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Doug Peterson

Popularity Coincedence?

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This is probably more indicative of my having far too much time on my hands during a day off from work than anything else, but.....

Area by area, the current count of posts within the main part of the BBS is as follows:

Industial Area -- 25

International Area -- 18

State & Federal Area -- 29

Transportation Area -- 19

Lake Amusement Area -- 5

Aside from a slight aberration in the State & Federal Area (owning to the continued existence of the NYS and NYC pavilions), these numbers are fairly reflective of my own perception of the popularity of these portions of the Fair throughout its run. Of particular note is the low "score" for the Lake Amusement Area, which was perceived by most people I knew at the time to be a major disappointment (especially when compared to the predecessor in 1939-40).

Has anyone else made this observation, or is it yet another example of my compulsion with numbers -- and the obvious sign of a person with nothing better to do?

-- Doug Peterson --

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And yes, I just realized that I mis-spelled "coincidence" in the header. frown.gif

And me, being a hy skool gradyuwit, and all.

-- Doug Peterson --

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Doug, essentially, what was free came first on the attendees list of places to go. The Fair was overwhelmingly entertaining at practically no cost. It was almost impossible to expect long lines at a puppet show that lasted 35 minutes and cost about the same as the NYWF entrance ticket. I remember seeing "Wonderworld" but I don't remember anything else about it other than the Bell Rocket Belt man zooming across the entire theater. The shows were few in number and not exciting enough to draw the crowds needed for financial success. I was not very amused in the Amusement Area.

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The amusement area was a source of constant disappointment and annoyance for R. Moses (as related in his autobio. "Public Works :A Dangerous Trade"). The Texas oil baron, H.L. Hunt considered a proposal to invest in a Disney-style theme-park which would have dominated the area. As noted above the attractions in this area were in many cases typical state fair/carnival type entertainments charging a fee and did not capture an audience. The exhibitors blamed lower then expected Fair attendance and demanded R.M. cut their rent. Moses countercharged that their problem was low quality which could not compete with the multi-million dollar free extravaganzas in other areas. It was the most volatile area in terms of exhibitor turnover but where there was quality as in the hugely popular Florida exhibit and water show there was no problem in finding an audience in that area. In the end, R.M. thought the area could have been put to better use as a parking lot. Not a good situation.

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Doug,

I've noticed the same thing. My feeling is the Amusement Area was a waste. To a 14 yr. old the log flume was fun. The monorail, I thought woulds be fun, but was a complete waste. A park-like area and parking would have been a better use.

Exo 67 also had one and I thought no better of La Ronde, though I thought Expo 67 was a better presentation than NYWF

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I never even made it to the Amusement Zone or to La Ronde. I had the feeling, even as a kid, that there would always be amusement parks to vist. However, what time I was given at the NYWF and Expo was far better spent visiting exhibits and pavilions that were once in a lifetime. I'm glad I realized that.

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