Chicago papers say public outcry saved the Whizzer

Posted Friday, August 9, 2002 4:57 AM | Contributed by beast7369

Following the announcement that Six Flags Great America's Whizzer would be spared, two Chicago papers talk to Six Flags president Gary Story and area residents who wanted to save the ride.

Read articles from the Daily Herald and Chicago Sun-Times.

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Friday, August 9, 2002 5:23 AM
I really have to commend Six Flags for this decision. Their patrons spoke, and they listened. Good for them!
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Friday, August 9, 2002 5:29 AM
beast7369's avatar Looks like Six Flags is really trying to appease the General Public and ethusiasts lately. First buying a used B&M and moving it to Jazzland and now this. Granted the B&M was probably cheaper used than new but at least they are getting into preserving rides a little bit.

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Whizzer tribute page http://www.crosswinds.net/~zerogthrills/sfgam/whizzer.html
Zero G Thrills http://www.crosswinds.net/~zerogthrills/

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Friday, August 9, 2002 5:41 AM
Maybe this whole thing was a ploy to increase Whizzer's ridership.... or get Six Flags in the newspaper...

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He let the contents of the bottle do the thinking; can't shake the devil's hand and say you're only kidding.

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Friday, August 9, 2002 5:49 AM

Bastards - they were planning on keeping the ride in the first place. They did this as a ploy to increase attendance during the month of August. To tell you the truth I think this really put a pinch in SFGAM's expansion plans. I was hoping for a complete overhaul of Hometown Square to bring it up to speed. I guess that won't be happening. I went to the park on Wednesday and rode the Whizzer thinking it would be my last ride. Nope. I remembered why I no longer ride the ride as it isn't very thrilling and probably won't be riding it again anytime soon. I thought the location would have been perfect for a B&M Flyer, now they will probably place in the parking lot or something like that.

Later

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BMCOASTER

bmcoaster@wi.rr.com

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Friday, August 9, 2002 5:53 AM

If they planned to keep it or not, who cares? Good for Six Flags for maintaining the only speedracer left in the US. Now if they would only reinstall Skywhirl and Tidal Wave, the park would be complete.

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Friday, August 9, 2002 6:00 AM
I mean no disrespect, but the Public Relations at Great America aren't SMART enough to have thought of this if it were a "publicity stunt". It probably really was coming out, and people probably really did complain.

Besides, region 19 Ace Rep Tim Baldwin has already told us that Six Flags over Texas was fighting to try to get the ride (to replace the defunct Big Bend) when Chicago was still planning to remove it.

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Friday, August 9, 2002 6:16 AM
Jeff's avatar

The PR duties just changed hands. Susie Story, who used to be the PR rep for IAAPA, now has that job. She kicks ass. She's very good at what she does. She made IAAPA sound like it was the greatest event ever produced (no small task because trade shows suck).

And besides, I got a free Whizzer key chain. :)

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Jeff - Webmaster/Admin - CoasterBuzz.com, Sillynonsense.com
"Let's stop saying 'don't quote me,' because if no one quotes you, you probably haven't said a thing worth saying." - Dogma, KMFDM

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Friday, August 9, 2002 6:27 AM
Olsor's avatar Yeah, I don't know if PR at SFGAm is savvy enough to stage a publicity stunt, especially when they didn't think removing the Whizzer would "alienate" the park's clientele. Come on!

Kudos to those who called and wrote in on Whizzer's behalf. It was a ride worth saving.

D'oh! Just saw the headline about Shock Wave. All my sarcasm has been pre-empted! I hate when my punchline gets delivered for me. Well, then... good move, Great America. *** This post was edited by Olsor on 8/9/2002. ***

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Friday, August 9, 2002 6:34 AM
Olsor,

According to the report that Amusement Business was running yesterday, Tim O'Brien stated that "Instead, the Shockwave coaster will be removed to make room for a new coaster in 2003."

Now, from all the press that I have heard and read, the park has not gone into this much detail. So, I guess we'll have to see what happens. I do know that last night Shockwave was closed, and I think it has been closed all this week.

--Brian

EDIT: Olsor, I guess I was to quick to comment on your post. :-) I read your edit, and saw that you read that blurb about Shockwave. Guess we'll have to see if that is true or not.
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Brian A. Plencner
E-Mail: saurses@attbi.com *** This post was edited by Brian A. Plencner on 8/9/2002. ***

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Friday, August 9, 2002 6:39 AM
You willing to part ways with that keychain Jeff?:)

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""To be the man, WOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!, You got to beat the man""!!!


