Sandusky Sunday Register Newspaper Archives Jul 10 1983, Page 9

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Sandusky Sunday Register (Newspaper) - July 10, 1983, Sandusky, Ohio Register local Page by sun., july 10. 1983 dolphins Ore fairly intelligent mammals capable of learning a variety of Behaviours Wall from a r $ln9 of of he Waer Lef Back Fps and he Well known Tail Fin Park s aquatic stars Shine after 4 years of teamwork St nov re tin it til r7\7d\7r>. Story by John Przybys photos by Larry Kayser Register staff its Showtime and striker misty Cocoa and Breezy Arentt a bit nervous. Indeed they seem to have hardly a care in the world. True they re four year veterans of show business and display that sense of self Confidence that comes with doing eight shows a Day 1,000 a season. A and they re probably More intelligent than Many people walking the face of the Earth. But the Carefree Calm they display is unnerving. In fact its almost. Inhuman. So to speak. For striker misty Cocoa and Breezy Are the stars a the non human stars anyway a of Cedar Points Oceana Marine life Complex. Striker and co. Are Atlantic bottle nosed dolphins. Every hour or so for every Day of Cedar Point s summer tourist season swim leap flip and perform All kinds of cute to surprising tricks for curious Park goers. X7 first the cast of characters. Striker the Only male Dolphin and dominant member of the shows aquatic contingent is about eight years old. The largest Dolphin he weighs in at about 330 pounds. Cocoa misty and Breezy Are females. Cocoa probably ranks second from the top in the Dolphin Hierarchy while misty the youngest and smallest female a and Breezy Jostle for the remaining spots. All Are around six or seven years Sheryl Young and Craig Vajda Are the people who Tram and care for the four dolphins and for Brandy and skipper the two sea Lions who perform in several shows daily. The trainers maintain that the animals remember dolphins Are mammals a have Well defined personalities. A striker is the top dog the Man of the group a Sheryl said. A a he a the a a Cocoa is the top female. Striker is smart but i think Cocoa is a Little smarter. Those two Are the Best workers and do most of the things in the As for Breezy Sheryl said a we joke and say we Call her a Breeze a because that a what a in her head. She a kind of and aside from the obvious there also Are differences Between Oceana a dolphins and sea Lions. A sea Lions basically Are All business a Craig Stu y Don do anythin8 without a Reward of fish. Dolphins really enjoy performing and and of course sea Lions can walk on land. A they can be temperamental and bite a Craig said a so you have to keep an Eye on them All the a he dolphins and their trainers go Back a Long Way to january 1980, to be exact when striker and co. Were captured in Florida. Since then trainers and dolphins have been working together year around. T ?he,2iasd Craig were hired by Cedar Point in july 1979. Both Learned of the Job through the placement office at the Florida Institute of technology in Melbourne fla., where they been attending graduate school. Sheryl said she never thought about training dolphins for a living. Having obtained a master s degree in Marine biology Sheryl considered a career in research before deciding that i wanted to work with animals rather than test tubes. I never thought id get the Job a Sheryl said adding that she a really played up her dog to aiming experiences in applying for it c Raig attended the Institute for l12 years. He just completed coursework for a masters in Marine biology when he decided to interrupt his studies to accept the Job at Cedar Point. How is a Trainer trained to train dolphins essentially the procedure involves prospective trainers working with established trainers to learn the tricks of the Trade. For six months Sheryl and Craig Learned about training and caring for dolphins and sea Lions at the aquarium of Niagara Falls. A we also put on some shows there a Sheryl said a but on a much smaller then in january 1980, Sheryl and Craig travelled to Florida where striker and co. Then Between three and four years old a were captured near Melbourne Over a four Day period. The animals were housed at the Miami sea aquarium for four months. Their training began there then continued at Cedar Point at the then recently completed Oceana. Timing is based on a Reward system giving the Dolphin food and a sign of affection for a Well performed behaviour. The food associated with a whistle signal is a sign to the dolphins that Sheryl and Craig Are pleased. To discipline the dolphins for bad behaviour the trainers simply ignore them. A if they re not being Good we just say a see you later a a Sheryl said we never withhold food from them a they know when they re getting slighted just a please turn to b-2. B Rex Rhoades editor Cedar Point Dolphin Trainer Sheryl Young accepts a wet kiss what other kind would you expect from one of her charges. Trainer Craig Vajda handles the hoop while one of Oceana s aquatic performers demonstrates its crowd pleasing skills. Weather Economy give theme Parks rough ride United press International improved weather in nip ref who a nth to a a a a a. _ United press International Mother nature and the faltering Economy have wreaked such havoc on theme Parks around the country that Park operators have been forced to come up with new approaches to weather the storm. But Many Park operators a including those of Cedar Point in Sandusky a Are optimistic that better