California’s Great America’s newest addition: Railblazer

Posted on Mar 5, 2018

PLACE Workshop is proud to be working with the Cedar Fair Entertainment Company once again on its newest attraction. Railblazer will be California’s Great America’s newest coaster and will open March 2018.

PLACE Workshop was also commissioned by Cedar Fair Entertainment Company to design the recently completed entry plaza for Cedar Point amusement park in Sandusky,Ohio.

California’s Great America’s Press Release:

SANTA CLARA, CA – California’s Great America will introduce a groundbreaking new single rail steel coaster, RailBlazer, for the 2018 season. RailBlazer will be the first coaster of its kind on the West Coast featuring a single rail track throughout; the design requires the rider to straddle the rail, creating an extremely low center of gravity that amplifies every move and enables more dynamic turns and rotations than have ever been possible on a coaster. With an eight-passenger single file train hugging the rail, the coaster will give riders an unobstructed view of the ground and air as they speed smoothly over the twisting track.

RailBlazer will lift riders to a height of 106 feet before plunging them face down at a 90-degree angle. Throughout the 1,800 feet of track, riders will travel 52 miles per hour, experience an abundance of airtime and steeply banked turns, undertake three inversions and twist through a zero gravity roll.

“RailBlazer is a revolutionary roller coaster concept that will be an intense and exhilarating ride experience for our guests,” said Raul Rehnborg, vice president and general manager, California’s Great America. “In addition, it marks the company’s initial investment in the park following the City of Santa Clara’s approval this year of the new park master plan, and kicks off a multi-year transformation of California’s Great America into a world-class destination for everyone in the Bay Area and beyond.”

The design spirit of the ride is reflective of an off-road adventure, with immersive sensory theming that embraces the great outdoors of the Bay Area and Central Coast. Once on board, riders will ascend a 45-degree climb, dive into a ravine and encounter steeped embankments representing an extreme four-wheeling journey. Imposing physical elements during the ride and queue line include a natural waterway, rocky surroundings and a trailhead marquee sign designed to mark the beginning of the journey. The unique design of RailBlazer will include a silent rollback lift hill that eliminates the traditional sounds of the train moving up the track.

The 2018 Gold Season Pass is on sale now at the best price of the year, and also includes unlimited park visits in 2017. The pass gives guests unlimited access to RailBlazer as well as all the other rides and attractions at California’s Great America, its Boomerang Bay water park and Gilroy Gardens; special events like The Great Pumpkin Fest, Halloween Haunt and WinterFest; and other discounts and benefits such as free parking. Special pricing ends October 29, 2017.


California’s Great America is a 100-acre theme and water park located in Santa Clara, Calif. that contains thrill rides, family attractions and live shows. The park opens for weekends in March, operates daily Memorial Day through mid-August, continues weekends through fall with Halloween Haunt, and the season concludes in December with WinterFest.


California’s Great America is owned and operated by Cedar Fair Entertainment Company (NYSE: FUN), a publicly traded partnership and one of the largest regional amusement-resort operators in the world. The Company owns and operates 11 amusement parks, two outdoor water parks, one indoor water park and five hotels. For more information, see

Taylor Creek Park is under Construction

Posted on Aug 19, 2016

Check out this drone video provided by Sunesis Construction Company.


Carowinds New Entry Plaza Opens

Posted on Mar 31, 2015

Carowinds 05

PLACE Workshop was thrilled to work with the Cedar Fair Entertainment Company once again on its newest project.

A grander parking entrance, with new toll booths, additional entrance lanes and added parking spaces will create a much-improved traffic flow. Plus we are making way for a much larger, more spacious and more welcoming front entrance plaza. Pergolas and lots of greenery will give a nod to our Carolina heritage, and larger ticketing and Season Pass processing areas will help improve efficiencies.Carowinds

PLACE Workshop turns Two… Celebrates with a Move!

Posted on Jun 24, 2014

2 year PLACE

As PLACE Workshop enters its 3rd year we celebrate by… Moving!

Please note our new address and updated contact information:

PLACE Workshop

700 West Pete Rose Way, STE 556

Cincinnati, Ohio 45203



PLACE Workshop attends Kings Island Media Day

Posted on Apr 18, 2014

Media Day (2)

PLACE Workshop attended Kings Island Media Day yesterday. We had a great time hanging out with the good folks at Tony Ravagnani Architects (TRA) and Cedar Fair Entertainment Company. We also rode the new “Banshee” roller coaster once… once.

Ken O’Dea a guest on American Dreamers

Posted on Oct 24, 2013

Kenneth O’Dea, founder of PLACE Workshop, was featured on 55KRC’s American Dreamers radio program with hosts Tom Tasset & Sunho Donovan.

