Cedar Point employees prepare for opening day

Posted Thursday, April 25, 2002 5:00 AM | Contributed by Gemini

With opening day right around the corner, Cedar Point seasonal employees have started to arrive. 4,500 seasonals work every year. The park's human resources director says they received 2,000 more applications this year than last year.

Read more from the Sandusky Register.

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Thursday, April 25, 2002 5:02 AM

So what's this about a certain other seasonal park in Greater Cleveland that can't find enough people to work? 14,000 Applications?!

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Jeff - Webmaster/Admin - CoasterBuzz.com, Sillynonsense.com
"As far as I can tell it doesn't matter who you are. If you can believe, there's something worth fighting for..." - Garbage, "Parade"

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Thursday, April 25, 2002 6:13 AM

To some extent, the employment problems at that certain other park are brought on by the park itself. But, to their defense, these two parks aren't going after the same pool of applicants.

With the ability to provide housing, it is no wonder that CP would have a huge pool to choose from. If there were no dorms at Cedar Point, the park could not be what it is today b/c there is no way they would staff it from the greater Sandusky area.

Of those 14,000 applicants, you'd be surprised how many aren't given a second look b/c they don't meet the criteria CP is looking for. Also, of those 14,000, how many of them are aspiring to work Maggie or MF? Though the rides department never seems to have a shortage of employees, the other departments like foods, accommodations, park services don't have it quite so easy.

At that other park, they have to rely on employees that can commute. There has been a bus service for the past several years that has helped, to some extent. The competition in greater Cleveland is fierce with the malls and other attractions all vying for summer help. In reality, the HR departments at both parks operate from largely different angles.

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Thursday, April 25, 2002 7:06 AM
I wonder if that includes all the hotel jobs too?
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Thursday, April 25, 2002 7:24 AM
I want a job.
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Thursday, April 25, 2002 7:39 AM
Yes, that number includes the hotels. I believe that Accommodations is second only to Foods in the number of seasonals hired each year.
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Thursday, April 25, 2002 8:36 AM
That's amazing how there's such a fluxuation in departments in other parks of the chain as I believe that at Worlds of Fun as well as Valleyfair the Operations dept. has the most people in it.

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Excalibur Crew for 2002!

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Thursday, April 25, 2002 9:13 AM
If you give your employees a reason to work for you, then you will always have people lining up in your employment lines.

Six Flags offer little or no incentives.

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Thursday, April 25, 2002 9:49 AM

How do you know the little or no incentives six flags offers john peck? I dunno about CP's but I'd be willing to bet SF offers its employees every bit as much or more. SFWoA seasonal employees are getting even more incentives this year than last. Just a few of many examples are college scholarships, free season pass for yourself, free season passes for your friends, free tickets to other attractions in the cleveland area and many more.

Like it was stated before employee housing has an awful lot to do with staffing. When SFWoA builds their dorms, I don't think we will see many staffing issues like years past. I do respect CP's ability to find and keep staff. I'd like to know why a topic about CP's seasonal staff brings SF into discussion?

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Thursday, April 25, 2002 11:22 AM

Even CP's numbers have diminished over the years. Back in the 80's, the college recruiting trips were a huge aspect of the hiring process. They would have so many people show up at a campus event that, literally, they would take pictures of groups of kids and write their names down. When they got back to the park, they would say, "that girl looks like a park sweep" or "that guy looks like a train guy" and hire them based on that. If somebody quit, there were 5 people ready to take his place.

I honestly don't know if this is a CP or SF thing as much as it is an industry thing. Disney has had to do more creative hiring in the last 4 or 5 years and people used to be lined up for jobs there. End of season bonuses used to help keep kids around at the seasonal parks but I am aware of instances when kids had one week to go on their "contracts" and left behind $500 or more b/c they got tired of the hours or treatment.

If SFWoA does their housing right (I didn't know they were building dorms) then it certainly could attract more employees. While being paid a fair wage is important, the experience they have while they are there will mean more in the long term.

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Thursday, April 25, 2002 1:48 PM
As a prior employee at SFWoA (GL at the time), I got the feeling that management saw the seasonals as disposable almost. There just seemed to be too many situations where people where fired for petty things, resulting in 6-7 more people quitting. In addition, they actually took away incentives mid-season after gate revenues went down.

From reading the prior posts, with housing and increased incentives, it seems like SFWoA is headed in the right direction, but since they seem to have have dug a very big hole, it may take a while for them to acquire a strong core of seasonal employees.

