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RIP SF Kentucky Kingdom... park to be dismantled

Shaggy Shaggy Profile

Posted:
2/4/10 at
8:21:01 PM

I was surprised to find this hadn't made it onto this board yet. It was the big news here in Louisville today.

Bottom line, SFKK has been closed permanently. Word is, certain rides will be relocated and the park will be demolished.

I can't say I am surprised... the plans had been in the works to convert it into a waterpark anyway. But recently the buzz was that the KY State Fairgrounds was not playing ball with SF. I thought this news, when I first heard it, was posturing on SF's part. But it's apparently definite.

Although I haven't been a fan for a while, it's always hard to say good bye to any park.

Shaggy

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SFKK Closing

Re: RIP SF Kentucky Kingdom... park to be dismantled by beastmaster beastmaster Profile at 2/4/10 8:45:57 PM

You JUST beat me in posting! Grrrrr...

Mike

Re: RIP SF Kentucky Kingdom... park to be dismantled by Coaster3.16 at 2/4/10 8:58:15 PM

Darn. I was only there twice but I had a blast both times. Of course, that could have been because of the company I kept (AirBears one time and my cousin another).

Still, I'd guess the woodies are done. Any guesses on where anything else will eventually end up?

- Jeff

Re: RIP SF Kentucky Kingdom... park to be dismantled by CoasterFanatic CoasterFanatic Profile at 2/4/10 9:09:47 PM

I just wonder what SF owns and what it don't? Most of the rides were there prior to SF takeover. However, SF has removed Chang and Vampire to other parks

Re: RIP SF Kentucky Kingdom... park to be dismantled by junebugg junebugg Profile at 2/4/10 9:21:45 PM

WOW!

I heard this might happen but I also heard they might just keep the water park.

They can give Thunder Run to me! I'll take it and stick it in my backyard!

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Re: RIP SF Kentucky Kingdom... park to be dismantled by beastmaster beastmaster Profile at 2/4/10 9:39:52 PM

> They can give me Thunder Run to me! I'll take it and stick
> it in my backyard!

My backyard's small. I'll take the Roller Skater.

Mike

Re: RIP SF Kentucky Kingdom... park to be dismantled by RobLec RobLec Profile at 2/4/10 9:49:59 PM

Not at all surprising. I saw this coming when KY passed the 18+ knee-jerk legislation following the Lassiter tragedy. Sorry to see it happen though.

Re: RIP SF Kentucky Kingdom... park to be dismantled by AirBear AirBear Profile at 2/4/10 11:42:17 PM

> Darn. I was only there twice but I had a blast both times.
> Of course, that could have been because of the company I
> kept (AirBears one time and my cousin another).
> - Jeff

Yes indeed Jeff, that was a fun day we spent at SFKK (though I don't want to think about how long ago that was now).

This really takes me by surprise. I knew that the park wasn't amongst the "gems" of the chain, and even heard the rumors of a conversion to waterpark only, but I didn't think it would just close down suddenly for good.

Heck, we were even considering a return visit when we're in that neck of the woods in early June, but I guess that won't be happening. Dang, I was really looking forward to riding Greezed Lightnin' too :-(

Rick W - AirBear

Re: RIP SF Kentucky Kingdom... park to be dismantled by Eric_Gieszl Eric_Gieszl Profile at 2/5/10 12:04:01 AM

It looks like Six Flags just acquired all of the new attractions they need for their 50th anniversary.

I'm still a little puzzled why they'd walk away from this property and then I'm not. I understand why they may need to renegotiate their lease and if the landlord isn't willing to negotiate this is a logical solution or effective stunt.

While I've seen some real improvements at Six Flags park in general I'm concerned that the company will emerge from bankruptcy, but still face some challenging hurdles.

I also think we should keep watching Six Flags America too. I'm concerned about this park's future.

Re: RIP SF Kentucky Kingdom... park to be dismantled by LoneStar LoneStar Profile at 2/5/10 1:11:10 AM

This doesn't surprise me much. Especially since the removal of Chang.

First off, my only visit to SFKK was with our friend Jay Thomas, and he made the day wonderful. I LOVED Chang, Thunder Run was great, and you can't go wrong with Greez'd Lightning. Everything else was a let down.

That being said, nothing felt quite "right" on my visit to SFKK. The location within the fair grounds, the bridge...the park seemed out of place. Too bad, though, because Jay and the crew had put a lot of time into improving the place.

And, yes, it is always sad to lose a park.

- Pat-O

Re: RIP SF Kentucky Kingdom... park to be dismantled by AirBear AirBear Profile at 2/5/10 1:49:32 AM

The fairground location with that bridge and all certainly was less than ideal, and the park did have an odd layout and feel. Still, it wasn't the worst park I've ever visited. Thunder Run is a solid coaster that would be a shame to lose. And I never got to ride the Schwarzkopf Greezed Lightnin' or the watercoaster Deluge.

I really was looking forward to a returning. Perhaps not for a full day, but at least stopping for a few hours while driving through the area in a few months.

Rick W - Airbear

Re: RIP SF Kentucky Kingdom... park to be dismantled by junebugg junebugg Profile at 2/5/10 2:22:36 AM

> I also think we should keep watching Six Flags America too.
> I'm concerned about this park's future.

I wouldn't be surprised at all if SFA closed. It would actually be less surprising than SFKK's closing.

SFA has not had a major coaster added since Batwing back in 2001. That's almost a full decade without a big attraction. The property value, because of its proximity to DC, is also worth a ton of money and a lot of it is undeveloped. I can totally see the company selling it off to pay down their overall debt.

Re: RIP SF Kentucky Kingdom... park to be dismantled by Overbanked Overbanked Profile at 2/5/10 2:59:13 AM

> I saw this coming when KY passed the
> 18+ knee-jerk legislation following the Lassiter tragedy.

Explain that law. Please don't tell me that if you're under 18 you hafta sign a waiver to get on a thrill ride in KY.

SFA has some wacked out operating hours. Summertime, and the park closed at 8:00pm? So I skipped SFA, and kept heading north to Coney, and SFGAdv. Yeah, it definitely wouldn't be surprising to see SFA on the chopping block.

Re: RIP SF Kentucky Kingdom... park to be dismantled by junebugg junebugg Profile at 2/5/10 3:45:07 AM

> Explain that law. Please don't tell me that if you're under
> 18 you hafta sign a waiver to get on a thrill ride in KY.

The ride-ops had to be a minimum age of 18.

Re: RIP SF Kentucky Kingdom... park to be dismantled by Eric_Gieszl Eric_Gieszl Profile at 2/5/10 4:25:42 AM

I was thinking about this because there have been some comments on other sites saying basically that it was a done deal when they removed Chang. I don't think that's true and I believe Six Flags did intend to continue to operate Kentucky Kingdom, but as many were reporting in a different capacity.

Many sources spoke about the upcoming expansion of the waterpark and downsizing of the ride portion. That plan made sense considering the park's situation.

There are some known issues with this park.

It's obvious that the property has struggled for years and the Six Flags re-branding never really took off.

The park's reputation and attendance was severely damaged with the highly publicized drop tower accident.

The economy remains soft and there really is no light yet at the end of that tunnel.

The other issue is with the rumored change to the park's business plan.

If they switched to being primarily a waterpark then that is going to shorten the operating season, reduce the potential revenue at the gate, and change the spending patterns of the guests within the park. While in the end it might have been a more successful operation, the change in their business plan was likely dependent upon Six Flags successfully renegotiating the lease for the property. Since obviously that failed, they were likely left with no alternative.

I don't know how important Kentucky Kingdom is to the local economy, but I suspect the closure is going to have a sizable impact.

Since the park was the largest employer of teenagers and their income from summer jobs is largely disposable that's going to have a negative trickle down effect on lot of other local businesses.

Maybe the state will come to back to the table to rescue the deal after all.

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Re: RIP SF Kentucky Kingdom... park to be dismantled by Eric_Gieszl Eric_Gieszl Profile at 2/5/10 4:31:21 AM

> The ride-ops had to be a minimum age of 18.

Agreed, It's one of the dumbest, knee-jerk laws ever created, since the age of the operators was irrelevant to the accident.

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Re: RIP SF Kentucky Kingdom... park to be dismantled by junebugg junebugg Profile at 2/5/10 4:50:30 AM

> Maybe the state will come to back to the table to rescue
> the deal after all.

I can see them trying to make that happen.

The departure of SFKK around the fairgrounds is actually the second blow. The first one is Freedom Hall, an arena which currently houses the University of Louisville Men's and Women's basketball teams. Well they have a brand new, 22,000-seat, state-of-the-art facility under construction in downtown called the Louisville Waterfront Arena. Both Louisville teams will call that arena home beginning this fall. It's a multi-purpose arena that can house various sports events, concerts and even conventions. They will take a lot of business from the Kentucky Fairgrounds and Exposition Center. Add this to the departure of SFKK and the place will lose a lot of its vibe.

