question for you Jeremy (or anyone else who knows.)  Do the Happy
Valley parks have any form of line-jumping/virtual queue system?  I know
that they parks can get insanely busy.  And I'd hate to miss major rides on
my visits next year.

While I understand the hatred that many enthusiast have for these systems,
I have no problem paying a small amount of extra money to get double or
triple the rides, if I'm already spending many thousands of dollars on the
trip anyways!

Quote:
>Japan, however... I could name you one park for every finger on my
>right hand that I personally visited that I'm skeptical reached a
>daily attendance in the triple digits. Space World, Mitsui Greenland,
>Parque Espana, Yomiuriland, and Tokyo Dome City (see below; that one's
>a bit harder to classify since it's an open gated mall area in
>downtown Tokyo, but I'll count in terms of people who bought any ride
>tickets). Nagashima Spaland and even Fuji-Q Highlands were not doing
>much better. The only way I can explain how they're able to turn a
>profit is that a one-day ticket price for each of these parks is
>generally in the $50-$60 (a lot of that is favorable JPY exchange
>rates, however).

It was a shame seeing so many of those parks really dead during ACE and the
ECC's trip there a few years back.  While it was certainly nice for US not
to have to wait in line, it was sad to see such nice parks not being
successful.  I'm surprised more of them haven't gone under, actually.  

I hope that Parque Espana can stay around, since it was one of my favorite
parks in the country, with my favorite steel coaster in the country:
Pyrenees.

Quote:
>Interestingly, South Korea was the one place in Asia that really has
>their amu***t park act together (efficient operations, clean
>premises, evening hours) and it showed in the fact that they're seeing
>huge attendance numbers that keep the parks packed all the way to
>their 10:00pm closings. Even Woobang Towerland, which would be a
>pretty ghetto establishment in China or Japan, had a very lively crowd
>with even a number of westerners present when I stopped by for a few
>hours. Besides the American influence in Korea, I've also noticed that
>Korean culture seems to be very socially oriented compared to China
>and Japan (it was hard to find any place to eat which would serve
>meals for only one person!), which is perhaps why their amu***t
>parks are doing so well.

On a similar note, do the major parks in South Korea have virtual
queue/line cutting systems?  I'm strongly considering a few days in South
Korea before the China trip, and such systems would help me to get in as
many rides as possible.

Also, I'll ask you (or anyone else) if you feel there are any real must-see
parks in South Korea besides Everland and Lotte World, particularly those
easily accessible by public transportation and not too far from Seoul.  I'm
less interested in credit whoring, and more interested in seeing the best
parks and the best rides.

Quote:
>> 8) Tokyo Dome City: Down to one operating coaster.

>Wait, which one is that? I'm pretty sure the RCDb is outdated because
>when I stopped by, Thunder Dolphin was SBNO and I was vaguely told it
>had been closed for several months (since the earthquake?) and that it
>would continue to be closed "long term" (their words, printed on the
>official English-language guide). The Spinning Coaster I couldn't even
>find, but if it was under the big canopy area I'm fairly certain there
>was nothing left to find save for s***metal. The only things
>operating were the log flume (with empty logs), the Ferris Wheel, and
>a few children's rides. I think calling this place "endangered" is a
>little too optimistic.

Any idea if the dark ride and haunted house at TDC were still operational?
They were quite excellent!

 "With the first link, a chain is forged.  The first speech censured,
 the first thought forbidden, the first freedom denied, chains us
 all irrevocably."  -Capt. Jean-Luc Picard
                     "The Drumhead", _Star Trek: The Next Generation_

 
 
 

The 2011 Endangered Park Thread

Post by Surf Dance Chri » Mon, 07 Nov 2011 21:48:21

On Nov 6, 5:59?am, "David H.--REMOVE \"STOPSPAM\" to reply"

Quote:




> >> 7) Name a park in China. Any of them: All sparsely attended state
> >> funded projects intended to make the country look better. The older
> >> you are, the closer you are to completely ghetto horrible. The newer
> >> you are, the more likely you are to have a Chinese built ride kill
> >> passengers. Like a lot of things in China, the coaster boom there (did
> >> you know they have more coasters than any other country except the
> >> USA? THE MOAR U KNOW) seems to be all about appearances to the west
> >> rather than meeting a need for the millions of Chinese suddenly making
> >> purchases with disposable income.

> >Based on my observations, the local Chinese parks are doing *much*
> >better than the local Japanese parks, although that might have been
> >due to the ongoing earthquake recovery efforts and power plant
> >disaster. I think the biggest problem facing the newer Chinese parks
> >(Happy Valley, for instance) is that their ride capacities are too
> >restricted due to horrible operations, which effectively puts a cap on
> >their daily visitorship that would be a mediocre day's business for
> >any medium sized US park even though all the queues are overflowing.
> >As long as they're profitable with those numbers I doubt they'll
> >change their practices, and they certainly won't be closing any time
> >soon. Yeah, there are maybe some safety concerns but that's all of
> >China for you, it won't be permanently damaging for business. They're
> >still a relatively new innovation for the culture, but especially in
> >the wake of Disney I don't see them going away any time soon.