*** This post was edited by Chitown on 8/9/2002. ***

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Friday, August 9, 2002 6:41 AM

Whizzer spared and Shockwave gone?

Best. News. Ever.

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Friday, August 9, 2002 7:14 AM

Besides, region 19 Ace Rep Tim Baldwin has already told us that Six Flags over Texas was fighting to try to get the ride (to replace the defunct Big Bend) when Chicago was still planning to remove it.


Hmm...interesting!

Ok, take Whizzer out and keep Shockwave (as long as Whiz comes to us).

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*** This post was edited by The Shy One on 8/9/2002. ***

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Friday, August 9, 2002 7:28 AM
Hey Chitown I have 2 extra whizzer keychains.

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"Crayons taste like purple"...Tardy

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Friday, August 9, 2002 7:36 AM

If Chitown gets one can I have the other one. I don't have the money to fly to SFGAm and the one near me was torn down before I was born. :(

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"I took the highway to the danger zone"

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Friday, August 9, 2002 7:43 AM

I just spoke with someone at the Building and Zoning Department in Gurnee. He said that there was no meeting in July and that, as of yet, Great America has not come forward with any plans for any new rides or structures.

The gentleman was quite helpful, especially since I identified myself as a village resident. (I only play one on the phone...)

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Le roi est mort. Vive le roi.
Thanks Great America!

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Friday, August 9, 2002 8:43 AM
beast7369's avatar Likely that means the new ride/structure is less than 120 feet tall.

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Whizzer tribute page http://www.crosswinds.net/~zerogthrills/sfgam/whizzer.html
Zero G Thrills http://www.crosswinds.net/~zerogthrills/

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Friday, August 9, 2002 9:16 AM
beast7369,

Just to point out, its a little more then that. I always thought it was 125 feet, but I'm thinking its 130.

If you search the Village of Gurnee Webpage, you will notice that there are no Zoning minutes for the construction of American Eagle, which tops out at 127 ' 10 " (note: the drop is 147' 10", because it dropps 20 feet into the ground).

Either that, or they let that one "slide" by at 127' 10" with a height limit of 125.

Just wanted to point out that its not 120 feet.

EDIT: I'm also on the Village of Gurnee's e-mail list for all village meetings. They send me all of the Agenda's for the different groups (Zoning Board, Village Board, etc). So, the guy is right that nothing has been submitted yet, otherwise I would have seen it come across in the Agenda's.

--Brian

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Brian A. Plencner
E-Mail: "][url="mailto:saurses@attbi.com" target="_blank">saurses@attbi.com
*** This post was edited by Brian A. Plencner on 8/9/2002. ***

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Friday, August 9, 2002 10:47 AM

The max height at the park without gaining a variance is 125 ft.

"Such structures are permitted by right up to a height of 125 feet. Those portions proposed to exceed 125 feet must follow zoning procedures for a variation including a public hearing, pursuant to the Conditional Use Permit in effect for the theme park. " http://www.gurnee.il.us/zoning_board/zba_minutes/10-25-00.html

As far as not seeing anything regarding a variance for the Eagle, you can add almost every other coaster too since there are no minutes for ANYTHING prior to November 1996.

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Le roi est mort. Vive le roi.
Thanks Great America!

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Friday, August 9, 2002 11:32 AM
I think this is a good decision (if it really wasn't a ploy, which i don't think it was). The Whizzer is a fun ride, and possibly the only coaster in the park that is family-friendly.

If they want a new ride, they could easily tear down Shockwave. The blue train is broken, and people almost got hurt on it the last time i was there. That ride is so poorly designed, it takes up a completely huge amount of space - think of what B&M could fit into that much space?

Edit: After posting this, I noticed the other news article about Shockwave being taken down in favor of the Whizzer. If you were there on 8/3, and saw what happened, you'll know why. If you weren't, I described it in my post to that news forum.

In light of this, I think the desicion to save the Whizzer was less about "public outcry," and much more about not wanting to pay to fix Shockwave. Anyways, thought I'd at an extra cent to my first two.

~me

*** This post was edited by nelson324 on 8/9/2002. ***

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