The Rougarou Files #3

Thursday, March 26, 2015 11:11 AM
kylepark's avatar

Jason Hammond said:

I was under the impression that B&M wasn't interested in going that high at that time.

I believe you are correct. B&M stated they would never go above 200 feet at the time, explained by park officials during Q&A at Coastermania several years ago.

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Thursday, March 26, 2015 11:59 AM
Thabto's avatar

Still, it doesn't make Intamin any more innovative than any other ride manufacturer. Stengel Engineering designed the rides, Intamin just built them. Were there other manufacturers interested in building Intamin's rides at CP? That's unknown. If Intamin was the only one interested in building those rides, then CP had no other choice other than to not build them.

Last edited by Thabto, Thursday, March 26, 2015 12:00 PM

Brian
Valravn Rides: 23| Steel Vengeance Rides: 23| Dragster Rollbacks: 1
2019 Visits: 9 Next Visit: Hopefully at some point this year

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Thursday, March 26, 2015 12:39 PM
Jeff's avatar

The B&M story is more complicated than that.


Jeff - Advocate of Great Great Tunnels™ - Co-Publisher - PointBuzz - CoasterBuzz - Blog - Music

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Thursday, March 26, 2015 12:40 PM
kylepark's avatar

Believe me, I don't think Intamin is more innovative than anyone else. I thought Morgan was also a contender for the design and build of MF. If the first parts for the coaster showed up towards the end of 1998, we're probably going back 18 or 19 years of the design phase.

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Thursday, March 26, 2015 12:46 PM
Thabto's avatar

So, B&M didn't want to go that high. I don't see what's complicated about that. I can see their reasons for not wanting to such as risks, liability and costs. They'll go that high now. They just proved it at Carowinds. They most likely wanted to see how other builders performed with that before doing it themselves.


Brian
Valravn Rides: 23| Steel Vengeance Rides: 23| Dragster Rollbacks: 1
2019 Visits: 9 Next Visit: Hopefully at some point this year

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Thursday, March 26, 2015 4:13 PM

Thabto said:
I think by close proximity, magdrag95 meant they were all built within a few years, not their location the park.

Okay, now that makes more sense.

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Thursday, March 26, 2015 7:28 PM

Alright, time to defend myself...

1) Proximity = time. I meant that they were built closely in terms of seasons.

2) You all are saying Intamin is not the innovator, Stengel is. True, he is. But you also said Intamin built it. That is the key word. Nobody else wanted to have their name on that technology. Intamin wanted the challenge. That is precisely what I mean by "being different than everyone else". Intamin stands out as building the tallest and fastest coasters in the world using unprecedented technological innovations. I now see B&M building their first launch coaster recently (which isn't even hydraulic). Intamin was doing this over 10 years ago.

To apply that concept to Cedar Point: they build the first giga/strata coaster. They have the first elevator lift system. They push the limit on hydraulics. They have a double LSM launch. Tallest impulse coaster. See the pattern here...their strong suit is coasters. By focusing on matching others with family attractions, they will fall short of other parks that already have that foundation. As I've said before, I would say (anecdotally) that a family looking for that true "everyone together" experience isn't going to look at the park with multiple record breaking scream machines. That is the image they have already given themselves, and breaking that, in my opinion, is foolish.

*in no way am I saying that family rides are terrible. I enjoy them myself. But focusing this park on attracting that market just seems like a frivolous attempt to steal people from other family parks*

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Thursday, March 26, 2015 7:47 PM
noggin's avatar

Well, "stealing" customers away from competitors is kind of what any business wants to do. If Cedar Fair has determined that introducing more family-friendly attractions at Cedar Point can increase profits, why shouldn't the company re-position the park's marketing?

It's hard for me to buy into the notion that Cedar Point has been doing x, and so Cedar Point cannot change and do y. By that logic, Cedar Point should still be a collection of attractions, restaurants and gift shops leasing land from the park, as was the case for the first five decades of the 20th century.


I'm a Marxist, of the Groucho sort.

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Thursday, March 26, 2015 9:57 PM

Cedar Point doesn't need to break the image of anything. They have always had, and continue to have/add attractions that families can indeed enjoy together. The current management of Cedar Fair is very wise in knowing that families coming there will spend more money than the people only coming to ride the uber-huge record breaking brand new scream machine. Cedar Point has a great mix of rides that thrill seekers can enjoy, as well as rides and other attractions that families can enjoy. Contrary to the beliefs of some people it has been this way for quite some time - it was just never pushed/marketed like it is being now.

The bottom line, no matter how much people do not want to admit it, or accept it - is that Cedar Point is a business and they are there to make money. Bringing families in will make them more than the thrill seeker only crowd would. The renovated Breakers, opened up beach, new rides/attractions and entertainment all point towards this way of thinking. I think the only frivolous thing is for one to think that CP will come up short, as they have already proven that it works. Disney are the only parks that have a substantially better "family" foundation. Fortunately for CP, Disney is not a competitor.

Last edited by JUnderhill, Thursday, March 26, 2015 10:17 PM
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Friday, March 27, 2015 7:36 AM
djDaemon's avatar

magdrag95 said:

Nobody else wanted to have their name on that technology. Intamin wanted the challenge.

And it could be argued that Intamin failed spectacularly at that challenge. Keep in mind that amusement parks aren't R&D facilities, so having an attraction that has enormous amounts of downtime is a failure, plain and simple.

Intamin was doing this over 10 years ago.

Yes, they were. But again, they weren't doing it very well, to the material detriment of their customers.

they build the first giga/strata coaster.

