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Is V2’s time at the park coming to an end

Talk about anything that has to do with Six Flags Great America and Hurricane Harbor here.
Postby coasterfanatic on July 6th, 2019, 11:36 am
well that sucks! Was hoping for some sweeping changes.


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Postby JackGlass on July 6th, 2019, 1:36 pm
That's what sucks about every park getting something new every year. It squeezes the budget and doesn't allow for top notch rides.

Under the current formula IF Six Flags were to build a B&M Giga. It would end up being Less than 3,500 feet long and only have two trains instead of 3, in order to keep the price in the $15 million range.
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Postby coasterlove on July 6th, 2019, 2:26 pm
While it seems that most people like Maxx Force and some of their other recent coasters, it's a shame that SFGAm (along with many other SF parks) haven't built many long coasters. SFGAm specifically hasn't built what could be considered a long coaster and great capacity since Raging Bull 20 years ago! V2 is roughly 45 seconds with a decent capacity at best. Deja Vu between the vertical lifthills and traversing the layout twice was a reasonable length but horrible capacity. Superman: Ultimate Flight has a short length again of about 45 seconds, same for X-Flight, even shorter for Goliath and Joker has a short layout and obviously Maxx Force. While some of these coasters are still good or even great rides, most have capacity of 1,000 or less, even significantly less.

I know my post is only loosely connected to the subject but it really seems that SFGAm is only concerned with adding more coasters with minimal concern on the experience or capacity. It's nice to have some coasters with a length of a minute or more and a capacity of 1,500+ an hour or so. If they did remove V2, I'd love to see a new coaster use that spot and maybe some surrounding area to build a coaster of 3,500+ feet of track that twists in and out of itself.
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Postby coasterfanatic on July 6th, 2019, 2:32 pm
I know what you mean but that’s exactly opposite of Six Flags motto. They really don’t care about capacity. If they did, they wouldn’t close one of the highest capacity ride in the park during the busiest time of the year (I’m talking about the train. It holds like 400-500 people).

To be fair, some coasters aren’t that much more efficient with a third train. A lot of the CP rides don’t need three trains because it’s just not busy enough to need the third train. More track and another train means more money to spend. This solution could be solved if they didn’t vow to have “something new in every park every year!”


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Postby coasterlove on July 6th, 2019, 2:43 pm
I know some coasters don't need or benefit from a third train but a new popular coaster could. Any popular B&M coaster with three trains often have well over 1,200/hour capacity if not higher. Isn't Raging Bull over 1,500? As for Cedar Point like you said, many of their classic old coasters often don't need a third train except for the busiest days. Rides like Corkscrew, Iron Dragon, Mean Streak (prior to it becoming Steel Vengeance) and many others don't need it but others like Millennium Force, Maverick, Steel Vengeance and quite a few others often need it on all but the slowest days.

I would never expect Six Flags to build a majority of their coasters like that but once in a while would be nice. As for the every park needing something new every year, it's nice for the parks, especially the smaller parks but if it were possible for parks to get something every other year and maybe a little more often get bigger attractions. It wouldn't need to be hypers and gigas, dive coasters and such but maybe a midsize (150 ft) B&M or similar attractions. Some might disagree with me but I wouldn't mind if SFGAm skipped a couple years, added a modest flat ride in 2021/2022 and then in 2023/24 build a good size coaster with some length and a great capacity.
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Postby Sven18 on July 6th, 2019, 2:52 pm
JackGlass wrote:That's what sucks about every park getting something new every year. It squeezes the budget and doesn't allow for top notch rides.

Under the current formula IF Six Flags were to build a B&M Giga. It would end up being Less than 3,500 feet long and only have two trains instead of 3, in order to keep the price in the $15 million range.


You can't build a B&M giga for $15M, you can't even build a B&M hyper worth having for $15M in 2019, hence why SF has not built any B&M's since bankruptcy.

SF should look at Vekoma, they have revamped their line & are known for being very cost friendly.
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Postby coasterfanatic on July 6th, 2019, 2:58 pm
Exactly. Cedar Fair and six Flags spent roughly the same amount of money in capital expenditures in 2019. The difference: Only 5 Cedar Fair parks got something new last year. Thus, there’s more money to spend on the parks that do something.

Secondly, our park doesn’t really have the space to build huge coasters without removing a good chuck of rides. With Waukegan airport right next door, they likely aren’t ever getting close to the 300 foot height limit. Plus again. No space.

In regards to the three trains, Bull is really one ride in park that adds capacity. The stopped using Demons third train because it doesn’t really add capacity. I was CP and they added the third train to Raptor when it was a walk-on. Totally not necessary. But that’s what CF does. They want LONG MASSIVE coasters. I like Steel Vengeance but to me, it was almost too long.

