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KI Guy

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KI Guy last won the day on September 8

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  1. This is a big one, but it would make a huge difference. All eateries will henceforth be founded, operated, and managed by independent vendors who pay rent or a share of their revenue to Kings Island. This ensures that each eatery is good enough to make money and compete against the other restaurants. No matter what improvements are made to food operations at Kings Island, they will never operate a restaurant as well as people who do that alone full-time. No longer would some restaurants continue to exist just because they are more convenient than leaving the park. This model has worked for Indiana Beach for a very long time. The burger I had there from the BlueJay Cafe was outstanding and would have been outstanding even for a restaurant outside of a park.
  2. Cost-cutters have their place in the business, but unlike management they don't have to focus on the full picture when thinking of potential cuts. Some costs just don't have revenue directly tied to them. How much does landscaping net them in ROI? On paper nothing--actually a big negative-- but take it away and perceived value of a park goes down. A guest feels the park is less special, and may spend less money at the park, make fewer visits, or be willing to pay less to come in. Think of those car dealerships that give away the coffee and donuts in the mornings. There's a psychological effect on the customers that indirectly makes them money. The cost-cutters, doing their job, would just find the cost-cutting opportunity not realizing or caring what the wider effects would be. The biggest cost-cutting I've seen has been the modest investments for new attractions, and they're industry wide. The economy is not good, but not horrible. The lack of investment though has been worse than what we saw in 2009-10 when it was horrible. Can anyone recall a string of three years when things were this modest in terms of investment? Take next year, the two biggest park investments are a modest Dive coaster (Cedar Fair) and an "off-the-shelf" large boomerang coaster (Six Flags). Regarding day-to-day- cost cutting at Cedar Fair, I'm sure the orders are coming from the board in Charlotte. The "best day ever" Ouimet strategy from several years back is out and the strategy of cost-saving and mostly status quo is clearly in. Hopefully, this is just echoes of the pandemic and they'll be pulling out of the ultra-conservative pandemic "survival" mode soon. Large, top-tier amusement parks need continuous maintenance and re-investment just to maintain the status quo let alone grow the business.
  3. Roaming Scareactors have been a unique part of Haunt/Fearfest since the beginning... over 20 years. If most people at the Haunt didn't like them they wouldn't have them. To that guest I would say, "why are you at Halloween Haunt if you don't want to be scared?" If being scared is that bothersome, he has the whole spring and summer not to mention the time earlier in the day before Haunt starts to enjoy Kings Island without being scared. Yes, the "no boo" necklaces are a cash grab, but people buy them which seems to be what the park cares about. That guest has to realize that there are some people who look forward to Haunt all year as it's configured and it would be selfish to try to change it just because it's not entirely his cup of tea.
  4. That's a good idea, but it would be even better to do this without removing Congo Falls. Four water rides is not too many, (It wasn't when the old KCKC was around anyway), and Congo is quite a distance from The Vortex plot so there's probably room for both. They could put the new KCKC about where the old one was if they just take down the ugly, tan box. A somewhat smaller Swan Lake (2.0) could be a nice move for this land as well since it would be visible from a lot of midway.
  5. The erosion of goodwill between the park and guests continues. First they switched to dynamic pricing to squeeze more money out of weekend park-goers under the guise of crowd control and now this. Now when someone buys said single-day tickets and doesn't use them (even due to something legitimate beyond their control), rather than refunding/replacing the tickets in goodwill they can now say "well you should have bought insurance." By the way they're not going to do that. This is merely taking advantage of the uninformed, the unassertive, and the anxious, (who will buy it just to be safe). "Insured" or not you better believe they will return you the money or replace the ticket if pushed. Remember this "product" the next time you see an insult of Six Flags business practices on this site.
  6. Remember that within the scope of Kings Island new attractions, Adventure Point is a modest addition. A less expensive addition will have less marketing hype/promotional dollars attached to it. This is because modest additions bring in a modest amount of additional money or just maintain the baseline revenue. Similarly, even with so called "free marketing" in social media, they would want to promote but not overhype to the point of disappointment. People know when they're being "over-sold" on something. A modest addition simply won't generate the buzz of a major one. To KICentral (largely local) superfans a couple flat rides and some additional theming can be a big deal. To someone who normally comes once or twice a year they might not be inclined to make a trip if they live two hours away and money is tighter that year. There are up and downs in the industry and limits to how far promotion can go. For those reasons blame can't rest squarely on one guy's shoulders.
  7. Although this is just a concept at this point, I'd like to add this to the imaginary KICentral "wishlist" for Kings Island. I'd put it in Rivertown where the Crypt building is. Rivertown is in definite need of a flat ride and Kings Island hasn't added a "big" flat ride since WindSeeker. *Notice the seats actually rotate independently of the main ring. Wow!
