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Friday, January 10, 2003
Neurologists, Chiropractors Seek Arrow Comeback
In an unusual pairing, trade organizations representing neurologists and chiropractors have joined forces to urge the building of more old-style Arrow Dynamics looping coasters, in particular focusing on their goal of returning Drachen Fire, formerly of Busch Gardens Williamsburg, to service.
"Any time one of those puppies opened, the brain injuries and back pains would just shoot upwards," said spokesman Mark Quaker. "They're great for business. Ever since those damn Swiss guys [Bolliger & Mabillard] have started to build coasters, the amusement park towns have really lost their growth potential. The docs near Busch Gardens have had to sell yachts because of the drop in business." Quaker added that the group would encourage not just the reopening of Drachen Fire, but also a move back towards building more of the classic style Arrow loopers, with transitions designed by chimpanzees and over-the-shoulder restraints made of pure steel with a thin coating of titanium "for comfort."
Stan Checketts, whose S&S Power now owns Arrow Dynamics' assets, was reached for comment by ARN&R. "We're gonna make things taller! And faster! Boom! Boom! Shoot you a thousand feet in the air! Fly fast! Fast! Fast! Fast good! Boom! Boom!"
Thursday, January 09, 2003
Ruben: Top Thrill Dragster New Number One
Paul Ruben annouced today that Cedar Point's new Top Thrill Dragster claimed the number one spot on his coaster list. Ruben, who has traveled the world riding coasters on other people's money, and who has taken Mark Wyatt's spot as the provider of unsupported statements on amusement park television shows, said that the Top Thrill Dragster has everything he looks for in a coaster. "Just look at it," he said. "That is one big ride; I can tell without riding it that this thing will be my favorite."
Many enthusiasts cheered right along with Ruben. "Mr. Ruben is the number one man when it comes to coasters," said Tim Owens, founder of the Greater Boise Coaster Club (GBCC). "He's on TV all the time. If the number one rater of coasters says it's his number one then it has to be the best...right?!"
Some, however, are not so sure. Dick Kinzel of Cedar Fair was reported as saying that it did concern him a bit that Ruben had not ridden the coaster yet. "Sure, we at Cedar Fair are flattered, but I think he should at least wait until media day to make up his mind."
Ruben, North American editor of the almost utterly unread "Park World" magazine, said he wasn't going to let a detail like not riding the coaster stop him from placing it atop his list. "So what if I haven't ridden it?" Ruben snarled. "It is big and fast -- I know what I like in a coaster."
Ruben also commented that although he does not require parks to put him at the front of their lines when riding coasters, it doesn't hurt. "Hypothetically speaking, I can't say it would harm Cedar Point's chances if they cut me in front of everyone every time I visited a Cedar Fair Park." He then winked at and nudged the author. He also noted that sequel Dude, Where's My Car Now? would be the finest film of 2004 and that N*Sync's twelfth album will be the "greatest CD, or whatever format might be predominant at the time, of 2014."
Tuesday, January 07, 2003
Cincinnati Bengals: "We're Going to Boardwalk and Baseball!"
The refrain has been repeated for years: after the Super Bowl, the winners yell with delight, "We're going to Disneyland!"
But the worst-in-league Bengals (2-14 this season) like to do things differently. So, instead of visiting the magical world of Disney, the players all decided they'd visit Boardwalk and Baseball, the long-defunct Haines Park, Florida amusement park. But the Bengals didn't know the park (formerly known as Circus World) had closed over a decade earlier.
After getting to the park's former site, Bengals' almost-quarterback Jon Kitna shared his thoughts in an exclusive ARN&R interview. "I just remember thinking it was the greatest place in the world when I visited back in the early '80s with my family. I had no idea it had closed down, and I guess nobody thought to ask before we flew down there."
The park now consists of the decrepit ruins of a baseball stadium, vast expanses of cracking concrete, and a stunning array of garbage left by nearby residents. During the ten-minute visit, three Bengals were bitten by rabid dogs, and at least a dozen were visibly crying.
"Next year, it'll be different," said Kitna. "We'll win the Super Bowl, and then -- we're so totally gonna ride Thunderbolt at Coney Island!"
Monday, January 06, 2003
Six Flags Targets Crack Cocaine Market
Word has it that Six Flags Inc. is negotiating a deal with S&S Power of Logan Utah to supply the chain with 14 of their 4-D coasters for the '04 park season, with Gary Story been meeting all week with Stan Checketts. Initial reports are that the theme park giant is interested in signing this blockbuster deal as soon as possible in an effort to prevent other chains from acquiring this one-of-a-kind coaster. While the term "exclusivity" has been used in the industry before, it appears that SFI is willing to purchase every 4-D coaster that can be manufactured in the meantime to keep this new ride to themselves.
Lines for the prototype 4-D coaster named X at Six Flags Magic Mountain have been consistenly ranging from 2-4 hours ever since the ride's initial public opening early in 2002. Del Holland has even mentioned in board meeting that visitors to the park now spend more time in line at SFMM than at any other theme park, increasing sales of the new Fastlane by 100%. While the capital expenditure might be a concern for some investors, SFI is looking at the long-range picture.
Story was heard to comment: "Thrillseekers in the US and around the globe will soon have the chance to Xperience the Xtreme. Once they get a taste of this coaster, they'll sell their kids for just one more ride. THEN we'll reap some serious profits. X is more addictive than crack, and studies show that while many markets have already been saturated with crack, they lack even a single 4-D coaster to ride."
In confidential documents acquired by ARN&R, Six Flags marketing executives laid out their plans to give first-time riders a free or greatly discounted "sample ride," and to have park employees formerly dressed in Warner Brothers cartoon character costumes instead fanning out across cities selling 4-D coaster admission tickets on street corners. Park security will be expanded roughly 700% to handle what Six Flags documents refer to euphemistically as "collection, past-due X accounts."
Summer Rollercoaster Mag Arrives
Members of the American Coaster Enthusiasts were held spellbound this week, as copies of the Summer 2002 issue of the quarterly ACE glossy hit newsstands and mailboxes.
"This is great!" shouted New York enthusiast Beth Ahearn, 25. "This is the earliest I've ever gotten the summer issue. It almost even appeared in my mailbox before January 2003. Just think if it had gotten here by December...now that would be a speed record, for sure!"
Ahearn added that she is looking forward to her bimonthly copy of ACE News zipping off the presses any instant now, as well. "ACE News always has the most cutting edge, up-to-date info about new rides. There's this big coaster rumored to be going into Cedar Point, and GCI might be designing a ride in Missouri, but my last ACE News said no official announcements had been made. I'm always jumping up and down when I get my January/February issue in late April or May, because then I know the latest info about cool new attractions that will be opening the next season. Or even about the ones that open weeks before I get the issue."
[Related News: Inside Track to Return Real Soon]
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