Jump to content

Coronavirus Impacting Theme Parks


Recommended Posts

10 minutes ago, bjcolglazier said:

Some of you need to just put on a full-blown bodysuit to ride a coaster, if that's what floats your boat. At a certain point it's no longer about us, it's about you. Do we all need bodysuits to make you happy? Is that next?

I go to the Indy 500, I go to Kings Island...the ticket says you enter at your own risk. So accept the risk or don't. It's entirely up to you to protect yourself. My daughter plays softball...I tell her repeatedly, "protect yourself at all times". Because life will happen.

  • Like 2
Link to post
Share on other sites
  • Replies 5.3k
  • Created
  • Last Reply

Top Posters In This Topic

Top Posters In This Topic

Popular Posts

Masks are required at the parks right now. We have hashed out your argument multiple times and there is no need to do it again. At this point in time, if you don't want to wear a mask and think t

It is really quite simple: If you do not want to wear a mask at a place of business that requires a mask, don't go. Please understand though- DO NOT cause a scene because an employee has asked yo

Posted Images

1 hour ago, bjcolglazier said:

I go to the Indy 500, I go to Kings Island...the ticket says you enter at your own risk. So accept the risk or don't. It's entirely up to you to protect yourself. My daughter plays softball...I tell her repeatedly, "protect yourself at all times". Because life will happen.

It is true that it is up to an individual to protect themselves to the extent that they can. In softball or baseball, you can avoid being hit by the ball by being vigilant, but that doesn't mean it's okay for a pitcher to aim for the head. If that happened and someone told that person, "welp, that's just part of the game", then the person saying that is a word that I won't use on a public forum. The only athletes who deserves to be hit in the head with a baseball are members of the 2017-2018 Houston Astros.

Personally, when I can do something that requires literally zero effort or sacrifice on my part and is potentially helpful to someone else, I just do it because frankly, I think that's just part of being a good person. Are we going to start lobbying against the "no loose articles on rides" rules? After all, getting hit with a phone that slipped out of someone's hand is just part of the risk that you accept when going to an amusement park, right?

I just find it shocking that people are so vehemently opposed to inconveniencing themselves in even the tiniest little way to do something that might help another person. It's not like people are being asked to sacrifice their firstborn child to appease the volcano gods to save the village from the eruption (though some of the social media comments sections sure make it seem that way). It's just a stupid piece of fabric. Just like the shirts and pants that we've been wearing for nearly the entirety of human civilization that very few people complain about (which, BTW, is something you wear for the benefit of others more than yourself, even if you don't realize that).

And just a side note that I should add, "love thy neighbor" is a core part of the values I was brought up with. If doing something that is trivially easy for me and doesn't cost anything can be helpful to someone else around me, it would be a violation of my core values to refuse to do it and would make me a hypocrite.

  • Like 4
  • Thanks 1
Link to post
Share on other sites

I might be the minority here thinking it might be bad for business to open up the park, even to reduced capacity, at this time from a public relations viewpoint. To me it wouldn't look good for their PR if something bad were to happen like a potential spike in cases after reopening, employees succumbing to illness, people filming others not practicing social distancing, etc. I feel like the risk to open the park back up might outweigh any foreseeable reward. At least by staying closed they're not opening themselves to controversy. If other local attractions open back, they could look at opening the park but if I were Kings Island I wouldn't be the 1st to open my doors.

  • Like 1
Link to post
Share on other sites

^ This entire pandemic is a series of no-win scenarios for businesses. A vaccine is still many months away. Frankly, we've never had great success at coming up with effective vaccines for other coronaviruses, so there's no guarantees that a vaccine will ever exist at all. Basically all theme parks will have to open up for business in a world with no vaccine or go out of business. Even a park as big as Kings Island would struggle to financially survive more than one cancelled season. Companies just don't keep multiple years' worth of operating costs in their war chests.

As staying closed until this is all gone is not a viable option, their best option is to open up with as many reasonable precautions as possible.

