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Coney is done after this season IMO

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I am still sad that the rides were removed.  I personally think it was the wrong decision.  

But Coney survived the rides being removed once before.  The saving grace is the pool (and next door Riverbend, where Coney actually operates the concessions and receives parking revenue, although with all the canceled shows this year, that will be substantially less than in past years).  I would like to think that Coney will be able to expand the water park aspect and add in some unique water slides to the market.  Stuff that Kings Island does not have at Soak City.  Time will tell though.

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On 6/12/2020 at 11:40 AM, CoastersRZ said:

I am still sad that the rides were removed.  I personally think it was the wrong decision.  

But Coney survived the rides being removed once before.  The saving grace is the pool (and next door Riverbend, where Coney actually operates the concessions and receives parking revenue, although with all the canceled shows this year, that will be substantially less than in past years).  I would like to think that Coney will be able to expand the water park aspect and add in some unique water slides to the market.  Stuff that Kings Island does not have at Soak City.  Time will tell though.

Any insight as to why the rides were removed? The reasoning of the expansion of more water attractions doesn’t seem to reflect the reaction of the majority of the general public. 

I, too, fear for the future of Coney. This summer is going to be different for a number of reasons, but the lack of half the park is a major one. 

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I confosed.  Conel Mall has no rides anymore and they put in water rids????? But they just put in Oroin?  did they move it near Daimondbeck?

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13 minutes ago, dbackdreams said:

I confosed.  Conel Mall has no rides anymore and they put in water rids????? But they just put in Oroin?  did they move it near Daimondbeck?

They are taking about Coney Island down on the Ohio River.

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On 6/14/2020 at 10:31 PM, IndyGuy4KI said:

They are taking about Coney Island down on the Ohio River.

I thought that place was going long time ago. They bever have roller coasters so boooorrrin

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On 6/14/2020 at 1:16 AM, beastfan11 said:

Any insight as to why the rides were removed? The reasoning of the expansion of more water attractions doesn’t seem to reflect the reaction of the majority of the general public. 

All we know is what the park has said. It sounds more like a decision made by someone out of touch with reality, or a weird money-saving attempt.

It'll be interesting to see how they do once this pandemic stuff is over - especially the big events like Balloon Glow and Fire Up The Night (both of which were canceled this year in the wake of the pandemic)

 

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On 6/14/2020 at 1:16 AM, beastfan11 said:

Any insight as to why the rides were removed? The reasoning of the expansion of more water attractions doesn’t seem to reflect the reaction of the majority of the general public. 

I, too, fear for the future of Coney. This summer is going to be different for a number of reasons, but the lack of half the park is a major one. 

I believe it was stated that the rides are not profitable.  They make just enough to pay for their own operation and maintenance.  What is interesting is that I know of several companies (mine included) that would normally have their summer picnic at the park and now that the rides are gone they are looking for other venues (in my case Strickers Grove).  Yes Sunlight Pool is great but not that many people are interested in seeing their co-workers in bathing suits.  So while the rides in and of themselves may not have made much sense I think they probably drove much more of Coney's buisness then they realized.  I used to work at Best Buy and a similar principal was used.  Tuesday was "new release day".  New movies and cds came out and were a few dollars cheaper during that week than they would be after that.  They lost money on every movie and cd sold at that price but it drove business to the store and enough people bought other things while they were there to justify selling the movies and cds at the lower cost.

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Coney Island, like Strickers Grove, makes most of their money on employee picnics, I would guess.  Sunlight Pool is typically pretty busy in the Summers, my wife had a pass last year and went quite a bit.  Coney will be fine.

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I wouldn’t rule out the possibility of Coney Island adding things like Batting Arcades and Go karts in the future. I think if that were to happen you could see rides start to return. 
 

However I could also see them focusing on water slides and attractions. 

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On 6/14/2020 at 1:16 AM, beastfan11 said:

Any insight as to why the rides were removed? The reasoning of the expansion of more water attractions doesn’t seem to reflect the reaction of the majority of the general public. 

I, too, fear for the future of Coney. This summer is going to be different for a number of reasons, but the lack of half the park is a major one. 

