COVID-19 Impacts on Kings Dominion

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Nov 30, 2018
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Indoor water park, maybe - I think CF has ownership in a small one of those on the road into CP.

Casinos have actually been legalized as of the last regular general assembly session, but will probably be a few years until any are open - only 5 localities can have a singular casino in them with Richmond being the closest. IMO though, I don't think CF would want that as it'd divert attention from the park and probably draw a different demographic than they're aiming for. Also, if they're not fully operating it they'd probably not get too much revenue out of the deal.
I would think CF could do a land lease with a MGM, Caesars, etc. to get a hotel and casino built on site with associated restaurants, stores, and conference centers. CF could then build/operate an indoor water park to complement the hotel/casino.

Getting a resort on site completely changes the dynamics of what KD is since it can become part of a multi-day trip and vacation packages the way BGW is in Williamsburg and Hershey Park is with the amenities around it. This makes CF's land a lot more valuable and desirable for further projects in the area.
 
Feb 14, 2019
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I would think CF could do a land lease with a MGM, Caesars, etc. to get a hotel and casino built on site with associated restaurants, stores, and conference centers. CF could then build/operate an indoor water park to complement the hotel/casino.

Getting a resort on site completely changes the dynamics of what KD is since it can become part of a multi-day trip and vacation packages the way BGW is in Williamsburg and Hershey Park is with the amenities around it. This makes CF's land a lot more valuable and desirable for further projects in the area.
Highly unlikely there will ever be a legal casino in Hanover, but some more likely other year-round plan would definitely change the dynamics of the property.

But that would be the case with or without the pandemic, so after a point this would probably be a concept for that thread though?
 
Apr 11, 2017
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This is really scary to think about. There are other things I would like to say; but the forum is not a place for political debate, so I'll keep it out. Many of you are more optimistic than what I am. For some reason I have negative thoughts about the Governors capacity number and the effects of the park being closed. I am on Cedar Fair's side that he didn't consider the number of people per acres when he made his decision. That number would have been ideal for a small park like Six Flags America; but for KD it was very low. He's obviously never been to either park to know how big Kings Dominion and Bush Gardens are.

Can someone help me with the math. We all know that KD's attendance on busy days comes from north of the park. That's everything from Fredericksburg, all the way up to Washington metropolitan area. I've driven the distance many times to know that if your driving anywhere within the 495 region; it takes at least 2 hours to reach KD; even if you take route-301 to avoid I-95. With 1,000 capacity; how many of those guests do you think are at the park when they open? Let's take into account that not everyone wants to spend a whole day at the park. Some people arrive as late as 3pm or 4pm if they want to stay until closing. But as we know, this is generally determines by how far you drove? If you live all the way in Pennsylvania, your probably spending an entire day there. If you live in MD, DC or Northern VA; your generally arriving at the park no later than 3pm-4pm so you can get your money's worth.

Here's the math question. If the park were given a capacity of 3,500 to 4,500; at what times do you think the majority of that capacity would enter the park? Let's pretend that the park operated with "LIMITED ATTRACTIONS".

* All Planet Snoopy Rides
* Dominator
* Twisted Timbers
* Drop Tower
* Delirium
* Flight of Fear
* I-305(4pm-9pm)

I'm trying to think as the Governor of VA. If he is worried about the park not being able to handle social distancing protocols with rides; I would say that all depends on how packed the park is at particular times of the day. For all we know; the majority of people might not show up until the evening. That leaves the mornings very manageable. I chose a limited operation for I-305 for the simple reason of operation cost and crowding. If it were open all day; then you'd probably have the majority of people slammed up in there by the morning all through the day. The first five hours of operation are easily handled with a modified line for Flight of Fear.

Here is how I pictured Flight of Fear operating. Rather than having people enter the normal way; there would be a queue set up outside of the exit. Here is how it could work. The ride has two trains. The only people in the station are the ride attendants and the people boarding the train. Once that train is dispatched; the next group of people can enter the station. When the first train returns; the riders must wait until the second train has been loaded. Once it has been loaded; the people in the unloading station can make their way down the hall and continue their exit through the flying saucer down into the hanger area. That way, it avoids a cluster of people walking out as other people are waiting to enter.
 
Feb 14, 2019
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Regardless of political opinion overall, I think the governor is trying to do his best to both mitigate an outbreak and limit risk to both guests and employees.

Is it heavy-handed when you compare to other states? That really depends on how much these restrictions help - without the contact tracing and everything else that can skew data we really don't have a reliable way get an accurate assessment.

All that being said, CF did have the same opportunity BGW is currently using to at least partially open.

My guess is it came down to costs and low demand - a lot easier to continue paying sunk costs like taxes and whatever minimal utility payments with little to no staff on-site while not shelling out the big bucks on staffing, higher utility bills to run rides and allow guests to go to the bathroom, and all the provisions and expendable items needed for operating the park. And, since other CF properties are already open and making money, they could possibly restructure their finances to keep the park floating along until they can fully open it.

Finally, as had been mentioned, CF simply rolled passholders to the next year - if it's still bad next year, it's possible they could either continue rolling or provide a refund fairly easily since they don't have to keep track of payments and dates and all the crazy things a membership plan entails.
 