Re: RIP SF Kentucky Kingdom... park to be dismantled by junebugg junebugg Profile at 2/5/10 5:17:22 AM

Video update...

http://www.whas11.com/home/Kentucky-Kingdom-Park-to-Close-83593392.html

Now the Kentucky Fair Board is saying that they thought they were still in negotiations with Six Flags as they were working on a response to the proposal.

HW's Will Koch comments at the end of the video.

Re: RIP SF Kentucky Kingdom... park to be dismantled by ray_p ray_p Profile at 2/5/10 6:33:51 AM

I guess I need help here. As an enthusiast am I supposed to:

- Feel saddened that a park has closed? (I'd most likely say no to this one)

- Be happy because yet another "business decision" was made and we all know how turned on coaster enthusiasts get when it comes to business? (more likely)

- Just be indifferent and yell at everyone to get over it? (most likely answer)

So many conflicting feelings, but I'm sure only one is the right one.

No big loss for me. I went there once in pre-SF days and never really felt the need to go back.

Re: RIP SF Kentucky Kingdom... park to be dismantled by CoasterFanatic CoasterFanatic Profile at 2/5/10 7:46:04 AM

You now have to be 18 to operate a ride in KY. Reportedly the operator of Hellavator was yapping on the cell phone when the cable broke prior to release

Re: RIP SF Kentucky Kingdom... park to be dismantled by RobLec RobLec Profile at 2/5/10 10:30:48 AM

> at least stopping for a few hours while
> driving through the area in a few months.
>

Rick - does this imply that you two will be at HWN this year?

Re: RIP SF Kentucky Kingdom... park to be dismantled by Shaggy Shaggy Profile at 2/5/10 11:59:39 AM

I happened to get in touch with a contact on the State Fair Board. As of this morning, it seems that it's all a done deal and SFKK will be removed. The way they put it, both sides are prepared to walk away as the relationship has not been amicable for sometime. They blame a lack of revenue and attendace for SFKK's inability to meet lease options. In other words, losses were predicted for the park this season that would have prevented the parks ability to make the lease and restructure.

The removal of signage continues.

It's all the buzz here in Louisville... and as of now most fingers are pointing at the State Fair Board and Jerry Abramson (Mayor.)

But I think it goes much deeper than that. It's been clear that Shapiro has never liked SFKK and considered it a mis-directed eyesore from the time he took the reigns. I expect when push came to shove a few years ago, Shapiro recognized that they needed to completely redirect the park to become an actual profit center. Thus the initial directive to focus on the waterpark.

Some will say that SFKK was profitable... it was only mildly so and only recently. Debts incurred by it's purchase were paid off only within the past 7 years or so. Those huge debts came from the initial purchase from Ed Hart, the local Louisville businessman that built Kentucky Kingdom into a "large park." (It had been owned prior and operated as a kiddie park.) He installed HUGE rides in the park right and left season after season, but did so paying "on time." He then sold out to Premier... not Six Flags. Premier then bought Six Flags and began the branding process only to incurr the large debts owed ride manufacturers and overspend while brading parks. Several of the rides in KK, when purchased by Premier, were actually being "rented" from manufacturers like Chance and Vekoma.

Initially Premier had desired to own many parks, brand them all SF and operate them all as a huge entity. They quickly realized that they had to operate each park on it's own merit, as they could not continue to rob Peter to pay Paul... or rob SFGAm to pay SFWOA. As a result, the SF parks started operating as their own profit center. SFKK was a low profit park, and suffered year after year without new installs and dwindling upkeep. The small parks that had been branded/overexpanded could not support themselves and immediately began to falter thus SFWOA, SF Astroworld, SFDL, SFA, SFEG and more to come.

In the meantime, operating costs at KK escalated to the point of necessitating changes to park operations that crippled attendance. They shut rides, limited operating hours, sold rides, shortened the operating calendar, and failed to entice others through new installs. At the worst time possible, the Lassiter accident occurred scaring even more locals from attendance. Finally, SFKK is on the "bus line" and a couple of gang related incidents at the park have scared familes away. It's well known (although it's not pc to mention) that a certain dynamic of teen clientelle made the park miserable and avoidable on weekends and evenings.

KK has been plagued with issues over the years. The Lassiter incident was not the only accident in the park that prompted attraction removals. Starchaser and Vampire were both removed due to ride incidents covered by the news media. There was a very ugly public divide when KK purchased and demolished low income housing on Crittenden Drive to build Twisted (then) Sisters. Many low income families were displaced and given little notice of the loss of their homes. Ultimately this cleaned up the area. There was always the ongoing fight over the height variance at the park. Twisted (then)Sisters lies just 3 feet below the flight path for the airport. The 3 feet exists for raised hands... no joke.

The loss of rides and attractions at SFKK over a 10 year period is staggering. Off the top of my head I know of 17. By comparison, they have installed only 6, 3 of which are waterslides and one is an upcharge. Had the park not closed, T2 and Twisted Twins were due to be removed during the 2010-2011 off season. I know this for a fact.

I believe that when Shapiro submitted a feasible, yet drastically reduced, lease option to the State Fair, it obviously allowed the park the funds to remodel/re-structure the park into a waterpark. Such a change would have reduced the operating season even more, thus an immense discounted lease was imperative. The State Fair balked, thinking SF would have no option than to agree to continue to operate as is. They can't, so as of this morning, the plug is still being pulled.

It's pretty easy to see what has happened at the park. IMO it's sad that the park is likely being demolished, but it's also not a huge loss.

Shaggy

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Re: RIP SF Kentucky Kingdom... park to be dismantled by Shaggy Shaggy Profile at 2/5/10 12:32:51 PM

And update...

Mayor says SFKK kaput

Re: RIP SF Kentucky Kingdom... park to be dismantled by parkbookman parkbookman Profile at 2/5/10 12:57:22 PM

Great perspective Shaggy, thanks. I was always surprised that this was not one of the parks included in the PARC sell off. If you look most of the parks sold in that divestiture were part of the old Premier (pre Six Flags purchase), as was Kentucky Kingdom. It seemed to have the most in common with Elitch Gardens among the pre Shapiro Six Flags stable.

Also, I would tend to disagree about the future of Six Flags America. While it has not seen a new coaster in ages, it probably has a sufficent number for a park of that size. In addition, the water park has seen some pretty good investment over the past several and Thomas Town, while not of interest to most enthusiasts, appears to be shaping up to be a pretty significant attraction and a perfect counter to the other major addition in the region this season - KD's Intimidator.

What SFA has going for it is a close in location to one of the largest and most affluent markets in America - suburban DC and Baltimore. I think it would be hard for Six Flags to walk away from that. In addition, in this current economy, it makes little sense to close the park for development. There will be no takers and even it there were, they could not get financing. And that situation will likely not change for years.

Re: RIP SF Kentucky Kingdom... park to be dismantled by MABrider MABrider Profile at 2/5/10 1:22:49 PM

> Heck, we were even considering a return visit when we're in
> that neck of the woods in early June,

> Rick W - AirBear

RobLec already posted a question that came to mind as to this subject.
I was about to ask the same, but I already "know" the answer, without really knowing, ya know?
;-)

:-)

Mike B. (who will also be in Southern IN come early June)

Re: RIP SF Kentucky Kingdom... park to be dismantled by sparky sparky Profile at 2/5/10 2:29:07 PM

John,

Thank you for that masterful write-up PERFECTLY explaining the park's history (most significantly since its rebranding in late July of 1998).

One thing I never quite understood (and got conflicting reports on) was ownership of the land the park sits on. Is the entire property indeed owned by the KSF? I was under the impression (from most reports I have been given) that KSF owned the "old" loop on the gate side of the bridge, and Six Flags owned the land that made up all of the other side of the bridge, save for the narrow strip leading down and back from Twisted Twins, past Mile High Falls, and circling the far turnaround of Thunder Run (that section I was told still was owned by Ed Hart).

In your estimation, after the dust settles, could Ed Hart (or another group with industry experience) come in and re-introduce the park *again*? I think it is safe to say the woodies and rapids aren't going anywhere unless they get demolished, so there are at least three big ticket attractions (along with the wave pool and anything left in the waterpark) to build upon.

Re: RIP SF Kentucky Kingdom... park to be dismantled by Shaggy Shaggy Profile at 2/5/10 3:27:38 PM

> John,

> Thank you for that masterful write-up PERFECTLY explaining
> the park's history (most significantly since its rebranding
> in late July of 1998).

