CAPACITY! Kind of Long, kind of Ranty.

Associated parks:
None

Thursday, May 16, 2002 12:14 PM

I still don’t see how can you make a reasonable argument for not using all of the capacity available to you. Say you walked into a McDonalds and there where 3 cashiers. Two had 10 minute lines, and the other was just standing around doing nothing. You ask the manager, ‘how come that cashier is standing around doing nothing’ and he says ’a 10 minute wait is short enough, we don’t feel any need to make the line shorter’.

Or another example. I’m a web site administrator (which I really am). I see I only have 5 users on the system. So I say, ‘hey, I only have five users. They don’t need all of that T1 bandwidth. I’m going to limit my thru-put.’

The only argument that comes reasonably close is the wear-and-tear on the coaster itself. Not having any data on how much it cost to maintain a coaster, I have no idea if the savings is enough to justify operating at less then full capacity.

By the way, I wish CP did allow re-rides and did have lemon scented tolier paper. :)

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Bob M.

*** This post was edited by RPMGuitar on 5/16/2002. ***

*** This post was edited by RPMGuitar on 5/16/2002. ***

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Thursday, May 16, 2002 1:02 PM

Wow, I don't think I can top the McDonalds argument! Great point RPMGuitar! I just don't get why any guest of a park would rather see them running at less than full capacity if there is any wait whatsoever. It's mind boggling!

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-Matt
2001 Magnum Crew

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Thursday, May 16, 2002 2:00 PM
But see RPM, your analogy is slightly flawed. To be more akin to the 'wear and tear' point *I* was trying to make, instead of the third person "standing around doing nothing", the manager would have sent her home so as to not have to pay her. And actually, that happens EVERYDAY in the Mickey D's downstairs from my job. During the heavy lunch rush, there are no less than fourteen people working around the counter: 7 taking orders, and 7 actually getting the food (not to mention the dozen people 'in the back' doing the *real* work). But go into that self same Mickey Ds at 6pm. There will be one, *maybe* two cashiers working, getting their own orders mind you, with a handfull of workers in the back. This is exactly akin to our situation. When business is expected to be booming (the so-called 'Lunch Rush') they use every means of staff they have. But in the quiescent periods of the early evenings, they scale back accordingly. Sure, they could have it staffed completly but they'd be paying people who were hardly working.

From a business perspective, which makes more sense, to staff fully (and pay the salaries) and immediately take care of the few customers that *do* come? Or work with a skeleton crew where the customers may have to wait a bit, but you dont anticipate more customers than the crew can handle? Well, the only way, IMO, that you can answer that question is to do a risk/reward analysis.

On one hand, you risk paying more salaries. The reward being satisfied customers. On the other hand, the risk is pissed off customers, but the reward is the salary savings. So basically you have to do the numbers. Cedar Point just seems to have a lower threshold of when the risk of pissed off guests outshines the cost savings than some other parks. As a business model, I wont comment on whether one is "better" than the other (that is beyond my field of expertise), I'll merely say it's different.

And Matt, you are kinda putting words into my mouth (whether that was your intention or not). I would never be so naive as to *think* that "any guest of a park would rather see them running at less than full capacity if there is any wait whatsoever" (emphasis added). On the contrary, most people (self included) are at least a little 'selfish' and want to see *their* desires brought to the fore. But what I am submitting to you all (again), it that for the time periods discussed herein, such an 'extended' wait would not rise to a point of aggravation for "an average guest" (if such a person exists :)). I strongly believe that the positions stated here are squarely on the "fringe" part of the 'Bell Curve'.

Feel free to disagree with me, but I do not believe that you can prove me wrong.
lata,
jeremy
--who believes that tacit observation would actually prove me "right".

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Thursday, May 16, 2002 3:19 PM

This has been one interesting debate. Jeremy has pretty much said all I would have said if I could've read this earlier.

I now have to make my own "rant" so to say about capacity after finally visiting the Point this tuesday. Raptor was closed all day due to high winds. I completely understand. What frustrated me is by about 3-4 o'clock there were minimal winds and it could have opened up. However, after talking to an op at the cadillac cars, the staff was sent home so there was no one to run the ride. Mantis had a 15 minute wait with two trains. The third one hasn't even been put together yet. Mean Streak had about a 10 minute wait with 2 trains. MF didn't open until later in the day and only had 2 trains with about a 20 minute wait. Everything else was running full capacity. Did I actually care some rides weren't running full capacity? Not really because I don't mind waiting 10,15,or 20 minutes for a ride, especially if it's a good one. When I visit parks(especially one like CP) I expect to be waiting in line. I got on all the rides and coasters I wanted to. I went in with an open mind and had a great time.

