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Guest Access


One-way signs were only used in this park to control the direction of guest travel past Drinks Island. This was done to prevent two-way cross traffic and to give a more tranquil, restful experience to those enjoying The Promenade and for guests sitting in the area who were enjoying a drink.


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Merchandise


I like it best to have one balloon stall and to double the default balloon prices. This way when the park is several seasons along the paths aren’t all awash in a sea of balloons. Umbrellas are sensitive to price increases but I’ve increased the prices of my umbrellas by 150% and, just like the balloons, at those prices there are only enough umbrellas sold so that every time it rains there are just enough umbrellas in view to add interest and variety to the appearance of the paths. I’ve finally gotten my TexMod guest umbrella retextures sorted.


I am not a fan of passport stations. They only offer merchandise that’s already on sale in the park and if the merchandise is so trashy I wouldn’t want it on offer at a stall then I don’t want my park guests to receive any such rubbish as a prize. In my experience passport stations have never drawn park guests around the park in any meaningful numbers – guests always seem to get their passports stamped whenever they happen by. I have seen no evidence that they make special trips to passport stations simply to get enough stamps so they may win a prize. In not using passport stations I give my guests a break, and probably make it a little easier for my game engine.


Park Staff


There are nearly thirty mechanics, a similar number of security guards, and more than twenty entertainers as well. All these staff have patrol areas except for one of the mechanics who roamed the park freely as a stand-in wherever he might be needed.


I couldn’t bring myself to set patrol areas for the forty-plus janitors in this park what with all of the paths being suspended and with so many of the potential patrol zones overlapping at different levels over the same terrain tiles. I don’t believe I’ve ever before stacked paths like I’ve done in this park and my history with patrol areas shows that vertically overlapping them causes some of the overlapped staff to become lost which requires that I revisit and sort this permanent problem every few park months. The mechanic assigned to our Steelie was usually lost whenever he wasn’t inspecting the track or making repairs to it.


V.I.P.’s


It's been arranged so that all six V.I.P.’s visit Hillside On The Lake. Around two years into Vanguard West I received a £10,000 award for satisfying all six of the V.I.P.’S who attended that park. I like to have the V.I.P.’s around but didn’t want to receive any award for them in Hillside On The Lake. Because they’ll eventually leave all except the worst parks satisfied I simply set them up in Hillside On The Lake to leave my park a little less than completely satisfied. This was easily achieved by making it a requirement that they see something I know doesn’t exist in the park. There are no fireworks displays in Hillside On The Lake so I made it a requirement that they see fireworks when visiting. As a result of this they remained happy with their park visit except they never saw any fireworks so they left the park and returned again and again because there were never any fireworks for them to see. This didn’t seem to have any effect on their happiness, their energy levels, or their opinion of my park.


I enjoy seeing my park guests interact with my V.I.P.’s and I’m sure this increases their happiness with their park visit so I always set up the V.I.P.’s with high levels of fame and high autograph tolerances.


Before Opening


When this park was up and running to my satisfaction every stall had all the extras increased to maximum levels and price increases of 150%. The exceptions to this were my drinks stalls where our policy is to hand out water at no charge to park guests. Because maps are sensitive to price increases I only increased the map prices by 125% - I really wanted to increase the price and I really wanted the guests to have them so I saw this as a sensible compromise.


Setting the levels to maximum for all the stall extras gives me another opportunity to be generous to my park guests. Setting the amount of extras rather than letting the guests choose is probably a little easier on the game engine. With 2,200 guests in the park, my specifically setting the amount of extras will almost certainly be 2,200 less calculations for the game engine to make that are based on individual or group preferences.


After Three Seasons


After this park opened for this study there was no additional land purchased, no landscaping changes, no new scenery added, and no marketing campaigns. Further, no shops, stalls, rides, or coasters were added to this park after it was opened. I’ve also not hired any new staff during the three seasons, having hired and trialled all those I believed necessary before the start of this study. Before I opened this park to begin its financial study the Isambard Kingdom Brunel cheat was used to train all staff. Oddly, this seems to be the only cheat that lasts from one RCT3 session to the next. It appears that this cheat only needs to be used again if we place additional staff about our parks that were not present in our park when we before used this cheat.


Because this park spent some time in development before its ‘official’ opening many of the stalls and attractions already had a history, therefore, the number of customers and the profit level were recorded at Day 1 Season1 (A), then again at Day 1 Season 4 (B), after which B was subtracted from A to get the true customer counts and profit levels for the three seasons of this financial study.


At the end of this three-season study income from this park had added more than £450,000 to our bank account.


I believe the financial information I provided with Vanguard West was a complete financial analysis. It is likely that Vanguard West will be the only park I’ll analyze in such a thorough fashion. Although I also ran Hillside On The Lake for three park seasons you will find the information presented within the spreadsheets about this park to be a little more summarized. Those spreadsheets can be found here:



















Rides & Tracks



Food & Drink Stalls



Souvenirs & Guest Services



Popularity And Satisfaction


The median statistics of the attractions throughout Hillside On The Lake are presented in this mini table below:








Popularity

Satisfaction





Rides &

Tracks

72

75





Food &

Drink

19

63





Merchandise &

Guest Services

18

59





To see how popularity and satisfaction are tied into the guest experience have a look at our article Customers, Popularity, And Satisfaction – A Balancing Act.


Our Park Map


We'll now indicate how the guests get around the property. Following is an image displaying our park map so that you may see how the paths have been placed about and why they’ve been named so. You may find it helpful to look over this map in one browser tab while following this article in another. That would make it easier to understand where we are in our walk-about whenever a named path is mentioned.



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Getting Around In The Park


Our point of departure will be the park entry. Because of the park entrance arrangement in this park guests simply enter the property through a tunnel.


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Entry Walkway


The path on which the park guests enter the park are known as the Entry Walkway. It’s T-Shaped and once the guests reach the intersection they find it leads in two directions. A small stair leads up to the Promenade and the east stair leads down towards the park’s East Side.


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Many visitors who wish to take the lower stairs towards the east will first walk up the stair towards the Promenade to enjoy the entertainer if he happens to be there, and then walk down the stairs towards the park’s East Side. The following is a view of the stair looking towards the park’s East Side.


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We’ll begin by walking down in this direction. At the right behind the support columns are the three entrances to the Upper Bank of elevators. These are right at hand near the park entrances for guests who want to visit the upper levels soon after their arrival.


Bottom Walk, North


After passing the lift entrances, at the bottom of this stair is another intersection where we may continue straight ahead on the East Walk towards the park’s East Side or take a right turn. We’ll hang a right and use Bottom Walk, North which can be seen at the bottom left in the next image. This image is a composite of two screenshots which is why the monorail train, the fencing at the bottom left, and the stair through the left hand side of the image appear curved.



















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After we’ve taken another right turn we’ll observe that the entrances to the lower bank of elevators are along this path. With several paths above this area the breezy, cool shade ordinarily found here is appreciated when our park is enjoying bright, sunny days.


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Two of the lifts in the Upper Bank can be seen at the upper right. Up ahead along the path and just around the corner to the left is Bottom Walk, West.


Bottom Walk, West


This presents a very nice walk at the harbor’s edge. The entrance and exit to Motion Simulator are situated along here.


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