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BruceWayneWins

Is Kings Island a Have or a Have Not Cedar Fair park?

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This guy divides the parks up into 3 categories and gives his reasons why.  I thought this was interesting as I often see us compared to Carowinds, Cedar Point, Canada's Wonderland on here.
 

 

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Compared to Canada’s wonderland & Carowinds id say we received a very similar amount of investment. Cedar Point obvious receives the most

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7 minutes ago, WoodVengeance said:

I would say so considering we get a new coaster about every 3-4 years.

He puts us in the Have's and his reasons behind it make 100% sense.  I see some on here who think we're the neglected child and you'll always have that but this video puts everything in great perspective.

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What might be surprising to some is if you go back through every major coaster installation that Cedar Fair has added to both KI and CP since being co-owned beginning in 2006, one would notice that the total amount of investment has been roughly similiar, if not in KI's slight favor.

KI:

2007: Firehawk (Don't have an exact source, but I've read on here on multiple ocasion that the cost of relocating X-Flight was comparable to building it up ground-up; for our purposes, I'll estimate $10 million

2009: Diamondback ($22 million)

2014: Banshee ($24 million)

2017: Mystic Timbers (Est. $12 million*)

2020: Project X (Est. $30 million*)

CP

2007: Maverick ($21 million)

2013: GateKeeper ($25 million)

2016: Valravn (Est. $18 million*)

2018: Steel Vengeance (Est. $20 million*)

*As far as I can tell, 2015 appears to be the last year in which Cedar Fair released the official costs or major rides. So in place I put rough estimates based on similar rides.


So in sum, about $95-100 million have been spent on coasters alone at KI, and about $80-85 million respectively spent at Cedar Point.

These numbers, of course, do not include the plethora of flat ride, waterpark expansions/improvements, area renovations etc. which both parks have had no shortage of in the past 13 years.

This begs the question, why do some subscribe so firmly to mindset that Cedar Fair has been actively trying to 'check' KI's prominence so as to not diminish the allure of their namesake park. Because "if you watch what they do", one would see that doesn't appear to be the case...

Yes, one could say KI is till solidly behind CP in terms of coasters (few parks aren't). But I wouldn't say thats from Cedar Fair's own doing, considering that both parks have been getting coasters at basically the same rate.

SOB and Tomb Raider as the big investments at about the same time CP getting MF and TTD. That was the time in which KI truly fell behind. Because up through 1996, with KI getting Flight of Fear (at the time unique and groundbreaking) along with Beast, Racer, Vortex, Top Gun and CP getting Mantis along with Raptor, Magnum, Gemini, already there, the parks' were pretty similar in world-classness. But unfortunately it would not be until 2009 for KI to get another standout- ground up coaster (Diamondback).

 

Long story short....

We are most definitely a 'have' park, as the video states...

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1 minute ago, BeastForever said:

What might be surprising to some is if you go back through every major coaster installation that Cedar Fair has added to both KI and CP since being co-owned beginning in 2006, one would notice that the total amount of investment has been roughly similiar, if not in KI's slight favor.

KI:

2007: Firehawk (Don't have an exact source, but I've read on here on multiple ocasion that the cost of relocating X-Flight was comparable to building it up ground-up; for our purposes, I'll estimate $10 million

2009: Diamondback ($22 million)

2014: Banshee ($24 million)

2017: Mystic Timbers (Est. $12 million*)

2020: Project X (Est. $30 million*)

CP

2007: Maverick ($21 million)

2013: GateKeeper ($25 million)

2016: Valravn (Est. $18 million*)

2018: Steel Vengeance (Est. $20 million*)

*As far as I can tell, 2015 appears to be the last year in which Cedar Fair released the official costs or major rides. So in place I put rough estimates based on similar rides.


So in sum, about $95-100 million have been spent on coasters alone at KI, and about $80-85 million respectively spent at Cedar Point.

These numbers, of course, do not include the plethora of flat ride, waterpark expansions/improvements, area renovations etc. which both parks have had no shortage of in the past 13 years.

This begs the question, why do some subscribe so firmly to mindset that Cedar Fair has been actively trying to 'check' KI's prominence so as to not diminish the allure of their namesake park. Because "if you watch what they do", one would realize thats not the case at all.

Yes, one could say KI is till solidly behind CP in terms of great (few parks aren't), but thats not out of Cedar Fair's doing. Since 2006, the parks have expanded at basically the same rate.

Its just KI fell so far behind upon getting SOB and TRTR as its big invesemtents at about the same time CP getting MF and TTD. The way I see it, THAT was the cause of the perceived wealth disparity.