This is what I have heard over the years.  Treat it all as rumors but put it all together and it seems to make some sense, I disagree with the choices that have been made but I can understand why.

Coney Island has long relied upon surveys of their existing pass holders to help make decisions.  They would not look for information from the general public, potential guests, or guests who were just purchasing a single day ticket.  My understanding is that the results were extremely clear that the pass holders at least were mostly only at the park for the pool and other water attractions.  I am certain some pass holders did value the rides and likely many did ride them but the surveys at least suggest it was not enough to justify keeping them.

The park considered building a gravity group wooden coaster a few years ago, and while I have forgotten the price, I do remember it was very cheap.  It would have been similar in size to Kentucky Flyer.  I believe they had already decided not to build the coaster by the time I learned of the plans.  Part of the reason why it was not built was due to the parking spaces which would have been lost.  The park is right next to Riverbend and parking for events is done at the park.  Which I was told the park makes more money off of parking then operating the park.  Expanding the park would have been risky and there is no way to know it would have made enough to justify the expense and the loss of parking revenue.

When park expansion is less important then the parking lot, I am not surprised it was decided that the dry rides were not worth keeping.  I feel like building the coaster would have been worth the risk, but that was also likely the beginning of the end for the dry side of the park, because they placed a higher priority on other revenue streams.  Without the pandemic I would not actually have been worried about the long term viability of the park, because of Riverbend.  Everything I have heard suggests they make a lot of money from events.  Now I have no idea what is going to happen. 

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On 6/19/2020 at 7:52 AM, teenageninja said:

Coney Island, like Strickers Grove, makes most of their money on employee picnics, I would guess.  Sunlight Pool is typically pretty busy in the Summers, my wife had a pass last year and went quite a bit.  Coney will be fine.

It all depends on if a pool with extras is enough to sustain the park. I think they've lost a lot of their appeal by losing the rides especially in as a venue for company functions as others have said. I think they'll find that their reduced costs cut their revenue more than they anticipated. However, I know the pool has been very popular and at least in the late '70s, Coney survived as a pool.

This has been a long time coming. Coney started down this road after about 2000 since then very little money has been spent on the dry side. I can understand this if money was very tight and they couldn't safely borrow funds for improvements, (and no one wanted to buy the park).

If they could have done it financially, I think their best play would have been to be a better Stricker's Grove with a pool and more days open to the public. They would have a coaster about the size of the Raven at Holiday World and a kiddie coaster and would keep up their flat rides. I just don't know if the money was there for something like that. If it was, someone decided not to act.

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On 6/19/2020 at 7:52 AM, teenageninja said:

Coney Island, like Strickers Grove, makes most of their money on employee picnics, I would guess.  Sunlight Pool is typically pretty busy in the Summers, my wife had a pass last year and went quite a bit.  Coney will be fine.

I don’t think that is correct. I know someone who was involved in company picnics there and they said a ton of companies backed out with the announcement that the rides would be removed. I agree with what was said above- the appeal isn’t the same for things like company picnics. 
 

I’m not saying 2020 is their last year but I would still encourage you to enjoy it while you can. 

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Yes, they lost a lot of company picnics when they decided to remove the rides.  I still work down there doing some scheduling and assisting with things here and there.  The rides side is currently very sad.  All the ride pads are still there, just without any fencing in place.  Storybook Pedal boats are still there, and open Friday, Saturday and Sundays.  At the time the rides were removed, I heard a number that they had projected Group Sales to decrease by.  I thought at the time, and still think that the number was overly optimistic.  As Ryan said, most companies don`t want to book a company outing to just a pool.  Obviously we will never get a true comparison because of COVID.  The decision to remove the rides apparently came from ownership.  I was certainly blind sided by the news when it was announced.  In fact, the main reason they started adding rides back in the early 1990s was to increase the group sales business.  That portion had tailed off in recent years compared to when I started at Coney in 2002.

