That means this is the opinion of one person, not a trip report or news article. Please keep that in mind as you are reading.
RD is back this week with another article, this time about Rocky Mountain Coasters. RD's articles will now be running on Monday mornings, so be sure to check back every week for more from inside the mind of RD.
Does the praise that RMC gets remind anybody of the praise that B&M was getting about 20 years ago? Are they REALLY the second coming? - Gregg
"What they're doing is simply amazing work. So incredibly intense, so thrilling."
"I know they're going to be a success well into the future with rides like this."
"Look at their innovation - things like this are amazing to see."
Read any of those before? I sure have. Repeatedly. Only these are things from 20 years ago - and not recently. Who are they talking about? Bolliger & Mabillard.
In the 1990s, B&M was the brand to beat. Intamin tried to, but never was able to capture the level of success that B&M did. Arrow tried to - and ended up failing under the weight of pushing an envelope too hard - and with too many mistakes. But B&M could do no wrong, with a string of mega-success that is to date unprecedented in the modern era.
And then 'poof'. The praise of the theme park world vanished when their rides began to become mundane, bland. mild, and in general boring. Good rides - but lacking the oomph that their early successes had in them.
Let's move forward.
It's 2014. And all we hear about is RMC.
"RMC is the best things since wonder bread!"
"New Texas Giant is the greatest ride on earth!"
"Their level of innovation is the greatest thing ever!"
"Nobody can touch RMC!"
Wait a second. Hold the presses. This just in: We've seen this before, folks. We've read these same statements. We've seen the hype & hysteria every time a new coaster gets announced. 20 years ago - with B&M.
Now I'm hearing the grumbling now. "How can you say that? RMC is the second coming!" People are hysterical every time a new RMC is announced. I mean NUTTY over their announcements - and the rampant rumors over their next projects... "I bet Georgia Cyclone is next!" "Mean Streak is going to get it!" "The next coaster for Six Flags St. Louis is going to be an RMC, and it will be the greatest coaster ever built!"
Let's face facts, people. Judging a company on FIVE standing coasters with three announced under construction does NOT a balanced opinion make. Look at how people were gaga over B&M's projects for a decade... and the reaction nowadays when one of their new coasters is announced. "Oh. It's a Bland & Mild coaster. Yay." "Oooh. Another nap coaster. Great."
Now before the torches are lit and people grab their pitchforks, I will say that what RMC has done THUS FAR is some truly amazing things. Revitalizing two coasters that were either too painful to ride or mutated beyond what they once were was a bold & innovative step forward into areas where very few had dared to tread before. Being able to bring a dead coaster back to life is a good thing - something we should all be proud of.
That being said, praise for the now is welcome. But let's also not forget that they have only built FIVE coasters as of now, two that are under construction, and one that is being developed. People are going nuts over the future which hasn't even been built yet - much like people went nuts over the future with B&M. I for one am not buying the hype. I can't - I've seen this movie before; I've seen the plot, and I've seen how it turned out. And it is the same movie thus far: Builder innovates with their prototype; people go nuts for it, they build a second, even more nuts, they do something innovative, world is awed & becomes hysterical. And then 20 years on, it's just another thing.
Innovation is a tough thing in the amusement industry. With Arrow, it was developing the mine train, tubular steel track rail & corkscrew. With Intamin, the launch coaster & hyper/giga advancements. B&M brought us capacity & the Inverted coaster. It is going beyond this level of innovation that is the ceiling that these firms have yet to do. All of them evolved their technologies and grew their firms, and all of them have eventually hit the ceiling.
RMC brought us steel hybrid rides & a new generation track structure. I expect them to continue this evolution & innovation into the future. But hold the hype, please. When RMC has a portfolio of 30-40 coasters, each one exceeding the previous one for innovation & inspiration, then they will be deserving of mass hysteria.