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Interview with Cedar Fair's Matt Ouimet on Coasters

08/28/15 at 08:16am in Interview with Cedar Fair's Matt Ouimet on Coasters (Latest Edit: 08/28/15 at 08:28am by mwhinva.)
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Another nice article in the LA Times concerning Cedar Fair with an Interview with CEO Matt Ouimet. Topic is Roller Coasters in the park chain. (Same source for the search for flat rides in Europe article).

Some Highlights from the article: (Full link at the bottom)

Gate Coasters.

" "So can we expect a gate coaster at every Cedar Fair park?"

"Now, if I could rewind history, would I do them at the front of every Cedar Fair park?" Ouimet said. "Probably. But it’s not going to happen."

While several parks with beautiful promenade entrances like Canada’s Wonderland and Kings Island will never get gate coasters, Ouimet said a couple more Cedar Fair parks will eventually get "Deckerated."
"

Sounds like a front gate coaster might not happen for Kings Dominion. We have a slightly smaller/different version of Kings Island's park entrance. The closest we have to something on that order is Dominator. (The "Deckerated" pun is on Rob Decker who is in charge of attraction planning/design at Cedar Fair).

Coaster Intensity.

" Paramount for Ouimet is making sure major new coasters are comfortable for riders and non-riders alike. That means adding plenty of shade and seating for parents and grandparents who might not want to climb aboard a 95-mph beast like Fury 325 while also stretching out the elements to make the G-forces more manageable for the coaster-inclined.

"I don’t want you to be so scared that you don’t want to ride it again," Ouimet said.
"

I don't think we are going to see another coaster like I-305 anytime soon (intensity wise).

Coaster Conversions.

Stand-up to Floor-less.

" This summer, Ohio’s Cedar Point converted the 1996 Mantis stand-up coaster into a floorless coaster known as Rougarou. The relatively rare conversion raised the obvious question: Which Cedar Fair coaster is next?

"We have a couple more we could do and I suspect you’ll see that happen,” Ouimet said. “But unfortunately it’s not one of those things you can play out in 10 different places."
"

California's Great America and Carowinds, here they come.

Park Chain Coaster Relocations.

" Cedar Fair’s Dorney Park in Pennsylvania is home to a couple relocated rides: a 1998 Vekoma Invertigo shuttle coaster from California’s Great America and a 2000 Intamin Impulse launched shuttle coaster from Ohio’s Geauga Lake.

But Ouimet doesn’t see coaster relocations as a viable business model.

"If a ride is really popular, you don’t want to take it out," Ouimet said. "And if it’s not, then it’s probably outlived its longevity anyway."
"

I guess Dorney Park is breathing a sigh of relief!

Wooden Coasters

Maintenance and overhaul.

" One of the biggest challenges amusement parks face is maintaining aging wooden coasters. In recent years, Idaho-based Rocky Mountain Construction has solved the problem with wooden coaster renovations that turn existing rides into wood-steel hybrids with looping inversions.

"The revitalization or rejuvenation of wooden coasters is probably a card that gets played for the next 10 years,"Ouimet said. "We are obviously looking at our whole portfolio just to decide what we do with it."
"

" "The industry has developed some very good, solid players these days," Ouimet said. "Rocky Mountain is a good example, GCI is a good example. We’ll probably work with all of them before we’re done." "

Digital (Virtual Reality).

" Looking forward, the future of Cedar Fair coasters could be digital. In 2014, Canada’s Wonderland introduced the Wonder Mountain Guardian coaster-dark ride combo that added interactive gaming and digital screens to the traditional coaster experience. Ouimet said more digital coaster experiences are on the way this fall.

"We’re going to continue to invest in this digital world and they won’t all be rides," Ouimet said. "It is clear to me that the integration of this digital entertainment world with the amusement park world is going to work."
"

Coasters, Dark Rides, and Other????

LINK:

LA Times Article - Cedar Fair and Coasters
Thanks given by:  Nicole, MAZ, Connor, Peyton, TrevorBondi, Zachary, Jake, sufpadd, Mushroom
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08/28/15 at 09:02am in Interview with Cedar Fair's Matt Ouimet on Coasters (Latest Edit: 08/28/15 at 09:06am by Nicole.)
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(08/28/15 08:16am)mwhinva Wrote:  Another nice article in the LA Times concerning Cedar Fair with an Interview with CEO Matt Ouimet. Topic is Roller Coasters in the park chain. (Same source for the search for flat rides in Europe article).

Some Highlights from the article: (Full link at the bottom)

Gate Coasters.

" "So can we expect a gate coaster at every Cedar Fair park?"

"Now, if I could rewind history, would I do them at the front of every Cedar Fair park?" Ouimet said. "Probably. But it’s not going to happen."