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Apr 11, 2017
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Regardless of political opinion overall, I think the governor is trying to do his best to both mitigate an outbreak and limit risk to both guests and employees.

Is it heavy-handed when you compare to other states? That really depends on how much these restrictions help - without the contact tracing and everything else that can skew data we really don't have a reliable way get an accurate assessment.

All that being said, CF did have the same opportunity BGW is currently using to at least partially open.

My guess is it came down to costs and low demand - a lot easier to continue paying sunk costs like taxes and whatever minimal utility payments with little to no staff on-site while not shelling out the big bucks on staffing, higher utility bills to run rides and allow guests to go to the bathroom, and all the provisions and expendable items needed for operating the park. And, since other CF properties are already open and making money, they could possibly restructure their finances to keep the park floating along until they can fully open it.

Finally, as had been mentioned, CF simply rolled passholders to the next year - if it's still bad next year, it's possible they could either continue rolling or provide a refund fairly easily since they don't have to keep track of payments and dates and all the crazy things a membership plan entails.
I doubt they want to refund pass holders. I'd put a pretty penny on them attempting to open for 2021. One thing you were right about is demand. If they opened this season; there may not have been a high demand for people in the Washington Metropolitan region to drive down there. On rainy days, there may not have even been enough people present to justify staying open. But there is one thing that could cost the park a serious future loss. That one thing is; being closed for 2021. Take into account that the pandemic has changed people's way of thinking. When something has been closed for a long period of time, people will eventually move onto other important things or find other recreations to do. So let's pretend 2021 is a bust and the park finally opens in late 2021 or 2022. It takes time for word of mouth to circulate. There is social media, email and television; but not everyone is faithfully linked to KD in their personal life. We as enthusiast would know that the park has finally opened; but for them to receive those big crowds on weekends, may take time to rebuild. Remember; Six Flags America and Hershey Park are functioning.

2021 is important for all their properties and I think Cedar Fair understands this. There may still be lingering covid numbers after the Fall season; but when the number takes a respect drop; my guess is that Cedar Fair's corporate attorneys will attempt to pressure state Governments on raising the capacity numbers. This will play a major role for KD. The company will want most of their season pass holders to plan for next season, so my guess is that they pressure the state Governors right after the election. That's only if the covid numbers drop.
 
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Aug 21, 2016
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I seriously doubt the park won't open for most of 2021. The virus will still be around but by then we will have a vaccine available in some form and greater knowledge on how to handle the virus then we had back in spring-summer. But I still see social distancing and masks.
 
Feb 14, 2019
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I see capacity caps for the have few seasons tbh.

I am curious if what @MikeLovesKD is saying is true that it's the NOVA/DC market making up a large chunk of the guests during any given crowded weekend/event - my guess would be the RVA metro and more or less anywhere within about an hour's drive, especially since you have BGW to the east, SFA close to home, and relatively close proximity to PA parks if you're already willing to drive a few hours to get to KD.
 
Nov 30, 2018
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I see capacity caps for the have few seasons tbh.

I am curious if what @MikeLovesKD is saying is true that it's the NOVA/DC market making up a large chunk of the guests during any given crowded weekend/event - my guess would be the RVA metro and more or less anywhere within about an hour's drive, especially since you have BGW to the east, SFA close to home, and relatively close proximity to PA parks if you're already willing to drive a few hours to get to KD.
KD is an hour or a little more from much of NOVA, and NOVA is much bigger than RVA. Going to BGW adds another hour plus to the drive and the PA parks are over 2 hours away. Even Hersheys is a good 1:45 from the MD suburbs.

SFA is basically irrelevant around DC except for those who live nearby and use it as a cheap water park (I believe it’s the cheapest water park in the metro area for a season pass).

For southern Fairfax, PWC, and Stafford, KD makes the most sense for quick day trips.
 
Apr 9, 2013
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I live in the DMV area. 2.25 hours to HP and the same to BGW. 1 hour to KD if I'm driving slow and roughly 45 minutes to SFA on a good day.

I have season tickets to KD. And, its the only park I would entertain buying a season pass to, really, when you factor quality rides and drive time.
 
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Nov 30, 2018
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I live in the DMV area. 2.25 hours to HP and the same to BGW. 1 hour to KD if I'm driving slow and roughly 45 minutes to SFA on a good day.

I have season tickets to KD. And, its the only park I would entertain buying a season pass to, really, when you factor quality rides and drive time.
Big issue with KD is that 1 hour easily becomes 1:45 - 2 hours depending on 95 traffic. I am also 2:15 from Hersheys, but there’s rarely traffic problems and 15 is much more pleasant to drive up than 95 or the 95/64 combo to BGW.
 
Feb 14, 2019
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While it's certainly possible you guys represent the majority, I'm still curious if that's the case.

Anywho, I would like to use my pass ASAP so...
 
Nov 30, 2018
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Anecdotally, most the people I've come across at KD I don't know came from southern NOVA and central VA around towards Charlottesville. I think KD is basically attracting the crowd where KD is the closest park and doesn't involve driving past KD to get to BGW.
 
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