Even though Bull is advertised as 1600 per hour at full capacity. I’m told it rarely gets that high even with three trains. The more realistic is 1200-1300 per hour. (I know several people who are rides ops and have told me that)

Also, Batman can do about 1100 per hour. It’s rare but it has happened.

But again, Six Flags isn’t building rides based off how much capacity they get.


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Postby IssaCoaster on July 6th, 2019, 3:18 pm
Sven18 wrote:
JackGlass wrote:That's what sucks about every park getting something new every year. It squeezes the budget and doesn't allow for top notch rides.

Under the current formula IF Six Flags were to build a B&M Giga. It would end up being Less than 3,500 feet long and only have two trains instead of 3, in order to keep the price in the $15 million range.


You can't build a B&M giga for $15M, you can't even build a B&M hyper worth having for $15M in 2019, hence why SF has not built any B&M's since bankruptcy.

SF should look at Vekoma, they have revamped their line & are known for being very cost friendly.

That's what I've been saying! Vekoma is doing great right now. I also think they should look into the company that built Lightning Run and Kentucky Kingdom. And I think it's only a matter of time before RMC slips off of the table for Six Flags. I say the two companies Six Flags would work with is S&S,Vekoma, and Premeir. Mack, Intamin, and B&M are too expensive for rollercoasters.

Also worth mentioning, the attendance for the top three parks has stagnated over the past two years. It could be due to weather and the fact there were no new attractions, but if that happens again for a couple more years, would they consider changing their strategy?
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Postby coasterfanatic on July 6th, 2019, 3:28 pm
No. I don’t think so. I think the only hope for a change in strategy would be with the new CEO but that doesn’t appear to be the case. I think they need to bring in someone from outside the company to evaluate how they run their business but it sounds like they will bring in someone who will just keep the status quo going.

With attendance being stagnant, that’s why I’m surprised they keep swooping up water parks, which are even more risky attendance wise than dry parks.


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Postby Sven18 on July 6th, 2019, 3:40 pm
IssaCoaster wrote:That's what I've been saying! Vekoma is doing great right now. I also think they should look into the company that built Lightning Run and Kentucky Kingdom. And I think it's only a matter of time before RMC slips off of the table for Six Flags. I say the two companies Six Flags would work with is S&S,Vekoma, and Premeir. Mack, Intamin, and B&M are too expensive for rollercoasters.

Also worth mentioning, the attendance for the top three parks has stagnated over the past two years. It could be due to weather and the fact there were no new attractions, but if that happens again for a couple more years, would they consider changing their strategy?


Lightning Run is a Chance Hyper -GTX, cost of only 7M. I have been very surprised no more have been built. Chance really doesn't build many coasters, they are more into their flat rides stuff. I think SF is going to ride RMC for a long time, just not with conversions. I think there will be a bunch of Raptors, just like they did with Free Flys. RMC keeps saying they want to sell a bunch of Raptors & they are designed to be cloned, that's right up SF's alley.

SF's pivot to flat attendance across the chain is to get more money from each patron, higher price point, higher per caps. It's the basis of the membership push & 1 yr in it seems to working even better than they expected. More people are buying memberships & the higher memberships than they thought. Members also buy all season dining at a higher rate than pass holders....more money!
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Postby Sven18 on July 6th, 2019, 3:46 pm
coasterfanatic wrote:With attendance being stagnant, that’s why I’m surprised they keep swooping up water parks, which are even more risky attendance wise than dry parks.


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A well run water parks has potential for really good margins, more than dry parks & water parks require low Capex. The water parks are also suppose to be feeders for the near by dry park under SF's strategy.
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Postby coasterfanatic on July 6th, 2019, 3:50 pm
Sven18 wrote:
coasterfanatic wrote:With attendance being stagnant, that’s why I’m surprised they keep swooping up water parks, which are even more risky attendance wise than dry parks.


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A well run water parks has potential for really good margins, more than dry parks & water parks require low Capex. The water parks are also suppose to be feeders for the near by dry park under SF's strategy.


Yes but water parks rely on weather much more than dry parks do. Dry parks can sustain cooler temps. Water parks can’t. Dry parks can sustain rain. Water parks can’t.


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Postby UnclePennybags on July 6th, 2019, 9:08 pm
Sven18 wrote:...I think SF is going to ride RMC for a long time, just not with conversions. I think there will be a bunch of Raptors, just like they did with Free Flys. RMC keeps saying they want to sell a bunch of Raptors & they are designed to be cloned, that's right up SF's alley...

I agree. The two Raptor sisters, Wonder Woman: Golden Lasso and RailBlazer, have compact designs with a relatively low price point. Yes, they've got terrible capacity, but I think Six Flags sees a coaster like this as being in the same class as Joker or Justice League.