> Except that they're apparently doing so poorly that the government has
> halted any new construction of any amu***t park project that isn't
> already physically in the building stage, with a few exceptions, such as
> Shanghai Disneyland.

> http://SportToday.org/
> andhttp://SportToday.org/
> via a thread in TPR.

> Quick question for you Jeremy (or anyone else who knows.) ?Do the Happy
> Valley parks have any form of line-jumping/virtual queue system? ?I know
> that they parks can get insanely busy. ?And I'd hate to miss major rides on
> my visits next year.

> While I understand the hatred that many enthusiast have for these systems,
> I have no problem paying a small amount of extra money to get double or
> triple the rides, if I'm already spending many thousands of dollars on the
> trip anyways!

> >Japan, however... I could name you one park for every finger on my
> >right hand that I personally visited that I'm skeptical reached a
> >daily attendance in the triple digits. Space World, Mitsui Greenland,
> >Parque Espana, Yomiuriland, and Tokyo Dome City (see below; that one's
> >a bit harder to classify since it's an open gated mall area in
> >downtown Tokyo, but I'll count in terms of people who bought any ride
> >tickets). Nagashima Spaland and even Fuji-Q Highlands were not doing
> >much better. The only way I can explain how they're able to turn a
> >profit is that a one-day ticket price for each of these parks is
> >generally in the $50-$60 (a lot of that is favorable JPY exchange
> >rates, however).

> It was a shame seeing so many of those parks really dead during ACE and the
> ECC's trip there a few years back. ?While it was certainly nice for US not
> to have to wait in line, it was sad to see such nice parks not being
> successful. ?I'm surprised more of them haven't gone under, actually.

> I hope that Parque Espana can stay around, since it was one of my favorite
> parks in the country, with my favorite steel coaster in the country:
> Pyrenees.

> >Interestingly, South Korea was the one place in Asia that really has
> >their amu***t park act together (efficient operations, clean
> >premises, evening hours) and it showed in the fact that they're seeing
> >huge attendance numbers that keep the parks packed all the way to
> >their 10:00pm closings. Even Woobang Towerland, which would be a
> >pretty ghetto establishment in China or Japan, had a very lively crowd
> >with even a number of westerners present when I stopped by for a few
> >hours. Besides the American influence in Korea, I've also noticed that
> >Korean culture seems to be very socially oriented compared to China
> >and Japan (it was hard to find any place to eat which would serve
> >meals for only one person!), which is perhaps why their amu***t
> >parks are doing so well.

> On a similar note, do the major parks in South Korea have virtual
> queue/line cutting systems? ?I'm strongly considering a few days in South
> Korea before the China trip, and such systems would help me to get in as
> many rides as possible.

> Also, I'll ask you (or anyone else) if you feel there are any real must-see
> parks in South Korea besides Everland and Lotte World, particularly those
> easily accessible by public transportation and not too far from Seoul. ?I'm
> less interested in credit whoring, and more interested in seeing the best
> parks and the best rides.

> >> 8) Tokyo Dome City: Down to one operating coaster.

> >Wait, which one is that? I'm pretty sure the RCDb is outdated because
> >when I stopped by, Thunder Dolphin was SBNO and I was vaguely told it
> >had been closed for several months (since the earthquake?) and that it
> >would continue to be closed "long term" (their words, printed on the
> >official English-language guide). The Spinning Coaster I couldn't even
> >find, but if it was under the big canopy area I'm fairly certain there
> >was nothing left to find save for s***metal. The only things
> >operating were the log flume (with empty logs), the Ferris Wheel, and
> >a few children's rides. I think calling this place "endangered" is a
> >little too optimistic.

> Any idea if the dark ride and haunted house at TDC were still operational?
> They were quite excellent!

> ?"With the first link, a chain is forged. ?The first speech censured,
> ?the first thought forbidden, the first freedom denied, chains us
> ?all irrevocably." ?-Capt. Jean-Luc Picard
> ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ?"The Drumhead", _Star Trek: The Next Generation_

Dark ride and haunted house? Were they in the indoor section with
Geopanic? That section was closed for rennovationa when I was there in
July 2008, which would probably be the reason I missed them, I would
never otherwise skip a dark ride!
 
 
 

The 2011 Endangered Park Thread

Post by Tim Melag » Tue, 08 Nov 2011 07:13:05


Quote:
> I'll be interested to follow Conneaut Lake Park. On the one hand the
> place is in very poor condition and struggling to generate a positive
> cash flow. On the other hand, there does seem to be a genuine
> community effort to keep it alive and operating after the last closure
> made them realize what they'd be losing, and I'd be very surprised to
> read a news headline saying that they're throwing in the towel after
> all the work put into it so far. It might be a zombie but it's still
> walking around.

