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Messages - shavethewhales

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I haven't heard anything or been back since May myself, but I would hazard a guess we should be looking at the old Indian Ridge site the next time we visit. I know there's been lots of chatter about the resort eventually coming. Didn't a survey go out about it not that long ago?

Announcements / Re: New Forums
« on: July 01, 2024, 11:16:47 AM »
I think I'm going to target July 20th to have the new forums setup. Might be able to figure out a way to let people preview it before then. We'll see how easy it is to setup.

Announcements / New Forums
« on: June 26, 2024, 10:19:54 AM »
I think the time has finally come. SDCFans needs a restart. Our forum software is very outdated and between it and our server we are seeing more and more issues and errors. We have already migrated the existing forum database once when we upgraded SMF versions. I think that led to some of the issues we are still experiencing.

I've been looking into various options and have been trying to decide what makes the most sense. Considering how people use the internet has changed dramatically since we started this site, it might make more sense to radically change our software to be more social media integrated and dynamic. Basic forums feel pretty dated at this point, but obviously I still like how they are more permanent and allow us to look back on conversations from a decade or more ago.

I've considered Flarum, XenForo, and MyBB as well as simply re-installing the latest version of simple machines. I think at this point the best option is probably Flarum. It's free, and the extensions would allow us to easily do everything I've been wanting to do for years with these forums. We could have photo galleries, login with your FB account, mentions, blog posts, and more.

Unfortunately it would essentially be a brand new site from the ground up. I would lock the old forums and have them available to browse on a new directory, such as

I'm just curious how many people would still use the site if I go through the effort of restarting it. Like I said, the way people use the internet has changed dramatically since we started this site, and at this point it's hard getting people off of FB and twitter to even look at a news article. I'm grateful we still have a small active community here though, and as long as there are still a few people around I feel like it's worth it to keep things going.

Let me know what you think.

Construction/Rumors / Re: Shopping survey
« on: June 26, 2024, 09:51:02 AM »
Interesting. I know retail sales at SDC have probably been slowing down for the past couple decades. Shopping used to be one of the main draws actually - before they started focusing on rides. There are obviously less and less craftsmen like the old days and more and more guests which would make it hard to keep inventory up anyway, so a lot of shops sell more mass-produced items now. The furniture store still has a waiting list though, which I think is pretty wild for a business like that inside a theme park.

Does sound like they maybe thinking of the area around the resort too. A Disney Springs/Branson Landing style area would be awesome. Something like that would basically keep me out of Branson since I usually only go into town for Branson Landing and Crazy Craig's anyway.

Branson Talk / Re: OYO/Classic Motor Inn closed
« on: June 23, 2024, 03:22:09 PM »
Yeah those were the good days. I can't believe the sudden collapse of the Branson hotel market. It seems like a lot of properties just reached their expiration date all at the same time and the various owners just can't or don't want to invest in them to bring them up to current standards. The "Branson Basic" style of hotel is still good enough for me, but those rooms keep getting older with the same furniture, carpet, linens, etc...

Plus there's still the issue of not being able to find enough employees anymore. Lot of those hotels scraped by using almost criminally underpaid immigrant workers for a long time. The economics definitely shift once you have to pay people a living wage based on today's prices.

Still, Branson desperately needs some new hotels, or at least some serious renovations of a few of these old properties. I wonder why capital isn't flowing into to Branson for new hotel projects right now...

Other Parks / Re: New Park - American Heartland in NE Oklahoma
« on: June 03, 2024, 09:34:56 AM »
Interestingly, they posted an apology on their social media regarding the delays and missed payments to FORREC and Crossland. They say they are moving forward and will resolve the issues.

They worded it pretty weirdly though with a backhand comment against people who are doubting them, lol. Definitely don't have a PR firm working with them yet. Best way to squash doubt is to actually get things moving.

There is construction near the entrance. It is where the rental tents have been since 2020. Iím guessing it is a new area for rentals.

Yeah probably something related to either stroller/power chairs or group sales. They've needed a bigger, more permanent space for awhile. Still think they just need to just go ahead and rebuild most of the entrance/ozark marketplace area...

I just wish they would cycle some of the older music back in. The new bluegrass covers are nice and I do like how they are kind of a compromise between the new and older crowd wants, but there was a certain ambiance provided by the classic bluegrass...

I think in general I'd like to see more effort on the little theme details again. I like how they have added so many signs back to the park in honor of so many employees, but each and every one has the same thick frame around it so they kind of stick out weirdly when there are so many. I also don't like how they don't hide the modern stuff anymore like the big coolers in the stores. Just little things. At this point I'm just glad there's still a theme at all though, so I'll take what I can get.  :P

^Rumor is that a tree fell on the tracks and upper management (possibly at the Atlanta level) freaked out. Must have been a huge tree...

SDC Memories/ Park History / Re: 1984 - 2024
« on: May 20, 2024, 08:18:46 AM »

I am just now seeing this post (sorry, I don't peruse the forums as often as I used to). Glad to hear you finally made it back!

I will definitely keep a lookout for a 1984 park map.

They absolutely OBLITERATED the trees around Thunderation. Looks like a bomb went off around the ride. Just clear cut everything within ~40' of the track. It definitely lost a lot of character... J&P camp is completely gone, though I think it was cleared away a while ago.

The ride has gotten even rougher than I remember. No seat is really safe anymore. I could only stand one ride.

Other Parks / Re: New Park - American Heartland in NE Oklahoma
« on: May 14, 2024, 08:50:07 PM »
It was a design consultant, FORREC, who has famously designed a number of high profile attractions.

For a design consultant to file this kind of action over this much unpaid work, there must have been some serious issues behind the scenes. I work as a civil consultant myself, so I know that amount represents a lot of people working for a long time. FORREC probably designed most of the park and came up with all the renderings we've seen so far. When Mansion comes out talking about not paying until they have "reviewed", that sounds like a huge ton of crap.

I think this is the official start of the wheels coming off. Of course, the whole shenanigans with them putting up orange fencing and then leaving the site for six months and counting was an obvious tell. Oh yeah, they need to redesign the RV park that they already posted videos of them starting work on.  ::)

One has to imagine that something will eventually be done with the train station. Even on less busy days, the line is still wrapping around the "courtyard" in front and is confusing and unsightly for newer guests. I still wonder if there is a push internally for re-doing the entire area that the station currently occupies, including the removal of Flooded Mine. If they were smart, they could keep FM and just push things closer to it to make room, but I think that ride is on borrowed time regardless.

Branson Talk / Re: RFD Theatre
« on: April 30, 2024, 04:03:09 PM »
It's definitely a shock to see such a large area look so desolate. In fact, that entire area now is so desolate - the closed Celebration City, crater where RFD was, closed Honeysuckle... heck, so much of the 76 strip looks like a wreck now. There are still empty lots where several hotels once stood that were damaged during the tornado - how many years ago? I noticed many hotels have switched hands to more generic "brands" and look a little more run down. Some have even transitioned into "extended stay" flea traps. Branson has never looked more rough in my decades of visits. It was better in 2008-09 even.

I don't know, but even Wildfire had some downtown on Saturday. TNT has been known to have some issues as we've discussed about the pothole that's formed near the start of the tunnel. I hope they can get it rideable through this season, but it needs a partial rebuild very soon.

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