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My Best Foot Forward

Before it was deemed ready for this three season study the park was checked and double checked for everything:

that traffic flowed along unbroken paths,

that any one way signage was facing in the correct direction,

that coasters were actually traveling along the entire track,

rides all had entrances & exits along with the required paths & queues,

all stalls & attractions were opened and accessible (no stalls facing away from the path),

there were adequate staff in trouble spots for litters and vomits,

ensuring all patrol areas were manageable by the assigned staff,

that there are otherwise enough staff in place for any required tasks,

ensuring guests are not wandering around the park hungry or thirsty,

ensuring guests are not wandering around the park wanting more rides and more toilets,

that animals are sufficiently clean, fed, and watered with their social needs being met.

In spite of all my precautions I found at the end of this study that one small path area was missing a janitor, it seemed I had overpriced Swim Suits & Inflatables, it was likely that Quad Bikes had too many cars on the track, and I had inadvertently placed two Golden Nugget Candy stalls in close proximity on the west end of the South Food Court.


A Regional Analysis

Let's take a closer look throughout the different areas of this park's layout and observe how each region did.

Left mouse click on the color images that are displayed below to see a larger version of each screenshot.

Park Entrance Area

Image 07, My Projects, My Parks, Vanguard West Financial Report, Page 3

All of these information booths except for Information 10 attracted more than 300 customers so I am confident they were all necessary. Most park guests must have found it very convenient getting the things they needed from these Information booths.

However, there didn’t seem to be as much need for A.T.M.’s in this area as I had first thought. That A.T.M.’s 05 and 06 did so much better than A.T.M. 10 indicates that many guests returned south along the West Access path in order to use them.

Pool Shops Plaza

Image 08, My Projects, My Parks, Vanguard West Financial Report, Page 3

Whether the pool stalls were east or west of the changing rooms, in respect of the individual stall types they attracted similar amounts of customers. Looking at these numbers I can plainly see that I had over-priced swim suits. I observe from the large number of guests that bought sun glasses and sun cream that I could have probably done with one or two more of these stalls in other areas about the park.

Region West

Image 09, My Projects, My Parks, Vanguard West Financial Report, Page 3

I’m not sure I can conclude that there were too many information stalls in this area. They attracted a decent number of customers so I’m just this side of believing that all four stalls were required. These A.T.M.'s also attracted a good number of guests.

I’d thought there were plenty of toilets in this area but seeing as three of them attracted more than a thousand guests I could probably have done with nearly double the number of toilets in this area. I had my doubts about how well the drinks islands would do while I was placing them but I see they were necessary as they were well received by the guests. The drinks islands and the toilets show good satisfaction readings in this part of the park.

The customer numbers for Toilets 01 & 03, and A.T.M.’s 01 & 08 suggest that these facilities were likely useful to guests who found themselves in the North Food Court.

North Food Court

Image 10, My Projects, My Parks, Vanguard West Financial Report, Page 3

This is a large food court that attracted a huge variety of customer totals, with varying popularity and reasonable satisfaction readings. The stalls at the west end of this food court attracted more customers and seemed to be more popular than the other stalls. There are a few stalls at the east end that did a fair amount of business.

Many of the stalls show popularity levels that indicate they were ignored by guests more often than they were used. I should probably have divided all these stalls into four or five groupings which might have minimized the number of stalls in this area with low popularity readings.

Overall, I would say that the North Food Court served our guests well.

Region East

Image 11, My Projects, My Parks, Vanguard West Financial Report, Page 3

In Region West there were more stalls and facilities which were all well used; in fact we could have done with more toilets in that area. The customer numbers here in Region East would indicate that I’ve achieved an excellent balance of stalls placed in relation to guest needs in this area of the park. Except for a couple of zero popularity readings I have no complaints with these figures.

However, comparing the Region West and Region East readings suggests that there was some 50% more traffic and guest activity through Region West than there was through Region East. If I were to develop this park past Season 3 Region East would be a good area in which to put an additional Sun Glasses stall and Sun Cream stall. It might also be worth my while to consider making umbrellas unavailable from any of the information booths and selling them only from Umbrella stalls in which case I'd also put two or three of those Umbrella stalls throughout this region. Due to the heavier traffic in Region West I would also move the Balloons stall but because I'd still want one Balloons stall with them selling at the same prices I'd be hard pressed to decide if I wanted it here in Region East, or down on the South Slope.

South Food Courts

Image 12, My Projects, My Parks, Vanguard West Financial Report, Page 3

This area of the park represents my biggest disappointment. These stalls attracted low numbers of guests and were not all that popular but they do display adequate satisfaction ratings. There are about 40 food & drink stalls here and instead of that number I could probably have gotten by with about 15 because the low customer readings indicate there wasn’t as much traffic through this area of the park as I had anticipated.

Image 13, My Projects, My Parks, Vanguard West Financial Report, Page 3

The information booths and the toilets in this same area show good customer readings while the A.T.M.'s in this area were over-represented. I’m sure I could have gotten by with two A.T.M.’s in this area instead of six.