The thing that scares me about Conneaut Lake Park is that this is the
second year in a row that the rides were run by a carnival operator
who won't return the next year. I think they'll have to consider
operating their own rides and there is not guarantee how that would
work out.

--Tim Melago

 
 
 

The 2011 Endangered Park Thread

Post by acer51 » Tue, 08 Nov 2011 10:16:13


Quote:
> Last time I did one of these, it was 2008. In the time since then,
> we've seen many more park closings than openings stateside. Hard Rock
> opened and promptly closed (twice), Kentucky Kingdom is now vacant,
> Celebration City has sat idle for years, Astroland is outta here, as
> well as a bunch of parks overseas (Expoland, Luna Park Rome, Terra
> Encantanda in Brazil). I suppose then it would be good to update it
> with who seems to be in danger.

> 1) California's Great America: The 49ers want a new stadium. They need
> a parking lot. Turns out that Great America would make a great one.
> The park is already sold and seems destined for the s***heap; quite
> the unfortunate end for one of the two Marriott parks.

> 2) Alabama Adventure (formerly Visionland): On the market,
> questionable if it opens next year. Since day one, this park has been
> in financial trouble.

> 3) Amu***ts in Primm: Made the list before. Still uncertain how
> exactly they're still open in 2011. The biggest factor separating them
> from Speed/Wet and Wild Vegas/Manhattan Express is that they aren't on
> the strip, and in fact the hotel/*** they are attached to is
> probably barely*** on as well and lacks the funds to just tear
> the whole thing to the ground.

> 4) Indiana Beach: Why is this park here? Well, the family who
> successfully operated the park and made money stopped wanting to, so
> they sold it to an operator of trailer parks and RV parks that has
> promptly ***ed the place up beyond recognition. Attendance was still
> good, its just that the people running the show are clueless. I wonder
> if they even had the money to buy it or just took out a line of
> credit? I bet I know the answer to that. See also: The Ruination of
> America.

> 5) Clementon: Still here. Still kicking. Just a struggling park.

> 6) Ferrari World: A monument to waste and excess in the deserts of Abu
> Dhabi. My wife and I initially considered going this month some time
> ago when laying out our plans for the year, but then we started to see
> the trip reports for the place and....yeah. Not interested in crossing
> the planet for a half finished amu***t park that, it would seem, no
> one attends.

> 7) Name a park in China. Any of them: All sparsely attended state
> funded projects intended to make the country look better. The older
> you are, the closer you are to completely ghetto horrible. The newer
> you are, the more likely you are to have a Chinese built ride kill
> passengers. Like a lot of things in China, the coaster boom there (did
> you know they have more coasters than any other country except the
> USA? THE MOAR U KNOW) seems to be all about appearances to the west
> rather than meeting a need for the millions of Chinese suddenly making
> purchases with disposable income.

> 8) Tokyo Dome City: Down to one operating coaster. The city had a
> bunch of changes in the last 5 years, some of which were poorly
> planned. Take Korakuen Hall for instance. You've probably never heard
> of it; most gaijin haven't. But it is the spiritual home of combat
> sport and pro wrestling in Japan. Roughly every three days in Japan,
> there is a boxing event there. Pretty much every other day, there is
> pro wrestling, kickboxing, MMA, or full contact karate. Sometimes
> there's even matinee shows and night shows. The issue here is that it
> wasn't supposed to still be running all these shows. The bigger
> promotions and the boxing were supposed to use a purpose built
> facility called JCB Hall that was constructed a couple years ago, and
> lots of money was poured into it. As is often the case, a bunch of it
> disappeared, it ran over budget, and now the charge to rent the
> facility is so high that fight/wrestling promoters can't make money
> getting the hall and selling 2500 (or fewer) tickets inside of it. So
> there's been two wrestling cards, no MMA shows, and no boxing events
> in the facility this year.

> What I'm getting at here with that long is that Tokyo Dome City is a
> place money goes to die, and the natural reaction to that fact is
> going to be cutbacks elsewhere. Its not coincidence that Linear Gale
> and Geopanic have left the site.

> 9) Lakeside: I love this park, but Rhoda is only getting older,
> people.

> 10) Any newly constructed park in the West: Mark Rosenzweig had a post
> many moons ago in some topic here talking about how new parks were
> guaranteed to lose money for about the first 2 owners or so due to the
> cost of construction and what not. Then you see empty parks like
> Rainbow MagicLand in Italy, and you wonder who the hell is funding
> things like that?
>11) Family Kingdom Amu***t Park:  I don't know if this park is endangered

  or not,but can someone explain how this park continues to survive in
Myrtle
  Beach when two other area parks (The Pavillion and Hard Rock Park)
are now
  only memories ?