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Thursday, April 25, 2002 4:33 PM
SFWoA surely needs dorms or other kinds of housing for their employees. It's a must do. Once Six Flags does that, they will be able to draw more of a college level crowd, and the park will get that much better. :)

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Friday, April 26, 2002 9:18 AM

jp (the OTHER jp) said: "If you give your employees a reason to work for you, then you will always have people lining up in your employment lines."

The corollary is: "If you treat employees as expenses rather than assets, you should be out of business fairly quickly". Bottom line: The golden rule works in business as well as in life....

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Friday, April 26, 2002 2:31 PM
Then why do they have to import those Eastern Europeans?
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Friday, April 26, 2002 6:23 PM
As much as I Love CP, they also see their employees as disposable. Anyone who says otherwise is dreaming. They know that they have plenty of people waiting to take empty spots. I worked there for 2 summers and have seen many workers come and go for various reasons. Someone was always there to take their place. I never heard of management ever trying to talk an employee out of leaving. Working at CP, or any ameusement park, is not for everyone. I had a blast but if you don't have the right attitude or pesonality...you won't last
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Saturday, April 27, 2002 8:08 PM
If Cedar Point has had such great fortune in hiring, then why have they always looked to Europen markets to bolster their employee base. Clearly the housing has given them an edge, being able to draw from anywhere. And WOA is still saddled with not having that option in any real variety. (And i have heard nothing but speculation on any sort of seasonal housing development.)

Hasn't anyone figured out that the overall economy will effect any parks ability to hire. Times were good in the 90's. Mom and Dad made a lot of money, college kids could go out and get paying internships in the fields that they studied. There were plenty of other well paying summer jobs that weren't as hard to do. From my experience at GLP through the 90's the only seasonals that stuck around year after year were the ones who moved up through the management system. And the top of that chain leads directly into new blood of the full time variety. Now-a-days times are a little more uncertain, mom (or dad) was just laid off. The interships and co-ops are harder to find. Well at least you know an amusement park will give you plenty of hours, even if it is at $5.85/hour :)

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Saturday, April 27, 2002 10:51 PM

Yuh, it's kinda sad to see the webmaster of the site getting into the ol' CP V.S. SFWoA flame war on the first post. It's usually best to just not mention it.

IMO, the main reason CP get's more applications is *like everyone else said* the employee housing. Though I myself have not heard of any housing to be built at WoA I wouldn't be suprised if they did and I actually think they should.

There is also a larger variety of jobs at SFWoA.

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"Villain-Once You Drop, The Fun Don't Stop!"~My No Limits Designs...http://coastergames.net/author.php?author=BKF%20Master

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Sunday, April 28, 2002 9:08 AM

Yes, the housing does give them an upper hand, as does the European recruiting. And? That's my point, the workers are there if you go after them. Hiring one in four of your applicants is a real credit to their HR department.

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Jeff - Webmaster/Admin - CoasterBuzz.com, Sillynonsense.com
"As far as I can tell it doesn't matter who you are. If you can believe, there's something worth fighting for..." - Garbage, "Parade"

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Sunday, April 28, 2002 9:32 AM

Times are not that uncertain. The economy has slowed down a litle and gas prices have gone up. A recession occurs when there is negative growth in output-GDP. During the 4th quarter 2001 when the economy was in a recession- the GDP dropped by 1/3 of 1 percent- that's almost nothing! The economy is still growing, but not at the rapid pace of the late 90's. And honestly, that's a very,very good thing unless you enjoy inflation.

The amusement industry is usually more volunerable than the rest of the economy because it's unnecessary spending, (NOT FOR ME!) but still, I think it's a bit premature to blame the economy for SFWoA's problems.

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"You are what you think about all day long" Ralph Waldo Emmerson

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Sunday, April 28, 2002 11:27 AM

I beg to differ with Giantwheeljay. I don't think CP sees their employees as disposable. In fact, I can say with certainty that the Department Managers know that their summer is make or break b/c of the employees.

In my time at CP, I spent plenty of days trying to talk employees out of leaving; at least those employees I valued. It was in my best interest that I keep the employees happy. If not, my hell week at the end of August was more like a hell month!

I don't think I was the exception. I know many other managers in other departments felt the same way I did. The lousy employees...well I didn't want to see them go b/c I needed the help, even the little help a bad employee could provide. No, I didn't beg them to stay however. If you really didn't want to be there then I rather you left.

I think the upper management at CP lost track of the hand that feeds them during the years when the employee recreation center kept being the project that got pushed to the back burner. Even then, though, the mid-level managers tried to make the place inviting.

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