If the Raptors already installed prove reliable and maintain public interest, they're good candidates for cloning. If that happens, I wouldn't be surprised to see one at our park in the next three or four years.
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Postby chicagolandcoasters on July 8th, 2019, 8:40 pm
You guys might not like yearly additions but it’s really smart on Six Flags’ part. Any small additions of new flats still drive attendance for a minimal investment. Maxx Force is skyrocketing attendance and it was only a few million dollars. Yes these additions may not be the best for us spoiled enthusiasts but its what brings in the money for Six Flags. Six Flags is being cautious and not making huge investments. If you want a giga coaster, go to a Cedar Fair park. Be happy we’re not a neglected park.


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Postby Ilovthevu' on July 9th, 2019, 12:51 am
^I think you are short changing the price of Maxx Force. A 175 foot coaster with 2 trains and that length of track is more money than those Joker rides of today. According to rcdb.com, Hypersonic XLC (the failed ride) cost $15 million, and Hypersonic was 165 feet 18 years ago. To me, it seems like the MAJOR amount of money for Six Flags this year only went to Magic Mountain, and Great America. A couple parks received the S&S Free Spins (poor-mans Chance Zippers lol.), a few received pendulum rides, 1 a Larson ring of FIRE, 1 a Chance Freestyle, 1 a Zamperla Endeavor (similar to the Orbit ride), 1 of those really terrible mini Buccaneer Battles (like Six Flags St. Louis has), etc.

In 2018, they say this: "The company invested $133 million in new capital projects". Of course though, out of $133 million, you can have some of that money go towards fixing Carousel Gifts, for instance (because the roof was leaking before), buying Christmas decorations, or painting Superman. That is not all new rides of $133 million.

I also think the only reason why Six Flags has gotten away with buying cheaper things for a few years is because they DID spend the good money buying some great coasters throughout the years. Imagine Great America, Magic Mountain, Over Georgia, and Great Adventure without all those EXPENSIVE B&MS in those parks. Right now, they are truly relying on their OLD equipment to keep people coming to the parks. It's not like people are standing in line for 2 hours to ride the Ring of FIRE (which is only a year old). Today, I rode 3 rides that are almost 40 years old, or later. I rode 2 rides that are 15 years old. I also rode 1 ride that is 20 years old. I didn't ride a ride from 5, 4, 3, 2 years ago, or from last year, etc. Next time I go to the park, I can't wait to ride the ride that is in the 30 year old range.
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Postby coasterfanatic on July 9th, 2019, 3:43 am
chicagolandcoasters wrote:You guys might not like yearly additions but it’s really smart on Six Flags’ part. Any small additions of new flats still drive attendance for a minimal investment. Maxx Force is skyrocketing attendance and it was only a few million dollars. Yes these additions may not be the best for us spoiled enthusiasts but its what brings in the money for Six Flags. Six Flags is being cautious and not making huge investments. If you want a giga coaster, go to a Cedar Fair park. Be happy we’re not a neglected park.


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Where is there any factual evidence to say that MaxxForce is skyrocketing attendance? The last I heard attendance was down for the year! You have no evidence to support that claim. And it definitely cost more than a “few million dollars!” Joker I believe was about 6 million. This has to cost more than Joker.


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Postby staticshadows on July 9th, 2019, 9:21 am
S&S Air Launch coasters are $16 million before tariffs.
https://www.kuer.org/post/utah-amusement-ride-manufacturer-feeling-squeezed-both-sides-us-china-trade-war-speeds
Perkes traces the discrepancy back to last September, when Beijing imposed a retaliatory tariff on American-made ride parts, hiking up the duty from 10 to 25 percent.

“All of our returning customers that usually want to buy rides from us are talking to us about this,” said Perkes. “They aren’t signing contracts.”

Two white steel pulleys, part of a 16 million dollar ride going up in eastern China's newest military-themed amusement park, Sun Tzu Cultural Park. They'll be shipped to the Qingdao port southeast of Beijing, where S&S’s customer will have to pay a 25 percent tariff. A year ago, the tariff on amusement park components was 10 percent.

S&S Worldwide has made a name for itself in the global amusement industry by churning out rides that can thrust thrill-seekers from 0 to 80 miles per hour in 2 seconds. These modern rides have proven particularly desirable in China, which industry experts say is on track to become the world’s largest theme park markets in the next few years.

Perkes says the boom is fueled by Chinese real estate developers, who are responding to a booming middle-class, hungry for leisure activities.

“They're taking an area where they’re building malls, hotels, housing and they're putting an amusement park as part of the entertainment center,” he says.

Now, Perkes fear the company is being locked out of the booming market, as their usual customers realize they will likely have to shell out at least $4 million in duties if they want to import a ride like S&S’s organ-jumbling Air Launch Coaster. Before September, that amount was more like $1.5 million.
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Postby Sven18 on July 9th, 2019, 9:55 am
Ilovthevu' wrote:^I think you are short changing the price of Maxx Force. A 175 foot coaster with 2 trains and that length of track is more money than those Joker rides of today. According to rcdb.com, Hypersonic XLC (the failed ride) cost $15 million, and Hypersonic was 165 feet 18 years ago.


