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Ratanga Junction to close down for good in May 2018.

Discussion in 'News & Rumours' started by roomraider, Sep 1, 2017.

  1. roomraider

    roomraider Best Topic Starter CF Award Winner 2016

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    In news that will shock no one who has kept an eye on this park Ratanga Junction in South Africa will close down for good in May 2018.

    Rat.jpg

    The park has been on its last legs for a while after a deal for the park land to be redeveloped was agreed some time ago and the park sold off its mine train in 2014. But still sad to see what looks quite a beautiful park close down for good.

    Anyone in the market for a large Vekoma Roller Skater or SLC+ model?

    https://www.iol.co.za/capeargus/exclusive-ratanga-junction-to-close-in-may-2018-10991536
     
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  2. gavin

    gavin Administrator Staff Member Administrator Moderator Social Media Team CF Award Winner 2016

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    It was only open at weekends over the busy summer period, so I'm stunned it's going.

    Still annoying that I didn't plan that better though, stupidly assuming that a park right in a major city would be open on weekdays during the summer.
     
  3. caffeine_demon

    caffeine_demon Well-Known Member

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    their website makes it so clear too: :rolleyes:
    New Season: 29 September - 8 October 2017

    • This is subject to the park’s operating schedule as the park has privately booked park days.
    • Please contact the park on 021-550-8504 or view our website on www.ratanga.co.za to confirm dates
    • Please note that occasionally due to inclement weather, our Operating Times are subject to change without notice. It is recommended that you call 021-5508504 (between 08h30- 17h00) to confirm operating times. PS: The Infoline is only open for phone calls from 08h30
    • General Park Operating Times: 10am – 5pm
    [​IMG]
    :confused:
     
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  4. Pokemaniac

    Pokemaniac Mountain monkey Staff Member Administrator Moderator Social Media Team

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    They recommend you check operating times by phone?!? I could understand that system 20 years ago, but today one would assume that Internet access has become ubiquitous enough to just put up a website. I know poverty is a problem in South Africa, but I think the demographics who can afford to go to amusement parks - and own a phone - overlap very little with those who don't have Internet access.
     
  5. witchfinder

    witchfinder Well-Known Member

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    I think that's a pretty standard thing that most parks do for unexpected closures due to weather. Not every park is going to have the time or resources to update their website on a day that they are unexpectedly closed - I bet most parks outside the big chains don't.

    Shame to hear about this park closing. I've been to Cape Town three times (my sister lives there) but never visited the park...
     
  6. Pokemaniac

    Pokemaniac Mountain monkey Staff Member Administrator Moderator Social Media Team

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    Was this before or after the redevelopment plan was settled? I can understand the park cutting costs and practically stopping caring about operations if they knew it was going to be paved over soon anyway.

    I looked it up on Google Maps, and it appears the park is called Ratanga Junction because it quite literally sits next to one of the largest highway junctions in Cape Town. Prime real estate between the third largest shopping mall in Africa, a large convention centre, and an air base (sidenote: who builds an airbase in the downtown of a large city?). It seems like the land is too valuable to set aside for a theme park. If that's the case, I can understand the reasons to close the place and build luxury condos or hotels or something there instead.

    Then again, various Wikipedia pages claim the problems with the park preceeded the redevelopment plans, so maybe poor operations was to blame after all. One would think a theme park located smack in the middle of a city of 3 million inhabitants and 1.5 million annual tourists would be a lucrative venture, particularly if public transport connections were good. Cape Town has South Africa's highest HDI (0.77, on par with the average of Iran, Turkey, or Georgia) and a university with thousands of international exchange students, so the demographics appear to be favourable overall. Ratanga Junction appears to be the only operating amusement park in Western Cape too, so it's not like competition forced it out of business. Might it be that South Africa does not have a tradition for amusement parks, leaving the park mostly ignored by the public, or was the park just mismanaged?
     
  7. gavin

    gavin Administrator Staff Member Administrator Moderator Social Media Team CF Award Winner 2016

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    ^ No idea. It was February 2016.
     
  8. HeartlineCoaster

    HeartlineCoaster Well-Known Member

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    Or an SLC doesn't make a good star attraction for 20 years.
     
  9. Pokemaniac

    Pokemaniac Mountain monkey Staff Member Administrator Moderator Social Media Team

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    When it's the only ride in town, and pretty much the only ride of its type on the entire continent, that doesn't matter as much. I mean, the general public visiting the park has very little to compare it to.

    That being said, lack of ride diversity and a quality line-up sorts under "mismanagement", so if applicable, that's an internal factor explaining the park's closure. I still wonder whether theinternal or external factors were the most important in total, though.
     
  10. ATI

    ATI Spammer of the Year & Most Improved Member CF Award Winner 2016

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    What if Southport was to receive the SLC. Would they paint it dark blue and red and call it Traumatizer 2?
     
  11. davidm

    davidm Well-Known Member

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  12. TilenB

    TilenB Well-Known Member

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    So, Gold Reef City is now the only coaster park left in the country (before anyone yells Rand Fair, that's not a park). Pretty depressing for such a big country... :/
     
  13. Will

    Will Well-Known Member

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    Always sad when a potentially interesting park goes this way.
    To make matters worse, I've just realised that I was 15 miles from this park back in 2009, but don't have the creds.
    By recent trend, I'm guessing they'll end up in either Asia or South America.
     
  14. Matt N

    Matt N Well-Known Member

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    How sad! Wonder why it didn't succeed, because it had the advantage of having no major competition aside from Gold Reef City? I suppose that on the whole, South Africa is quite a poor country economically, but some parts are quite rich, and I think Cape Town is one of them!
     
  15. shawnoc

    shawnoc Well-Known Member

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    It also depends on demand for this kinda attraction.

    Rollercoasters/theme parks as much as bonus they would be, would not be my priority if I went to south africa
     
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