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Thursday, May 16, 2002 3:56 PM

2Hostyl said:
From a business perspective, which makes more sense, to staff fully (and pay the salaries) and immediately take care of the few customers that *do* come? Or work with a skeleton crew where the customers may have to wait a bit, but you dont anticipate more customers than the crew can handle? Well, the only way, IMO, that you can answer that question is to do a risk/reward analysis.

Exactly. That’s what I meant by my previous statement that CP ‘goes the extra mile’ for the customers. CP’s management has determined it is worth fully staffing their rides and running at full capacity, even if the crowd is small - despite the fact that it costs more.Of course the policy is not set in stone. If the situation is unusual (like with Raptor and the high winds on Friday), they will send staff home and save the expense.

I completely agree that very few park guests would get upset over a 10 minute wait, no matter how many trains where running. I’m just glad that the park closest to my home has decided to make my wait as short as possible.

That’s it, I’m done talking – time to move on to something more productive.

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Bob M.



*** This post was edited by RPMGuitar on 5/16/2002. ***

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Thursday, May 16, 2002 4:22 PM

LTLWcbYbe said:

Raptor was closed all day due to high winds. I completely understand. What frustrated me is by about 3-4 o'clock there were minimal winds and it could have opened up. However, after talking to an op at the cadillac cars, the staff was sent home so there was no one to run the ride.



That would explain my sighting of some of them on the Magnum platfrom around 6:30. They should have got me, I would have ran it for free. :)

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Thursday, May 16, 2002 4:47 PM

I spoke to the ATL on Gemini and supposedly there was a day last week that Gemini never opened until about 6PM (because of rain). It's a bit odd that they'd keep the Gemini crew there all day in hopes of opening, but not the Raptor crew. It's pretty easy to kill a couple hours cleaning the trains, handrails, platform, sweeping queues, etc. Kind of wierd how they supposedly sent them home. I can tell you that never happened while I was working last year. It's fun scrubbing trains in the rain! Just have to wear the backup sneakers the next day... :)

By the way I can see that I am not going to win this argument with you Jeremy. I didn't mean to put words into your mouth and I apologize if it seemed that way to you. If you're in a position to provide guest service to people, you do it your way, and I will do it my way if I ever have the opportunity. People really don't care about how much it costs to provide service. They simplt care about getting their burger, or in this case, their ride, as fast a possible.

It is a bit disturbing to hear that CP (who I have been using as an example of how things should be run *my* way) has not always been doing that this year. The weather has sucked, MF has had many problems, and I hope it gets better. Because honestly, the day CP stops going that extra mile that they always have is the day it becomes "just another park" to me. I appreciate the great guest service they've always provided and I support and applaud them for it. But when cutting corners starts to mean that my visit isn't the same as it used to be, then perhaps I should stop using them as an example.

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-Matt
2001 Magnum Crew

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Thursday, May 16, 2002 6:53 PM

It is ridiculous to think that a park shouldn’t run at full capacity. If there is any line whatsoever, every available train should be running. Using "wear and tear" as absurd, these are machines that are designed to be used; and about the "extra costs", coaster require up keep, if a park doesn’t commit to paying for maintenance on a ride they shouldn’t have the ride in the first place.

Some people have been mentioning that IOA, or Hershey scale back capacity. They do, but it doesn’t affect the lines because they only do this when they know they can keep the line no existent. Dudley isn’t going to run 30 boats on a slow day, but they sure as hell make sure there are enough boats to keep up with people entering the line. That’s where several SF parks differ; they seem to think the length of a line should be the same all week long! Sat. = 3 trains, Wed. = 1 train. What incentive is there to patronize a park on a slow day, if the park just runs at lower capacity to, in affect, counter balance low attendance? I can just see it: Six flags manager worrying that there might not be lines at his park, and demanding that trains be removed;) Wouldn’t you be mad if a freeways had only one open lane because it wasn’t rush hour?

Mcdonald's does close registers when its not busy, this is correct. Ask yourself this though, are there enough registers to make sure the line are the least they could be? You bet they are.

What I’m trying to get at is, I don’t car if SF runs one car, just as long as there is no wait. Why should I wait in line while trains sit idle on the transfer? In the end Six Flags is the one that loses; even non enthusiast park goers get ticked, and annoyed guests lead to less repeat customers.

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Thursday, May 16, 2002 9:06 PM

RPMGuitar said:

And for some people, that can make the difference between a good day at the park and a great day.



When I leave a park I had a GREAT time at, I generally have an armload of park merchandise....it's free advertising for them, and I don't mind "going the extra mile" for them when they've *done it* for me....parks that are dirty or poorly-run, I'll leave happy, but with a LOT less "stuff"...

bill, a DINK (motto: we who travel and spend), still annoyed we lost our glow-in-the-dark Raven keychain.....it'll get replaced soon, though...:)...also noting I don't need scented paper to make my butt smell lemony.....

