Hey guys, I'm new here. Old timers may remember me from the early to late '00's on other park-related forums. It's great to be here! I remember GAcoaster from back years ago from other sites, and you guys have created a great thing here.
Anyway, I've been thinking about this all night, so I figured I'd make a post to get 'em out here.
I really feel GADV is about 5 years of additions to become the chain's first CP-style resort. Here are a quick rundown of why this is sensible...
-Location. It is THE park in the NYC/Philly/NJ area, which is one of the most densely populated, wealthy and tourist raided (NYC, Jersey shore, AC, etc) areas in the entire country.
-Space. It is the world's largest amusement park in the world in terms of physical size. It's plot of land is enormous, with an already big dry park with a huge chunk of undeveloped land.
-Variety. It already has one of the best coaster collections in the world, just added some major flats in Skyscreamer and Zumanjaro, a nice sized waterpark, and most importantly a completely unique safari attraction.
-They have the world's tallest coaster, world's tallest drop ride, and the #1 coaster in the world that's acknowledged as such by the biggest polls. In other words, they have, like CP, rides that even the GP will travel quite far for and stay at multiple days.
To me, it's a park they will see massive returns on if they invest the necessary cash into it. SFMM has been the park the company has put those kinds of investments into, but competing with Disney and Universal makes a resort experience quite a bit more difficult. So, thinking about it, here's the best plan I came up with to get the park to that proper level.
2015- Refurbish main street, add 1-2 family flats on the Ka/Toro side of the park, and detail throughout the park (some paint here, landscaping there, etc). The key to me is transforming from the entrance to tge boardwalk. I am talking new concrete paths, getting rid of those nasty ice cream-style buildings near Houdini and replacing them with more charming exteriors like those at SFNE, lanscaping, etc.. To me, main street is very important as it can create an immersive and quality first impression, and right now it looks dated and forgettable. Besides that, the park is imbalnlanced flat-wise, and a simple flat or two on the west side would help that. I'd expect all this to push $8-10M.
2016- A new coaster to replace Chiller. I feel a multi-launch LSM coaster that stretches to the front entrance (partly because of my previously stated importance of 1st impressions) would be perfect. In terms of manufacturer, it'd be Intamin or Mack, with the ride experience being between Cheetah Hunt and Helix (I feel it should be somewhat geared to riders not looking for Maverick intensity).. However, these types of coasters push $18-25M, so keeping SF's insistence on cheaper capital investments in mind, that might be pushing it. Two other alternatives with one being a shorter, but well-themed coaster with pre-ride section like Superman Escape (around $15M US I believe). And the other being either a family wooden by GCI, or a medium-sized, ground-hugging, fast-paced RMC creation ($12M or less). Also, open back up the Movietown loop.
2017- Total Movietown overhaul. First order of business is retheming it to Gotham City (DC doesn't make sense due to S:UF, GL and Bizarro scattered elsewhere.). This would include new shops, theming, walkways, refurbishing and reopening the Batman arena, repaint Nitro, and add a few flat or two. I'd suspect a cost of $10M or so.
2018- Begin groundwork on an on-site hotel a little past the old Safari entrance. I feel this would be great location as its isolated from the park while still being close tram to the entrance, and it could overlook the safari which would be stellar. I'd include a jungle theme with an on-site Rainforest Cafe, hige children's play area, tiki bar outside at the pool area. I'd stretch the process over 2-3 years as the cost will be very high ( $20-35M I'd presume). Assuming they could break up the payment to allow some cash for park improvements, I'd add a slife at HH, and putting some work to give the waterpark some more character.
2019- Updating FA with some new shops and maybe an interactive dark ride themed to a Western shootout.
2020- Open hotel!
While these plans may need to be stretched an extra year or 2 due to cost (although I feel this isn't totally impossible), that is only 6-8 years of development to make GADV a quality resort destination. The park has so many things already going for it and could be the chain's centerpiece, it just needs a few flats, a coaster and touching up what's already there.