Sim    ddrough 1996, KI was on par with CP, and since 2007, they've been improving

 

   It’s a very interesting topic if Cedar Fair is trying to intentionally make Kings Island the inferior park, which or course could be argued either ways.

   The way I see Kings Island is one of the most important parks for Cedar Fair (Id rank it 3rd) Solely due to the fact it brings in such a large amount of revenue. For this reason Kings Island gets frequent large investments. Often times people say Kings Island won’t get a coaster due to the fact it doesn’t grow, while growth is ideal decline isn’t. As parks age their overall quality diminishes and it’s for this reason we get the rides we get, to maintain Kings Island appeal. 

 Personally I think Cedar Fairs plan with Kings Island is to let it be a large regional park that doesn’t take the spot light away from Cedar Point. Personally I think this new Giga coaster helps support that theory due to the fact it doesn’t seem to take and record away from Millennium Force. Cedar Points the flagship and because of that had probably gotten nearly 2x as much investments then Kings Island since 2013 (Sports force park, waterpark renovation, Sawmill Creek & Breakers renovation). Cedar Fair has treated Kings Island fantastically these past few years and the park seems like it has a bright future ahead of it.

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I agree that it is a "Have." Cedar Fair, I feel, has invested heavily in Kings Island since they took over in 2006 and the park has not looked this good in a long time. 

We got Firehawk in 2007, Diamondback in 2009, Banshee in 2014, Mystic Timbers in 2017, and our new giga coaster next year. Cedar Point on the other hand, got Maverick in 2007, GateKeeper in 2013, the Mantarou conversion in 2015, Valravn in 2016, and Steel Vengeance in 2018. Some may feel that Kings Island falls behind Cedar Point in the types of coasters offered, but I feel that both parks complement each other well as it's only 3.5 to 4 hours to Cedar Point from Kings Island's parking lot.

Other parks in the chain have gotten significant investment such as Carowinds (Intimidator, Copperhead Strike, Fury 325) and Canada's Wonderland (Behemoth, Leviathan, Yukon Striker). While I've only been to Carowinds, Kings Dominion, and Dorney Park in addition to Cedar Point and Kings Island, I feel that we have gotten a fair amount of investment compared to others within the chain, immediately coming to mind is Dorney Park (I don't believe has gotten a new coaster in some time) and Michigan's Adventure (has only been getting new trashcans for the longest time.) Joking aside, I am glad that Cedar Fair has invested tens of millions into our park with new rides, infrastructure, and refurbishments!

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Kings Island does very well for being a regional park. Cedar Point gets the most because they bring in the most revenue for the chain. I don't believe we'll see Kings Island become a destination park, but KI will continue to get new rides and attractions. 

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After watching the whole video you can't help but feel Cedar Fair needed the now former Paramount Parks more than they needed Cedar Fair.  (Not saying they shouldn't have bought them.  I get they were for sale.)  

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16 minutes ago, BruceWayneWins said:

After watching the whole video you can't help but feel Cedar Fair needed the now former Paramount Parks more than they needed Cedar Fair.  (Not saying they shouldn't have bought them.  I get they were for sale.)  

Very interesting topic, both chains at the time of the sale were very similar in terms of attendance, how ever the average revenue per guest was noticeably higher for Cedar Fair compared to Paramount parks. I’d say the Paramount parks need Cedar Fair more then Cedar Fair needed paramount. When you look at the management of Paramount parks it was noticeable that many of their investments were somewhat failures (Hypersonic, SoB etc), granted a lot of this was due to the CEO of the late 90’s and early 2000’s. These parks were in a rough position at the time of the deal, their lineups were quickly falling behind and the overall guest experience continued to fall, these parks had 2 futures - Continue on the path they were on or be sold to another outside firm that believe they could improve the parks. CedarFair, a firm that had plenty of experience was up for the task and knew what worked, large high quality coasters.

    Did Cedar Fair need Paramount? No, their chain wasn’t at risk of significantly going bankrupt (pre-paramount) but when you look at Paramount it told a story of something that needed to be changed or else these parks were going to keep heading down a dark path.   

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Plus I think the strategy is becoming very different for KI with them getting winter fest and CP not. Carnivale and CP not. I feel like they are positioning KI as a more well rounded “experience” park, not just using record breakers to drive marketing. I think it’s smart, since there is a whole demographic out there (non riders) that could care less about a world record, but live the idea of taking the kids or grandkids to a great parade, or relaxing spin in the antique cars. I applaud CF for investing in KI in a very smart, and intentionally different way than CP. 