What is a "reasonable" precaution? I'm not sure I have all the answers to that. Some are easy and obvious (shorter cleaning intervals, hand sanitizer stations at convenient locations throughout the park, etc) but some are harder. Queue lines aren't built for 6-foot distances between guests. Neither are ride vehicles. Is it viable to implement social distancing in these places? Parks have to open to stay afloat, and one of the contingencies of that is that they have to figure out how they can operate in a way that maximizes safety within the parameters that will still allow them to make a profit (or at least break even until this blows over)

  • Like 3
Link to post
Share on other sites

^Actually they just need to loose less money than staying closed. Operating in the red is not ideal but the question may be how red they want to operate for the time being.  
 

If they have to throttle capacity severely I don’t see where they generate any substantial revenue at all by opening this year unless they cap Passholders in a reservation system so they can have plenty of slots for daily buyers.  Maybe that will be enough to cover the variable costs.  
 

Good poll question: Passholders and Meal Plan holders given that 2021 is “free” would you support the park only allowing Passholders a reservation after the park has given ticket buyers a two week chance to purchase for a particular date so the park can make a profit or at least loose less money? :o

  • Like 3
Link to post
Share on other sites
6 hours ago, King Ding Dong said:

^Actually they just need to loose less money than staying closed. Operating in the red is not ideal but the question may be how red they want to operate for the time being.  
 

If they have to throttle capacity severely I don’t see where they generate any substantial revenue at all by opening this year unless they cap Passholders in a reservation system so they can have plenty of slots for daily buyers.  Maybe that will be enough to cover the variable costs.  
 

Good poll question: Passholders and Meal Plan holders given that 2021 is “free” would you support the park only allowing Passholders a reservation after the park has given ticket buyers a two week chance to purchase for a particular date so the park can make a profit or at least loose less money? :o

Depends how far in advance we can reserve. Don't live close enough for a 1 day visit without a hotel stay which automatically means 2 days for us. I have to give 30 day notice for work vacation so trying to balance both could be a bit frustrating. 

  • Like 1
Link to post
Share on other sites
7 hours ago, King Ding Dong said:

If they have to throttle capacity severely I don’t see where they generate any substantial revenue at all by opening this year unless they cap Passholders in a reservation system so they can have plenty of slots for daily buyers.

The problem with that is, how much good will with customers would it cost them? You'd think passholders would be thrilled they get to come at all since they've already been given a 2021 pass. But we all know that there are certain customers who feel entitled to have their cake and eat it too. I don't see them doing that. I could be wrong of course as I have no insider knowledge of their plans.

It's a tricky situation. They definitely won't be able to make everyone happy. And unfortunately, there will be no action that can please those who believe this is all a mainstream media fearmongering hoax short of opening up with no changes in operations whatsoever and pretending there's nothing going on.

At this point, I seriously believe that some of those people would complain that they "gave in to the fearmongering" even if they just opened up with plenty of public hand sanitizer stations and changed nothing else about their operations.

  • Like 1
Link to post
Share on other sites
35 minutes ago, homestar92 said:

The problem with that is, how much good will with customers would it cost them?

That was my point. Limiting capacity is going to produce winners and losers.   What if it rains on the 2 days you reserved 40 days ago so you could get off work?  
 

35 minutes ago, homestar92 said:

At this point, I seriously believe that some of those people would complain that they "gave in to the fearmongering" even if they just opened up with plenty of public hand sanitizer stations and changed nothing else about their operations.

Maybe one would even spit in park employees face and later shoot them.  They are riled up already.   https://www.detroitnews.com/story/news/local/michigan/2020/05/04/security-guard-told-flint-dollar-store-customer-wear-mask-before-being-fatally-shot/3078939001/

Link to post
Share on other sites

I don't know how the parks all plan to handle the pandemic, but one thing do I anticipate seeing at all of them is hand sanitizer. This is how I think that will look:

Holiday World will add hand sanitizer stations at every existing sunscreen and soft drink location. They will be free of charge and refilled religiously so no customer ever uses a dispenser to find it empty. There will be regular reminders over the PA system for customers to please wash or sanitize their hands whenever possible.

Kentucky Kingdom will do the same, but solely because they feel compelled to match what Holiday World does and not because they care about the customers. They will refill the dispensers once a day at best. They also will practice social distancing by only filling their park to 10% capacity and never filling the ride vehicles beyond half capacity. They will also run one train on all coasters. Not for cleaning, but rather, just 'cuz. In short, nothing at all will change at the park other than hand sanitizer being available when they remember to refill it.