The focus of American Dreamers is to celebrate and support Small Businesses everywhere. Their mission is to create a platform to share the back story of entrepreneurs, to connect Small Business solutions to Small Business challenges, and to promote and nurture the entrepreneurial spirit.

Kings Island reveals record-breaking “Banshee” roller coaster

Posted on Aug 9, 2013

PLACE Workshop is thrilled to be working with the Cedar Fair Entertainment Company once again on its newest attraction. “Banshee” will be Kings Island newest coaster and will cost $24 million to construct, making it the park’s largest investment in its 41 year history. The world’s longest inverted steel roller coaster will open in April 2014.

PLACE Workshop was also commissioned by Cedar Fair Entertainment Company to design the recently completed entry plaza for Cedar Point amusement park in Sandusky,Ohio.

Kings Island’s Press Release:

KINGS ISLAND, Ohio – The longest inverted steel roller coaster in the world, “Banshee,” will make its debut at Kings Island in April of 2014.The first female-inspired thrill ride at a Cedar Fair Entertainment Company amusement park, Banshee will send riders screaming through 4,124.1 feet of track and seven mind-bending inversions at speeds up to 68 miles per hour during the 2-minute, 40-second ride.Built over hilly terrain and incorporating the most exciting features of the very best inverted roller coasters in the world, Banshee will feature several unique elements that distinguish the ride from others. The ride begins with a lift taking riders up to the maximum height of 167 feet.  After plunging down 150 feet, riders will go through a dive loop, followed by a vertical loop, zero gravity roller, two batwing inversions, a second vertical loop and a 170-foot long heartline finale.Two of the most unique features about Banshee are the massive size of every loop, and unlike other roller coasters, the top speed isn’t reached until halfway through the ride’s course.Since Banshee’s lift hill is on a higher elevation of terrain than the other side of the ride that goes down into a valley, the total elevation change is 208 feet from the highest point at the top of the lift hill to the lowest point, which is the bottom of the batwing between loops four and five.Passengers will be seated in cars four across.  A total of three trains, each containing eight cars, will enable Banshee to accommodate approximately 1,650 riders per hour.“Banshee reflects our commitment to providing the best in world-class thrills and value for our guests and is an investment in the Ohio tourism industry,” Kings Island’s vice-president and general manager Greg Scheid said.  “People from around the world will plan a visit to Ohio next summer specifically to experience this ride.”Banshee will be the 15th roller coaster at Kings Island, which is home to some of the top-ranked roller coasters in annual industry and enthusiast polls including The Beast and Diamondback, and represents the biggest new product investment in the park’s 41-year history at $24 million. Banshee was designed by Bolliger and Mabillard of Monthey, Switzerland, one of the premier leaders in roller coaster development.   Since 1990, B&M have designed a number of ground-breaking and critically acclaimed roller coasters.  In fact, B&M features 14 of the top 25 roller coasters on the Amusement Today Golden Ticket Awards Top Steel Roller Coasters list for 2012, five of which are listed in the top 10.  They have more top-ranked steel roller coasters than any other ride manufacturer on the list. B&M roller coasters are renowned for their smooth ride, comfortable seats and restraints, reliability, low maintenance, impeccable safety record and ride capacity.  As of 2013, B&M has more than 85 roller coasters operating worldwide, including Diamondback at Kings Island and this year’s sensation, GateKeeper at Cedar Point in Sandusky, Ohio. The construction of Banshee is currently underway in the Action Zone area of Kings Island.  Park visitors can see the ride being built from the ground up with great aerial views and photo opportunities available from the observation deck of the Eiffel Tower on International Street. Kings Island is owned and operated by Cedar Fair Entertainment Company, a publicly traded partnership that is listed for trading on The New York Stock Exchange under the symbol “FUN.”  In addition to Kings Island, Cedar Fair owns and operates ten other amusement parks, four water parks, an indoor water park, and five hotels.  Cedar Fair also operates the Gilroy Gardens Family Theme Park in Gilroy, Calif. under a management contract.

PLACE Workshop – Building On Our First Anniversary

Posted on May 14, 2013

As we welcome the first weeks of spring—and scrape the last of the ice from our windshields—PLACE Workshop is celebrating another important milestone: our first anniversary. In the past 365 days, we’ve been working hard to elevate the urban aesthetic in and around Cincinnati.

So, what have we been up to lately? We pulled in thrill seekers with a new entry plaza for Cedar Point, a Sandusky, Ohio, amusement park. We also assisted Town Properties with site design for a new urban living development, snagged a 2012 Lexington, Kentucky, “In Bloom” award for the city’s Você Boutique, and created a rooftop terrace for Old St. Mary’s Church in Over-the-Rhine.

