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Messages - shavethewhales

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Construction/Rumors / Re: SDC's 2019 Project(s) and Park Developments
« on: July 27, 2018, 11:55:02 AM »
A show year is about what I expect. Still hope to see work start on some general infrastructure/crowd flow improvements.

I can't see any more Christmas expansion because of how much they spent last year plus the fact that they literally can't fit any more people into the park on busy Christmas weekends.

Branson Talk / Re: America's Fun Park in Branson
« on: July 26, 2018, 05:15:57 PM »
The park isn't the one selling off the coaster, it's the carnival that actually owns the rides. The park just owns the land, from what I understand. They have some kind of deal in place with the carnival to host rides there on a rotating basis. Evidently it was a bad deal if they had to get rid of a coaster after two months.

They did talk about Fall and Christmas events, but if they can't even get the basic park operational for summer then I am not sure how they think they can handle the extra effort of a seasonal event.

I never got there so I'm not sure what it was really like, but every report I've read talked about how most of the rides were closed and there were only a few employees running around from ride to ride. They probably were never able to hire an actual workforce because of the delayed opening and the piss-poor "job fair" planning. The Branson labor market is extremely tight - even SDC is struggling. You can't just announce a job fair and hope people show up.

Other Parks / Re: Bell's Developments
« on: July 26, 2018, 03:43:18 PM »
I don't really want to raise any hopes here, but there was a little tidbit from Robby at the end of this recent article remembering Zingo:

So they apparently have new plans... But probably still no money or any real assets. The family name is worth something at least. It would be incredibly exciting to have something even as simple as the Branson Fun Park in Tulsa. We're starved for amusements in this state.

Branson Talk / Re: America's Fun Park in Branson
« on: July 25, 2018, 02:55:02 PM »
I am very disappointed. I missed them in May since they were late in opening, but had plans to be there in August. It just seems so amateurish to me to not even be able to run an amusement business in the middle of Branson for longer than two months without going under. I had high hopes for them, and that they would spur further development along.

I mean seriously, two months? You have to go into business with enough cash to make it a year at least.

There's a pattern here with amateur park operators. They assume that once they open they'll have so much free cash flow that they'll just "make it work". Most business take a year or so to refine the business model and pivot if necessary. A park in Alabama that was very similar to this one only lasted two months as well. Then there was Wild West World, which also assumed they would make it on free cash flow alone. Both parks that were proposed for Texas are barely off the ground.... seems like little parks can't make it anymore.

Dollywood Discussion / Re: Dollywood 2019
« on: July 25, 2018, 11:04:00 AM »
Sounds good to me. I was really thinking we might see the snow theme after all based on some of the area sketches. Still not sure what those fans are supposed to be on the invert.

This has the potential to be really transformation (again) for the park. After the flop (IMO) of Wilderness Pass, this will have the potential to get back to heavy theming and immersive environments that they were doing so well with in Timber Canyon.

Although some don't like it, you have to admit that they did a lot of creative things with Fireman's Landing, and it has a really fun atmosphere and charm of it's own even with all the rides packed in close. I am looking forward to DW's take on it.

Branson Talk / Ride The Ducks Boat Capsizes in Storm
« on: July 19, 2018, 09:42:53 PM »

Our dear hopes are that the rumors are false and everyone is OK. Sounds like a sudden microburst on the lake or something. Strong winds all around from a storm that was expected to be much smaller.

Pointed this out in a DW thread, but I think it's interesting that the HFEC President pointed out how successful lodging has been at DW:

Still wondering when that is headed our way. Dreammore has been around for 3 years now and SDC has it's new coaster. Seems like the time is right to look outside the park for expansion before they throw more money at rides. I'm sure it's been discussed extensively in a boardroom somewhere.

Dollywood Discussion / Future DW Speculation
« on: July 17, 2018, 05:29:30 PM »
In a recent article featuring the President of HFEC, she mentioned that lodging has been very successful at DW and they want to keep expanding it. Makes you wonder if another resort is in the works, or just an eventual expansion of Dreammore.

Of course I also am still curious about SDC's hotel, but I'll try to keep that in the SDC speculation threads.

It sounds like they don't plan to slow down much with the DW expansions just because the big ten year push is coming to a close. The park is so far ahead of where they were back in the 00's, but it still feels like they are one or two big attractions away from being a true destination for most people who. They need something large and reliable, like a B&M hyper. Probably don't want to copy Carowinds though, but at least Vekoma, Intamin, and Mack are all competing in that space as well now...

Other Parks / Re: Frontier City Developments
« on: July 10, 2018, 09:51:07 PM »
The Tumbleweed was a classic rotor ride. Basically a barrel that spun around on it's y-axis so you were pinned to the inside wall. The fact that it is no longer on the website is what is causing the rumor.

As for the other rides, I've seen scattered reports that they've been having issues with ride downtime on the major rides. Not good when most of the star attractions are down at an already attraction-starved park.

Other Parks / Re: Frontier City Developments
« on: July 09, 2018, 11:36:10 AM »
Apparently the rumor on the street is that the Tumbleweed may get taken out. That would free up a decent spot for a new flat.

It's one of the last classic rotors left, and they just got it fixed and working again a few years ago after SF let it sit dormant for awhile. It's probably past it's service life though.

I'm still holding out hope for a drop tower.

Other Parks / HFEC Acquires Pink Adventure Tours
« on: July 05, 2018, 01:22:22 PM »

Interesting acquisition. They sold off Ride the Ducks last year, but now they picked up this similar business with a more niche business model. Curious what the numbers look like here. Pink seems to be a much better brand at the moment, in any case. Ride the Ducks is a fun concept, but apparently only the Branson location has ever done that great.

Interesting to see them continue to diversify, but personally I'm wondering when they'll go back to expanding their park portfolio.

General Silver Dollar City Talk / Re: Fire In the Hole/Flooded Mine
« on: July 02, 2018, 02:04:21 PM »
The music hasn't been working for a while now... maybe since last year? The Red Flanders bit was working a couple months ago though.

FM has all kinds of funny business that goes on with the manaquins. The moving parts seem to like breaking off. If you ride it a bunch throughout the year and keep track, there's so much stuff that moves around and gets fixed/broken. Just part of the nature of that old style of ride with the budget it's been given.

The hobos are gone and will not be back. Most of the hillbilly/non-PC jokes and theming have been cleaned from the park. Even the guns are going bye-bye.

Construction/Rumors / Re: SDC's 2018 Project(s) and Park Developments
« on: July 01, 2018, 08:50:32 PM »
Wow, that's unexpectedly awesome. They actually kept the old Big Jacks signs and put everything back together like it was instead of just putting something in and printing a couple vinyl signs.

Still makes you wonder what happened to the original building that it was worth taking it all down and rebuilding it in the same form.

Branson Talk / Re: Proposed Branson Tram Project
« on: June 20, 2018, 05:27:23 PM »
They need to focus on connecting a few key points in Branson right now instead of the original pie-in-the-sky concept of having this thing run around everywhere and out to SDC. It sounds like they are chugging along and coming to that realization.

It also needs a base parking area/garage to start at. I'd love to just park on the North end of the strip and be able to ride to Downtown Branson. They can combine it with the trolley, so that the end points are also multi-modal hubs that could take you to SDC or the landing.

Still a very interesting proposition, but I'm not holding my breath. With the next recession looming, I have a feeling this is going to be another Branson mega project that will make a lot of noise but never actually happen.

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