While several parks with beautiful promenade entrances like Canada’s Wonderland and Kings Island will never get gate coasters, Ouimet said a couple more Cedar Fair parks will eventually get "Deckerated."
"

Sounds like a front gate coaster might not happen for Kings Dominion. We have a slightly smaller/different version of Kings Island's park entrance. The closest we have to something on that order is Dominator. (The "Deckerated" pun is on Rob Decker who is in charge of attraction planning/design at Cedar Fair).

LA Times Article - Cedar Fair and Coasters

We actually thought out entrance and promenade was much prettier and longer than KI's.

(08/28/15 08:16am)mwhinva Wrote:  Coaster Intensity.

" Paramount for Ouimet is making sure major new coasters are comfortable for riders and non-riders alike. That means adding plenty of shade and seating for parents and grandparents who might not want to climb aboard a 95-mph beast like Fury 325 while also stretching out the elements to make the G-forces more manageable for the coaster-inclined.

"I don’t want you to be so scared that you don’t want to ride it again," Ouimet said.
"

I don't think we are going to see another coaster like I-305 anytime soon (intensity wise).

I really hope you are wrong about this.

"Wit has some truth in it; wisecracking is simply calisthenics with words." -- Dorothy Parker
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Thanks for posting, I wouldn't have found this otherwise. I'm surprised Mr. Ouimet was openly talking about these things, considering how hush-hush executives typically are about the future.

Lightning Rod - Maverick - Fury 325 - Skyrush- Intimidator 305 - Millennium Force - Stormrunner - Apollo's Chariot - Mako - Wild Eagle
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I never understood the secretive, quiet, hush hush direction that parks take with their new rides. Seems like being open about them would get people talking more than the 'unknown'.

Where? Behind the rabbit?
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(08/28/15 09:48pm)MAZ Wrote:  I never understood the secretive, quiet, hush hush direction that parks take with their new rides. Seems like being open about them would get people talking more than the 'unknown'.
I think to some extent, if they weren't, and we knew about every coaster well in advance, it would take a lot of the hype out of the unveiling. For example: look at Valravn, we all know the layout, colors, theme, location, etc. and once the announcement happens, most of will be like,"Okay, confirmed that one, cool." There has to be some sort of balance between giving enough info beforehand to make speculation/hype happen, but not enough to spoil the unveiling of the ride.

I guess I see both sides of that argument. I would assume, since it is such a fine line of hype/teasing in a balanced way, they'd rather fall in the safe side, which delivers more hype after the announcement then the announcement meeting your expectations because you knew all about it beforehand.

#2cents

Lightning Rod - Maverick - Fury 325 - Skyrush- Intimidator 305 - Millennium Force - Stormrunner - Apollo's Chariot - Mako - Wild Eagle
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08/29/15 at 08:24am in Interview with Cedar Fair's Matt Ouimet on Coasters (Latest Edit: 08/29/15 at 08:38am by mwhinva.)
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(08/28/15 09:39pm)TrevorBondi Wrote:  Thanks for posting, I wouldn't have found this otherwise. I'm surprised Mr. Ouimet was openly talking about these things, considering how hush-hush executives typically are about the future.

Seems the only news outlet that Matt Quimet is willing to open up about Cedar Fair is the LA Times. Not sure if he has some connection to the correspondent that does these interviews and writes the articles. I thought there were one or two other earlier Cedar Fair articles from the LA Times as well.

I think he has done some candid interviews with some of Ohio's local news media. But, the most high level trends and information about Cedar Fair does appear to come from the LA Times.

Yes, these interviews do throw in some juicy tidbits for Amusement Park/Theme Park/Coaster junkies. Most folks who follow this industry can "read between the lines" to come up with some concrete, specific assumptions about what will happen to certain parks. Other information is revealing general trends of what to expect in the future for the park chain without revealing specifics. Anyway, most of the general public who read the article probably won't know the potential impact of what Mr. Ouimet is talking about; they don't look at the industry under a microscope like most of us do.

Just from these articles, we can see what Cedar Fair management's philosophy is concerning the parks in the chain:
  • Parks treated like independent entities and respects the history and demographics of each.
  • "Place Making" efforts to bring back a touch of the "old" feel of a park. (KD's 40th anniversary elements - Floral Clock, Singing Mushrooms, Candy Apple Grove, Safari Village) "Theme-Lite".
  • Food Improvements in variety/quality. Hiring park chefs. Food events during the season. Upgrade food facilities.
  • Adding/Expanding/Renovating Accommodations (KD's Campground)
  • Upgrading and refreshing park entrances.
  • Gate Coasters for some parks.
  • Future Wooden coaster overhauls.
  • Focus on the return of flat rides (new and old/classic rides).
  • Coaster Conversions.
  • Water Park renovations and expansions.
  • Kid's areas expanded and refreshed.
  • Future Digital/Virtual Reality attractions.
  • Retiring/Removing older coasters.

Quite a bit of stuff happening to the Cedar Fair parks!
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Another LA Times article focusing on digital experiences related to coasters and Virtual Reality.

Virtual Reality and coasters
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