South Slope

Image 14, My Projects, My Parks, Vanguard West Financial Report, Page 3

Like Region East, this is another area of the park in which I’ve achieved an excellent balance of stalls placed in relation to guest needs.

The mini food court makes an acceptable showing for customer numbers and I believe these popularity and satisfaction combinations are the best in this park.

Again, if I were to develop this park past Season 3 the guest traffic through this region suggests it would be another good area in which to put an additional Sun Glasses stall and Sun Cream stall, in addition to one or two Umbrella stalls. This would attract more guest traffic through the South Food Courts and to the South Slope. Having given it more consideration I think this park would be better served with the Balloons stall here on the South Slope.

A Bird's-Eye View

So you can tell at a glance how the different regions of this park work with one another I've provided this map of the property on which I've marked out the various areas.

Image 15, My Projects, My Parks, Vanguard West Financial Report, Page 3


Up Close And Personal

Complete numerical data resulting from this study can be found arranged on the spreadsheets here:

  Rides, Tracks, & Attractions

  Food Stalls & Drink Stalls

  Souvenirs & Guest Conveniences

  Tickets, Attendance, Profit & Loss

  Miscellaneous Data

  RCT3's In-Game Financial Reports

The information provided is intended only as a complete reference. Just as no one will actually read the dictionary it is not expected that any site visitor will peruse every figure on every spreadsheet presented, but rather will focus in on only the few points that may interest them.

Evident in the financial reports of this park is the fact that it’s not necessary for every single ride, attraction, and facility to make a profit in order to have a financially successful park. Two of my coasters lost money over the three seasons with one of those coasters being no one’s favorite, yet many of the less favored tracks and rides were still enjoyed by some of my park guests.

All our pool rides & slides consistently lost money, yet that loss was hugely offset by the profit I made in ticket sales for my pool.

The end-of-year figures show that we never made a profit on our animals, although financially they almost broke even during the second season. Removing DisableAutoAnimalInjection from Options.txt and rescuing & selling animals would probably have resulted in consistent animal related profits around midway during Season 2. Running this same park for 5 or 6 seasons would likely result in huge increases in adoption fees which would also help in offsetting animal expenses.

One of the water coasters & the water craft ride were both unpopular and also consistently lost me money but this was made up for with the profitability of my successful standard tracks. Most of my less popular tracks did still manage to turn over a profit. Not all my tracks were a financial success but that was offset by the incredible success of more than half my flat rides.

A.T.M.’s won’t make money for any gamer in any park, yet my 30p charge for the use of my toilets just covered the cost of operating all the toilets and A.T.M.’s in my park, something which I’m very pleased with.

With a £2,500,000 bankroll and all items invented at the start you won’t find any entries on the spreadsheets for loan or research. To further my aim of keeping the results of this three-season study simple I also decided there would be no ride construction, no land purchase, no landscaping, no new scenery and no marketing. 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 all those I believed necessary before the start of this study. Had I noticed the missing janitor at some point during the three park seasons I’d likely have hired a replacement.

There is one ride construction item to be seen in March of Season 1 which is a last-minute result of my removing an unnecessary station section from White Water Rapids and replacing it with a straight section of track. The other exception can be found during August of Season 2 at which time I absent-mindedly made a minor adjustment to the terrain before realizing what I had done.

The largest expense in running this park was staff wages while animal feed was the second largest. Staff are paid weekly, and cost me a total of £16,332 per month, or £4,083 per week. Give or take a few hundred pounds either way my animals cost me around £3,000 per month in feed expenses.

The biggest earner in this park were the Park Entry Tickets, followed at the beginning by Ride Tickets although about halfway through Season 2 Ride Tickets, Pool Tickets, Viewing Gallery Tickets, and Food & Drink Sales all held their own coming in tied for second place. It’s reassuring to believe that RCT3 parks come into their own about halfway through Season 2.

As a matter of interest awards are paid, and animal adoptions calculated, at the end of each financial month. Vanguard West has won the following awards:

Best Animals

Cutest Animals

Best Food

Best Roller Coasters

Most Thrilling

Best Reliability

Safest Park

All awards and fines have been set at their maximum amount of £1,000. Not counting the £10,000 I received for satisfying the VIP’s, Vanguard West has been awarded a total of £30,000 in awards over the three seasons.

No fines were ever levied against this park.


Although this park was completely set up and all ready to go when it opened, this study has shown that it’s possible to run a park that consistently turns a profit for an extended period of time. With a generous enough loan I agree with RCT3's developers that by starting with a less developed park or even beginning with a blank landscape it is possible to build a park from scratch that will turn itself around after several seasons ultimately making enough profit for the gamer near the end of this period to offset the debt incurred by the loan while building and developing it. It would probably take longer than a season and a half for such a park to come into its own.

Perhaps in the future I might try and see if I can get a park going with a blank landscape and a huge loan.