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I was reading up on the Nickelodeon Universe in New Jersey just outside of NYC. They feature 5 coasters which is extremely impressive when you look at their stats and where they're placed. That got me thinking, should park chains enter this race? I argue yes.

Operating an indoor park could have the many benefits such as:

  • Year round operations
  • Can remain open during rain, snow, etc
  • Could incorporate a resort/waterpark

There's certain cities in America that I think could benefit from an indoor amusement park: Seattle, Phoenix, Vegas, and Houston come to mind. 

There's obviously a reason why we don't see that many indoor amusement parks in the US but I think not looking into them would be a missed opportunity.

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It all comes down to money.  They would project the cost/long term operational expenses vs projected income.

It's unfortunate for the Dream Mall--opening during a global pandemic.  Malls in general are in decline.  It will be interesting to see how it works out.

For a company like Cedar Fair, it would be very expensive.  Would they take up land at a park like KI or would they buy a different property?  Even a small park would require several acres under one roof, so the building shell would cost millions upon millions.  I think duplicated rides would reduce the appeal (do you want to ride Scrambler inside or outside?) 

So, my ultimate opinion is maybe...depending on the local market and would it be considered viable in the long term.

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I think it would interesting to see more indoor theme parks pop up. While not exactly the same thing, I seem to remember family fun centers being more common when In was a kid. In fact, there was one of those that was closer to my house than KI (I didn't drive at the time, but still).

Also, as for the ride selection of an indoor park being near a major theme park, if done right, it could complement said theme park. For example, Zamperla Hawk 48's are fun (and slightly terrifying) outside, but what if there was one inside with just a low enough ceiling that it feels like you'll hit your legs on the roof of the building every time you invert (not literally, but that's the idea). Or even use Tomb Raider as an example of an indoor flat that works and offers a different experience than an outdoor version. I think these could work if they had a ride selection that was different from other theme parks in their city while also providing unique experiences.

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Remember, there used to be Krazy City at Tri-County Mall.  It opened in December of 2007, and was closed by December of 2009. It featured electric go-karts, an arcade, mini bowling, mini golf, a couple small flat rides including a Wisdom Tornado ride, a Moser Spring Tower among a few others.

I agree that indoor FECs (Family Entertainment Centers) can be fun.  In the Cincinnati market, there is Scene 75 in Milford.  They also have locations in Dayton and Columbus (and have begun adding the SBF spinning coasters to some of their locations (not the Cincinnati location yet).

I agree that an indoor amusement park/water park combo could be a big hit, especially when coupled with a resort hotel like the Great Wolf Lodge.  For chains like Six Flags and Cedar Fair, it would provide a way to generate revenue in the slower winter months.  But the capital outlay needed to get such an endeavor off the ground is likely cost prohibitive.  Not to mention that they need capital investments to continue to give people a reason to return after their initial visit(s).  Given the current pandemic and how Cedar Fair and Six Flags are just trying to slow down their cash burn until things return somewhat to normal, I would not look for either of them to launch into the FEC circuit any time soon.

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16 minutes ago, grsupercity said:

Isn't there a large indoor park in Cleveland during the winter months?

If you are thinking of the IX Indoor Amusement Park, it is no more...

From: https://ixamusementpark.com

Thank you for all the memories!

On September 16, 2020, the I-X Center Corporation announced the closure of the International Exposition (I-X) Center due to the coronavirus pandemic. The global pandemic has decimated the event industry as well as many other businesses and has ultimately led to this decision.

The I-X Center would like to thank all its customers, employees, and attendees who helped make the I-X Center a success over the past 35 years. ❤️

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On 10/16/2020 at 12:29 PM, CoastersRZ said:

I agree that an indoor amusement park/water park combo could be a big hit, especially when coupled with a resort hotel like the Great Wolf Lodge.  For chains like Six Flags and Cedar Fair, it would provide a way to generate revenue in the slower winter months.

The key would be to enter markets where its difficult for traditional amusement parks to operate in- Seattle, Phoenix, Vegas, etc. An amusement park in a controlled climate would be opportune.

Also some of these cities have high populations which would almost guarantee consistent attendance. For example, Phoenix has a metro population of nearly 5 million and has been growing for decades. The park is in a super hot climate which would justify an indoor park, especially given that all of their professional sports venues are enclosed.

Covid has certainly made these types of speculations more far fetched but I don't think the possibility of building an indoor park in a huge market should be overlooked. If you don't try to adapt to different markets, you're going to end up missing out on the potential money makers-and this isn't just for current park chains but anyone who's looking to build in a difficult market.

Now I don't think CF would ever want to risk something like this due to the current nature of this pandemic but like I said, I think it would be worth looking into.

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Castles and Coasters in Phoenix seems to do fine, and it isn`t enclosed.  

I visited in the spring of 2016.  Nothing spectacular, and the place was pretty busy.  But it was an overcast day in late April.  Not the middle of July when the temperatures would have been much more unbearable.

DSCN1089.JPG

 

I agree thought that the markets you mentioned would likely be successful if one were built.

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