  8. What percentage of KI's annual attendees do you think complain about the similarity? The overwhelming majority of guests don't think the way enthusiasts do, and thank goodness for that. The general public is much more inclined to see Orion and Diamondback as more or less the same than enthusiasts would. It's the enthusiasts/diehard fans who draw minor distinctions and obsess over every detail or statistic. Since the two coasters look and feel similar, they're going to be viewed as the same. I don't think this could be said of any other two coasters in the park. Definitely though the level of and visibility of complaints will be different largely because rides mean more personally to enthusiasts. An enthusiast will rant or rave. A general public guest will say "that could be better, oh well", or "that was pretty good."
  9. Your thoughts on happiness are admirable when used as a general outlook on life. However, at an amusement park the average guest will have the best time when their rides-to-time ratio is high. Nobody likes waiting. This is why paid line skipping systems now exist. Also, many consumers (to their detriment) do base their contentment on their position relative to others. There's a reason the newest pass is called a "prestige" pass and that it includes a "V.I.P." area. Yes they would, but there's a breaking point. As sales of Fast Lane and its growing number of variants increase the less relative benefit for each Fast Lane customer. Also, as Fast Lane grows the lesser the experience for the traditional "non-premium" guest. Some of these guests will not come back also lessening the benefit of Fast Lane and potentially threatening the health of the customer base. What you may not be considering is that long-term negative effects of business decisions are not always readily apparent or initially understood. And with stock trading corporations business decisions can skew towards the short-term to grow stock prices for a quarter at the expense of the long-term health of the business. Hopefully for Cedar Fair they've done their due diligence researching this. One of the last things they would want to do is slowly corrode the goodwill they've built up over the decades with their bread and butter guests. Fast Lane's making them reluctant or unable to do this is another less obvious con of having the system. As we've discussed here, lower price points, (and meal plans) encourage using the park as a daycare which has helped give rise to some of the problems the park has faced the last several years.
  10. No, it's not. From a business perspective their goal is to maximize revenue in both the short term and long term. There are not enough "premium" buyers to sustain the business on their own. Not only that, but if even theoretically everyone becomes a premium buyer, no one is a premium buyer and no one is happy. The bedrock of Kings Island's business model is families who buy season passes or who go once or twice a year. If you provide a lousy experience to today's "regular buyer," why would he become a premium buyer when his financial situation changes? Lastly, I'd imagine very few guests are premium buyers their first time at the park, (or after a long time away), so it has to be leaving some with a less than optimal first impression.
  11. The seats aren't benches like on a Scrambler or Shake, Rattle & Roll. They're molded seats with a divider and individual harnesses. They wouldn't leave seats empty, just as they don't on WindSeeker- so capacity would have essentially doubled, (assuming equal ride cycle time). Regarding Cargo Loco, I'm glad to hear they're opening things as they become ready. That's the best thing to do at this point
  12. One thing you may not be considering is that a lower capacity means less theoretical ride time. They could run a 48-seat model for 2 minutes rather than a 24-seat model for 90 seconds and still come out ahead on capacity. Unless the line is empty you will be waiting more than you could have, and and you could very well be riding for less time. I wonder if this means they could just bolt on the 2 seat units at some point in the future if the capacity proves to be a problem.
  13. @super7 put "cheap" in quotes meaning that the 24- seat model is cheap relative to the 48-seat model. To me, this complaint is legitimate. The $5-7 million is for all park upkeep as well as the new rides and theming. Even an off year with no new attraction will cost a couple million spent on small things here and there. Following your point though, If they are spending $5-7 million shouldn't the ride be capable of handling the volume it will likely need? If $5-7 million is being spent what is another $100k or $200k for the 48-seat model? (I have no idea the actual amount, but I can't imagine it's more than that). If the extra money really was a sticking point, I find it hard to believe that the difference in cost could not be taken from something else in the park's budget (at least for the this year) just to make it right. This is the first investment in three years and some could reasonably argue they're cutting corners with the money spent on capacity and the money put forth to get everything open on time. Maybe it'll be a non-issue and the line doesn't back up, but seeing how long they built the queue line they likely expect longer waits.
  14. Hopefully, it will be a non-issue regarding waiting times. Should it it prove to be a significant problem, they very easily could relocate Sol Spin to smaller park and replace it with a 48-seat model next year. The silver lining of this is that riders get a little more of an open feeling having nothing around them on all sides.
  15. If it is in fact the 24-seat model, this is the definition of a short-sighted decision. The equivalent (24-seat) ride at Kentucky Kingdom gets a line and far less people go there. I could understand the 24-seat model at a smaller park like Michigan's Adventure, but not Kings Island. For the relatively few dollars saved (or time saved on the build date?) they are getting half the ride in terms of capacity.
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