General Carowinds discussion
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By Jonathan
#109471
Inevitably this day was always going to come, though it would be easy to think otherwise as the years have rolled on. This summer we entered our 18th (!) year of Carowinds Connection, but all things eventually come to an end, and the 18th year will be the last one for this website.

A lot has changed since I started this website in 2003 to track the construction of what eventually turned out to be Borg Assimilator/Nighthawk. Four people have joined me in running this website: Jay Miller and Max Cannon were the OGs, Doug Robinson came aboard in 2010, and Rick Barber in 2014. Max passed away in November 2014 and the hurt is still painfully fresh from Doug who we lost this past May.

Of our three remaining admins, I left for New Jersey and later New York 10 years ago, and Jay recently departed for Massachusetts. Needless to say, the interest in this site from the admin team has declined. Additionally, while Carowinds Connection has not changed much over the past couple of decades, the Internet has completely changed around it. "Social media" was not a term that existed when this site was created and Mark Zuckerberg was still half a year away from launching "TheFacebook." No Twitter, no Reddit, no smart phones. The way people use the Internet has changed, and as that has happened our traffic has declined.

The third nail in the coffin is that the software this site is built on is in need of a total overhaul. It is years out of date and there have been a number of technical problems (as I'm sure many of you remember) over the last few years that nearly took the site down entirely. That is a very large undertaking that I have no interest in taking on.

Over 1,100 people have posted on this site over the past 17+ years, writing over 100,000 posts. I am completely humbled by the response to this site and how long it has lasted. I've met lifelong friends through here and I know many others have as well. Our members have been fixtures at media days and ACE events over the years, and I think this community has been one of the best in the online coaster world.

The end will not be coming quite yet. The forums will remain active until the end of December of this year. From that point they will be locked to new posts and will be available as a read-only archive until May 2021. At some point in May the website will go offline for good.

Since I know someone will ask this, I am not interested in someone else taking over the site. I recognize that is somewhat of a selfish choice, but it is one I feel fairly strongly about. There are a lot of creative people in the Carowinds fan community and I have no doubt that there are only greater things to come. By keeping the site running for a few more months I hope that will allow our members to get some sense of closure and identify where the community will shift.

Thank you to everyone who has made this community great over the past two decades and I look forward to the final few months.
By Carowindsman
#109473
I knew it was time.

I am glad I met all the people I did. The fun we had while I worked at carowinds and some of the events I was able to attend meant a lot to my life

From us having fun with Borg Construction to me making my Carowinds recreation in Rct3, we had a lot of fun

Social media has definitely changed the forum life. I'm glad you kept it as long as you guys did.

Thank you guys again we will see each other in passing at the parks
By RollerBee
#109474
I know it is way past time for Carowinds Connection to go but it is still heartbreaking.

Here’s to seeing y’all’s smiling faces at Carowinds in 2021, I really wish everyone could get together for another gathering before the site closes.
User avatar
By B&M 4 Ever
#109475
Sounds like you don't want someone to grow it more than you.
Don't let the door hit you in the a$$
Last edited by B&M 4 Ever on September 16th, 2020, 4:02 pm, edited 1 time in total.
User avatar
By RiDeWaRrIoR
#109476
Its been a lot of fun coming on here for the last 18 years! Really glad to have met some great people over the years!

Feel free to follow my Facebook page if you like www.facebook.com/carowindsfansonly
By Nctodbear
#109479
Wow, I guess you could see it coming but didn’t want to admit it. I thank you all for the passion over the years for something that was dear to me. Carowinds was a huge part of my life and seeing others find joy in it made me happy. I found the site because of Max and attended the construction tour with him for Intimidator. Ever since then I was hooked.

I wish everyone the best and know that you will be missed.
By phareous
#109481
Well I see it as a good resource for hard-core coaster enthusiasts to have a nice place to discuss things, and the archives are very interesting. It will never be a big audience, but it is something. I sure as hell am not going to be using that dumpster fire that is Facebook. Sometimes I see stuff on reddit but I don't really see a carowinds community there. So I think the decision to not let someone else take it is very selfish. But whatevers, it is yours after all
By dirkdiggler1992
#109482
To the poster above, don’t feel like doing a big quote box thing, there is technically a subreddit for Carowinds on reddit (r/Carowinds) but yes there isn’t much content posted there for some of the same reasons you don’t see much posted here (outside of coaster addition years), there’s just not enough content to really keep a KingIslandCentral or PointBuzz old school style forum going in 2020 for most parks out there. They’ve long been consolidated into sites like CoasterForce, Reddit, or the other one I won’t name that has a Carowinds section to discuss things like the new lamp post that got installed during the off season.

Of course it is fun to have a dedicated place to discuss the most micro of news or rumors about your home park but that appeals to such a small base.

Anyhow, I’ve enjoyed reading people’s thoughts on here, seeing the construction pics, hearing of Intimidators retheme every couple seasons. I tend to not always prioritize meetups when I’m at the park but it was nice meeting those of you who I have ran across while there. Hope to see some of y’all again next year.
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By aoriole19
#109483
This website has honestly been integral to my life even though I’ve been far from the biggest poster. This community was where I learned so much about Carowinds and about coasters in general as I was first becoming an enthusiast. I know I sound dramatic but I really feel like I grew up here.

Some of my favorite CC memories:
- making my first account at age 12 (sorry Jonathan)
- going to my FIRST enthusiast event (coaster stock 2009, age 13) and answering the trivia question “what year was Carowinds Connection founded?” - I still have the t-shirt I won and I still wear it!
- sneaking away from a family function to go on my uncle’s computer and read up on all the pages of Intimidator construction that I missed
- laughing my *** off at Wormy’s “extras” and “shirts” threads
-Jarsh guesting me for my first ACE event (:
- meeting a bunch of people at C3 the year that Thunder Road closed. Edwardo told me he thought I would be a man (but no I was just a 19 year old girl - reverse catfish?)
- having the website up as a 24/7 Safari browser tab on my smartphone for the last several years. Always there for me to check whenever I had the time.
User avatar
By aoriole19
#109484
Sorry for double post but if anyone from here wants to add me on Twitter or Instagram my username is the same (aoriole19).

I was recently thinking about how online communication has evolved and how I felt like I suddenly went from being the youngest coaster enthusiast I knew to being too old to figure out how to find the coaster communities on Instagram/Discord/etc. I’m definitely open to recommendations on how to find those connections so let me know if anyone has ideas!
User avatar
By gabed
#109486
This place will always hold a special place in my heart. I'll always remember sneaking onto my phone in middle school to read and post here. Now I'm in my second year of college typing this on my break at work. It's been great to meet so many of you guys in person over the years and become friends over this site.

From the year long thread leading to Fury's announcement, writing yearly trip reports, to endless debates over Project Alpha, this place will always mean a lot to me.

Take care you guys, I'll miss it here.

Above all, thank you Jonathan for all your work on this site.

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