Wednesday, August 20, 2003

Celebrate 350 Years of ARN&R by Giving Us Money

Why, it just seems like eleven months ago that we started this fine journal of amusement park news and rumors. And yet here we are, 350 years later, still going strong with tens and tens of readers.

How can you help celebrate, you ask? Why, by buying crap! In particular, you can buy a special 350th anniversary shirt, featuring headlines from those centuries! See what ACErs had to say about the earliest Russian ice slides and Paul Ruben's reaction to the very first Boomerang!

Also, it looks like we'll be out in force at Knoebel's fall event (which we refuse to name because of the constant and annoying use of "ph" in all materials...though we admit to some amusement at being directed not to have costumes that are too "phat"). Drop us a line if you too want to be part of the 350th Annual AbsolutelyReliableCon. There will be gravy.*




* if demand exists. Frankly, beer is more likely.
Wal-Mart Stores To Start Selling Vekoma Roller Coasters

The Wal-Mart Corporation announced today that, based on the outrageously successful sales of the Six Flags Cool Coaster toy at Wal-Mart stores nationwide, the discount department store chain will begin stocking full-size Vekoma suspended looping roller coasters at all of their North American locations later this year.

In an exclusive interview with H. Lee Scott, CEO of Wal-Mart Stores, ARN&R learned that Wal-Mart and Netherlands based Vekoma Rides were in the final stages of negotiations concerning the pricing and product positioning of the coasters. "There are just a few minor details to iron out. Vekoma wants to be sure that their superior product receives premium end-cap placement in high foot traffic areas within all of our stores, and we want to be sure that we get the best possible cost savings. We're working on a compromise right now. As soon as those negotiations are complete, the coasters will be on our shelves, hopefully in plenty of time for the 2003 holiday shopping season," said Scott.

Wal-Mart expects that because of the chain's tremendous purchasing power, they will be able to buy the coasters in bulk from Vekoma, thereby significantly lowering the cost per unit. Those cost savings will be passed on directly to consumers. The expected shelf price for a no-frills cookie-cutter suspended looping coaster will be somewhere around $119.97.

"You never know though. The price could go down even lower than that if that price-cutting little smiley face guy happens to swing by and do his magic price-lowering whistle thingy," said Fairfax, Virginia Wal-Mart cashier, Maxwell Cunningham.

The Six Flags Corporation has already placed several hundred pre-orders with Wal-Mart for the discount coasters. "At that price, we can afford to put ten or twenty Mind Erasers in every single Six Flags park," boasted Six Flags COO, Gary Story.

Wal-Mart is also reportedly in negotiations with German flat ride manufacturer, Huss Rides, and hopes to be stocking Giant Top Spins and Giant Frisbees in time for the 2004 holiday shopping season.

--JWS