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Gordon Bombay

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Posts posted by Gordon Bombay

  1. I'm very interested to hear @Shaggy's take on this, but in the meantime here are my thoughts...

    Culture, industry, geopolitics, economics, and entertainment trends have changed A LOT since the "heyday" of Six Flags Kentucky Kingdom—an era when SIX was truly invested in that park and its potential. A time back when there were talks of big-budget investments that forced then-Paramount's Kings Island to respond in kind (i.e. SFKK's plans for a "Gotham City" that allegedly led to the creation of "Action Zone" up north). Since then, KI flourished and SFKK, well, we know how SIX treated that park. One of the reasons that I've always heard from industry folks about why SIX backed off so much from KK was that the park always had a strong season pass base. Essentially, even if the new additions were paltry compared to other similarly sized parks, the season pass holders kept coming. A strategy that might work for a short time, but certainly doesn't work in the long term (especially if you keep cutting and are under the corporate umbrella of a debt-ridden Six Flags corporation). At the same time, (P)KI has also always relied on a very strong season pass base, but also attracted (and presumably still does) a good amount of travelers, particularly regional travelers. 

    So, all that being said, is there a "threat" (not implying that this is Baconator's word, but I mean this from a competition standpoint) from a rejuvenated Kentucky Kingdom? That depends on how many people in the Louisville metro/market/region currently make a trip or two to KI and spend money at that park. Will they now be wooed away by Herschend's (or previously Ed Hart 2.0's) Kentucky Kingdom? Hard to say and even if they are... does that even make a difference to KI? 

    Back in 2006 (so, yeah, this is an old example and a one-off interaction), I had a conversation with a family from Louisville who was visiting Kings Island for the day. This trip was one of their vacations that summer. They had a great time, but were disappointed that Kings Island's Action Theatre was showing the same Spongebob movie Six Flags Kentucky Kingdom was showing (they had waited in line for a decent amount of time). They wanted to make the most of their day because this trip was a real treat for them. My point in mentioning this is that family, despite being from Louisville and having Six Flags in their "backyard," viewed (Paramount's) Kings Island as a superior experience or at least a destination worth going to even with a theme park of their own. 

    I'm not sure how much, if at all, Kings Island advertises in the Louisville market, but I do think it's interesting that Kentucky Kingdom (ever since its rebirth) has advertised in the Cincinnati market. When I paid a visit in 2017, they even had a great deal specifically for "out of state" visitors that was clearly geared at this market (billboards all over Cincy had advertised the deal). I don't think the two parks will ever compete for season pass bases (their bread and butter), aside from maybe a handful of guests that live somewhere in the middle. But they may (especially depending on how Herschend develops the park) compete for regional tourism dollars. But to that point, the industry (and entertainment in general (and entertainment post-covid)) has changed a great deal and the two parks themselves are very different from the PKI and SFKK movie theme park days. Kings Island is certainly a much bigger heavy hitter compared to the two, but the distance doesn't make this a PKI vs Americana situation. 

    Herschend is probably more concerned (I assume) with establishing and growing a loyal season pass base and if they do feel competition, it's from a park in Santa Claus. No doubt both KI and KK currently do (and will continue to) keep an eye on each other's movements, but I'd say until (or if) KK becomes some sort of true destination, there's going to be peaceful coexistence. 

    In regards to Herschend becoming a "heavy hitter," I'm very excited to see what they do with the park. I've never personally been to Dollywood, but that park's reputation certainly speaks for itself. It's an industry darling and its attractions, events, and staff are well regarded. Louisville is an interesting market (a large metro, even if it's not a "major league" city) and the park has great potential to be a true crown jewel of the area's tourism/local pride. 

    The first time I ever visited Kentucky Kingdom, it was shortly after Six Flags had abandoned the property. Ed Hart's group was pushing for a new plan (before Bluegrass Boardwalk was a thing) and I was able to tour the property. I assumed there was absolutely no way that park was ever going to reopen given the state it was in (some sections had been closed even longer), the ridiculous land and lease situation, and trying to find a viable group. After the Boardwalk fell through, I just assumed the park was done. I was certain of it. Lo and behold—I finally got to visit it in 2017. I was so happy to have been so wrong. What a great park that's really doing some great things these last few seasons. 

    • Like 5
  2. 6 minutes ago, jsus said:

    So again, I do not understand the premise of the OP. 