Awww shucks ;-)

> One thing I never quite understood (and got conflicting
> reports on) was ownership of the land the park sits on. Is
> the entire property indeed owned by the KSF? I was under
> the impression (from most reports I have been given) that
> KSF owned the "old" loop on the gate side of the
> bridge, and Six Flags owned the land that made up all of
> the other side of the bridge, save for the narrow strip
> leading down and back from Twisted Twins, past Mile High
> Falls, and circling the far turnaround of Thunder Run (that
> section I was told still was owned by Ed Hart).

It's quite a confusing array of land ownership. As I understand it, the Kentucky State Fair owns 38 of the 58 acres on which SFKK sits. The "front loop", roadway and upper half of the "rear loop" are Fairgrounds property.

Half the land on which Chang resided back to the Twisted Twins area was initially purchased by Ed Hart. AFAIK, the land was part of the sale from Hart to Premier. Also, the land owned by the park itself also includes a barren neighborhood behind Chang and the old Batman Stunt Arena. They never developed it, and people still reside in houses on the land.

Another oddity about SFKK relates to the height variance that the park was able to obtain. There's only a narrow strip of land on which the park was cleared to install tall attractions. On an overhead map you can identify a narrow rectangler tract starting from what used to be Superman's Tower, past the skycoaster, including Greezed Lightning's tall spike, past the Giant Wheel back to the peak of Chang's lift hill.

> In your estimation, after the dust settles, could Ed Hart
> (or another group with industry experience) come in and
> re-introduce the park *again*? I think it is safe to say
> the woodies and rapids aren't going anywhere unless they
> get demolished, so there are at least three big ticket
> attractions (along with the wave pool and anything left in
> the waterpark) to build upon.

It's possible that the Fairgounds/Mayor may pursue another park or operator, but it's an uphill challenge to get anyone to take on such a task in these economic times... especially given the prickly and somewhat unsuccessful history of having a park there. There's always been a rumor that suggested Ed Hart wanted to re-buy KK. However, AFAIK, his offices in Louisville have been drastically downsized.

I am of the mind (unless there's a drastic change of heart and the park remains) SF will likely level the park... remove, demolish and flatten everything... ala AstroWorld. The evil side of me wants them to do just that. But remember SF still owns 20 acres of that land... unless they sell it off, they will retain some say as to what happens on or near their property. It will no doubt get very interesting.

BTW, at the time it was built, the Wave Pool was allowed to be built with a "deep end." I was once told the park considered re-locating the wave pool for a waterpark re-hab/expansion that would have used the land behind Chang. However the city was not going to permit them to build a new one deeper than 5 feet. Many Louisville neighborhood pools have been closed for years and that prompted a draw to the KK pool/waterpark. When permission was not granted, the park nixed the waterpark re-location and started looking at ways to expand the waterpark AROUND the wave pool.

Shaggy

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Re: RIP SF Kentucky Kingdom... park to be dismantled by sparky sparky Profile at 2/5/10 3:42:25 PM

> It's possible that the Fairgounds/Mayor may pursue another
> park or operator, but it's an uphill challenge to get
> anyone to take on such a task in these economic times...
> especially given the prickly and somewhat unsuccessful
> history of having a park there.

See, I'm not so sure it would be that much of a task to re-open the park as a solid regional park with 2-3 coasters and the waterpark. The biggest hurdle to getting financing and then actually making money with a new park is the infrastructure (or things that don't have a true ROI or marketing value). Given power and water is already in the ground, that is taken care of. But as you mentioned, should Flags clear the site of all structures "just because", that would put a rather large roadblock in the way to re-development of the property as an amusement/waterpark.

Many point to parking revenues as an issue, but much like they were at Astroworld, I don't buy that one bit. There are plenty of parks with *no* parking fee that are doing just fine financially.

Bottom line is that if Kentucky Kingdom could exist as a solid middle tier park that was of higher priority to its ownership rather than a red headed stepchild to a large corporation, the place can (and has) succeeded- despite the obstacles set in place by the unique location.

Good examples of other Fairground parks are Bell's (gone now due more to corruption on the part of Murphy Bros Shows and the Tulsa State Fair Board and not the park's performance itself) and PNE Playland.

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Re: RIP SF Kentucky Kingdom... park to be dismantled by Shaggy Shaggy Profile at 2/5/10 7:13:54 PM

The standing contract between the State Fair and SFKK required $1.1 million annually in lease and the Fair retained all parking. Horrific deal.

SF proposed that the lease monies be dropped, and that a small percentage of the parking (based on a percentage of park attendees) be given to them in exchange for an overall percentage of the park's annual gross. Sounds fairly reasonable to me.

Apparently the head of the State Fair turned them down flat, and offered no change to the lease renewal. Shapiro, in turn, told the local Marketing/PR folks the park was closed and they were to prepare and release a statement informing the media.

That's how the State Fair Board and Mayor found out... via the media announce. They've been scrambling all over the news trying to demonstrate "hope." Whatever.

But inside the park today, employees were given the details about how much longer they will be needed to see the park through it's dismantling. They cannot speak publicly or to the media about the details.

BTW, the State Fair is now posturing saying SF will owe them $2.2 for breaking the lease (which has 2 years left.) They also are stating that when the park was built, they helped fund the installation of most rides so SF doesn't own them. Ba ha ha ha...

SF is under bankruptcy protection... doesn't that mean they can't be foreclosed on? Doesn't it also mean no one can lay claim to their assets?

Shaggy

Re: RIP SF Kentucky Kingdom... park to be dismantled by junebugg junebugg Profile at 2/5/10 10:37:56 PM

> Also, I would tend to disagree about the future of Six
> Flags America. While it has not seen a new coaster in ages,
> it probably has a sufficent number for a park of that size.
> In addition,

Something does not seem right when a park located smack in the middle in one of the most populated metropolitan areas in the country does not add a major coaster in almost a decade.

And what sufficient number are you talking about? Attendance?

If they are getting decent attendance then why are they closing at 7 p.m. on weekdays in June and 8 p.m. in July? That sounds like they can't afford to stay open later. That early closing is not the norm for major seasonal theme parks during summer hours when most are closing at 10 or 11 p.m.

> the water park has seen some pretty good
> investment over the past several

The water park at SFKK saw some expansion over the past few years and look what happened there.

> and Thomas Town, while not
> of interest to most enthusiasts, appears to be shaping up
> to be a pretty significant attraction and a perfect counter
> to the other major addition in the region this season -
> KD's Intimidator.

The addition of Thomas Town at SFA will no way come close to competing with I305 at KD. While it may give a boost in attendance, the numbers won't be setting the world on fire.

> What SFA has going for it is a close in location to one of
> the largest and most affluent markets in America - suburban
> DC and Baltimore. I think it would be hard for Six Flags to
> walk away from that.

SFA has HAD that advantage for years but have done absolutely nothing to capitalize on it. The company focused on expanding other key parks like SFMM and SFGAd and have let SFA to sit there and rot. I think S:RoS just recently got it's first ever paint job last year. Over the past few years the park has removed a number of flats as well. Also, the departure of Two Face, while problematic, doesn't help keep attendance going especially if they are not gonna replace it with another coaster. SFA is also serving as a junkyard for the former Ultratwister at Astroworld.

> In addition, in this current economy,
> it makes little sense to close the park for development.
> There will be no takers and even it there were, they could
> not get financing. And that situation will likely not
> change for years.

I wouldn't be so sure on this. The DC area hasn't felt the economic collapse that the rest of the country has, partly due to the number of government and government-contracted jobs in the area. Just look at the National Harbor area. Disney is building a resort there soon and Wyndham just opened a timeshare
there and they sold out almost all of them already. So it wouldn't surprise me one bit if SFA was sold to a developer. The land its on is worth lots of money.

Re: RIP SF Kentucky Kingdom... park to be dismantled by Absimilliard Absimilliard Profile at 2/5/10 11:53:58 PM

Thanks for the amazing history of SFKK Shaggy.

Do you know anything about any possible ownership issues of some rides, like the 1990 rides (Enterprise, Breakdance, etc.). Thank you.

Re: RIP SF Kentucky Kingdom... park to be dismantled by Great_Ump Great_Ump Profile at 2/6/10 5:05:19 AM

> Something does not seem right when a park located smack in
> the middle in one of the most populated metropolitan areas
> in the country does not add a major coaster in almost a
> decade.

2011 will end the streak.

;)

> If they are getting decent attendance then why are they
> closing at 7 p.m. on weekdays in June and 8 p.m. in July?
> That sounds like they can't afford to stay open later. That
> early closing is not the norm for major seasonal theme
> parks during summer hours when most are closing at 10 or 11
> p.m.