Days Are ahead. Problems seemed to Start last year when attendance at Parks nationwide slipped an estimated 6 percent 3 percent at Cedar Point. Operators hoped for a Quick rebound in 1983, but the weather was less than cooperative. A we rain 15 weekends in a Row a moaned David Busch general manager of worlds of fun in Kansas City mo., which this year introduced the United states first stand up rollercoaster. A your feeling seems to be that if there a a thunderstorm anywhere in the Western hemisphere it will find us in Kansas City. A it becomes frustrating a he said. A april and May in particular made me want to jump off a rollercoaster but hopefully Well be Able to make up for the bad weather in july and Robin Innes communications director for Cedar Point concurred. A May was terrible. The weather was downright Rotten a he said. A but we be been doing quite Well he declined to reveal exact attendance figures. Improved weather is one of the most fervent Hopes of All connected with the theme Park business a business that its ups and Downs recently. A i would have to say that 1982 was not the Best of years a said Marianne Kroeger communications director of the International association of amusement Parks and attractions. A the recession took its toll and the weather was a big Factor a people were reluctant to let their Money go a Busch said. A they were concerned they might be Laid off two to three months Down the Road and i think Many Felt they should save their a last year group business which is a major portion of a Parks business was Down. It was a general reflection of the Economy a said Steven Rogers executive editor of amusement business the Industry a weekly Trade newspaper. A a lot of corporations and companies Cut out special dates last year. We see a return of that this year. For the most part a company booking a Day at a Park is a fringe Benefit. Its Tough justifying laying people off and then throwing a Paul Ruben chairman of amusement Park club International and contributing editor of amusement Park journal said theme Parks a a struggled in 1982 due to a a shaky Economy creasing Competition for the entertain in improved weather is one of the most fervent Hopes in a business that its ups and Downs recently. Ment Dollar plus some bad weather. A with some Parks approaching a $15 pay one Price admission charge Many Parks encountered Price resistance. A i think we reached the Point last year where Price resistance was a Factor a said Rogers. A when the Economy a bad a father of four will think twice about paying $60 just walk through the front to combat that this year some Parks such As Marriott a great America in Gurnee 111., and its sister Park in Santa Clara calif., have lowered admission by $2. Others either have kept prices the same like Cedar Point a or raised admission nominally. Several major Parks suffered a drop in attendance of 10 percent or More in 1982. Few of the nations 35 theme Parks registered bigger attendance. They in eluded Kings Dominion in Doswell a Busch gardens the dark continent in Tampa ha., six flags Over Texas in to Dallas six flags Over Georgia in Atlanta Darien Lake in Darien Center Between Rochester and Buffalo ., and car winds in Charlotte . One Way Parks have combated the recession and weather is to add new attractions. A a major new ride always attracts new business and virtually guarantees a successful season a Ruben said one of the most popular nationwide a and the newest at Cedar Point a been the Demon drop which drops passengers the equivalent of 10 stories at speeds reaching 55 Miles per hour. A a it a this years big ride no doubt a said Cedar Points Innes. Amusement business Rogers said the Demon drop a a the hottest ride in the Industry a is the closest a person can come to safely falling off a building. A no other ride duplicates that sensation and its relatively inexpensive to build a he said. A we think the ride already a great effect a said Kathy Schoch assistant manager of Public relations at great adventure in Jackson n.j., which also installed a Demon drop like attraction. Kings Dominion which was up 2 percent in 1982, last year introduced the grizzly rollercoaster and this year unveiled w Hite water Canyon which simulates a White water rafting experience. Busch gardens which showed a 5 percent jump opened a White water ride in 1982 called Congo River rapids As did car winds up 4 percent with its rip roaring rapids. A last year was the Best in our 24-year history and we have to assume it s because of the River ride a said Lisa Titus assistant publicity manager at the dark continent. Darien Lake showed the biggest jump a 22 percent. The Viper a steel rollercoaster turned the trick. The coaster was the reason a said Darien lakes Claudia Chirumbolo. Two other coasters were introduced this year. Dragon Mountain billed As the worlds largest steel coaster is featured at Marine land in Niagara Falls ont., while the Riverside Cyclone got rave reviews at Riverside Park in Agawam mass. Some coaster aficionados hailed the Riverside Cyclone As More ferocious and thrilling than the famed Coney Island Cyclone in Brooklyn A few Parks even seem to engage in a game of Kneup Manship. Kings Island North of Cincinnati announced last Winter it would have the nations first stand up rollercoaster in 1984. But shortly thereafter worlds of fun announced it would convert an existing coaster at its Park to one that could carry patrons in a standing position

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