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  1. #1

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    Paving Over Amrica's Amusement Parks - A Disappointing Trend

    http://www.grist.org/news/maindish/2...l?source=daily

    Grist Magazine recently published an article titled, Ferris Dueler - Old amusement parks don't die, they just...become condos, by Dan Rafter (Aug. 22, 2006). Please click on the above link for the article.San Jose's, Frontier Village, and a century old Lunenburg, Mass park by the name of Whalom Park each have fallen victim to real estate developers. Condo's have taken precidence over entertainment avenues for families and youth.

    You can add to the escalating list, South Carolina's former Myrtle Beach Pavilian Amusement Park and Steel Pier in Atlantic City, New Jersey. Commercial housing developers got their way again. In my own neck of the woods, track homes have replaced Big Bear Waterpark in Waterford, CA as well as the Manteca, CA's Manteca Waterslides. In there place are a mix of Bay Area commuters and locals. Yep...more people...less to do.

    Big Bear Waterpark was actively involved in community support efforts throughout Stanislaus County, and participated in Modest's 4th of July parade each year. Today, even the parade is on the chopping block, due to economic woes and a non-supportive city council. On the other hand, most of the council is squarely in the pocket of housing developers that are tearing down prime farm land and growing cities together into one massive slab of concrete.

    Marine World (Valejo, CA) was forced out of it's former home in Redwood City, CA by commercial developers and the city. Fortunately, Marine Land found a new feasible location in Valejo and became part of the Six Flags chain. Unfortunately, Six Flags has divested itself of the Houston based Astroworld Theme Park, with several additional parks due to be sold off. I'm sure that developers would love to capitalize off of these properties as well. What does it matter to them, as long as there's a quick buck to be made.

    Amusement/theme parks offer wholesome entertainment, something for families to do and enjoy together and an outlet for teans. In many cases, these parks make proactive contributions to their respective surrounding commuities. They exist as an important part of our cultural history.

    I'm not saying that all housing developers, politicians and lawyers are simple, greedy and crooked. Though in the long-run, if the ones that are continue to get their way as frequently as they do, we are indeed doomed as a society to pay a great price.
    Last edited by Ride Warrior; 08-31-2006 at 01:48 PM.
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  2. #2

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    Re: Paving Over Amrica's Amusement Parks - A Disappointing Trend

    Were these parks really raking in the big bucks though? Were they already closed? I mean the government won't allow real estate people to take over parks, like Disneyland, that generate millions of dollars each year. Business people & politicians only take over properties that are not generating any money or are making only a small amount of money.

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    Re: Paving Over Amrica's Amusement Parks - A Disappointing Trend

    Pave Magic Mountain.com

    http://www.coprecords.com/pavesfmm/

    Kind of PG-13.


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    Re: Paving Over Amrica's Amusement Parks - A Disappointing Trend

    Quote Originally Posted by Disney Wrassler View Post
    I mean the government won't allow real estate people to take over parks, like Disneyland, that generate millions of dollars each year. Business people & politicians only take over properties that are not generating any money or are making only a small amount of money.
    Ah! The Law of Eminent Domain.
    "He who knows only his own side of the case, knows little of that. His reasons may be good, and no one may have been able to refute them. But if he is equally unable to refute the reasons on the opposite side; if he does not so much as know what they are, he has no ground for preferring either opinion" --John Stuart Mill




  5. #5

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    Re: Paving Over Amrica's Amusement Parks - A Disappointing Trend

    They did this to Busch Gardens Van Nuys back in 1979. Tore it down and expanded the brewrey. I miss that park so much. It was a little oasis of tranqulity in the middle of the San Fernando Valley, and I lived 2 blocks away from it.