From what I've been told the park use to always close at 9pm during the summer as a result of some county ordinance mandating that they close no later because of the noise created from the mass exidos of the park (which I've never seen) and the "traffic". Apparently the surrounding neighbors complain often about the park around the closing hour.

Never made sense to me since the park closes later during the annual Halloween events.

But I digress.

> The addition of Thomas Town at SFA will no way come close
> to competing with I305 at KD. While it may give a boost in
> attendance, the numbers won't be setting the world on fire.

Agreed.

> What SFA has going for it is a close in location to one of
> the largest and most affluent markets in America - suburban
> DC and Baltimore. I think it would be hard for Six Flags to
> walk away from that.

> SFA has HAD that advantage for years but have done
> absolutely nothing to capitalize on it. The company focused
> on expanding other key parks like SFMM and SFGAd and have
> let SFA to sit there and rot.

Agreed again.

I think S:RoS just recently
> got it's first ever paint job last year. Over the past few
> years the park has removed a number of flats as well. Also,
> the departure of Two Face, while problematic, doesn't help
> keep attendance going especially if they are not gonna
> replace it with another coaster. SFA is also serving as a
> junkyard for the former Ultratwister at Astroworld.

No june but there has been a lot of positive talk about the recent turn around of the park. The new Park President, John Winkler, worked at Six Flags Great America for many years in the 90's and spent most of the last decade at Great Adventure's Park President.

I firmly believe that this park isn't going anywhere. I believe that the SFI moved Mr. Winkler to SFA to bring the sucess he had at his previous two parks to SFA.

While SFA hasn't had a major coaster added since Batwing, there has been some significant improvements to the park.

The waterpark received a badly needed upgrade with the retheme to Hurricane Harbor. The waterpark had not seen a new attraction since the mid '90s when Croc Cal's Outback Beach House was installed for the kiddies as well as the removal of the Sunstriker for the Black Hole slide and the slide immediately next to it. They've added a Proslide Tornado and the Halfpipe waterslide. They also added an all new kiddie area.

Penguin's Blizzard River was added in 2002.

The park has turned the corner on Guest Services and is trying to bring back the families with the Thomas Town addition.

The official Thomas Town press release is due out this coming week depending upon now the weather of course. Last I heard the park was inviting families to take part in a groundbreaking ceremony.

A lot of the ride removals were maintenance related...Iron Eagle (Zamperla Rotoshake), Kyrpton Comet (Chance Chaos, really, how many of these are still around?), and the Sky Escaper (Enterprise) and if I'm not mistaken SFMM is the only SF park with an operating Enterprise.

The park has made great strides to getting all the maintenance issues that they could control, fixed.

Tower of Doom saw all three sides in operation for the first time in many many years. Typhoon Seacoaster/Skull Island or whatever we are calling it the year had it's turn tables removed and now operates regularly with little down time. The Rapids ride is in the same boat, pun intended.

All coasters in 2009 operated at the best of their ability. Superman had some problems in 2009 but we also saw both sides of Batwing's station used as intended when crowd size justified opening up the other side.

They refurbished one of the two train engines in preparation for the Thomas Town additon and reopened the train ride back up to the public.

Looking forward, local enthusiasts are wondering what's going to happen with the gaping hole that is being created as a result of Thomas Town to a degree. Around the World in 80 days, the hot air themed ferris wheel-esq ride was seen leaving the park a few months ago on a tractor trailer possibly headed out to be refurbed and moved to TT. In TT's concept artwork there is a ride that looks similar to this ride. The park is trying to sell the Octapus they installed in 2005 or 2006. Add this two attractions and the close proximty of the Rainbow Slides that have not opened in a few years and you have your gaping hole.

My point is while SFA has not added a coaster in nearly a decade, I think they are FINALLY doing the things they should have done 8-10 years ago to remain competitive with KD.

It's tough to compare KD to SFA, they really have nothing in common.

While SFA is my homepark, I've been very outspoken and opinioned in the past ten years when this park was getting poor reviews from the enthusiast community. I refuse to pile on and do report on positive experiences at the park. Just because SFA is my homepark doesn't mean that I'm going to treat it differently than any other park. I wouldn't call myself a SFA Fanboy however one should reconize the steps in the right direction this park is going.

I'll go on record and say I think Chang eventually winds up at SFA. SFA currently, or at least as the end of the 2009 season, has two coasters on site. Ultra-Twister is in the back of the park and Two Face was backstage. I think Chang went to SFGAm as there was no place to put another coaster for storage purposes at SFA.

Especially if that B&M exclusivity clause that you've spoke of before june covers SFA as well. SFA would have to pull a Cedar Fair and relocate a B&M to SFA if this is the case.

> I wouldn't be so sure on this. The DC area hasn't felt the
> economic collapse that the rest of the country has, partly
> due to the number of government and government-contracted
> jobs in the area.

Correct.

DC is the only major metro region in the country that has more jobs available than people who are unemployed.

Joe
Great_Ump

Re: RIP SF Kentucky Kingdom... park to be dismantled by Thunderbolt at 2/6/10 2:30:55 PM

> SF is under bankruptcy protection... doesn't that mean they
> can't be foreclosed on? Doesn't it also mean no one can lay
> claim to their assets?

> Shaggy

Typically, Bankruptcy doesn't protect you against judgements in a Chapter 11 proceeding.

I can't say what Six Flags Kentucky Kingdom's revenues look like, but $1.1M doesn't seem too steep a price to pay for leased land. Considering Six Flags is in bankruptcy proceedings, I wouldn't doubt the company decided to create a scenario to force a closure of this park. With Kentucky Kingdom closed, Six Flags can petition the court to void the contracts on the leased rides. Furthermore, they can have the court wipe the debts currently on the books for the more expensive assets (coasters), or restructure their terms. From there, you can move them elsewhere, or divest them. Without the park in operation, Six Flags doesn't have to make the effort to replace the removed rides (not like they would anyway). Perhaps it's just my tinfoil hat, but it seems like a plausible scenario.

It's not like Mark Shapiro liked this park anyway.

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Re: RIP SF Kentucky Kingdom... park to be dismantled by AirBear AirBear Profile at 2/9/10 2:01:26 PM

> at least stopping for a few hours while
> driving through the area in a few months.

> Rick - does this imply that you two will be at HWN
> this year?

Sorry for the delay in responding. Wouldn't you know it - as soon as I awaken from hibernation to start posting again, I messed up my back and had to stay away from the computer for a few days (sitting is still pretty uncomfortable, but I had to get back to work today).

Regarding the "implication", here's the scoop. Colleen and I have scheduled a trip to Indianapolis for my nephew's HS graduation on Memorial weekend. With the Monday holiday plus a floating day off scheduled for Friday 6/4, I decided to use 3 vacation days to get that entire week off. Our full schedule for the week is still undetermined, but there are 2 events happenning on June 4-5 that caught my attention - CoasterMania at CP and HoliWood Nights at HW. So I guess we just need to decide which one to attend. Give me a couple of seconds to think it over carefully ...

Yeah, we'll see you all at HoliWood Nights!!!

Rick W - AirBear (who adds his thanks to Shaggy for all the great background on Kentucky Kingdom)

Re: RIP SF Kentucky Kingdom... park to be dismantled by RobLec RobLec Profile at 2/9/10 2:30:23 PM

> I messed up my back and had to stay away from the
> computer for a few days (sitting is still pretty
> uncomfortable...

Hope you're feeling better soon, and hope that nasty back problem keeps its distance for at least the next few months.

> Our full schedule for the week is still undetermined,

BTW KI is open weekdays 10-8 for the weekdays preceding HWN, if you need something to do. Diamondback anyone?

> there are 2 events happenning on June 4-5 that caught my
> attention - CoasterMania at CP and HoliWood Nights at HW.
>

Yeah, had to make a choice on that one as well. Last year it was CM over HWN, so this year it's definitely gonna be HWN. (Unfortunately, Laurie is working that weekend, so I'll be solo).

> Yeah, we'll see you all at HoliWood Nights!!!

Looking forward to it!

Re: RIP SF Kentucky Kingdom... park to be dismantled by CoasterFanatic CoasterFanatic Profile at 2/9/10 5:25:14 PM

Great, It will be awesome to see you to at HWN :)

Chuck, who also spent a evening with the Airbears at a park no longer with us.

Re: RIP SF Kentucky Kingdom... park to be dismantled by AirBear AirBear Profile at 2/10/10 1:37:06 PM

> Hope you're feeling better soon, and hope that nasty back
> problem keeps its distance for at least the next few
> months.

The issue with the back seems to crop up every couple of years or so. Not sure what I did to aggravate it this time, though it was probably when I was out in the yard doing some pruning (that'll teach me to do yard work). I'm sure it will soon be back to normal, whatever that is.