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^ Id say what you’re describing is just Cedars Fairs overall strategy, not just Kings Islands. Cedar Fair has found that seasonal events (Particularly Haunt) has helped boost their revenue and attendance and for that reason Winterfest returned. Cedar Point doesn’t have Winterfest simply due to the fact it’s a  peninsula resulting in the pipes to freeze. Cedar Point also has the frontier festival so it’s not like they don’t have seasonal events.

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I just finished watching his Six Flags "Discount Chain" video and it pretty much solidifies my thoughts of them choosing to be mediocre. I wonder what's the ROI they get when they divy attractions put to all of their parks every year as opposed to Cedar Fair where they dish out about 2 major attractions per year tops.

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I have always liked Airtime Thrills because he discusses things that other coaster channels never talk about. I think he deserves more subscribers imo. Also, Kings Island is definitely a “have” park!

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29 minutes ago, FUN&ONLY! said:

I have always liked Airtime Thrills because he discusses things that other coaster channels never talk about. I think he deserves more subscribers imo. Also, Kings Island is definitely a “have” park!

He also does it in a nice manner and not in a manner that can come across as bullying like one user in the comments on these types of videos does. 

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To weigh “have” and “have nots” solely on coasters is incredibly short sighted. This year at KI is a perfect example. We got antique cars which seems like a lite investment, but that’s not taking into account I Street and the infrastructure for Carnivale. They put a ton of money into the park this year and it was easy to miss. Plus the millions upon millions invested into Winterfest. 
 

To think there are red headed step children within the chain is kind of ignorant too. If you want to see what investments in the tens of millions every year into smaller parks does to a chain just look up the history of Six Flags from 2000 until their bankruptcy. 
 

In the game of “who does Cedar Fair love more: KI or CP” it’s kind of like deciding that a parent loves one kid more than another because they give them more medicine. Each park needs different stuff. Cedar Point needs to make a bang in some way in every year. Kings Island needs a more well rounded approach to appease the season pass base. Same is true for the parks around the chain. Of course we are lucky to have a park that gets a lot of the budget, but it has the revenue flow to support it.

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The biggest decision on investing rides in a park is ROI.  Even though each park is owned by CF, each has a separate revenue stream.

Comparing parks to each other is unfair. 

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@BoddaH1994, I agree with your assessment 100%. Thought this video was interesting, because you and I had a similar conversation in person a few weeks back. As someone who has been away from the industry for bit now, the perception I seemed to be getting from these boards and the occasional publication was that KI would be in the "purgatory" category, but by my own rough assessment—that just doesn't seem true. I would say it certainly falls into the top tier category, but for reasons other than roller coaster investment. Like you said, each park receives investment based on a multitude of factors. The video makes an interesting case about potential markets, but briefly skims over entertainment dollar competition in each market. I'm also curious where the stats come from on land percentage used. For example: KI has "a lot" of land, but "a lot" of that land isn't exactly flat or easy to access/develop. 

Ultimately, I think a lot of amusement park fans often mis-judge a large roller coaster as being more than it really is. The economics, marketing, and management of amusement parks (both large and small) is not similar to Roller Coaster Tyconn (1, 2, 3, or Classic). That game is a good place to start, though. ;-)

Also: I watched this video last night and went down a rabbit hole of others on amusement parks/random other topics. Been watching a lot of YouTube lately as I move away from Netflix and Hulu. There's some great content out there, but I caution people to take it all with a grain of salt. Just because content is free or made by like-minded coaster fans (or fans of any subject), doesn't mean it's entirely accurate, no matter how good the production value is. 

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I think Kings Island is definitely a "have" park, and I think it's short-sighted to view a park's worth, importance or prestige solely on roller coasters. 

I live in the Detroit area, so CP is my "home" park. I like CP, but I've always loved Kings Island more. Part of it is that CP has always been a day trip. It's where you went as a teenager to scream your guts out on roller coasters. As a kid, that help little appeal until I hit 48 inches. As an adult, I love coasters, but I find myself wanting more from a park. Which is probably why it's been six years since I've visited Cedar Point and we do a two or three-day trip to Kings Island every summer. 

And I think Cedar Fair knows these two parks have different identities and personalities, and the way it spends its money wisely keeps the parks on brand. Cedar Point receives a lot of roller coasters -- it should. It's the roller coaster capital of America and its identity has always been tied to thrill rides. That's what Cedar Point does, and Cedar Fair throws money at it accordingly. 