Disney will hand out small bottles of hand sanitizer for free at all retail locations, with intricate packaging themed to the area of the park that you got it from. Disney will also introduce a limited edition hand sanitizer trading pin. The bottles and pins will sell on ebay in the year 2025 for over $100.

Cedar Fair will install hand sanitizer stations, but only two in each of the large parks and one in the small parks. In two years, they will be replaced by a Coke Freestyle machine. At Michigan's Adventure, the hand sanitizer station will be relocated to the other side of the park next season and advertised as that year's flagship new attraction.

At Six Flags, there will be a coupon in the app for gold members only, good once per season and only at the member's home park. It will be good for $1 off of a $14 bottle of Purell with the purchase of a $6 bag of Takis. They also will be out of stock at all except the most inconvenient retail location in the park. The flagship roller coaster at each park will have its trains wrapped in advertisements for Purell and Lysol. The Purell bottle will not be allowed to go with you on the rides and you will have to leave it with a non-rider or pay $2 for a locker at each ride.

  • Haha 4
Link to post
Share on other sites

You are trying to win my favor with talk of more Freestyle machines.  :lol:

I have asked this question many times in this thread and no one has ever answered.   Where is hand sanitizer for ~20k people a day going to come from and how much is that going to cost the parks?

Figure that is at least a 4oz per person per day, probably a lot more at 1/4oz per application.  I have not seen any available in stores since this began.  That is 625 gallons or about 11 barrels per day.

Doesn’t it take 2-4 weeks to ferment ethanol?

  • Like 1
Link to post
Share on other sites
2 minutes ago, King Ding Dong said:

You are trying to win my favor with talk of more Freestyle machines.  :lol:

I have asked this question many times in this thread and no one has ever answered.   Where is hand sanitizer for ~20k people a day going to come from and how much is that going to cost the parks?

Figure that is at least a 4oz per person per day, probably a lot more at 1/4oz per application.  I have not seen any available in stores since this began.  That is 625 gallons or about 11 barrels per day.

Doesn’t it take 2-4 weeks to ferment ethanol?

There are some factors that can help with this.

First is that, beg and plead and scream as the parks might, not everyone will use it. That's just a fact of life. Unfortunate, but it lessens the amount needed.

Second is that they should avoid putting hand sanitizer stations immediately next to restrooms. Encourage people to use soap and water at the sink instead. Soap and water is both more readily available and also more effective than hand sanitizer anyway. When it's an option, hand washing should be the preferred method of sanitizing. Use this opportunity to upgrade to touchless sink fixtures. It needed to happen eventually anyway, IMO.

The interesting question is, how much sanitizer *could* be produced by the manufacturers each day? I suspect the shortages are due to the sudden spike in demand primarily. Maybe production could be ramped up to meet the demand. I don't know that answer, I'm just thinking out loud.

It is a *lot* of hand sanitizer. For sure. The quantity needed could be a problem. As I understand it, though, industrial suppliers haven't had their stock decimated in the same way retail has. My workplace has been able to buy some for the essential IT staff still in the actual office (granted, that's three people... But that's definitely more sanitizer than you could find at retail right now)

  • Like 1
Link to post
Share on other sites

My wife’s employer hasn’t been able to obtain any and they have been open the whole time albeit with half staff in the office. 
 

Some microbrewers have converted over to hand sanitizer production but they have very limited production capabilities.  The parks may be able to use portable hand wash stations as you might find an a music festival next to the port-a-potties. Those are limited as well.  Not sure if the ethanol fuel industry can help but they potentially have the capacity. 
 

Hand washing is certainly preferable but I also assume social distancing will be required there as well. Will each restroom require a temp queque with a line separator to control flow? Back in *normal* times few actually scrubbed for 20 seconds, now some will, some won’t.   

Link to post
Share on other sites

I definitely think it would be good business for the fuel industries to dabble in other markets right now, considering the abysmal state that it's in at the moment.

