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The End for Darien Lake?

I was shocked to read that Six Flags was considering selling Darien Lake considering it is the only major amusement park in the area. I was even more apalled to read that they might just sell off the land.

From Dustin Kern
Posted June 26, 2006 at 7:05 PM
What will Western New Yorkers do now if the park is closed? It is the only major amusement park in the area. I don't know of many people that would want to deal with the hassel of going across the U.S. Canada border just to go to an amusement park. The only other option then is Martin's Fantasy Island, but that isn't even close to what Darein Lake is. Yes, Darien Lake isn't a cash cow, but it does bring in some money. Not to mention it holds a special place in many people's hearts. What will these people do without this park? I know that the company's don't really think about the people as much as they think about money, but there really will be a huge void in this section of the country without this park. What do you all think?


Comments in chronological order. Most recent at the bottom. Scroll down to respond.

From Chase Harrison
Posted June 26, 2006 at 8:31 PM
The land on Darien Lake is worth nothing from what I read. I wouldnt worry about Darien Lake dying.

From Jake Countiss
Posted June 27, 2006 at 8:19 AM
If Darien Lake closed, everyone would go to the Splish Splash water park. I dont think it will close though. Superman is a good ride that is new.

From Dustin Kern
Posted June 27, 2006 at 10:46 AM
Superman is old news. Darien Lake hasn't gotten any new roller coasters since 1999 (Superman). The 'new' coaster that they're supposed to be getting is Batman. This coaster has been moved from park to park over the years and seems to be in not so great condition. Also, it's a stand-up, and most stand-ups don't age well. Considering this one opened up in 1986 and this will be the fourth park that it will be installed in, I don't think that it's that great of a coaster.
What Darien Lake needs is someone willing to put some money into the park. Personally, I'd love to see Busch pick that park up. It would be a great location for them seeing as how they don't really have any park in the north or anywhere close to that area. That and I'm sure a park witht he reputation that Busch has would bring Canadians from across the borders to visit.

From Joshua Counsil
Posted June 27, 2006 at 4:40 PM
Dustin -

Man, I would definitely make a trip across the border for a Busch park. The closest decent parks we have around Ontario are Paramount Canada's Wonderland and Six Flags Darien Lake. I haven't ever made a trip to Darien Lake, but I wished I could have seen it.

Canada needs a really good theme park. Seriously.

From Kevin Sowinski
Posted June 27, 2006 at 7:19 PM
I did a roadtrip from Toronto to parks in this area this past weekend for the first time. I didn't read the article about a potential closure, until after I returned. I overheard someone mention it while I was in line for Superman.

I can see how the park has some nostalgia value for Buffalo residents. However, other than Superman, Viper, and Twister the selection of rides was pretty mediocre. The water park section seemed pretty popular, but I didn't check it out. I preferred to get more rides in on Superman, instead which was running awesomely.

After visiting the park once, I can only picture stopping in, maybe once a year and only if I was in the area. I would not go out of my way to get to this park. The park doesn't have much of an atmosphere. They would have to add new high end thrill attractions to lure me back and if Six Flags is not willing to add any more thrill rides I say sell it to someone who will. Hopefully it won't close.

I also checked out Martin's Fantasy Island and it is also a one trick pony. Silver Comet is a very good wooden coaster, but this park is clearly not trying to be IOA or Cedar Point. They are catering more to the family crowd.

Another option for western New Yorkers that isn't too far away is Seabreeze in Rochester. This park has a very good atmosphere and although not large has some good family type attractions, as well.

From Jake Countiss
Posted June 28, 2006 at 4:50 PM
Is Slingshot still open? Saw it on the travel channel and it looked pretty cool.

From Dustin Kern
Posted June 30, 2006 at 4:07 PM
Yes, Slingshot is still open.

Joshua,
I feel you man. My family and I are coming back to visit family in New York (near Buffalo). We were originally planning on going to Canada's Wonderland but I changed their mind. I didn't want to hassel with going across the border (it's gotten so much worse since I used to live up that way in '98). Also, I almost fell out of the Predator at Darien Lake when I was younger which lead to me not riding coasters for almost 10 years.
Personally, I think that Busch should look into buying SFDL because it is prime location and there are TONS of people who want a real good theme park in the area. I know that it would take years to make it the same quality as BGE/BGW, but the results would be incredible for everyone.

From Jake Countiss
Posted June 30, 2006 at 8:34 PM
I havent been their Dustin and I didn't find it under their rides list.

From Kevin Sowinski
Posted July 1, 2006 at 8:07 AM
You must be looking at an old park map or something. The map that I got at Darien Lake last weekend has Slingshot on it. It is just to the right of the park entrance when looking into the park.

From Dustin Kern
Posted July 1, 2006 at 11:05 AM
http://www.sixflags.com/parks/darienlake/Rides/list.html#SLINGSHOT

There's the link. It's just one of those 'pay through the nose for a quick thrill' type things.

From Jake Countiss
Posted July 1, 2006 at 8:05 PM
Bingo for the person who want Busch to own the park. I would like to see its country theme to be Austrailia.

From Kevin Sowinski
Posted July 1, 2006 at 8:46 PM
Australia in Buffalo? Now that would be an ironic sight I'd like to see. Could they also do an Iceland themed park in Sydney to balance things out?

From Darrell Shimel
Posted July 3, 2006 at 2:21 PM
Think of Colorado if they lose Elitch Gardens.... 1 old wood coaster at lakeside.

Closest real parks are Worlds of Fun 600 miles away in KC or the Texas parks 900+ miles away.

From Scott Marsh
Posted July 6, 2006 at 9:47 AM
I can remember when Six Flags Darien Lake was just Snyders campground with a general store and a small arcade where you could play Skee-Ball. One by one the rides came, first the paratrooper and then the waterslides, and on and on. Then the park changed hands from one owner to the next, ever more commercial with every step.

While it would be sad to see the park go, I don't see how it is profitable. Two full months and a few weekends on either side is all you have to generate enough revenue for a full year and to do expansions? I never saw how that math worked. I worked at DL back in the late 80's, just after high school, and I can remember the gate counts being around 10k for an average day. Lesee... $30/head, that's about 18-20 million over the course of a couple of months. Maybe it's profitable, but then why would they be selling it if it were? Just not profitable enough I guess.

As I've seen remarked in other posts though, the land at Darien Lake is worthless, so I think if DL were to be sold, it would have to be lock, stock and barrel, not a stripped out shell. Hopefully at that point a company with a better business plan can do something more constructive. I haven't seen a decent ride update at DL since the Superman coaster was built in 1999.

From Amy Williams
Posted July 9, 2006 at 8:45 AM
I have been very upset to hear that 6 flags may "deep six" darien lake. My family has journeyed across New york state, from east of the Hudson river, 4+ hours, almost every year since 1994. The campground is what makes it unique. You basicly live in the theme park for as long as your stay. And very affordable for a family of four. Last fall, just the grown-ups, 4 of us, spent a magnificent fall weekend in two of the RV's by the lake during international fest. I really hope some one buys it and 6 flags does not dismantle it. It would be a tragedy of epic proportions if darien lake no longer existed.

From Dustin Kern
Posted July 9, 2006 at 11:17 AM
I'm back in New York visiting family this week and tomorrow I'm going back to Darien Lake. I'll post a trip report sometime later this week for everyone. The last time I was at this park was back in 1997 so I'll post about all the changes since then, good and bad, and my overall opinion of the park. Thanks to everyone who's shown support for keeping this park open.

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