Talking about Hypersonic XLC S&S; executive vice president Larry Hayes, who said "the actual coaster cost about $7.5 million, not including foundations and theming."

Ilovthevu' wrote:In 2018, they say this: "The company invested $133 million in new capital projects".


SF formula is 60% rides, 25% asset management, 15% in park/non rides. So the ride budget was 80M for all the parks.

Ilovthevu' wrote:I also think the only reason why Six Flags has gotten away with buying cheaper things for a few years is because they DID spend the good money buying some great coasters throughout the years.


The cheap rides for SF is not a "a few years" things. They have a base patron that doesn't care about big coasters. They go ga gag ..over cheap things or choppped coasters like Full Throttle, all their RMC's, Maxx Force. People have made the compromise for lower prices they will accept inexpensive rides.
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Postby Sven18 on July 9th, 2019, 10:00 am
chicagolandcoasters wrote:Maxx Force is skyrocketing attendance and it was only a few million dollars.


Is it really skyrocketing attendance? Its been open less than a week. Was 4th of July weekend any more crowded overall than usual? Are there really more people than any other July where they have bring a friend free or discounted every day for the month?
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Postby Sven18 on July 9th, 2019, 10:08 am
staticshadows wrote:S&S Air Launch coasters are $16 million before tariffs.


That coaster is taller 198ft, faster 84mph & longer 3051ft than Maxx Force...not an apples to apples comparison
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Postby staticshadows on July 9th, 2019, 10:31 am
Sven18 wrote:
Talking about Hypersonic XLC S&S; executive vice president Larry Hayes, who said "the actual coaster cost about $7.5 million, not including foundations and theming.

So that would be about $11.1 million today for just the coaster. Basing the original amount on the year 2000.
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Postby CoasterRiderSC on July 9th, 2019, 12:35 pm
Sven18 wrote:
staticshadows wrote:S&S Air Launch coasters are $16 million before tariffs.


That coaster is taller 198ft, faster 84mph & longer 3051ft than Maxx Force...not an apples to apples comparison


Where are you getting the specs for XLC?


Rcdb has it as 1500 ft long, 165 feet tall and 80 mph
https://rcdb.com/729.htm
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Postby anewman35 on July 9th, 2019, 12:39 pm
CoasterRiderSC wrote:
Sven18 wrote:
staticshadows wrote:S&S Air Launch coasters are $16 million before tariffs.


That coaster is taller 198ft, faster 84mph & longer 3051ft than Maxx Force...not an apples to apples comparison


Where are you getting the specs for XLC?


Rcbd has it as 1500 ft long, 165 feet tall and 80 mph
https://rcdb.com/729.htm


He wasn't talking about XLC, he was talking about the new Chinese coaster mentioned in the article.
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Postby Ilovthevu' on July 9th, 2019, 12:43 pm
Either way, whether this ride was $11 million, $12, 13, etc; this is not a few million dollars like the Zamperla Ragin Cajun we had before (and even that ride was probably $4 or $5 million, not $3 million). Also, sometimes those rcdb prices don't show the whole truth because with Top Thrill, rcdb says it was only $25 million, but from a ceo; they said it wasn't even close to that price. Try $40 million because of all the troubles that ride had. I could be wrong though. It could have been the Six Flags Kingda Ka ceo that said that (It's one of them though that said it), but either way; that ride was so much money for Six Flags and Cedar Fair, and you wonder why neither of them have bought another one, and probably never will.
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Postby B&MGuy35 on July 9th, 2019, 2:22 pm
coasterfanatic wrote:But the airport is in the way! They still can’t go over 300 feet because of the airport. The Sky Trek Tower I believe is only except but the FAA simply wouldn’t allow it anymore.

Plus...Six Flags doesn’t spend that type of money anymore. Maybe that will change with new CEO but don’t count on it.


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Once and for all I’m going to debunk everyone’s assumption that the FAA won’t allow anything higher then 300ft to be built. I’m not sure where this rumor came from but this has never been the case. Below you’ll find a map of the area, which are then divided into blocks. Each block has a number in it and as it gets closer to the airport the number drops eventually to 0. This is the height limit of structures that is allowed to be built around the airport. Anything outside of the airport area has a limit of 499ft. If anything is built higher the FAA must be contacted and they will determine if it’s an interference with flights paths in the area.

Six Flags Great America is located on the very outskirts of the main airport restriction area, but as you can see from the map the restriction it’s actually 400ft with the small area by American Eagle actually being 499ft.

So, while we will mostly like never see anything that tall the limit is way higher then everyone is always talking about on here. It just took a little digging to find this out.

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