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Friday, May 17, 2002 6:48 AM
Bob, Matt, "Mr. Nothing-Like-a-Woodie" :),
I've enjoyed this convo, and I agree it's time to move on. Thank you for your spirited debate. I think someone out in Buzz-land may have actually learned something (hell, maybe it was me...but I'll never publically cop to that ;)).

But even after all those statements above


CoasterMan- had to spew forth:
"Some people have been mentioning that IOA, or Hershey scale back capacity. They do, but it doesn’t affect the lines because they only do this when they know they can keep the line no existent. Dudley isn’t going to run 30 boats on a slow day, but they sure as hell make sure there are enough boats to keep up with people entering the line. That’s where several SF parks differ; they seem to think the length of a line should be the same all week long! Sat. = 3 trains, Wed. = 1 train. What incentive is there to patronize a park on a slow day, if the park just runs at lower capacity to, in affect, counter balance low attendance? I can just see it: Six flags manager worrying that there might not be lines at his park, and demanding that trains be removed Wouldn’t you be mad if a freeways had only one open lane because it wasn’t rush hour?

Mcdonald's does close registers when its not busy, this is correct. Ask yourself this though, are there enough registers to make sure the line are the least they could be? You bet they are.

What I’m trying to get at is, I don’t car if SF runs one car, just as long as there is no wait. Why should I wait in line while trains sit idle on the transfer? In the end Six Flags is the one that loses; even non enthusiast park goers get ticked, and annoyed guests lead to less repeat customers."


Blah, blah BLAH. If you're going to jump into a debate late, at least contribute something new to the conversation. Once again we have someone here capitulating that other parks remove trains. But what you fail to state is your concept of "no wait". Is your concept of "no wait" where literally I walk up and get on the train? Take Raptor for instance. What if the train is on the course already? Then I'd have to wait the 2-3mins till it came back. Is that acceptable? Or should they have two trains running so my wait is at most 1min. Or better yet, all three so that even though I'm waiting 30seconds, I know that's the best they can do.

No, I dont think even *you* believe that. I'd bet willing to wager that your "no wait" is more akin to the way Universal used that phrase when they introduced the 'Universal Express' thingy. Where by "no wait" they said (in fine print mind you) that "no wait"= maximum 15 min wait.

Everyone here appears to be in agreement that at some point it is okay to reduce capacity. Additionally, everyone here seems to agree that a half an hour wait is too long to run at reduced capacity. That leaves the only point of contention as "how long is too long". Only Matt has so far quantified his opinion on this timeframe. Personally, I think his estimate is a little low, but he thinks my estimate is too high. We can agree to disagree on that.

And on the Mickey D's bit, no the lines really arent "the least they could be". I end up waiting about the same amount of 'absolute' time at lunch as in the evening. Sure, I place my order sooner, but I have to wait longer while they're dickin' around fixing the food. Doesnt stop me from going though. And it hasnt estopped many people from going to SF parks on 'light days' either. Because most people would *still* rather have a 30min wait during the week than a 2hr wait on the weekend, whether that 30min should have only been 5min or not (sad but true).
jeremy
--who really shouldn't have responded to this last post and should have just let Matt have the last word. I am sorry...

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Friday, May 17, 2002 7:07 AM

Uh......worm......can..........uh.......opened? I leave for ONE day from completing my new swimming pool that was previously my BASEMENT and return to THIS?!?!?! Let's take this slow and treat each other with respect and intellegence. (Jeremy--if you were speaking to the masses, like a young, budding politician that you seem to be, then disreguard this. If you were speaking to me, personally, then read on my friend).

1) 2Hostyl: I respected many of your opinions and have for some time. Please do not insult my intellegence when it comes to our topic. Check my info: See the nice, pretty date when I arrived to this world..LOL...yes, that's right, I'm freakin' old..LOL....with that I've been studying the engineering and planning of RC's since I was in High School. I may not know more than you, but I know enough to realize that: "(RCs) wear down parts with continual useage. The most noticeable of these parts being the wheels." That's not the point. And this is where you and LTLWCyhadslhg have been running in circles. Parts wear, parts break, but if I invested $56 milllion in coasters over that past 2 years, I would think that $500,000 more in wheels and repairs is a drop in the bucket for the Six Flag corporation. Don't you think? Why rest trains?