Perhaps, with oil prices through the floor, we could take government action to temporarily redirect the ethanol subsidies currently going toward fuel and instead direct them to sanitization products. The demand for ethanol-based fuels at this current moment has to be pretty close to an all-time low with how cheap oil-based fuels are right now. Certainly that might get some pushback from the environmental lobby, but as a temporary solution to a more immediate problem, I don't think the environmental impacts of doing that for a while would be that large.

  • Like 1
Link to post
Share on other sites

Today’s investor call indicates Cedar Fair parks NOT opening operations in the near term.

Outlook

Commenting on the current state of business, Zimmerman said, “We continue to work closely with local and state health authorities to monitor the COVID-19 pandemic. Based on the best information we have currently, we do not anticipate resuming operations at any of our parks in the near term. This projection remains fluid and subject to change as the situation evolves, including if state and local guidelines are modified.”
 

https://www.businesswire.com/news/home/20200506005200/en/Cedar-Fair-Reports-Results-2020-Quarter

  • Like 1
  • Sad 1
Link to post
Share on other sites

It also says “Concurrent with the proactive steps we’ve taken to date, our park GMs and their teams have been actively addressing and planning for new measures and guidelines to ensure our properties can reopen as soon as possible once state and local restrictions have been lifted,” said Zimmerman.

 

And this.

29f474e52be954cb74cb0d5634d9cd7c.jpg

Link to post
Share on other sites
16 minutes ago, Winterfestguy said:

Today’s investor call indicates Cedar Fair parks NOT opening operations in the near term.

Outlook

Commenting on the current state of business, Zimmerman said, “We continue to work closely with local and state health authorities to monitor the COVID-19 pandemic. Based on the best information we have currently, we do not anticipate resuming operations at any of our parks in the near term. This projection remains fluid and subject to change as the situation evolves, including if state and local guidelines are modified.”
 

I cannot help but think of this when hearing near term LOL:

“Relatively soon is an interesting phrase. Relative to the entire history of earth? Sure, the vaccine is going to come real fast,” said Brad Pitt as Dr. Fauci, seated at a desk behind a stately bookcase. “But if you were going to tell a friend, ‘I’ll be over relatively soon’ and then showed up a year and a half later, well, your friend may be relatively ****ed off.”

Seen at the 40 second mark LOL...

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uW56CL0pk0g

 

  • Haha 3
Link to post
Share on other sites

And another gem from the corporate word salad of today's statement.  Take the CEO's proud announcement:

In a very uncertain economic environment, we are extremely pleased with the market’s confidence as demonstrated by our very successful notes offering,” said Zimmerman...

When is putting up your entire park portfolio a good thing LOL, especially considering that their main competitor SIX said in their respective quarterly call that they have enough liquidity on hand to survive until the start of the 2021 operating season..

Let's put this in perspective.

In October 2019, Six Flags (SIX) made an offer of $4 Billion for Cedar Fair (FUN) and was rejected.  Barely 7 months later FUN seeks a $1 Billion "loan" and puts their parks up as collateral and has to repay this in 5 years.

Last time I checked $1 Billion is less than $4 Billion.  These notes potentially represent a "cheap" way to get those parks...

To the smart investor (that also had the funds and ability to do so), purchasing those notes is a no-brainer. 

Imagine if a SIX, Disney, Paramount, etc. purchased those notes.  If FUN is able to make the payments, the investor makes 5.5% interest payment profits.  If FUN defaults on the notes, investor just got all the parks for $1 Billion. 

That is a win-win to the investor so of course Fun will say "we are extremely pleased with the market’s confidence as demonstrated by our very successful notes offering"!

Now this example has simplified it tremendously and the likelihood it happens is small.  There are so many regulations that would dictate the ultimate resolution of an instance like this.  Does anyone even know who provided those notes?  Could a Disney have secured those notes?

The point being, that a CEO of a publicly traded company will always put a positive slant on the conveyance of information, whether it be to investors or in an interview (while of course still being factual to pass SEC scrutiny).  But you can take out a $1B loan and either present it optimistically or pessimistically...which way sells confidence?  It is up to the recipient of said information to "read between the lines" as to what the real meaning is. 

 

  • Like 1
Link to post
Share on other sites

This was brought up in the media, and it’s an important point. We know a second wave of the virus is coming, it’s only a matter of when and where. The problem with the parks’ reopening is that it could put them at risk of being a local source or hot spot during the second wave. The amusement industry is driven off of good reputation, and having a park be a hot spot is the worst possible event for a park’s or chain’s reputation.

