General Carowinds discussion
By therunningman
#68143
Can anyone post a link to a published ranking/story of attendance levels for Carowinds in the last 2-3 years. I have looked on line but cannot find anything.

Thanks!
By Capler
#68145
Good luck finding that information. If I recall there was some mention of Carowinds numbers when they were trying to get public money for Fury.
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By Jonathan
#68147
Cedar Fair does not typically publicly disclose attendance figures for individual parks, but they did mention in the 2013 City Council hearings that they want to increase attendance from 1.9 million currently to 2.5 million.
By Capler
#68151
I remember when Carowinds first passed the 1 million mark. I think that was in the late 80's or early 90's. At the time the biggest attractions in NC were Carowinds, Biltmore, Zoo, and the State Fair. It still amazes me how the State Fair can draw nearly a million people 10 days. I guess it is those $7 tickets.
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By Axel
#68153
Capler wrote:I remember when Carowinds first passed the 1 million mark. I think that was in the late 80's or early 90's. At the time the biggest attractions in NC were Carowinds, Biltmore, Zoo, and the State Fair. It still amazes me how the State Fair can draw nearly a million people 10 days. I guess it is those $7 tickets.


and here is an old story mentioning Paramount's Carowinds attendance in 2004 of 2.01 million and in 2005 of 2.13 million:

http://www.bizjournals.com/charlotte/st ... ily25.html

based on Jonathan's post above that around 2013 it was "1.9 million currently"... it sound like they have been holding pretty steady at around 2 million. I bet that will change big time!
By Capler
#68156
The really interesting thing is that Carowinds is not that far behind Dominion. That is surprising when you consider all the money that has been put into that park. I guess the heads at Fair see Carowinds as a better potential investment, considering we held steady with few big 'signature' capital investments. Wonderland did the same thing, while getting only flat rides for a number of years. Remember the days when the $20 million plus attractions were reserved for the big players in the industry? Now we are getting one of the largest investments outside of a Disney/Universal park. :D
By Edwardo
#68161
Cedar Fair has talked up Carowinds since their purchase. I remember them saying it was one of the more enticing reasons they purchased the Paramount Parks. Honestly, all of the parks were a catch, with Wonderland being the highest attended regional/seasonal park, KI and KD having strong numbers, and Carowinds and Great America both lingering as under utalized.

The only reason we haven't seen more development at Great America (Granted I don't think we'll see the scale of what's going on at Carowinds there) was due to Kinzel being (a) Dick and getting into a pissing match with the city and 49ers. See what happened when Matt took over? Instantly there was a solution that was mutually benificial.

But the company has touted Charlotte as being underserved. They're right.
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By Axel
#68162
Capler wrote:The really interesting thing is that Carowinds is not that far behind Dominion.


I find the following interesting from the Cedar Fair 2013 Annual Report (area population bolded by me):

Kings Dominion
Kings Dominion, a combination amusement and water park located near Richmond, Virginia, first opened in 1975 and was acquired by the Partnership in June of 2006. The park's total market area includes approximately 19 million people and the major areas of dominant influence in this market area, which are Richmond and Norfolk, Virginia, Raleigh, North Carolina, Baltimore, Maryland and Washington, D.C, include approximately 12 million people. Additionally, the park offers Kings Dominion Campground, a camping area featuring a swimming pool, playground, volleyball courts, miniature golf, and laundry facilities. The campground also offers a free shuttle service between the campground and amusement park. The Partnership also owns a dormitory facility located adjacent to Kings Dominion that houses up to 440 of the park's approximately 3,700 seasonal employees.

Carowinds
Carowinds, a combination amusement and water park located in Charlotte, North Carolina, first opened in 1973 and was acquired by the Partnership in June of 2006. Carowinds' major markets include Charlotte, Greensboro, and Raleigh, North Carolina as well as Greenville and Columbia, South Carolina. The park's total market area includes approximately 14 million people. The park also offers Camp Wilderness Resort, a camping area that features a convenience and merchandise store, laundry facilities, and a swimming pool. The campground has more than 140 RV sites, 56 spacious tent and pop-up sites, and 15 luxury cabins. The campground also offers a free shuttle service between the campground and amusement park.


That we almost matched their attendance pre-Fury325 in an area with less population is great! Now, where is our dormitory that houses 440 ?

But, looks like KD has much more room to expand... :(
Kings Dominion, located in Virginia, is situated on approximately 738 acres, of which 279 acres have been developed and 459 acres remain available for future expansion.

Carowinds, located in Charlotte, North Carolina, is situated on approximately 398 acres, of which 299 acres have been developed and 99 acres remain available for future expansion.
By coasterchitchat
#68170
I'm pretty sure Cedar Fair can reach the goal of 2.5 million with Fury 325. It's VERY marketable, and people from other parts of the country are probably coming to Carowinds in 2015.
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By Jarsh
#68176
Capler wrote:The big difference is that Carowinds has no amusement park competition in it's region.


Define region... I would think that part of the reason Cedar Fair went with such a large addition this year was because they wanted to pull from outside the Carolinas. As an enthusiast, I would take that to mean that they wanted to pull from outside their normal market - i.e. a competitors market. I would easily think SFoG, Dollywood, Kings Dominion, & Busch Gardens Williamsburg would be the parks regional competition that they are trying to pull people from.
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By swampfox43
#68177
Capler wrote:I remember when Carowinds first passed the 1 million mark. I think that was in the late 80's or early 90's. At the time the biggest attractions in NC were Carowinds, Biltmore, Zoo, and the State Fair. It still amazes me how the State Fair can draw nearly a million people 10 days. I guess it is those $7 tickets.


Just a quick correction here. Carowinds passed the 1 million it's opening year 1973 with 1.2 million. 1974 saw 980,000, 1975 saw 913,000, etc.

Their next 1 million attendance was in 1982 with 1,192,000 in attendance. 1983 & 1984 both surpassed 1 million as well.

This info was gathered from newspaper articles (which I have) while doing research many moons ago.
By Capler
#68178
South Carolina is growing at a fast clip as well. Unlike other parks, Carowinds will not really need to depend on many tourist from outside of the region in order to grow. It makes you wonder why it took Fair to see the growth potential in Carowinds and Wonderland? With the mid west continuing to lose population, it makes you wonder if there is any more growth left for Cedar Point and Kings Island. When you are a public traded company, it's all about future revenue growth. I feel like CP & KI can maintain but I don't see them being the engine that drives Fair's future growth. At some point you will have to do a Disney and expand into other markets. I feel a Cedar Point could work in another country. Universal and Disney have their distinctions, but so does a Cedar Fair. It has long been known for having the tallest and fastest. That could play well overseas. Fair has never been shy about paying to hold on to a record. I really can't say that about other companies.

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