> BTW KI is open weekdays 10-8 for the weekdays preceding
> HWN, if you need something to do. Diamondback anyone?

Yes, I noted the schedule and KI is certainly a possibility during that week and perhaps CP as well (both Diamondback and Maverick are calling out to us). Much will depend on if my mother decides to make the trip with us, in which case we may be ferrying her around to visit relatives for part of that week.

> Yeah, had to make a choice on that one as well. Last
> year it was CM over HWN, so this year it's definitely gonna
> be HWN. (Unfortunately, Laurie is working that weekend, so
> I'll be solo).

It was actually an easy decision for us - HWN all the way! If we do CP it will be during the week, which could provide near ERT conditions anyway (just no night rides, but then we feel it's more important to get in night rides on the Holi-Woodies).

Sorry to hear that Laurie can't make it, but we're looking forward to seeing you and many other friends in June!

Rick W - AirBear

Re: RIP SF Kentucky Kingdom... park to be dismantled by Eric_Gieszl Eric_Gieszl Profile at 2/10/10 4:11:33 PM

> I can't say what Six Flags Kentucky Kingdom's revenues look
> like, but $1.1M doesn't seem too steep a price to pay for
> leased land.

It is when you only generate revenue three months of the year. A water park in that region effectively operates only Memorial Day to Labor Day.

Re: RIP SF Kentucky Kingdom... park to be dismantled by LoneStar LoneStar Profile at 2/10/10 6:22:27 PM

if I'm not mistaken SFMM is the
> only SF park with an operating Enterprise.

Six Flags Fiesta Texas - The Wagonwheel, it was the Spinnaker at SFoT.

- Pat-O

Re: RIP SF Kentucky Kingdom... park to be dismantled by Thunderbolt at 2/10/10 6:45:37 PM

But it's Six Flags's choice to operate the property as a waterpark. They could continue to operate it as both a dry amusement and waterpark. I don't see Six Flags rushing to open the books on Kentucky Kingdom. I wouldn't doubt it would paint the company in a bad light. Razor thin profits are still profits. Especially if the drain on the books were debts that were repaid.

If I were the Kentucky State Fair board, I'd pounce all over Six Flags to recover removed assets ("Chang", "Twisted Twins" Rolling Stock et. all), and fees associated with their reassembly and possible breach of contract. IANAL, but I think Six Flags could be on the hook for a lot of money. Bankruptcy most likely will NOT protect them from a judgement.

Re: RIP SF Kentucky Kingdom... park to be dismantled by Rollercoaster_freak220 Rollercoaster_freak220 Profile at 2/10/10 8:46:41 PM

> if I'm not mistaken SFMM is the
> only SF park with an operating Enterprise.

> Six Flags Fiesta Texas - The Wagonwheel, it was the
> Spinnaker at SFoT.

> - Pat-O

There's also The Orbit @ SFGAm, Wheelie @ SFOG, and Highland Fling @ SFSL of the SF parks I've been to. Oh, and SFKK had one (I don't know the name), but obviously, that one is not currently operating anymore lol.

-Josh

Re: RIP SF Kentucky Kingdom... park to be dismantled by Eric_Gieszl Eric_Gieszl Profile at 2/11/10 1:10:53 PM

Unless Six Flags signed the lease after they filed for bankruptcy, which they did not, then the lease is part of the bankruptcy filing and will be sorted out by the court. Leases are broken all the time in bankruptcy court and what the state can collect, if any, will be determined by the court.

Six Flags wouldn't of been able to pick up and move Chang if they didn't out right own it. Do you think the state would sit there for the past six months and say nothing about the removal if they actually owned the ride? No.

Re: RIP SF Kentucky Kingdom... park to be dismantled by beastmaster beastmaster Profile at 2/11/10 4:00:05 PM

> if I'm not mistaken SFMM is the
> only SF park with an operating Enterprise.

> Six Flags Fiesta Texas - The Wagonwheel, it was the
> Spinnaker at SFoT.

> - Pat-O

I should get down there one of these years...Enterprises are becoming rarer than a really cold water fountain at an amusement park. Thank God Dorney isn't far...

Mike

>

Re: RIP SF Kentucky Kingdom... park to be dismantled by Judy_P_in_Pgh Judy_P_in_Pgh Profile at 2/11/10 11:28:53 PM

Is an Enterprise the same as a Witch's Wheel?

Re: RIP SF Kentucky Kingdom... park to be dismantled by RobLec RobLec Profile at 2/11/10 11:37:31 PM

> Is an Enterprise the same as a Witch's Wheel?

My guess is yes. Though I'm not sure what a Witch's Wheel is, I googled the term, which led to a youtube video of someone riding what looked like CP's enterprise.

Re: RIP SF Kentucky Kingdom... park to be dismantled by beastmaster beastmaster Profile at 2/12/10 6:39:14 AM

> Is an Enterprise the same as a Witch's Wheel?

> My guess is yes. Though I'm not sure what a Witch's Wheel
> is, I googled the term, which led to a youtube video of
> someone riding what looked like CP's enterprise.

You are correct, sir! And "Yes" to Judy's question above. The Enterprise is known as Witches Wheel at CP over by the Magnum exit..right where I met you that time, Rob. At Dorney, it's an Enterprise. Although it's gone from GAdv, it was known as the Spin Meister in its last incarnation there. I believe Kennywood's is known as Volcano. Maybe Judy can confirm that?

Mike, who ranks Enterprises among his top three or four generic flat rides, although I sometimes close my eyes while riding.

Re: RIP SF Kentucky Kingdom... park to be dismantled by Coaster3.16 at 2/12/10 11:12:57 AM

> Unless Six Flags signed the lease after they filed for
> bankruptcy, which they did not, then the lease is part of
> the bankruptcy filing and will be sorted out by the court.
> Leases are broken all the time in bankruptcy court and what
> the state can collect, if any, will be determined by the
> court.

But I bet the city's attorneys (if it goes this far) will be involved in the bankruptcy proceedings.

> Six Flags wouldn't of been able to pick up and move Chang
> if they didn't out right own it. Do you think the state
> would sit there for the past six months and say nothing
> about the removal if they actually owned the ride? No.

One article I read quoted a city official as saying they approved the Chang move because Six Flags promised waterpark expansion in its place. Obviously, not all city leases are the same, but every city lease I've seen come across my desk* indicates that any improvements you make or buildings you build to or on the property remain at the property upon termination of the lease.

This could get pretty interesting, because if Six Flags indeed did go to the city with approval to remove Chang then that may indicate that they believed at the time that the city had at least some say in the rides and could help the city's case if this gets ugly. That's a bit of speculation on my part, but it is interesting nonetheless.

Jeff

*EDIT: I shouldn't say every. I've seen several that don't. My point is, though, that it is very possible that land leases are set up so that the city/fair board/landlord would have right to the improvements upon termination of the lease.

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Enterprise/Witch's Wheel/Volcano ... Nocho? by Judy_P_in_Pgh Judy_P_in_Pgh Profile at 2/12/10 2:35:55 PM

I believe Kennywood's is known as
> Volcano. Maybe Judy can confirm that?

Yepper, but I liked it better before they did the whole theming thing. Sorry, but Kennywood just is NOT a theme park!

> Mike, who ranks Enterprises among his top three or four
> generic flat rides, although I sometimes close my eyes
> while riding.

Mike also likes flumes, but he keeps his eyes OPEN on those.

Re: RIP SF Kentucky Kingdom... park to be dismantled by junebugg junebugg Profile at 2/12/10 3:18:09 PM

> Six Flags wouldn't of been able to pick up and move Chang
> if they didn't out right own it. Do you think the state
> would sit there for the past six months and say nothing
> about the removal if they actually owned the ride? No.

Unless the State Fair Board bought, purchased, and installed the rides themselves they can't lay claim to them, right?

Didn't all the companies that operated the park since its been open *lease* the land from the Fair Board and build it and expand it with their own money?

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Re: RIP SF Kentucky Kingdom... park to be dismantled by Coaster3.16 at 2/12/10 4:18:38 PM

> Unless the State Fair Board bought, purchased, and
> installed the rides themselves they can't ay claim to them,
> right?

Not necessarily. I know allbusiness.com isn't the end all/be all of what is right and wrong, but according to my own experience and this page from allbusiness.com below, improvements revert back to the landowner upon termination of a commercial land lease. Look at the last bullet point on this page "Land or Ground Lease".

http://www.allbusiness.com/operations/facilities-real-estate-office-leasing/2611-1.html

Again, I don't know anything about the specifics of the Kentucky Kingdom lease but it is possible that the Fair Board has a rightful claim to the rides.