    I think a lot of it comes down to (for many not just OP): preference for rides, especially if you've ridden quite a lot. If you've made your rounds to a few parks and love coasters, you'll find that Intamin, RMC, etc. have some unique rides that often differ from the "types" offer by B&M. 

    But, and this gets said year after year and post after post, it's clear that what parks choose to invest in is not based off ACEr preference or Roller Coaster Tycoon style objectives. 

    Why do parks keep building with B&M? Because the company makes thrilling rides, that are comfortable and appealing to a large swath of guests, and they feature a huge amount of reliability and a massive amount of throughput. The Beast, on a good day and pushing as hard as it can, can maybe get 800 riders through in an hour. Diamondback can almost double that. Rides stay up, guests are happy and in less lines, the commercials write themselves with "thrilling, new" rides. 

    Contrast that with Maverick—a fantastic ride, but one with questionable reliability and less throughput. 

    • Like 2
  3. 5 hours ago, coaster sally said:

    Parks are not going to be willing to spend 20+ million on attractions coming out of the pandemic.

    Bummer. By that logic it’s bad news for Intamin too since park’s wont want to spend a big up front cost followed by years of maintenance and constantly having to print “sorry, this ride closed” signs. 

    • Like 3
    • Confused 1
  4. Thanks, @Sixflags82 + @FUN&ONLY!! Those look A LOT better than the previous trains. Still, I'm a bit surprised they're investing so much into it. Although, with how much it costs to ride and the fact that it's such a tourist attraction—it probably still makes the casino a decent amount of money. 

    I've been on this ride twice (both times in the front) and found it to be... pretty good. That roll into the half loop is fun. Thought it was all very intense more so than rough. But, I was sitting in a decent seat. 

    Fun Fact: It's my understanding that ride was designed in TOGO's former suburban Cincinnati offices and I believe the steel was arranged in this area too before being shipped to Vegas. 

    • Like 4
  5. On 12/15/2020 at 12:44 PM, Klabergian Empire said:

    Those are some amazing pictures @Gordon Bombay! Especially with 35mm...very nice.

    Thank you, @Klabergian Empire!

    On 12/15/2020 at 1:32 PM, Dj325 said:

    Those photos are pretty cool!

    Here's some photos that I've taken.


    Thank you, @Dj325 and thank you for sharing some of your photos!

    23 hours ago, CoastersRZ said:

    Thanks for sharing those photos, Gordon Bombay! It is amazing how much Banshee is starting to fade in those photos.

    Even though there was a pandemic going on this year, I really missed working rides at Coney Island this past summer.  Yes, I still worked there this year, but the place just wasn`t the same.  I truly miss it.

    Thanks, @CoastersRZ, hoping we can meet up for lunch again soon once the pandemic winds down.

    5 hours ago, TombRaiderFTW said:

    Excellent photos! I'm not gonna lie, this made me want to try exploring 35mm photography myself. It's been too long since my last foray into photography, and I've only ever used digital point-and-shoots or DSLRs. Any particular feelings one way or another on the Pentax K1000?

    Thanks, @TombRaiderFTW! So, when it comes to 35mm cameras—I've mainly decided what to use based on what I randomly had. Via family, friends, and some other folks—I wound up with a Nikon N80, Pentax K1000, Minolta XD-11, and Canon AE-1. The N80 was the most like a digital SLR in both quality and use. But it broke. The Pentax and Minolta had a very vintage feel/easy metering, but the Minolta also broke. I used that one a lot growing up, though. 

    I'd say the Pentax K1000 and Canon AE-1 are my favorites not simply because they've held up, but they're sturdy and well built. As long as I've metered properly and used good film, I never get a bad image. I'd say you can't go wrong with either one. I used the Pentax at KI because it was the one I had available at the time. I got the Canon about a month later. I switch between them now. If I had to pick one, though—the Pentax is my favorite. 

    EDIT: I'll also say this—I needed to get some parts for both the Pentax and Canon and those two usually have plenty still available online since so they were so well produced. I also shoot with some rando point and shoot 35mm cameras. They work pretty well too. 

  6. I originally tried to make this a trip report/photo post, but had some issues with the forum and getting the photos posted. However, I did share all of the photos on my website.