As we celebrate a year in business, we’re looking forward to helping you improve your space, rework your wayfinding or turn your campus or outdoor place into a destination.

Thank you for a terrific first year!

Comeback on Monmouth St.

Posted on Mar 11, 2013

PLACE Workshop participates in Park(ing) Day Cincinnati 2012

Posted on Sep 25, 2012

PLACE Workshop participated in the Cincinnati 2012 Park(ing) Day. The landscape architecture and urban design firm decided to honor their hometown baseball team, the Cincinnati Reds. The “Great American Small Park” was modeled after the World Series Trophy in anticipation of a strong playoff push this October by the Redlegs. The Park(ing) spot was created in front of PLACE Workshop’s office located at 116 East 13th Street in the heart of Over-the-Rhine. Freshly popped corn was served much to the enjoyment of children and adults alike.

PARK(ing) Day is an annual global event where citizens, artists and activists collaborate to transform metered parking spaces temporarily into “PARK(ing)” spaces: temporary public places. The project began in 2005 when Rebar, a San Francisco art and design studio, converted a single metered parking space into a temporary public park in downtown San Francisco. Since 2005, PARK(ing) Day has evolved into a global movement, with organizations and individuals (operating independently of Rebar but following an established set of guidelines) creating new forms of temporary public space in urban contexts around the world. The mission of PARK(ing) Day is to call attention to the need for more urban open space, to generate critical debate around how public space is created and allocated, and to improve the quality of urban human habitat… at least until the meter runs out! (From

Bardstown, Ky., the “Bourbon Capital of the World,” is chosen the “Most Beautiful” small town in America by Rand McNally/ USA TODAY

Posted on Jul 19, 2012

Congratulations to the City of Bardstown, Kentucky for being recognized as the “Most Beautiful” small town in America by Rand McNally and USA Today. Kenneth O’Dea was project manager and lead designer, while a part of Vivian Llambi & Associates, Inc., for the $3.2 million downtown streetscape and revitalization project. The project included a re-designed central square, pedestrian and vehicular safety updates and streetscape design (including new sidewalks, site furnishings, lighting and landscaping). Bardstown, Kentucky is truly one of America’s hidden gems. If you’re ever in the neighborhood, it’s worth a visit! You will not be disappointed.

To see more images go to:

Place Workshop Wins 2012 Lexington In Bloom Award!

Posted on Jul 12, 2012

Você, located in the “Horse Capital of the World,”  was awarded the 2012 Lexington In Bloom Award. PLACE Workshop provided design and construction documents for the entry plaza of one of Lexington, Kentucky’s finest Boutiques. Congratulations to all the staff at Você Boutique.

To see more images go to:

Check out our new banner!

Posted on Jun 15, 2012

Yes we are graphic designers too! Environmental graphics and way-finding systems can be informative and add a “pop” of personality to exterior places.

New Design Firm, PLACE Workshop, Opens

Posted on May 8, 2012

PLACE Workshop to provide imaginative design services, combining landscape architecture, urban design, planning, and environmental graphics to create fully envisioned environments.

On April 30, 2012, a distinctly envisioned design firm based in Cincinnati, Ohio named PLACE Workshop debuted, with immediate plans to service clients in both Ohio and Kentucky. PLACE Workshop will focus on the Cincinnati, OH, Northern Kentucky, Louisville, KY, Lexington, KY and Dayton, OH markets. The firm establishes a provider for unique environment design creation with the goal of connecting people with one another, within aesthetically pleasing environments.

“We’re different,” said Ken O’Dea, founder of PLACE Workshop. “As well as possessing the requisite skills and experience, we’re also young and adept at collaboration, which helps us maximize our team’s creative talents. We are a design-first firm. Our ultimate goal is to create places that are comfortable and memorable for the people that will use the space.”

PLACE Workshop specializes in creating parks, master planned communities, wayfinding systems/environmental graphics, commercial site design, urban plazas, public art, memorials, greenways, complete streets, healing spaces, academic and business campuses, gathering places, residential communities, recreational destinations, garden retreats, as well as many other types of spaces that reside outside constructed dwellings. Emphasis is carefully balanced between the physically functional and sensationally pleasant aspects of place.

Kenneth O’Dea undertakes this new enterprise after 14 years of environmental design practice, including 12 years at the award-winning firm of Vivian Llambi & Associates, Inc. where he most recently headed up operations in Kentucky. He is a CLARB-certified landscape architect registered in both Ohio and Kentucky and a member of the American Society of Landscape Architects, the American Planning Association, the Urban Land Institute and the Cincinnati USA Regional Chamber. Mr. O’Dea also has a degree in Landscape Architecture from the University of Kentucky and a graduate degree in Urban Design/Community Planning from the University of Cincinnati.