2) Our CAPACITY debate has vastly become a "I'll argue for the sake of arguement" If you both enjoy waiting in lines at parks on a Saturday when there is "no need" to wait, then continue your quest to ride 10-12 RC's in 10 hours. I completely agree with MDOmnis "about going to Six Flags Darien Lake this weekend but I have decided not to." No matter how much I loved Superman at SFDL, I don't know if I want to make a return trip. The chance of waiting 30 minutes for that ride on a Tuesday with no crowd is exactly what Jeff said, "and I agree it is so insanely irritating." When I finally have a day off to ride, I do not want to waste time in lines when I DO NOT have to wait. I'll pick the park that consistently has the opportunity to ride 20-30 rides in 10 hours.

Jeremy, I agree with MDOmnis, you run your park and "rest" your trains, where I'll leave blank faced, pissed, shaking my head. I'll go to MD's park, where my waits are 10 minutes a piece on Superman, where I marathon it for an hour (then come back 2 months later and do the same). LTL: you can ''rant'' about your problems at Raptor, but if your safety is an issue, then come back another day. CP refuses to put your butt on the line. To me, that's just great customer service IMO, where MD's park will make more money and fix their wheels on their coasters......while "2HostylLand" theme park will make less money, rest their trains and rarely have to change wheels, thus upsetting the GP.

Jeff said, "Hey, with 96% up time, I'm sure they'd take the Pepsi Challenge to any park with that figure." And that's running full capacity day in, day out. But, I'm sure you and LTL choose Coke, right? Wink, wink.

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Friday, May 17, 2002 7:11 AM

Uh.....Sorry J. I was a little late getting back, but I'm sitting at school administering a test to my lovelies and could NOT stop laughing at your response. OH MY GOD, man.........lay off the newbies (and maybe lay off the caffeine!) LOL! Way too funny!

Take care all and have a wonderful riding weekend. Hope to see some of you out.....at the Point on Sunday for a couple of hours. Let me know if you are going!

Agree to disagree, hmmmm..... Let's start with this: If the ride is running at capacity, the wait IS the wait. If the ride is not running to capacity, then 20 minutes is WAY too long to wait for any coaster........put the other train on the track! My opinion, take leave it, leave it, write bad checks with it, but it's still mine.

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There's nothing like a woodie...

*** This post was edited by Woody on 5/17/2002. ***

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Friday, May 17, 2002 10:02 AM
You all know what, I had written a long an eloquent soliloquy re-explaining my position. Then I re-read the entire thread and realized I wasnt saying anything new, so I'll just keep that reply to myself.

What I *will* say however is this: Woody, I dont know exactly which of my words gave the notion that I intended to belittle, but if any of them did, I'm sorry. That is not something that I wished to do.

And to Matt (this should have been in my last post), dont write CP off yet. I'm sure that they understand they have a reputation to maintain and I'm am confident that they will.
peace out

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Friday, May 17, 2002 10:40 AM

2Hostyl said:

But what you fail to state is your concept of "no wait". Is your concept of "no wait" where literally I walk up and get on the train? Take Raptor for instance. What if the train is on the course already? Then I'd have to wait the 2-3mins till it came back. Is that acceptable? Or should they have two trains running so my wait is at most 1min. Or better yet, all three so that even though I'm waiting 30seconds, I know that's the best they can do.

No, I dont think even *you* believe that. I'd bet willing to wager that your "no wait" is more akin to the way Universal used that phrase when they introduced the 'Universal Express' thingy. Where by "no wait" they said (in fine print mind you) that "no wait"= maximum 15 min wait.

No: Not at all; not by any degree

Wait: To remain or stay in expectation of

I'm just wondering which part of the NO WAIT you didn't understand, I wouldn't of said "no wait" if I meant 15 minute wait. Also, I sure hopes you aren't a betting man, because well when I say something thats what I mean, no fine print.

About the 1 min to 30second wait time. It is still hard to believe why you wouldn't want the shortest time. Who cares if it's one second shorter, it's still shorter. Thats where you and cedar point differ, they feel that giving the guest the shortest wait time possible is the goal, not the second shortest, not a reasonably short wait time, but the shortest possible.


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Friday, May 17, 2002 12:14 PM

2Hostyl said:

And to Matt (this should have been in my last post), dont write CP off yet. I'm sure that they understand they have a reputation to maintain and I'm am confident that they will.
peace out



Haha, I am also going to refrain from arguing any more on this topic. I don't feel I can say all that much new. It was a good fight though. I think I'm right and I'm sure you think you're right too. We're not going to change eachother so why try? I'm definitely not writing CP off. I firmly believe things will get straightened out. MF is the only MAJOR issue I guess right now. The weather has been terrible and that hasn't helped them out. I love CP and I defend them alot. I was just saying it was getting a little odd using them as an example and then seeing bad trip reports coming in. I'm going out there Tuesday and Wednesday to check things out for myself so hopefully even more bugs are worked out by then.

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-Matt
2001 Magnum Crew

*** This post was edited by MDOmnis on 5/17/2002. ***

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