Just Published: Theme Park Insider: 2016 Year in Review
Submissions are due by midnight on Sunday night.
For a look at the rules, posting hints, and some budget guidance, please check out the introduction thread: Introducing.....The Fix-It Competition
On a side note and a little bit of trivia, the destruction and sale of Astroland cost former Six Flags CEO, Kieran Burke, his job. He had promised the company execs that he could get $150 million for the land the park was on and then proceeded to close and demolish the park without a buyer. It took Six Flags a year and a half to find a buy of the land who wound up paying half the price Kieran Burke had promised.
So I guess my long winded answer is: no.
But.....I wouldn't be above allowing you to spend $100 million of your budget purchasing the land where Astroland used to be, but it is going to seriously limit what funds you have available to put rides in.....if you go down this route, it wouldn't hurt to do a little bit of research into Elitch Garden's move and Kentucky Kingdom's build up from nothing to major player and back down again. The $100 million would cover basic infrastructure at Astroworld as well as the purchase prices, taxes, fees, etc.
So I guess my answer really is: yes.
HOUSTON, TX - Multi-billionaire Nick Markham has announced the purchase of the former Reliant AstroDome by his investment group, Markham Industries. "I am just so excited what we have in store for the great state of Texas," Markham began. "There is a lot of tradition here, but we plan to keep that alive as much as possible."
The AstroDome was built in 1965 and was the world's first domed, indoor sports stadium. Markham said they plan to shell out the inside, but keep the famous domed-roof and exterior with some refurbishment to keep it to withstand any sort of hurricane, tornado, or earthquake to hit.
The brand new Astrodome Amusement Park & Resort is sure to entertain everyone. Featuring seven roller coasters, three thrill rides, eight family rides, and one water rides, the Astrodome will have it all:
-Greezed Lightnin', a $12 million 175' tall Intamin Impulse Coaster will thrill guests with as it launches them at 70 mph!
-Texas Tornado returns to Houston after being bought from Isla San Marcos Parque Temático by Markham for $8 million, stands 115' tall and features four loops!
-Mayan Mindbender, a $15 million, highly themed indoor Vekoma mine train coaster that will take families through the inside of a Mayan temple!
-Ultra Twister, a $5 million S&S El Loco coaster that stands 100 ft. tall and features the world's steepest drop at 122 degrees!
As for the other rides:
-A HUSS Giant Frisbee: $5 million
We will also have a family area featuring a tea cups ride, a flying elephants ride, a miniature drop tower ride, tiny toot boat ride, a miniature rocking ship ride, and a big play area for the kids: $13 million.
And we will spend $20 million dollars on restrooms, restaraunts, and shops to complete your experience.
At night, will will display a $10 million dollar laser light show that arcs across the dome, an experience you will surely not want to miss.
If one day is not enough, stay in an Astrodome Suite! These luxurious suites were added as part of the refurbishment, replacing the former football suites, where you have a balcony view of the entire park!
"This will truly be an experience unlike any other, "Markham continued. "We have record breaking thrills, an amazing night time show, delicious food, and luxurious accomodations."
Make your day an "Astroday" today!
Refurbishment/Staff: $30 million
Roller Coasters: $90 million
Nighttime Show: $10 million
Family Rides: $13 million
Restrooms/Restaraunts/Shops: $20 million
Thrill/Water Rides: $37 million
The newest theme park in America brings a new name to America's first domed stadium. The Astrodome is now The Houston Country Fair Theme Park, and rather than being a symbol of the future, is now a celebration of the most cherished tradition of rural life in America, the county fair.
Guests enter the structure and pass through a rustically-designed entrance lobby which contains the usual support facilities found at all theme park front gates. They then enter the cavernous interior of the former stadium and discover that it is now evening. Evening?! It's a sunny day outside, but at the Houston Country Fair it is always night. The interior of the dome is completely covered with a massive black l.e.d. screen, the largest ever conceived. The stars are shining, the moon is full, and a few faint wisps of clouds can be seen gently floating across the sky in the moonlight. An occasional shooting star streaks across the night sky.
