thrillseeker4552 wrote:This announcement is exactly what I expected. Valleyfair's time will come. Weren't they named by Cedar Fair as one of their "growth parks" with lots of potential? Like Carowinds and CGA?
I believe in a conference call or something many years ago they specifically called out these three parks as parks that may be under developed or under invested in compared to their market size. Then the Fury and the massive water park expansion at Carowinds happened, so every CGA and VF fan got very excited they were next.
I think what held CGA back for awhile is the land ownership issue, which is now solved. And I think what is holding Valleyfair back now is ready and available land to do any expanding. Investment in additional flood protection needs to be completed before any additional acres at the park can be developed, which means money spent that doesn't really add much value or return on investment instantly. It just adds to the overall investment.
What I've always questioned is how much "growth" do they see in each park. They obviously saw massive growth potential at Carowinds and the most growth potential out of those 3 parks, which is why they started there. CGA must be next, but probably on a smaller scale, and Valleyfair after that on a similar to smaller scale as CGA. It's also no secret Cedar Fair has focused mainly on the Paramount parks since the purchase trying to get the acquisitions to start paying off ASAP (rightly so). That focus puts Valleyfair last in line as well.
Also, I'm not very disappointed in the announcement since it is what I was kind of expecting anyway. Nothing was expected with larger project proposals on the table with no signs of their construction.
I'm new to this forum but have been going to Valleyfair for many years.
As I see it, this years lack of major investment makes sense and is fully coherent given the overall landscape;
2015 Valleyfair filed for permits to complete the old road on their western border to make a dike, complete with references to water park expansion. They later received regulatory approval for wetland construction etc. Spring 2019 Raul Rehnborg becomes the new general manager at Valleyfair. Previous experience includes being the Director of Soak City Waterpark at Knott's Berry Farm, ran the water park in San Diago, and was Vice President and General Manager of California's Great America. April 15 Cedar fair announces water park expansions at Canada's Wonderland, Kings Dominion, Worlds of Fun, and Dorney Park. Cedar Fair clearly had plans, and likely a contract even for a major water park expansion at Valleyfair as well. In the meantime though Mall of America announced 250 million water park, and got such backing that the city of Bloominton kicked in 7.5 million just to help draft the plans. Bloomington has their eyes on the million dollar a year tax revenue if built, to such an extent that they don't have any problem if it put competitors out of business like Great Wolf water park, literally across the street. With governments picking winners and losers just 15 miles away, it put Valleyfair in a very bad position. If you think the 7.5 million so far- just from the city of Bloomington- is all the MOA is going to get, there's county and state governments eyeing things up too. Valleyfair would have been a fool to continue with their plans given that. I understand that companies like to purchase multiples for cost savings, themes etc. such as the water parks all at once. But even a transplanted water park manager had to look at the local political landscape here and said "whoa" to that idea. We have a short summer swim season anyway. If MOA builds their water park, Valley fair's will only keep up at best, in that kind of competition. It won't be a regional draw. Only other rides will keep Valleyfair the draw it should be, and everyone appreciates dry seats too. Thankfully with Dinosaurs Alive moving to the much more appropriate Minnesota Zoo, it leaves Valleyfair with a large chunk of land already prime for something else. Grand Carnavale is a fine "time filler" for 2020, and for me at least, I welcome it. They used to have a lot more shows years ago, and if you spend a whole day there, they were great to see between rides. That gives them a year to figure out something else. Valleyfair is long overdue for a major coaster of some kind though. If they decide to get a carnival ride again, at least get something with more of a thrill factor like Equinox currently at the State Fair. (Three spinning circles is awesome) They have lots of great kids and family rides. They need improvement on the thrill rides.
It does appear that the Army Corp project has "cooled." Technically, you could still go through with the project and not invest a ton in the water park. Use the project as a way to create more flood-safe land that you can develop other than for the water park.
I always wondered if the 3 GMs in 3 years was a sign of anything..
I was at the park yesterday and was surprised it drew the crowds it did with the State Fair going on. Water park was dead as it was cloudy and cool early.
So where does that leave the permit for the back of the park? Is there a time limit on when Valleyfair can make good on the approval. I'm not sure if I agree with your assessment. It has long been known that MOA wanted to build a huge waterpark. If you look at triple 5's website it's had plans for this for years. While I'll agree that there is competition it's hard to compare a 100 acre+ park that included 200 ft tall coasters and other rides that Nick U. just will never have, plus a water park attached to it at the same price. There is just something about being outside during our nice summers that can't be matched. Honestly I'd like to see the River South marketing group ask MOA, Nick U. and the new water park to join together and market themselves as a total vacation package complete with courtesy shuttles that would run from Valleyfair to MOA to Canterbury Park to Renaissance Festival to Mystic Lake. You get the idea!
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