Any one concerned about the new management at SFGAm?

Monday, April 12, 2004 2:26 PM
As many may already know, there is a new GM at SFGAm this year. The old GM retired after many years of service to the park, including time with the park when it was under the management of Marriots.

As years go by, more and more people that were with the park when it was Marriots have gone and left the park. These were the people that truly loved the park and made sure that things stayed the same after the Six Flags takeover.

My uncle was one of these original Marriotts employees who stayed on after Six Flags took over. He stayed until Premier Parks bought Six Flags a few years back. He is still friends with many of the people that still work at the park and he attended the outgoing GM's retirement party back in November.

One of the current employees took him around the park and he came away with the impression that things had really taken a turn for the worse since Premier came in. He told me that the old GM was the ONLY reason why Great America had not succumbed to the policies of the other Six Flags parks. He visited most of the parks in the chain through his job along with parks from many other chains as well. He came away with the opinion that the other parks just werent doing things right. He is now worried that the park might start operating like the other parks in the chain with the new management. This means decreased customer service, cutbacks in staff, and the dreaded one train operation on all of it's multi-train coasters.

It was interesting to discuss this management change with someone that has quite a bit of insight into the park. I'm wondering if anyone else that works with the park, or anyone that has a lot of insight into the park has come away with the same feelings?

I'm hoping that not much will change at Great America. It is the best run Six Flags park I have been to and I would hate to see it run like the other parks in the chain especially with the already high crowd levels in the park already.

Monday, April 12, 2004 2:50 PM
I would have to guess that it is up to Mr. Black now. Hopefully he will see the park for what it is and what it needs to be. If he turns the park into a poorly run operation I am sure he will be bitten by the consumers in the area that patronage Great America. The park was popular in part because of how well it was run. Obviously anyone can point out areas that needed improving. I too hope Mr. Black will run the park right. Unfortunately he did not have the opportunity to see how the park was previously run to show him how the park is supposed to function.
Monday, April 12, 2004 2:52 PM
Isnt the new GM from Great Adventure?? After all, our park in Jersey was not the worst run of the lot. I hope that offers you some consolation :)

*** Edited 4/12/2004 6:53:03 PM UTC by Antuan***

Monday, April 12, 2004 3:14 PM

Antuan said:
Isnt the new GM from Great Adventure?? After all, our park in Jersey was not the worst run of the lot. I hope that offers you some consolation

*** Edited 4/12/2004 6:53:03 PM UTC by Antuan***

From what I hear its pretty close.

Monday, April 12, 2004 3:25 PM
I don't think SFGAm will change too much with the new GM. I am pretty sure there are still some higher up employees & execs. there that don't want to see the park become like the other Six Flags parks and will help out Tim Black in making sure the park is well run/maintained. I have no worries:).
Monday, April 12, 2004 3:27 PM
Heh...SFNE had Tim Black back in the 2000 or so. These GM's get shuffled around like crazy.
Monday, April 12, 2004 4:47 PM
I had the opportunity to meet Tim Black at ACE's No Coaster Con in January. I got the impression he was *quite* happy to leave SFGAdv and had a very positive, upbeat attitude about running SFGAm.

Let's see what the season has in store before we judge Mr Black on his ability to run the park.

mOOSH [use of asterisks Gator-approved]

Monday, April 12, 2004 5:13 PM
I share the same concern as you, but I am confident it will go well. My aunt worked at there during the Marriott time and was a manager. When Six Flags came in she left. My aunt is still friends with the Marriotts and attends every season opening. To lower your fears, I can tell you Marriott still own intrest in the company, and have to approve everything that happens at SFGAM before they start construction. You may ask why PGA is so different than the original MGA design, well the answer is easy: Marriott sold all rights to the Santa Clara park. For every change there can be good or bad, it matters how you act upon the change.
Monday, April 12, 2004 7:15 PM
Well Im pretty impressed with his first year's action already and the season hasn't even started. The new Mardi Gras area brings back life to what in my opinion was the only dead spot in the park. The park feels complete now with this new addition, and the themeing sort of plays off the original Marriott theme.
Monday, April 12, 2004 10:34 PM

D.J. Niecestro said:
Marriott still own intrest in the company, and have to approve everything that happens at SFGAM

100% false.

I'm not too concerned about Black filling Wintrode's postition. At least we can be sure American Eagle will be painted.

*** Edited 4/13/2004 2:35:14 AM UTC by coasterdude318***

Monday, April 12, 2004 11:33 PM
Tim Black is the best GM Six Flags has in their system. He'll do just fine.
Monday, April 12, 2004 11:51 PM
Not until Wintrode retired. :)

I don't see any major decisions that would affect SFGAm in a negative way under Tim's leadership.

You have to remember that he isn't the only one at the park making decisions. The people that report directly to him have been running things prior to his arrival and I am sure nothing drastic will change.

Mr. Black will blend in fine IMO.

Tuesday, April 13, 2004 12:17 AM
I think everyone should give Mr. Black a chance. He has been at other parks,and maybe he is glad to get out of the other parks enough to see what Great america is all about. Let's just wait and see how things go and then complain if things take a turn for the worse. I don't see that happening though. *** Edited 4/13/2004 4:29:15 AM UTC by stoogemanmoe***
Tuesday, April 13, 2004 1:04 AM
I dunno, I'm withholding judgment at this point. Most of the GAdv homeparkers that I know seem to have a pretty high opinion of Tim Black. From my personal viewpoint, I didn't think of GAdv as one of the best-run parks in the chain.

Those of you playing along at home know that I usually see the park's GM as the main *point person* for looking at how policies and procedures are implemented at THAT specific park...sure, we know some of the *standards* are set at HQ, but within chains the variety of operations suggests a STRONG input locally as to how things are done....

I'll let you SFGAm folks tell me whether you think things are better, worse, or the same....those of you who go *regularly* have a more well-formed opinion than anyone who might go to a park once or twice every few years or so...but based on my ONE stop to the park, I thought it was clearly *one of the best* SF parks, and I hope they "stay the course", because things last year were very WELL-DONE in Gurnee IMO...even if I thought RB was over-rated....;)

Tuesday, April 13, 2004 8:28 AM
Look at the pricing for our CoasterBuzz event this year and compare it to last year.

I'm on board with whatever he's got planned!


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