- January 14th, 2018, 3:19 pm
Ooooooooo I love alternate histories!
First, and pretty obviously, the North American Paramount Park Chain would look extremely different if it was still alive today. Truth be told, I have a very hard time believing that such a chain would exist in 2018 even if Paramount kept the parks in 2006.
But just for fun, here’s my theory on what would have happened had Paramount never sold the parks in 2006. Enjoy!
In 2007, the Paramount Parks would have continued on, business as usual. Behemoth would have never happened at CW and additions would continue becoming smaller across the chain. By this point, the last major coasters in the chain had not been built in six years, Hypersonic being the last one in 2001. For some context, Paramount’s interest in the parks at this time was nearly nonexistent. They really could not have cared any less about the chain or it’s properties.
The 2008 recession would have been all Paramount needed to pull the plug on the parks. Honestly I cannot see any alternate reality in which Paramount would have kept the parks. The company’s passion had long left the parks by 2006, and the properties of Cedar Fair and Six Flags would have far outshone the Paramount properties due seeing a healthy amount of love and care from their operators. Paramount obviously would have thrown in the towel and tried to sell the parks at the news of the recession. Recession in mind, there would have been no interest from any major operators to purchase all 5 parks like there had been in our timeline in 2006. No offers would have been made due to the poor economic situation that the United States was in and Paramount would grow increasingly desperate. Soon, they decide to sell the parks individually at a cheaper price, rather than one packaged deal. (Similar to what Six Flags did from 2004-2009)
This is where things get really interesting. Six Flags wouldn’t even think about buying one of the parks. Even if they really wanted one of the properties, their economic situation at the time would have kept them from doing so. So that’s out. With the parks now being offered separately, and at a cheaper price versus the bundled deal, Cedar Fair might have been interested. Sure the recession was a pain, but the chance to buy the coveted Kings Island and Canada’s Wonderland would be a deal too good to pass up. The two would be purchased in 2009, opening as Cedar Fair parks in 2010.
Now all we have left is Kings Dominion, California’s Great America, and our home, Carowinds. It’s not too far of a stretch to say Cedar Fair would have gone for Kings Dominion too. Who knows, it too may have found itself into the arms of Kinzel and Co. For the sake of the arguement, let’s say it did, with Cedar Fair purchasing the park in 2010 and adding it to their portfolio for the 2011 season.
After dropping hundreds of millions of dollars in just two years on new properties and having plenty of other properties to invest in, Cedar Fair is perfectly contempt and does not pursue the remaining Paramount Parks. It’s now 2011, and Paramount is fighting to detach itself from its remaining two parks.
For just a second, let’s take a look at how Carowinds has been doing. Three years after being listed for sale and things aren’t looking too good. Carolina Cobra never happened and the thought of a B&M hyper is nothing more than an enthusiast’s pipe dream over at the, quite worried, Carowinds Connection messageboard. The park hasn’t seen a thing since Boomerang Bay in 2006. The park’s newest coaster, Borg Assimilator is now 7 years old. It doesn’t help matters when you consider that Paramount decided to remove Flying Super Saturator in 2008 due to its maintenance pains, further hurting the park’s coaster lineup. The lack of care and investments has gotten so bad that families are starting to notice, putting an end to the summer tradition of Carowinds trips. The park has lowered admission prices in a last ditch effort to up the numbers. Unfortunately, this plan backfired and has led to some rather undesirable demographics frequenting the park. (See Six Flags in the early 2000s)
Paramount has had enough, and now considers the two remaining properties, Carowinds and California’s Great America, a lost cause. Through intense negations, Paramount is allowed to exit their leases on both parks after the 2011 season. After Halloween night 2011, Carowinds and California’s Great America shut their doors indefinitely, saying goodbye to decades of memories.
Within two years, Great America is nothing more than a parking lot for the 49ers, with only the memories of locals keeping the park alive in spirit. Carowinds sits abandoned for several years, standing as a permanent eyesore for those passing by. However, all is not lost.
The Charlotte population is still flourishing and the economy for America is on the rebound. Despite the closure of its beloved theme park, Charlotte’s investors have their eye on the property. At some point between 2014 and 2020, the park is purchased and sees a Kentucky Kingdom style comeback which is celebrated by the locals. Though back from the dead, it never lives up to the glory that it did in our timeline.
So yeah, this is just my idea on what COULD have happened. Honestly, we’ll never know what would have happened for sure.
Last edited by gabed on January 14th, 2018, 5:14 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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