Trackmaster wrote:And, I'm skeptical that cloning is a great idea for the bottom line. Over time, the industry should progress, technology should get better, designs should get better, etc. If you're paying full freight for a coaster that is basically a mid-90's style and quality design, you've overpaid for a mediocre coaster that isn't going to help deliver a great experience to guests. And, give the GP some credit. They go to parks when they travel sometimes. If they go to a park that has the same coaster that they can ride back home, it rubs off very poorly on the park, and may sour them on the entire industry. It makes going to amusement parks seem cheap and tawdry. So really, it has a regressive effect across the entire industry.
Sheesh, I thought that post in the Kennywood thread was short-sighted...
A "cloned" coaster does NOT rub off poorly on a park. If anything, a cloned coaster, especially one that is fun or at the very least exciting, would mean that a guest wouldn't necessarily have to drive halfway across the country for a certain coaster when they have that exact same coaster within a shorter driving / flying distance. Roller coasters are often cloned so park brands can keep a distinct identity. There's a reason why most Batman clones are themed to Batman unless another Batman coaster already exists in the park, OR that Fantawild calls all their Boomerangs Stress Express OR that nearly every Legoland has a Zierer Force Five Dragon or Mack Park Wild Mouse Project X OR that Magic Kingdom and Shanghai Disneyland have effectively traded coasters with Tron and Seven Dwarfs. It means that when a guest goes to their "local" park, they do not feel like they are missing out on something that another park in the chain might have. Their experience isn't hindered.
In fact, at this very moment, I am working on something that will likely incorporate a cloned coaster, and the opinion that it will have your so-called "regressive effect" has never, and will not ever, come up in discussions - and that's coming from me, a card-carrying enthusiast.
There is something to be said about a proven design, and even then, nothing is stopping a company like Vekoma from making little tweaks to their design or manufacturing processes as the years go on to perfect the experience. I'll accept your argument when Fantawild and OCT stop purchasing brand new Vekoma Boomerang coasters (or an equivalent clone). But until then, please respectfully keep your judgments to yourself. That's the "bad" kind of coaster enthusiasm, y'know.