- Jeff

Re: RIP SF Kentucky Kingdom... park to be dismantled by RobLec RobLec Profile at 2/12/10 5:53:20 PM

Generally, the laws regarding what goes and what stays when real estate changes ownership involves structures and fixtures. For example, a company builds or upgrades a building - installs plumbing and electrical service, a parking lot, access roads and walkways - then installs printing presses.

When the company moves, the printing presses go with them, and the supporting buildings, fixtures and improvements remain. The coasters in question are most likely considered production equipment. A new tenant would likely not have any need (or interest) in them, any more than they would a printing press, unless they purchase them from the original owner.

Re: RIP SF Kentucky Kingdom... park to be dismantled by junebugg junebugg Profile at 2/12/10 6:02:58 PM

> Not necessarily. I know allbusiness.com isn't the end
> all/be all of what is right and wrong, but according to my
> own experience and this page from allbusiness.com below,
> improvements revert back to the landowner upon termination
> of a commercial land lease. Look at the last bullet point
> on this page "Land or Ground Lease".

I just saw this map on Screamscape showing the property and lease boundaries.

If that map is accurate then Six Flags had the right to remove Chang because they owned the land underneath it.

The Screamscape update states

"Six Flags owned the majority of the land that Chang was placed on, as well as the land under the nearby former Batman stunt show theater, T2 and Blizzard River. In two other small parcels, they also own the land under a few sections of Twisted Twins as well as the entire site of Mile High Falls."

Re: RIP SF Kentucky Kingdom... park to be dismantled by junebugg junebugg Profile at 2/12/10 6:04:54 PM

> When the company moves, the printing presses go with them,
> and the supporting buildings, fixtures and improvements
> remain. The coasters in question are most likely considered
> production equipment. A new tenant would likely not have
> any need (or interest) in them, any more than they would a
> printing press, unless they purchase them from the original
> owner.

So the State Fair Board can lay claim to the ticket booths, restrooms and concession stands, right? LOL

Re: RIP SF Kentucky Kingdom... park to be dismantled by RobLec RobLec Profile at 2/12/10 6:54:15 PM

> So the State Fair Board can lay claim to the ticket booths,
> restrooms and concession stands, right?

Exactimudo!

Re: RIP SF Kentucky Kingdom... park to be dismantled by Coaster3.16 at 2/12/10 7:02:46 PM

> When the company moves, the printing presses go with them,
> and the supporting buildings, fixtures and improvements
> remain. The coasters in question are most likely considered
> production equipment. A new tenant would likely not have
> any need (or interest) in them, any more than they would a
> printing press, unless they purchase them from the original
> owner.

I think that's exactly where the argument will lie. Is a coaster considered a permanent structure or not (assuming this to even be a standard lease)? I wouldn't blame the board for contesting that. Are there any precedents for parks unable/unwilling to remain with a lease like this?

This article says they saw the lease in question and believed the coasters belong to the state fair board. Now, it could be a rookie reporter that wouldn't know it any better than a 12-year old, but its someone who has at least seen the lease.

http://www.whas11.com/news/business/What....-837721 72.html

Jeff

Re: RIP SF Kentucky Kingdom... park to be dismantled by Schrecken Schrecken Profile at 2/14/10 3:53:19 PM

That's another park I never got around to visiting, though I did get to go to Geagua Lake one time before it closed. Funny someone mentioned SFA as that's the first thing I thought about when I found out about KK closing down. But then I thought that it would be unlikely they would close that one since they have made some significant improvements in the last couple of years.

However, but what does really seem to suck is that it appears that all SFA will be getting next year is a hand-me-down from some other park, like KK's Chang. 10 years is a long, long time w/o a coaster, the least they could do is to install something brand new. Let Chang go to a SF park (or they could just outright sell it off to any buyer to recoup some money) that isn't in dire need of a new coaster. And I truly hope they don't ever erect Ultra-Twister there at SFA - I have never heard anything good about that coaster (sounds like something that needs to be turned into scrap metal). If I had a choice between those two I'd take Chang.

I don't think SFA will close anytime soon but IMO it won't really get off the ground until they install another brand new coaster that's unique to that park - not a clone, not a hand-me-down.

Re: RIP SF Kentucky Kingdom... park to be dismantled by SirWillow SirWillow Profile at 2/15/10 11:07:32 AM

You'll hear something good about Ultra-Twister from me then. I thought it was a great ride- lots of fun, very unique, and when I rode it 2 weeks before Astroworld closed I didn't find it rough at all. The biggest drawbacks it had, I thought, was it needed a new coat of paint, and it's not going to have a very high throughput.

Chang is also excellent, just a step below Riddler's and a great ride. Personally I think SFA would do well with either one or both- especially when the price tag compared to a new coaster is factored in.

Re: RIP SF Kentucky Kingdom... park to be dismantled by Absimilliard Absimilliard Profile at 2/15/10 12:53:26 PM

I also like the Ultra Twister. Never rode the SFAW model, but rode two in Japan and they're a lot of fun! Very unique and the only rough spot is the sudden stop on the reversing brake run.

Capacity wise, if they ran 5-6 cars and got enough staff in the station, its equal or better than your standard Wild Mouse.

Re: RIP SF Kentucky Kingdom... park to be dismantled by AirBear AirBear Profile at 2/16/10 1:17:06 AM

Count me in with the Ultra Twister fans. Rode the one at the former AstroWorld in Texas, and the one at Nagashima Spaland in Japan. I didn't find them to be too rough at all, and really enjoyed the inline rolls. Fun rides, and I actually wish there were a few more of them around.

Rick W - AirBear

Re: RIP SF Kentucky Kingdom... park to be dismantled by sparky sparky Profile at 2/16/10 9:07:02 AM

> Count me in with the Ultra Twister fans. Rode the one at
> the former AstroWorld in Texas, and the one at Nagashima
> Spaland in Japan. I didn't find them to be too rough at
> all, and really enjoyed the inline rolls. Fun rides, and I
> actually wish there were a few more of them around.

Just goes to show you that Togo rides had the potential to be good- as long as they didn't have any turns!

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Re: RIP SF Kentucky Kingdom... park to be dismantled by Schrecken Schrecken Profile at 2/20/10 1:43:51 AM

Let me make a couple of educated guesses here...all of you Ultra Twister fans are taller than I am - by at least a couple of inches! Plus, you can ride Arrow loopers that have corkscrews w/o headbanging or pain of any kind.

BTW, I am 5'3" in thick-soled shoes. Come to think of it all of the horror stories I've heard about that ride are from people I can basically look straight in the eye.

I had forgotten that there are some people who sit above (or below, usually children) the bash zone on such coasters so I suppose some people do get to enjoy them.

As for Togo coasters, never met one I liked or would re-ride (I've only sampled two) - the defunct Wind Jammer at KBF was a headbanger to me on a similar or worse order than a Vekoma SLC, and Shockwave at KD was like riding an old bicycle over a beat up gravel road loaded with pot holes.

If they do install Ultra Twister at SFA I suppose I'll get to have more rides on the coasters that I like as most of the park visitors will be riding the "new" coaster.

Re: RIP SF Kentucky Kingdom... park to be dismantled by RobLec RobLec Profile at 2/20/10 6:48:30 AM

> As for Togo coasters (I've only sampled two) - the defunct Wind Jammer
> at KBF was a headbanger ... and Shockwave at KD was like riding an
> old bicycle over a beat up gravel road loaded with pot holes.

I also have only been on two Togo's, both stand-ups and supposedly similar
if not identical. Yet while King Cobra at KI was far from smooth, it was not anywhere near as rough as KD's Shockwave. I was "shocked" to find Shockwave to be so rough and will never ride it again, while I loved Cobra, rode it often, and would gladly ride it again if it were still standing.

Re: RIP SF Kentucky Kingdom... park to be dismantled by Absimilliard Absimilliard Profile at 2/20/10 3:04:12 PM

> Let me make a couple of educated guesses here...all of you
> Ultra Twister fans are taller than I am - by at least a
> couple of inches! Plus, you can ride Arrow loopers that
> have corkscrews w/o headbanging or pain of any kind.

I'm 6'3, so while I avoid headbanging injuries on Togo coasters, I have another issue: I can barely fit with my long legs and large shoulders in the cars!

I went to Japan twice and got to experience quite a few Togo coasters there. Generally, like others have said, they're not as offensive as the ones we have in North America. Plus, they're all quirky and unique rides.

Fujiyama was a very good hyper coaster and just so long and big! Plus, it has individual T bars instead of OTSR and that makes some of the ride strange moments bearable. The ride final turnaround is a flat ground turn banked at over 80 degrees. You don't really have enough speed to keep you stapled to the seat, so if you had anything left in the pockets, it falls down! Then, after this, you got a few RCT S hills. You know in RCT2 when you use the Corkscrew Coaster to make curved drops and the track is not banked at all? That's what those hills are!