Guests don't spend much time staring at the sky, though, for in front of them spreads the Houston Country Fair, a wonderland of sights, sounds and even smells from the heart of America. This is not an "iron thrill park" designed for adrenaline junkies, but a park for families, for couples to stroll and experience, for children to discover what their parents experienced on summer nights many years ago at the county fair, and for adults to rediscover their childhood. It brings the best of the past and of our memories to the present, and allows us to relive those magical summer nights.
The first thing that most will notice is the lights. Millions of brightly colored lights everywhere, on food stands and game booths, on building signs and restaurants, and especially on the rides, spinning and twirling and drawing us to each attraction. Then the sounds of the park will be noticed- the screams of delighted riders as they rediscover the fun of a basic carnival spinning ride, the game barkers challenging a young man to win a teddy bear for his girl by knocking over the milk bottles with a baseball, the music from the calliope on the merry-go-round. And then the smells of food, deep-fried funnel cakes, barbequed ribs and ribbon fries.
This is not a theme park filled with cutting-edge-technology rides. Here will be found the traditional attractions that have been thrilling and entertaining fairgoers for a century or more. The one thing that makes these rides stand out is their quality. These are permanent indoor fixtures, so the wear-and-tear that makes the portable rides found at outdoor fairs and carnivals look and feel shabby and unsafe is absent here. The rides are clean, the paint on the carousel horses is not chipped, and no rust is seen on the framework of the Wild Mouse coaster. This is what an amusement park should look like.
The centerpiece of the midway is the Big Wheel, a magnificent 125 foot-high Ferris Wheel that gives riders a magnificent view of the entire fair. Lining the midway and surrounding the Big Wheel are found nearly every type of traditional fair ride: Tilt-A-Whirl, Scrambler, Wild Mouse coaster, Laff in the Dark (a ride-through scary fun house), and many others. Some are thrilling, some are silly, but all are fun and rich in tradition.
A special children's area features a dozen delightful rides in a themed setting resembling the barnyard of a farm. A carousel of work horses pulls "chariots" designed like wagons. A miniature tractor ride carries future farmers around a silo. Flying chicken hawks chase flying chickens around a chicken coop (reminiscent of a certain flying elephant ride). These are just a few of the exciting attractions created to entertain the youngest visitors to the Houston Country Fair.
What county fair would be complete without live animals? The barn and surrounding fenced-in areas house a wide variety of domestic and "wild" animals for children and their entire families to pet, feed, and learn about. Cows, sheep and pigs, deer, skunks (descented) and turtles are just some of the creatures that will be available for visitors to the farm to learn about. All will be cared for and supervised by experts in these areas. A pony ride will allow many "city kids" to have their first experience at riding on a horse.
The Rodeo Arena will be an "outdoor" facility where, twice a day, a rodeo will be held. Seating 5,000 guests, it will bring the excitement of this wild west tradition to the heart of the Houston Country Fair. Demonstrations of bronco busting, barrel racing, team roping and rodeo clowns will keep visitors on the edge of their seats during these exciting shows. Professional cowboys and cowgirls keep the traditions of the rodeo alive here. It will be emphasized throughout the show that the welfare of the animals is always being considered and monitored, and some of the more potentially dangerous rodeo practices will not be presented.
You can't have a county fair without food, and as mentioned before, the smells of the food venders will fill the Houston Country Fair. Dozens of food stands, just like those found at every county fair in the country, will offer every imaginable kind of food from freshly dipped and cooked corn dogs to spicy Tex-Mex treats. Two full-service restaurants will give foot-sore guests a chance to sit down and enjoy their dinners while being entertained by talented performers. The Dairy Barn will have a menu of all-American comfort farm foods, from meat loaf dinners to fried chicken platters. A stage at one end of the barn will showcase country musicians, comedians and cloggers in a non-stop entertainment showcase.
Das Barbeque is a tribute to the German settlers that were so important to the early development of Texas. This is a German beer garden with a barbeque twist to it, combining the best of the two cultures. Barbequed beef and pork ribs and chicken, chili and German potato salad, and dozens of domestic and imported beers can be found in this large dining hall, decorated to look like a mixture of a traditional German beer tent but with such Texan twists as mounted longhorn cow heads and plenty of Texas flags. Entertainment would be by bands playing German and polka music, and perhaps German dancers.
