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Industry Has High Hopes for Thunderhawk: 'Wild, New Ride'


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Why on earth would they tell people?

People who go to parks are more excited about NEW rides. And it is new, to them.

Closing Geauga Lake is something Cedar Fair would doubtless like people to forget about.

Marketing is about putting your best face forward. And there is nothing to be gained by pointing out that your brand new attraction was moved from somewhere else. Kings Island didn't go out of their way to point out where Firehawk came from, either. And when Six Flags had a ride rotation program, they sure didn't tell the public about it either. They never denied it, but they sure didn't market it or advertise it.

That all being said, this is from the article:

...Thunderhawk was disassembled last fall in Geauga Lake & Wildwater Kingdom near Cleveland; that park becomes exclusively a water park this year. Designer and manufacturer Vekoma International B.V. of The Netherlands is overseeing the refurbishing of the cars and tubular track....

So they DID mention it....not prominently, but they did mention it.

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^They Still Don't mention that it's relocated from GL!

Why would they keep that a secret?

If your would READ the article it says that it was first constructed in 1998!!!

""This is absolutely being marketed as a new ride," Jourden-Mark said of the coaster that was first constructed in 1998 and is the two-seat version of the Cedar Point's four-seat "Raptor." "A coaster is a different ride when it is in a different location."

That ride is NOTHING like raptor!!

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Why on earth would they tell people?

People who go to parks are more excited about NEW rides. And it is new, to them.

Closing Geauga Lake is something Cedar Fair would doubtless like people to forget about.

Marketing is about putting your best face forward. And there is nothing to be gained by pointing out that your brand new attraction was moved from somewhere else. Kings Island didn't go out of their way to point out where Firehawk came from, either. And when Six Flags had a ride rotation program, they sure didn't tell the public about it either. They never denied it, but they sure didn't market it or advertise it.

That all being said, this is from the article:

...Thunderhawk was disassembled last fall in Geauga Lake & Wildwater Kingdom near Cleveland; that park becomes exclusively a water park this year. Designer and manufacturer Vekoma International B.V. of The Netherlands is overseeing the refurbishing of the cars and tubular track....

So they DID mention it....not prominently, but they did mention it.

Wait, I'm confused. Did they say X-Flight was from GL last year?

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....Edena Construction Corp. of Ohio has started to erect the ride parts and will continue through early April. Each steel part is being sandblasted and repainted, while a new electrical system and starting station is constructed on site. Other local subcontractors include Ottawa Electric, Erickson Electric Service Inc. and Quality Contractors and Painting....

And hopefully, unlike Chang in its early years, it will keep the paint job...if you mean colors, it is being returned to its near original colors, as opposed to that bright (and IMHO hideous) yellow color scheme Thunderhawk had had in recent years.

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^I was thinking ocean blue with purple poka-dots, but thats just me.

I would have much rather have kept the X-Flight name and colors, but it's CF, what do you expect?

Why are you so down on CF? Being an over-the-road truck driver I don't get to KI like I used to. But I've been following things here on KIC and other internet sources. CF is probably one of the most successful amusement park companies in the business. Look what they did with Cedar Point and its limited space. They have apparently made changes at KI, KD, CW that are definitely for the better. We are free from the MOVIE themed rides, finally. And some pretty bad ones at that. Tomb Raider, IJST to name a couple.

You might say, well look at Six Flags. OK! Let's look at SF. They just not too long ago sold off a whole lot of parks because they were going bankrupt. Why? Start with Geauga Lake. It made no sense to put in a couple of $20mil+ rides in a park that had CP and KI so close. Akron area is not that affluent to begin with. Look at SF customer satisfaction. In the toilet. On the other hand, CF parks always get rave customer reviews and have the benefit of solid financial backing. Yes, there is a mild struggle with cash right now at CF but who wouldn't have when taking a bite into a $1.7billion dollar purchase which included a couple of parks that weren't all that great on income.

So far, what I've seen on KIC and other places I have to give CF a BIG pat on the back. Amusement parks are not cheap to build or operate. There are undoubtably MANY financial burdens that we the peons don't have an inkling about. BE FAIR! Give them 3 or 4 more years to really get things oriented!

Not absolutely a PRO CF fan, but I'm tired of reading all of the bashing of an amusement park management company that KNOWS what it's about!

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You make many valid points...but the purchase was $1.24 billion, Six Flags is currently running the highest guest satisfaction scores in the history of the company (and on a near par with Disney), and the creditors may or may not give Cedar Fair three or four years to really get things oriented. The economy seems to be entering a recession at present. To say the company is facing a mild struggle with cash is putting it very mildly. They even borrowed money to pay distributions with, and this from what was once a very conservatively run company.

Also, no ride at Geauga Lake even approached $20 million. It is probable Cedar Fair bought the property with a view towards shifting it to lessen competition with Cedar Point. Its primary market has always been Cleveland, not Akron.

I, for one, seriously doubt that either Cedar Fair OR Six Flags will have the same management in place even five years from now. . .or even the same ownership.

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Interpreter, you seem to have a good gauge on these sorts of things so I will ask you... Is the Amusement park industry at current, Disney aside, more or less profitable than the airline industry, and how does this compare to just a few years ago?

I am asking because the profitability of airlines has tanked within the last 10 years, and now airlines with just one type of plane rather than multiple offerings, and cheap tickets are creating a niche of their own and bringing the industry back (Jet Blue, Southwest), while Delta and American Airlines continue to struggle with cash flows, due to their overabundance of labor, multiple old plane models, and an old hub and spoke routing system. The point is after a long down turn in the industry, it slowly began to reinvent itself.

How far away are the members of the entertainment industry of today from reinventing themselves to this extent, or do they even need to? Anyone with some knowledge of this, please chime in...!

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I still think that the "controversy" over used rides is all an invention of we enthusiasts...the GP couldn't care less. A new coaster at your park, is a new coaster at your park, regardless of where it came from. I didn't notice KI guests refusing to ride Firehawk/X-Flight last year just because it game from GL. And, to be honest (and maybe sound somewhat like a snob ;) ), the customer base at KI has a lot higher expecations than those at Michigan's Adventure. So, considering X-Flight's reception at KI, I think Thunderhawk will be a welcome addition to MA. I think this was a smart move by CF...the Vekoma "hang 'n bang" is the right move there.

(But...don't mistake the above as a total endorsement of CF's decision making. As a unit-holder and longtime enthusiast, I continue to be perplexed and disappointed by CF as a whole...)

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Well said JZ, the general public is pretty much oblivious to this "common" enthusiast news. While at Firehawk this year, multiple times I heard..... "They got a similar ride up at that there Six Flags and Sea World up north".

Almost everytime ive ridden Firehawk ill be in the station and the ride op will say "are you ready to experiance Ohio's only flying coaster featuring five inversions...ect.." and there is always someone who will say "Um, no Geugau Lake has one almost the same as this one!" Then ill try to tell that person that this is that ride, it was just relocated, and they'll be like "What ever."

:lol:

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