I rode one stand up coaster there. Milky Way at Mitsui Greenland is a double track coaster with no loops. The left track got a sitdown train with OTSR and the right track got stand up trains. Capacity was pretty good and the ride had some really good airtime.

The strangest of all coasters goes to "Momonga" at Yomiuriland. Imagine a double station like Mr. Freeze. The left station got a stand up train and the right station a sitdown train. Only the sitdown train side was open when I rode, but I would have loved to ride the stand-up side. The ride was very smooth, the loop powerful and even the helix that followed was intense!

Back to Kentucky Kingdom, does anyone think T2 will be taken by Six Flags to be installed at Great Escape? That is one ride the fairground cannot argue about, but its supposedly in rough shape...

Re: RIP SF Kentucky Kingdom... park to be dismantled by Great_Ump Great_Ump Profile at 2/20/10 3:38:35 PM

> And I truly hope they don't ever erect
> Ultra-Twister there at SFA - I have never heard anything
> good about that coaster (sounds like something that needs
> to be turned into scrap metal). If I had a choice between
> those two I'd take Chang.

Ultra-Twister will not be errected at SFA.

When UT was removed from AstroWorld, many of the track connectors were destroyed or poorly disassembled.

UT is now on ITAL up for sale along with the park's fairly new Octopus and Alpine Bobs.

http://www.italintl.com/detail_page.php?record_id=1323

http://www.italintl.com/detail_page.php?record_id=1340

http://www.italintl.com/detail_page.php?record_id=1341

With the removal of the Octopus and Around the World in 80 Days being rethemed and relocated for Thomas Town, there is going to be a noticable hole in that area of the park. Just behind ATWIED is the SBNO Rainbow Slides...

Speculation is starting to mount that this could be the site for the new for 2011 coaster that SFA is supposedily stated to get. Not big enough of a foot print for Chang but the perfect sized space for a Spinning Mouse. I figured it could be themed to Tony Hawk since Tony Hawk's Halfpipe is in the general area as well.

RE: Shockwave and King Cobra- how were these rides different? I thought they were identical to each other?

Joe
Great_Ump

Re: RIP SF Kentucky Kingdom... park to be dismantled by beastmaster beastmaster Profile at 2/20/10 4:05:53 PM

>
> With the removal of the Octopus and Around the World
> in 80 Days being rethemed and relocated for Thomas Town,
> there is going to be a noticable hole in that area of the
> park. Just behind ATWIED is the SBNO Rainbow Slides...

Around the World..was that the nice little balloon junior Ferris Wheel?

> Speculation is starting to mount that this could be the
> site for the new for 2011 coaster that SFA is supposedily
> stated to get. Not big enough of a foot print for Chang but
> the perfect sized space for a Spinning Mouse. I figured it
> could be themed to Tony Hawk since Tony Hawk's Halfpipe is
> in the general area as well.

That's a really small footprint for ANY coaster.

Mike

Re: Shockwave and King Cobra by RobLec RobLec Profile at 2/20/10 4:52:55 PM

> RE: Shockwave and King Cobra- how were these rides
> different? I thought they were identical to each other?
> Joe
> Great_Ump
>

For those who may be wondering, this post is in response
to my reply further down the thread:
http://www.ultimaterollercoaster.com/forums/cgi/forum1.cgi?read=208005

Anyway, the two Togo stand-ups are (or were) nearly identical.
I remember KC's layout precisely, but my memory of SW's layout
is somewhat vague as I only rode it once and that was nearly a
decade ago, but as I recall there was some minor variation in
track layout.

But one thing I do remember vividly was the difference in ride
quality. SW was much, MUCH more rough than KC ever was.

Re: RIP SF Kentucky Kingdom... park to be dismantled by Schrecken Schrecken Profile at 2/20/10 4:58:52 PM

> As for Togo coasters (I've only sampled two) - the defunct
> Wind Jammer
> at KBF was a headbanger ... and Shockwave at KD was like
> riding an
> old bicycle over a beat up gravel road loaded with pot
> holes.

> I also have only been on two Togo's, both stand-ups and
> supposedly similar
> if not identical. Yet while King Cobra at KI was far from
> smooth, it was not anywhere near as rough as KD's
> Shockwave. I was "shocked" to find Shockwave to
> be so rough and will never ride it again, while I
> loved Cobra, rode it often, and would gladly ride it
> again if it were still standing.

When I first went to KI King Cobra was long gone, and I rode Shockwave way back in the late 90's where I got my impression of it. Honestly I have no idea how men can stand to ride Shockwave! If it hurt my pelvic bone and low back, seems like it would be quite painful for the guys.

There do seem to be some good Togo coasters still around (apparently not much in the US) but I never had the fortune of riding any that I liked. But then again, on rare occasion, I've been moderately head-banged by a couple of B&Ms (lots on Vortex at what used to be Paramount's Great American in California, got some minor head-banging on Alpengeist last time I rode it), so it isn't always every coaster by a particular manufacturer.

So I guess Ultra Twister is scrap iron, or likely a new ride for a park that wants to undertake some restoration.

Re: RIP SF Kentucky Kingdom... park to be dismantled by Cyclone_Phil Cyclone_Phil Profile at 2/20/10 6:22:01 PM

> This doesn't surprise me much. Especially since the removal
> of Chang.

> And, yes, it is always sad to lose a park.

> - Pat-O

Well said and totally agreed with you

Re: RIP SF Kentucky Kingdom... park to be dismantled by Great_Ump Great_Ump Profile at 2/21/10 4:19:20 AM

> Speculation is starting to mount that this could be the
> site for the new for 2011 coaster that SFA is supposedily
> stated to get. Not big enough of a foot print for Chang but
> the perfect sized space for a Spinning Mouse. I figured it
> could be themed to Tony Hawk since Tony Hawk's Halfpipe is
> in the general area as well.

> That's a really small footprint for ANY coaster.

Not really considering the amount of land available to build on would be from the main bridge in towards the theater and if the Rainbow Slides are demolished and with the removal of the Octopus.

A standard mouse would easily fit in that spot.

ATWIED is the balloon themed ferris wheel type ride.

Joe
Great_Ump

Re: RIP SF Kentucky Kingdom... park to be dismantled by Coaster3.16 at 2/23/10 12:10:18 PM

The Fair Board is indeed challenging for the coasters. This is the most fun I've had following amusement industry news in years.

- Jeff

EDIT: NEW LINK BELOW

http://www.whas11.com/home/State-of-KY-suing-Six-Flags-to-keep-rides-equipment-at-Kentucky-Kingdom-84989787.html

* This Post Has Been Modified *

Re: RIP SF Kentucky Kingdom... park to be dismantled by junebugg junebugg Profile at 2/23/10 1:42:38 PM

> The Fair Board is indeed challenging for the coasters.
> This is the most fun I've had following amusement industry
> news in years.

That link doesn't work.

Re: RIP SF Kentucky Kingdom... park to be dismantled by 185139 at 3/10/10 7:55:14 AM

i had a plan to buy a season pass from there because it was the cheapest and then i found out that it just closed, i hate it.

Re: RIP SF Kentucky Kingdom... park to be dismantled by Shaggy Shaggy Profile at 3/10/10 1:17:47 PM

That's a little trick MANY enthusiasts have used over the years.

Season after season I bought a SFKK season pass for the ridiculously low price they offered. I did so just to use it at other SF parks. I'd go to KK opening weekend, buy it, get it processed and leave the park. LOL

As recent as last year I did that very same thing... then visited SFOT a week later using it.

That, quite honestly, is the only thing I'll truly miss about KK.

Shaggy

Re: RIP SF Kentucky Kingdom... park to be dismantled by Cyclone_Phil Cyclone_Phil Profile at 3/14/10 2:16:23 PM

> A standard mouse would easily fit in that spot.

> ATWIED is the balloon themed ferris wheel type ride.

> Joe
> Great_Ump
Heh, I'd gladly be in favor of Great Adventure 'donating' the Dark Krap coaster and free up that space for a more decent coaster :)
Now that's a win-win for everyone ;)

Re: RIP SF Kentucky Kingdom... park to be dismantled by beastmaster beastmaster Profile at 3/14/10 2:46:30 PM

> A standard mouse would easily fit in that spot.

> ATWIED is the balloon themed ferris wheel type ride.

> Joe
> Great_Ump
> Heh, I'd gladly be in favor of Great Adventure 'donating'
> the Dark Krap coaster and free up that space for a more
> decent coaster :)
> Now that's a win-win for everyone ;)

Not win-win...I wouldn't want to do that to Joe, Paul, and the other cool URCers in the Maryland area...SF America would not be a winner if they received that! Then again, Paul is already intimately familiar with the inner workings of the Dark Pawn!