Which had enormous amounts of downtime.

They have the first elevator lift system.

That seemingly has far more issues than a standard lift chain system.

They push the limit on hydraulics.

And the result was not good.

Tallest impulse coaster.

That had to be fixed, because it was destroying itself.

See the pattern here...their strong suit is coasters.

Actually, the pattern I see is that they took too many risks without understanding the long-term consequences. As has been pointed out, Intamin didn't get work simply because they were pushing the envelope. They got work because they were cheap. The end result of poor risk management and being the budget provider is not good, evidenced by the fact that B&M is now eating their lunch.

But focusing this park on attracting that market just seems like a frivolous attempt to steal people from other family parks

Yes, what a completely stupid idea it is to attract customers. /sarcasm


Brandon

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Friday, March 27, 2015 9:41 AM

While I do agree with you 100% with the downtime being a significant issue (and detrimental to their image as a manufacturer), I commend them for taking the leap when nobody else would do it. Being a prototype technology, downtime is expected to happen. A sophisticated hydraulic launch mechanism with hundreds of prox sensors and computerized performance monitoring is going to break down. It works now, and has consistently since.

I disagree with you on the cable lift hill. Yes, it has more downtime, but it is far more sophisticated then a motor that loops a chain around the hill. Most importantly, you can't even say that your 45 degree super-fast ascent isn't totally sweet and terrifying at the same time. I don't think the ride would have the same feel if it didn't have it.

More sophistication = more room for error.

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Friday, March 27, 2015 9:59 AM
djDaemon's avatar

magdrag95 said:

Being a prototype technology, downtime is expected to happen. A sophisticated hydraulic launch mechanism with hundreds of prox sensors and computerized performance monitoring is going to break down.

Somehow, I doubt that was Intamin's sales pitch.

So, Dick, what we're proposing is an incredibly expensive prototype ride that will, in its first year, have exceptional amounts of downtime, including during CoasterMania. Not only that, but we're not even sure the cable won't fail catastrophically and injure your guests! We just have no idea!

But hey, look on the bright side - no one else is crazy enough to do this! Yes, it's expensive, but to save cost, we're going to put an intern in charge of train design. He has this crazy idea about putting large replica tires on the back of the train. We have no idea whether that's a good idea or not, but screw it! We're going for it!

I disagree with you on the cable lift hill. Yes, it has more downtime, but it is far more sophisticated then a motor that loops a chain around the hill.

Guests don't care how sophisticated a ride's engineering is. They care how much fun the ride is. And when the ride isn't running due to unnecessary "sophistication", it's not a very fun ride.

Last edited by djDaemon, Friday, March 27, 2015 9:59 AM

Brandon

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Friday, March 27, 2015 10:20 AM
Jeff's avatar

magdrag95 said:

A sophisticated hydraulic launch mechanism with hundreds of prox sensors and computerized performance monitoring is going to break down. It works now, and has consistently since.

No, it hasn't. Furthermore, it's not sophisticated, it's a pretty terrible design.

Hero worship for a company that has had a terrible record for uptime, a safety record that includes a number of deaths and injuries, and whose US rep is a douchebag, is pretty strange.


Jeff - Advocate of Great Great Tunnels™ - Co-Publisher - PointBuzz - CoasterBuzz - Blog - Music

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Friday, March 27, 2015 12:24 PM
Pete's avatar

magdrag95 said:
Nobody else wanted to have their name on that technology.

What does that say about the technology?


I'd rather be in my boat with a drink on the rocks,
than in the drink with a boat on the rocks.

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Friday, March 27, 2015 12:37 PM

My favorite rides are Intamin, but I would have to agree that the technology was something introduced before its time.

I'm still curious about what makes Sandor a douchebag?

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Friday, March 27, 2015 2:22 PM
Jeff's avatar

Ask anyone who has had to deal with him. I could show you some email...


Jeff - Advocate of Great Great Tunnels™ - Co-Publisher - PointBuzz - CoasterBuzz - Blog - Music

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Friday, March 27, 2015 3:10 PM

I'll digress.

So let's be hypothetical here:

*Idea from amusement park*

"Hey (coaster manufacturer), we would like to build a 420 ft. coaster. Launched. How can you achieve this?"

How would this problem be solved since the hydraulic system is "way ahead of it's time" and "faulty"?

How could it work w/today's technology?

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Friday, March 27, 2015 3:43 PM

Jeff said:
Ask anyone who has had to deal with him. I could show you some email...

Jeff, not gonna lie, that would be something I would be interested in seeing. But I completely understand confidentiality if that's what would prevent you from sharing.

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Friday, March 27, 2015 4:36 PM
Jeff's avatar

I don't think there is any expectation of confidentiality in my exchanges with him, as a quasi-member of the media, but I don't know that calling him out is particularly constructive. Walt has seen the email. He can vouch for me. :)

As you might expect though, I've been fortunate enough to have a lot of candid conversations with park owners, CEO's, maintenance folks, etc. Not one paints their interactions with him as flattering.

Last edited by Jeff, Friday, March 27, 2015 4:37 PM

Jeff - Advocate of Great Great Tunnels™ - Co-Publisher - PointBuzz - CoasterBuzz - Blog - Music

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Friday, March 27, 2015 6:28 PM

I would really be interested in seeing those emails, Jeff, just so I could see for myself what this guy's deal is all about. I've hard plenty of horror stories, even from a guy who used to work for Roush Entertainment Systems.. Let's just say people in the industry talk. That said, I've never directly heard him make an idiot of himself.

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