Let's not forget the carnival games! All of the traditional games of skill found in county fairs and carnivals throughout America are found here at the Houston Country Fair. The Ring Toss, Rope Ladder climb, Ring the Bell, Basketball Toss, and dozens of other games let guests try their luck and skill at winning all sorts of traditional prizes, from tiny kewpie dolls to huge stuffed animals.
Several times a day (night?) there would be a fireworks show. No, not actual fireworks inside the dome, but that is where the full capabilities of the l.e.d. dome over the fair would be demonstrated. The lights of the fair would be dimmed, patriotic music would be heard throughout the fairgrounds, and a magnificent fireworks display would be created on the dome overhead. Each display shown would be different from the previous one, so visitors staying at the fair all day (night?) would see several different shows throughout their stay. These shows could also be changed to mark the different holiday seasons. The possibilities are endless.
The Houston Country Fair will fill the void between the east and west coasts with a facility aimed at the American family and the pride we feel in this important part of American culture.
Just kidding... anyway, I like how you contrasted from mine instead of just trying to go bigger and better. Good job!
And as for your small park approach, it works very well for you. Bigger and better is not always what people go for. And your idea has much more that can relate to the culture in the area of Texas and the South in general. Just keep posting your ideas, I need some competition! :)
I'm actually having nightmares, given what the traffic in that area looks like already (especially on game days!). . . LOL!
Not only will James not get my vote, but I am rescinding his right to use my first name. Hereafter he will be known only as "that guy with the funny looking last name"!
Flat rides.... grrrrr.......
The way we are doing this is a simple ranking system. Just create a new post below and list the entries in order starting with the best down to your least favorite. Start with 1st place all of the way through to the last one. If you wish to have a secret ballot, click on my userid and then click on send message.
Keep in mind that if you post a review, you will get a point, whether you posted an entry or not. Since I fell down in my duties, I will extend the voting window out to 24 hours after this post.
.......and incidently, during this post, the word that sounds like drum but starts with an F was giving me problems.....as soon as I took it out, everything posted just fine....
“You lost your first name” Koehl – I really like the idea of theming the park to nighttime and a county fair. It would be nice and well within the ability of the park’s LED system to simulate a sunset which would be really cool. I worry that an indoor theme park with live animals would cause a settling in of a stink that you could never get out. I think this park has all of the personality and theme that I always expect from Mr. Koehl and he has built a very quaint park. But I truly wonder how well this park will perform after it has been open for several months without the thrills that Nick’s park has in great supply.
1. Nick Markham
2. James Koehl
Note: Everyone is allowed to vote....please get your votes in soon, the poll closes early tomorrow morning....
I'll be happy to share my idea for a park revolving around Houston's ties to the space program, if anyone wants to hear it.
I have a question for James RE: his country fair park. How would you reconcile your park idea with the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo that is held at Reliant Stadium (right next door to the Astrodome)?
For those that don't know, the show runs for about a month in February/March. The Livestock show is in the building to the North of the Astrodome, and the rodeo is held in Reliant. . . they have concerts every night (Brad Paisley, Sugarland, etc.), and the parking lot to the South is turned into a carnival area.
Jeff, the animal smell is part of any county fair, but I'm sure that with proper cleaning the smell could be managed if not avoided nearly completely.
Now that I think of it, closing during the Houston Livestock Show might be a good idea. It would give the permanent employees a good long vacation, could give time to clean the park from top to bottom, and give time to change out rides and attractions and refurbish others.
Vote: 1) Nick Markham
2) Jim Koehl
Nick's detailed proposal, esp. his obviously well thought-out cost estimates, was superior to mine. I do think that the park might get a bit crowded with attractions, and that it would not be as attractive to families as it would be to the teen-aged crowd, but it would be a great park to visit.
Anthony, I would love to hear your idea since it is a vastly different take than the other two ideas we had.
Walt Disney World
Tokyo Disney Resort