  6. #6

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    Re: Paving Over Amrica's Amusement Parks - A Disappointing Trend

    Quote Originally Posted by sir clinksalot View Post
    Pave Magic Mountain.com

    http://www.coprecords.com/pavesfmm/

    Kind of PG-13.
    That is histerical. Great find

  7. #7

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    Re: Paving Over Amrica's Amusement Parks - A Disappointing Trend

    Quote Originally Posted by Disney Wrassler View Post
    Were these parks really raking in the big bucks though? Were they already closed? I mean the government won't allow real estate people to take over parks, like Disneyland, that generate millions of dollars each year. Business people & politicians only take over properties that are not generating any money or are making only a small amount of money.
    Disneyland didn't start out raking in big bucks either. In its early years, it turned a profit, but it took time for it to become the economic booming force that it is today. Small parks now, unlike Walt, often face issues such as rising insurance and Workman's Comp rates, in conjunction with outladishly high taxation in states such as California. In an anti small business climate, it's difficult for small parks to survive. The same can be said of larger parks, these days.

    Add costly environmental roadblocks and other governmental red tape, and the little guy doesn't stand much of a chance. Losing parks cannot always be justified by a "survival of the fittest" or "eminent domain" (like tbminnie pointed out) attitude. The population in Stanislause County (where I reside) and San Joaquin County has escalated in mammoth proportions over the course of the last ten years. Between the two counties, three small amusement parks have closed in the past five years - with three remaining.

    We have virtually nothing to do here. The Bay Area is the closest amusement/theme park venue. Now, if one is fortunate enough to live where there are several larger theme parks, I can see where the loss of smaller ones are not much of a serious issue. To those like myself, it is desimating.
    Last edited by Ride Warrior; 08-31-2006 at 02:02 PM.
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    Re: Paving Over Amrica's Amusement Parks - A Disappointing Trend

    I miss the Manteca waterslides, much better than Waterworld or Raging Waters. Also, I thought Marine World was in Redwood City before moving to Vallejo.
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    Re: Paving Over Amrica's Amusement Parks - A Disappointing Trend

    You have good points too Ride Warrior .

  10. #10

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    Re: Paving Over Amrica's Amusement Parks - A Disappointing Trend

    Quote Originally Posted by DisneyDan24 View Post
    I miss the Manteca waterslides, much better than Waterworld or Raging Waters. Also, I thought Marine World was in Redwood City before moving to Vallejo.
    Marine World was initially in Redwood City.

    As for the Manteca Waterslides, you can still experience a nostalgic ride on two or three of them at Paramount's (Cedar Fair's) Great America. The park purchased and installed them...at Crackadile Dundee's Boomerang Bay.
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  11. #11

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    Re: Paving Over Amrica's Amusement Parks - A Disappointing Trend

    Quote Originally Posted by Ride Warrior View Post
    Marine World was initially in Redwood City.

    As for the Manteca Waterslides, you can still experience a nostalgic ride on two or three of them at Paramount's (Cedar Fair's) Great America. The park purchased and installed them...at Crackadile Dundee's Boomerang Bay.
    Ooh, which ones? Turbulance? The Elevator Shaft? Man I miss that place, I think my favorite had to be the Rapids.
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  12. #12

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    Re: Paving Over Amrica's Amusement Parks - A Disappointing Trend

    Quote Originally Posted by DisneyDan24 View Post
    Ooh, which ones? Turbulance? The Elevator Shaft? Man I miss that place, I think my favorite had to be the Rapids.
    I remember reading about it in the Modest Bee newspaper when the waterslides were bidded off. I will have to investigate which slides they are and get back with you, DisneyDan.
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  13. #13

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    Re: Paving Over Amrica's Amusement Parks - A Disappointing Trend

    I see they got Thunder Falls.
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  14. #14

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    Re: Paving Over Amrica's Amusement Parks - A Disappointing Trend

    Quote Originally Posted by DisneyDan24 View Post
    I see they got Thunder Falls.
    Yeah. That was one of them.
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  15. #15

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    Re: Paving Over Amrica's Amusement Parks - A Disappointing Trend

    Equally sad to me is when former small parks are replaced with...nothing. Remember Tiny Town/Kiddieland on Topanga Cyn Blvd in Woodland Hills? Been closed at least 20 years and still nothing built on it. It was a used car lot for a while but that's about it. The miniature golf/trampoline site next door still sits next door rotting a slow death. I worked at the McDonald's next door on Erwin St. in 1987 and even then it was weeded over. That whole block could be an adorable little park, a la Adventure City, today.

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