This is why Disney, even though Florida is reopening, won’t reopen Disney Springs-even though it’s in phase 1.

Link to post
Share on other sites
40 minutes ago, gforce1994 said:

This was brought up in the media, and it’s an important point. We know a second wave of the virus is coming, it’s only a matter of when and where. The problem with the parks’ reopening is that it could put them at risk of being a local source or hot spot during the second wave. The amusement industry is driven off of good reputation, and having a park be a hot spot is the worst possible event for a park’s or chain’s reputation.

This is why Disney, even though Florida is reopening, won’t reopen Disney Springs-even though it’s in phase 1.

Even experts can’t agree that a second wave is coming, some experts say that the virus will be like a bell curve with no second wave. 

  • Like 6
  • Thanks 1
Link to post
Share on other sites
22 minutes ago, Hawaiian Coasters 325 said:

If the virtual queue cut down on in line wait I'd be all for it. 

Heavily pushing the daily or seasonal dining could reduce their cashless transactions even more with the right spin on it.

Link to post
Share on other sites
5 hours ago, King Ding Dong said:

You are trying to win my favor with talk of more Freestyle machines.  :lol:

I have asked this question many times in this thread and no one has ever answered.   Where is hand sanitizer for ~20k people a day going to come from and how much is that going to cost the parks?

Figure that is at least a 4oz per person per day, probably a lot more at 1/4oz per application.  I have not seen any available in stores since this began.  That is 625 gallons or about 11 barrels per day.

Doesn’t it take 2-4 weeks to ferment ethanol?

Ethanol should be available in massive quantities right now.  That is the type of alcohol which is typically blended with gasoline.  Since so little fuel is being used very large quantities of industrial alcohol should be available very cheaply.

I have read where several of the plants have shut down due to so little demand for ethanol.  The country produces more than 14 billion gallons of ethanol a year.

  • Like 2
Link to post
Share on other sites

Just some food for thought here.  One of the websites that's tracking the number of coronavirus cases in each country (and even in some states in the US) is Worldometer.  On the site for each country is a statistic "Daily New Cases".  I've included for consideration a few countries that are similar enough for comparison purposes.  Take a look at the "Daily New Cases" graph for each country in the links below and see if you can spot any appreciable differences:

United States

State of Ohio

California

Canada

United Kingdom

Spain

Sweden

Belarus (least restrictive mitigation measures in the group, and who has been hammered for this by world media)

Poland (most restrictive mitigation measures in the group but have since eased a little)

I put these here so that you can see that the curve for many countries looks remarkably similar no matter what mitigation measures were taken.  The number of cases in Ohio and California has been steadily climbing in spite of the restrictions in each state.  Some will say "yeah, but they're testing more for it now".  That is true...but it's also true for every other location around the world!  If the numbers look similar across countries regardless as to the measures taken, I think it's fair to question whether the strong lockdown measures were (and are) helpful.

     

  • Thanks 1
Link to post
Share on other sites
11 minutes ago, Hawaiian Coasters 325 said:

From the Cedar Fair conference call today. No Grand Carnivale this year unfortunately. 

But, but, but the website still says it is happening :P

But, but, but it still says the three-day Christian music festival is happening...

But like we really shouldn't be shocked that the entertainment offerings are being eliminated.

Link to post
Share on other sites
9 minutes ago, disco2000 said:

But, but, but the website still says it is happening :P

But, but, but it still says the three-day Christian music festival is happening...

But like we really shouldn't be shocked that the entertainment offerings are being eliminated.

Yeah, I honestly think the entertainment is some of what is being eliminated for the budget cuts. 

Link to post
Share on other sites
41 minutes ago, Hawaiian Coasters 325 said:

From the Cedar Fair conference call today. No Grand Carnivale this year unfortunately. 

 

Screenshot_20200506-162315.png

It's interesting they also mentioned full time employees have been kept on payroll to be better prepared to open if the opportunity becomes available this year. 

Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.
Note: Your post will require moderator approval before it will be visible.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.




×
×
  • Create New...