They have done some very silly things over the years, that if I owned/was in charge of the place I would not have done.  For example, they came close to installing a Gravity Group wooden coaster way back in 2012.  They decided the price was too high.  You have to spend money to make money.  It would have been a great ride.  The ride would not have taken up parking spots under most circumstances.  The station would have been where Eurobungy was located, with the lift heading out towards Gate 2, right along Lake Como.  The ride would have turned, running parallel to Kellogg, right along the shore of Lake Como.  The only time the park uses the grass between Kellogg and Lake Como is for sold out shows, or if they want to park people there instead of parking them in the West lot.  Yes, they may have lost some spots for the coaster and its turn around for peak capacity events (and they would have had to find a new location to launch the July 3 fireworks), but it would have been a great ride.

Some of the later ride installs were questionable.  Como Cruisers, battery powered boats that cannot run if they get wet!  Wipeout was an intense ride, but it didn`t really fit the target demographic of Coney of kids and families.  Same goes for Topspin (which was a great ride, and I actually preferred it to Delirium), but it was did not appeal to families.  I think had Coney received the coaster, and added things like a Flying Scooter ride, and a Zephyr type ride, things would be drastically different. 

My hope, and it is just that, that Coney can hold on a couple more years, and that the ownership decides to add rides back again.  Or current ownership sells to someone that will be a good steward to the park and start to add rides back in.  

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I would not want Six owning it.  Competition probably a little too close for comfort.  I have long thought that Herschend Family Entertainment would be a good fit.  Or a local Cincinnatian that wants to see the park flourish and is not afraid to invest some money to bring it back.  It will never be a mega park like Kings Island.  But given the right owner and resources, it could be a small family park. 

Heck, given the resources, you could make an indoor FEC on top of a parking garage in the west lot (to elevate it out of the flood plain), and add some restaurants, etc for year round operation.  Imagine having a Scene 75 type place adjacent to an actual amusement park.  Combine it with a hotel, and you could have people staying on property.  Wishful dreams on my part. 

But they could at the very least add in a campground and add back in some kiddy rides.  The sister company to Coney is Leisure Systems, which licenses the Jellystone Campgrounds across the country.  I would not be surprised to see a campground built in the coming years.  

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I have said this before to people back when Coney made the announcement - I think the ownership believes that the land is/will be worth more as something else and that was the first step towards that goal.

Could you imagine the immediate outrage if they had said they were eliminating the rides and building a second concert venue...or a casino...or make it a parking lot.

This allows them to gracefully move to that transition.  Then they will use the ole "Our market research showed that we could survive on just the water park and that rides were not a big attraction.  Unfortunately consumer spending habits have changed and we have had to make the unfortunate decision to ...."  

At some point, the highest use value of land makes it more valuable as something else...look at several golf courses surrounding KI - as populations grew up there, the land became more valuable as something else than a golf course...

I think there were other motivations for the closure...

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See above-the entirety of the park lies in a flood plain, and, given the frequency with which the Ohio floods, I don't see anyone paying top dollar for the land. What is the highest and best use for land in a flood plain that has a long history of such flooding?

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A pool, concert venue, and picnic grove that are only open during the warmer months, when flooding is not likely is likely the highest and best use.  If flooding on the Ohio wasn`t an issue, then it would be more prime real estate.  Flood insurance is not cheap.

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10 minutes ago, Gabe said:

See above-the entirety of the park lies in a flood plain, and, given the frequency with which the Ohio floods, I don't see anyone paying top dollar for the land. What is the highest and best use for land in a flood plain that has a long history of such flooding?

I agree.  I don't think the last is worth much.  Does someone want to build their factory, housing, or office complex somewhere that it's going to flood almost every year?

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One interesting note regarding rides... Coney has always held their fireworks competition in late September after the pool closed. Last year's event drew large crowds (we got there mid to late afternoon and I still waited 20 minutes to put my niece on a kiddie ride...). This year they had planned to hold it in mid-June instead. The only reason I can think of for this change is that having the pool open would have encouraged people to come earlier and spend more (compared to not having the pool), like the rides always did.

I was particularly looking forward to seeing if the lack of rides affected Balloon Glow at all - that was also a big event for rides.

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I am sure that people still would have come to see the balloons and fireworks.  Coney just would not have made money on the rides that day (typically, that was one of the biggest days for rides all season).  It felt really weird to not be at Coney on July 3rd this year.  That is the first time I wasn`t there that day since maybe 2007 or 2006!

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