I feel like Kings Island has always been more of a family destination. There's a greater number of hotels in the area (aside from the Cedar Point property hotels, Sandusky is pretty slim pickings for places to stay), which means you likely have more people making a day trip of it (admittedly, that could also be my limited perspective as someone who had a two-hour drive to CP and a four-hour drive to KI). They have always had a larger, better kids area than CP, which means it's likely more people went there as children and built memories. Hence, throwing a lot of money at renovations this year that made it feel like the KI many people grew up with, including that wonderful renovation to International Street, the Antiques (with their callbacks to KI history) and even The Beast pawprints. None of that likely came cheap; it's a smart brand investment. 

Kings Island doesn't need a ton of coasters -- one every few years is great. I was more excited to see fresh paint on the International Street buildings and a quality fireworks/fountain show. I'd be happier to see a charming dark ride than a giga. 

And I think that's what Cedar Fair knows...there's a lot of nostalgia tied up in Kings Island and it's smart to throw money at it. You'll bring in parents and their children and you'll establish Kings Island as a place with a storied history (I wish Cedar Fair leaned more into the 100-year heritage of Cedar Point).  

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4 hours ago, BoddaH1994 said:

To weigh “have” and “have nots” solely on coasters is incredibly short sighted. This year at KI is a perfect example. We got antique cars which seems like a lite investment, but that’s not taking into account I Street and the infrastructure for Carnivale. They put a ton of money into the park this year and it was easy to miss. Plus the millions upon millions invested into Winterfest. 
 

To think there are red headed step children within the chain is kind of ignorant too. If you want to see what investments in the tens of millions every year into smaller parks does to a chain just look up the history of Six Flags from 2000 until their bankruptcy. 
 

In the game of “who does Cedar Fair love more: KI or CP” it’s kind of like deciding that a parent loves one kid more than another because they give them more medicine. Each park needs different stuff. Cedar Point needs to make a bang in some way in every year. Kings Island needs a more well rounded approach to appease the season pass base. Same is true for the parks around the chain. Of course we are lucky to have a park that gets a lot of the budget, but it has the revenue flow to support it.

Watch the video and tell me Michigan Adventure is anything other than a Have Not.

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4 hours ago, Browntggrr said:

The biggest decision on investing rides in a park is ROI.  Even though each park is owned by CF, each has a separate revenue stream.

Comparing parks to each other is unfair. 

Watch the video.  There is individual numbers given for each park.  It's very fairly done.

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I see KI as a HAVE park. I compare Ki to Carowinds and they are both amazing and have room to grow. Sky is the limit here.

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7 hours ago, BoddaH1994 said:

To weigh “have” and “have nots” solely on coasters is incredibly short sighted. This year at KI is a perfect example. We got antique cars which seems like a lite investment, but that’s not taking into account I Street and the infrastructure for Carnivale. They put a ton of money into the park this year and it was easy to miss. Plus the millions upon millions invested into Winterfest. 
 

To think there are red headed step children within the chain is kind of ignorant too. If you want to see what investments in the tens of millions every year into smaller parks does to a chain just look up the history of Six Flags from 2000 until their bankruptcy. 
 

In the game of “who does Cedar Fair love more: KI or CP” it’s kind of like deciding that a parent loves one kid more than another because they give them more medicine. Each park needs different stuff. Cedar Point needs to make a bang in some way in every year. Kings Island needs a more well rounded approach to appease the season pass base. Same is true for the parks around the chain. Of course we are lucky to have a park that gets a lot of the budget, but it has the revenue flow to support it.

That was my point on a range of investment and a broader strategy than just coasters. 

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11 hours ago, brent said:

That was my point on a range of investment and a broader strategy than just coasters. 

It's kinda clear (not you) but some are not watching this based on their comments and just going off the title.

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17 hours ago, BruceWayneWins said:

Watch the video.  There is individual numbers given for each park.  It's very fairly done.

I watched the video. 

Its really not fairly done due to inaccurate comparisons.  The populations around the park really have little to do with attendance.  I feel that attendance is effected more by weather & competition (competition not necessarily from other parks).

I also found it interesting that all the comparisons of cities to each park used a 4 hour traveling, but the author used the comparison of SFGA which is 5 hours from KD.

I'm also confused by the comparisons of each park's current land usage & available land.  For instance, Beast takes up a considerable amount of acerage.  The author states that KI is using a percentage of their current land.  He never considers how much extra acreage beyond the existing structure is needed to keep Beast out of view.  As most of us know, much of Beast's allure is not being able to see the track from the rest of the park- especially at night.

The video has lots of numbers that are found in the CF quarterly reports, but no acknowledgement.

The video also has lots of pics and videos found at various enthusiast sites, but no acknowledgements.

In a nutshell- the video regurgitates much information that we discuss here & is discussed at other sites quite regularly.  While I totally agree that the video may not be geared to enthusiasts like most here, I honestly wonder if the author believes it to be for the general public.

 

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