Mike

Re: RIP SF Kentucky Kingdom... park to be dismantled by alpengeistno3 at 3/14/10 11:13:14 PM

> A standard mouse would easily fit in that spot.

> ATWIED is the balloon themed ferris wheel type ride.

> Joe
> Great_Ump
> Heh, I'd gladly be in favor of Great Adventure 'donating'
> the Dark Krap coaster and free up that space for a more
> decent coaster :)
> Now that's a win-win for everyone ;)

> Not win-win...I wouldn't want to do that to Joe, Paul, and
> the other cool URCers in the Maryland area...SF America
> would not be a winner if they received that! Then again,
> Paul is already intimately familiar with the inner workings
> of the Dark Pawn!

> Mike

Too true, Mike. But seeing how SFA wouldn't pay for the building when times were good when they installed Joker's Jinx, I am sure DK would be an outdoor coaster if installed there now.

And what an UGLY outdoor coaster it would be!!

Paul

Re: RIP SF Kentucky Kingdom... park to be dismantled by Cyclone_Phil Cyclone_Phil Profile at 3/14/10 11:42:11 PM

True enough, true enough. smh at the execs who thought Krap was 'good enough' to replace two coasters in Batman and Robin.
Re-theming Batman the ride as the Dark Knight coaster would've been better. That's why Bizzaro didn't really bother me too much [except for the taking out of the last two rear seats for the speakers]. I liked the back row. :(

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Re: RIP SF Kentucky Kingdom... park to be dismantled by beastmaster beastmaster Profile at 3/15/10 5:13:13 AM

> That's why Bizzaro didn't really
> bother me too much [except for the taking out of the last
> two rear seats for the speakers]. I liked the back row. :(

I still like the back row. Since I'm most often solo, I have no issue with the separation. The "soundtrack," on the other hand, I still find annoying, partly deaf though I may be.

Mike

Re: RIP SF Kentucky Kingdom... park to be dismantled by MABrider MABrider Profile at 3/15/10 1:07:41 PM

> The
> "soundtrack," on the other hand, I still find
> annoying, partly deaf though I may be.

> Mike

Grrrr.

I keep hoping the soundtrack electronics on both Bizarros will fail to the point where SF determines it is too costly to fix. I mean, it isn't music that you can more easily "ignore/put up with" (like on Rip Ride Rockit). It is dialogue with annoying sound effects that purport to tell a story, 93.55% of which is garbled during the ride (wind in the ears, yes? who woulda thunkit?!).

Ridickle.

Mike B.

Re: RIP SF Kentucky Kingdom... park to be dismantled by beastmaster beastmaster Profile at 3/15/10 1:18:08 PM

>
> I keep hoping the soundtrack electronics on both Bizarros
> will fail to the point where SF determines it is too costly
> to fix. I mean, it isn't music that you can more easily
> "ignore/put up with" (like on Rip Ride Rockit).
> It is dialogue with annoying sound effects that purport to
> tell a story, 93.55% of which is garbled during the ride
> (wind in the ears, yes? who woulda thunkit?!).

> Ridickle.

> Mike B.
>
Yeah, I didn't mind the music on Rock and Roller or (RIP) Led Zeppelin/Life In The Fast Lane at HRP. The sound is/was clear and enjoyable, and added something to the rides for me. It's good music. Bizarro is just white noise to me, but even MY ears have trouple ignoring it. It's a good thing the RIDE really hasn't changed much, because the Snake Lady was a favorite of mine.

Speaking of R and R, does anyone know if there's been any thoughts of re-theming it to a different band? I like Aerosmith, but they ain't exactly cranking out the hits these days, and spend as much time on the gossip pages as they do on arena stages. Hey, that rhymes! Maybe I'll send it to Steve and Joe!

Mike

Re: RIP SF Kentucky Kingdom... park to be dismantled by Cyclone_Phil Cyclone_Phil Profile at 3/15/10 3:58:27 PM

Heh, leave it to Six Flags to take the cheap way into retooling stuff. It probably would've been too expensive and a waste to replace decent trains with brand new ones that have speakers already intergrated into the seats or something.

If those speakers are as loud as some of you have said they are, I don't think I'm sitting in the back row. :( I don't want to end up deaf from it.

That's a good question.

Re: RIP SF Kentucky Kingdom... park to be dismantled by MABrider MABrider Profile at 3/15/10 5:51:15 PM

> Speaking of R and R, does anyone know if there's been any
> thoughts of re-theming it to a different band? I like
> Aerosmith, but they ain't exactly cranking out the hits
> these days, and spend as much time on the gossip pages as
> they do on arena stages. Hey, that rhymes! Maybe I'll send
> it to Steve and Joe!

> Mike

Sad to say, my ride on R & R five weeks ago was rough, as in head banger. Normally I would want to give a coaster another chance, but not this time. My riding partner, the Chilly one, concurred.

Back in Sept 2006 it was quite good, I thought. That was my first time, and I wanted rerides. That time, my non-riding partner (my wife) concurred, so I rode it again.

Mike B.

Re: RIP SF Kentucky Kingdom... park to be dismantled by RobLec RobLec Profile at 3/15/10 6:20:52 PM

We rode RNRC several times this past November and it wasn't particularly rough - not much different from the last time we rode it in '04. But of course, I believe it is Vekoma track, so it's not going to ride like a new Beemer. In fact, I'd say RNRC is still less rough than Kumba.

Re: RIP SF Kentucky Kingdom... park to be dismantled by beastmaster beastmaster Profile at 3/15/10 7:04:17 PM

> > Sad to say, my ride on R & R five weeks ago was rough,
> as in head banger. Normally I would want to give a coaster
> another chance, but not this time. My riding partner, the
> Chilly one, concurred.

How is Ed?

> Back in Sept 2006 it was quite good, I thought. That was my
> first time, and I wanted rerides. That time, my non-riding
> partner (my wife) concurred, so I rode it again.

> Mike B.

I last rode RNRC in 2004 (this week, actually, because I was at Universal on St. Pat's), and didn't find it particularly rough. But six years is a long time in coaster age.

Mike

Re: RIP SF Kentucky Kingdom... park to be dismantled by Absimilliard Absimilliard Profile at 3/16/10 1:17:33 AM

Rock n Roller Coaster has been aging and some of the ride's 5 trains are really bad. Walt Disney Imagineering did everything they could during construction to have the smoothest ride possible, including sending back "suspicious" track pieces back to Vekoma to correct some bad tracks.

The Rock n Roller Coaster in Paris is even rougher, but that is due to a bug in the ride control system. For some reasons, one of the train is launched at 60+ mph instead of 57 and the result is more wear and tear on the ride.

Re: RIP SF Kentucky Kingdom... park to be dismantled by drachen drachen Profile at 8/24/11 12:32:51 PM

Promising news today out of Louisville. It seems as if there is an investor willing to pony up $20 million towards re-opening the park.

The goal is to reopen the park for 2012, with an expansion in 2013. I hope it works out.

$20 Million For Kentucky Kingdom

Re: RIP SF Kentucky Kingdom... park to be dismantled by drachen drachen Profile at 10/17/11 6:19:57 PM

In Louisville for the first time on business...

I couldn't help but notice a quiet Kentucky Kingdom from the highway as I left the airport. I was able to see T2, Thunder Run, Twisted Twins, Greezed Lightnin', and the ferris wheel.

Not that it would have been open today anyway this time of year, but it was sad for me to see a closed amusement park. And being close to a park I've never been to before in the off season is never a fun experience.

Hopefully the city of Louiville and an owner can come to terms on this thing, and this park can re-open in the not too distant future.

Re: RIP SF Kentucky Kingdom... park to be dismantled by SirWillow SirWillow Profile at 10/18/11 11:37:56 AM

If you can just get the fair board to have some extraction surgeries and get them work with people to actually get the park opened, you might see something. Everything thing I'm reading is that the fair board isn't working with them.

Almost like what happened to Bell's. Apparently they didn't learn much there.

Re: RIP SF Kentucky Kingdom... park to be dismantled by drachen drachen Profile at 10/18/11 10:30:14 PM

> If you can just get the fair board to have some extraction
> surgeries and get them work with people to actually get the
> park opened, you might see something. Everything thing I'm
> reading is that the fair board isn't working with them.

Agreed. I don't know what they're looking for. Ed Hart had an investment group ready to up over $50 million. The fair board and/or city said no. It's like they want the park gone.

On a bus tour of the city/area today, we drove right by it. Twisted Twins was right there, just outside my window. That hurt.