    Went to KI in July, first time in a long time. Some observations:

    • Appreciated the good COVID protocols and enforcement. I was hesitant, but truly felt comfortable.
    • Staff I encountered were excellent.
    • Ate some food at the Coney BBQ—not bad, but nothing special.
    • Rode Orion and while it's really good (wow, that wave turn), it is super short. A bit disappointing if you've enjoyed other rides around the country, fantastic if you haven't. Still a nice addition, though. Theming is absolutely wonderful.
    • Super weird being able to clearly see The Beast station from across the field where Vortex was. 
    • New fountains look terrible (if you knew what was there before, but if you didn't: passable).

    I've been shooting 35mm again for the last few years. I wanted to document KI with a roll of Kodak Portra 800 because it reminded me of the aesthetics of historical photos seen here on KIC + the photos I grew up seeing in advertisements, etc. 

    Here's a few shots:







    Quite a few more photographs up on my website if you're interested. 

    • Like 10
  7. 40 minutes ago, Sixflags82 said:

    Action Zone and Oktoberfest both need a lot of attention in their own ways, for Action Zone they just need a cohesive theme they partially did this in 2014 with Banshee and renaming flight deck to The Bat, and with Oktoberfest they just need to add some more attractions and restore the biergarten to its former glory 

    Would love it if they just abandoned the "Action Zone" facade and made the whole area Oktoberfest. Refresh AE with some new theming and lights + all the other non-Bavarian rides with "German" names. 

    • Like 5
  8. 28 minutes ago, IndyGuy4KI said:

    The bad part is Racer is most expensive coaster to do that since they would need 4 trains. Maybe they can get a Black Friday sale,  buy 3 get one free? 

    Knowing Cedar Fair, they'd probably opt for the deal on used Gerstauler wood coaster trains. ;-) 

    • Haha 2
  9. 1 hour ago, BoddaH1994 said:

    I mean, if you’re willing to ditch the PTCs on a classic you might as well put Millennium Flyers or Timberliners on The Beast. I think it might actually benefit more. 

    If it improves the ride, I'd be all for it. Beast and Racer are both great coasters, but the rides are a bit hampered by the fact that the experience is so dissimilar depending on where you sit (middle row of a car above no wheels is great, front row on a wheel is ok, back row on a wheel can be awful) and that the individual lap bars are awkwardly shaped. 

    Not sure about the engineering behind it all and how articulated trains would run, but even the visual appearance of some fresh trains would nice alongside a general revamp of The Racer. 

    • Like 1
  10. 16 minutes ago, gforce1994 said:

    No need to be rude. @Oldschool75 is an expert in KI history as well as @Shaggy

    It’s ironic that you make claims about my articles being wild claims as you commit the same act you accuse me of. 

    I’m not sure you grasp the concept of irony. And if you’re going to reference @Shaggy, I’d sincerely recommend a deep look at the way he authors, references, and discusses things. Quite a few things you could learn. 

  11. On 10/31/2020 at 9:53 AM, IndyGuy4KI said:

    A simple explanation would go a long way for members to understand where he is coming from.

    ^ This. 

    There are two members here. One who likes to make wild claims (and hey, if they're right, many here love to read about it, just show some work) and another who has to come around after to say why they're done with this site (yet keeps showing back up) or hint that they have some exclusive information. We get it. Someone slid you some behind the scenes stuff. 

    I, for one, find this little tidbit about The Bat to be fascinating. However, in a day and age of misleading content all over the internet (especially on social media), I want to ensure that what I'm reading is true. It's great that it is, but maybe instead of the condescending attitude, certain members can use that effort to foster some good conversation here. Trust me, you two are far from the only ones to ever get a "peek behind the curtain."

    Meanwhile, thanks to @TombraiderTy and @KIghostguy for promoting friendly context and thoughtful conversation regarding the park's history. 

    • Like 7
    • Thanks 2
  12. Per Dale Brumfield's blog:


    The original plans called for the Yell to be exactly like the KI Racer, but Jim Figley discovered there was no room for the “pigeon wing” shape of The Racer’s back curve without bringing in tons of fill, so a decision was made to re-profile the back curve to an oval return feature. It was a good move - Yell riders attest to the thrill of the sudden separation of the trains at the top of the back curve. Carowinds’ Thunder Road, which was constructed in 1975, was built on the same plans as the Yell but with minor variations, including a lift hill 8 feet taller and the total ride almost 500 feet longer.

    Brumfield was a 20 year veteran of Kings Dominion's maintenance staff. Today he's an author and I highly, highly recommend his book and blog, both called "Theme Park Babylon."

    • Like 2
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