Mt Olympus Theme Park, Wisconsin Dells, Wisconsin
Mt Olympus Theme Park is located at the perennially popular recreation and water enthusiast destination – The Wisconsin Dells. The park itself has grown over the years from simple go-kart track to becoming a year round destination of its own. Mt. Olympus rises up from a 150+ acre plot and includes both a budget and a resort hotel and numerous award-winning attractions including The Bay Indoor Waterpark which was ranked in The Travel Channel’s top 5 best places to cool off in America. There is also a large outdoor water park and wave pool, award winning wooden roller coasters, bumper cars, mini-golf, batting cages, and of course plenty of award winning go-karts. Creative Director Rob Rich talks about his creative and productivity challenges and accomplishments.
In the spring of 2005 Mt Olympus was in the middle of a massive $10 million dollar park expansion project. Mt Olympus was using a cnc foam cutting machine at the time, but it was not designed for high production, running at only 24 inches per minute through 1 pound foam with a 4′ wire length. It also lacked many essential creative features like independent axis for tapered columns, a must for Greek-themed buildings. The immediate challenge for Rob and the park staff was building a Greek-themed ‘mall-like’ structure for retail, restaurants, lockers and bathrooms in a mere 6 week time frame. This project required purchasing a new CNC foam cutter. Rob had this to say about how he decided on the machine he ended up buying for completing this project:
“We researched the market and found Hotwire Direct. It was a done deal as soon as we saw the capabilities of the machine and how easy it was to operate.”
When under tight deadlines, solid training on all details of the equipment is essential. After the 3-day on-site training Rob and his crew had to be up and running without breaks or hang-ups due to technical details. Rob had this to say about the training:
“The training technicians were quality times 10! It made a huge difference in how we operate today. They carefully and meticulously went through every single detail to make sure that our existing design program transferred into your CAD software. Your CAD software was able to be set up to cut from those design files. Their notes are still used today and they are just perfect.”
“They set up the machine within what seemed like hours and their training and knowledge of the machine was unbelievable. There was no guessing, there were no assumptions, there was nothing other than superior knowledge of that machine. Training went by quick and we wouldn’t be where we are today without them.”
One major difference Rob found upfront was how much faster and easier the Hotwire Direct system was to use. The CAD/CAM software quickly brought their designs from the drawing table into production.
Working within the project time-line the retail structure was built and the Greek theme went up. The 8700 CNC machine with standard 8′ wire length was cutting 1 pound density foam at 55″ per minute, cutting 600 (approx. 4′ x 4′ x 8′) blocks of EPS foam in a 5 week period. The project was completed within the deadline. When asked about the production schedule for those 5 weeks with the 8700 CNC Rob says:
“We had to have the 8700 CNC! We had one gentleman cutting 27 blocks a day, it was a semi load a day, and he was cutting all the blocks himself with that machine. That hot wire machine has run every single day and has cut blocks of foam like mad! Our entire park, 150 acres is nearly all foam. We owned the MegaPlot machine from Demand probably 3 years before we bought the Hotwire Direct CNC machine and the Hotwire Direct machine has done 7/8 of the foam jobs in the park.”
Using the Hotwire Direct 8700 CNC machine has proven itself to be faster and easier to use than the previous machine Mt. Olympus owned. It also has come with more responsive customer service and technical support according to Rob. For these reasons the Mt. Olympus crew was able to complete such an ambitious expansion project under otherwise impossible deadlines.
Having worked with other hot wire equipment suppliers, Mt. Olympus knows the importance of having someone on the other end who is knowledgeable and cares about the customer.
“Customer service is a huge, huge difference between Hotwire Direct and other companies. The people who answer the phones are terrific, they are friendly and they know just about everything down to a ‘T’.”
When challenging projects take you into uncharted waters, quality technical support becomes invaluable. Rob says this about his tech support experiences:
“Technical support has been awesome! Every time you talk to them, they know exactly what needs to be done with the machine. My conversations are never more than 10 minutes on the phone. It’s on and off and we’re back to running again, which makes a huge difference when you consider that we’re in Wisconsin and Hotwire Direct is in Washington.”
Since 2005, Mt. Olympus embarked on an equally ambitious Parthenon project that replicates the ancient Greek structure’s facade but twice the original size with 40 columns that measure 8′ diameter and 40′ tall.
Mt. Olympus used the 8700 CNC to make numerous signs and building facades in the park with the signature Greco-Roman style. In 2007 and 2008 the park completed a sectional replica of Rome’s Coliseum and trimmed out the interior during a major renovation of Hotel Rome. (See photos below)
Value beyond Compare
Mt. Olympus has expanded their park in a quality way to become the first “Mega Park” in the Wisconsin Dells. After successfully completing one massive expansion project after another, Mt. Olympus Creative Director Rob Rich is confident that whatever grand ideas come up, Hotwire Direct will have the tools and support to help him make it happen.
“When it came time for us to buy our arch, capital and base cutting machine (3000 Shaper) it was hands down not to even look at anyone else, we went directly to Hotwire Direct.”