Falfas happy to return to Cedar Fair

Posted Monday, April 25, 2005 11:53 AM | Contributed by Gemini

Jack Falfas, new Chief Operating Officer for Cedar Fair, L.P., is happy to be back in Sandusky with his mentor, Dick Kinzel.

Read more from The Sandusky Register via PointBuzz.

Link: PointBuzz

Monday, April 25, 2005 12:49 PM
I'm glad he likes Cedar Point so much. He did enough damage to Knott's Berry Farm.
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Monday, April 25, 2005 1:28 PM
If he's so terrible, then why would they bring him back to CP? Please enlighten me because I don't know the guy or what he has done.
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Monday, April 25, 2005 1:37 PM
Hmmm....Well since he got to Knott's....you have gotten at least 2 new coasters. I guess other than Dinosaurs being gone I really dont know what else Cedar Fair has ruined.
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Monday, April 25, 2005 1:41 PM
Jack F. will be Kinzels replacement in 2007... just you watch!
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Monday, April 25, 2005 1:43 PM
Damage to Knott's? What are you smoking?

A couple of friends worked with Falfas back in the day at Cedar Point and are excited that he's taking the role that he is. They describe him as an industry guy that really gets it.

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Monday, April 25, 2005 2:29 PM
Aside from being obviously colorblind (:)), it seems to me he's done good things for Knott's.

-Nate

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Monday, April 25, 2005 7:20 PM
There has been a lot of damage to Knott's. It's lost a lot of it's charm. But the sad fact is that probably would have happened under anyone's leadership. Even with the Knott family themselves, who probably would have gone under by now. And surely any other corperation would have made things even worse. So I can't fault Jack for too much. I think he did the best he could.

I do think little things like the Birdcage theatre and it's calliope could have been kept going though. And then there were the numerous statements Jack made over the years that never happened. "We'll bring back the little devil and volcano, we're just moving the missions, we'll bring them back" etc. I'm not sure why none of these things ever came to pass that he said would.


*** This post was edited by Coasterbuf 4/25/2005 7:24:03 PM ***

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Monday, April 25, 2005 9:15 PM

Damage to Knott's? What are you smoking?

A couple of friends worked with Falfas back in the day at Cedar Point and are excited that he's taking the role that he is. They describe him as an industry guy that really gets it.


He did exactly what he is trained to do, make the park feel like Cedar Point. The problem is, you can't run a theme park like an amusement park. Guests used to not go to Knott's Berry Farm just for the rides. It used to be about the experience. The stories told by the people working in Ghost Town, the fried chicken and boysenberry punch, the friendly employees (friendliest place in the west) and the great shows were just some of the elements that made the atmosphere at Knott's Berry Farm. Most importantly, the park was a place that the entire family could visit and experience together. Now, I can find better employees at your stereotypical Six Flags park. Many of the classic shows are now a thing of the past. As far as theming and charm goes, I realize that Ghost Town was falling apart and things needed to be done. Falfas and Cedar Fair took the wrong approach in what they should have done. Walter Knott purchased most of Ghost Town's buildings from old ghost towns of the past. Cedar Fair could have purchased more buildings in the traditional Walter Knott fashion or rehabbed the current buildings to bring them up the standards. They could have also incorporated modern family rides into Ghost Town to preserve the charm and keep Knott's the family park it used to be. A western themed Sally Rides Ghost Basters ride could fit perfectly in the outskirts of Ghost Town without ruining the atmosphere at all. Instead, Cedar Fair decides to add a pay per ride attraction and a modern steel coaster with little theming. Knott's is now a thrill park, not the historic family theme park it used to be. Fewer and fewer families are visiting the park and enjoying the day together. It is now a teenage paradise with slow moving lines and problem guests.

...and to think Paramount and even Six Flags have realized that families bring in more money and cause less problems that teenagers but Cedar Fair is still stuck with the mentality that only extreme thrill rides attract guests.

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Monday, April 25, 2005 9:26 PM
Jack is a great guy who did a wonderful job with Knotts. I can't recall a visit that I didn't see him walking the park, talking to guests, picking up trash...he was very nice and very approachable. Boardwalk section aside [and that are was problematic before CF bought the park] there is still plenty of charm at Knotts. Like Disney, the park was never meant to be a museum. Change is inevitable and I have no complaints with that happened at Knotts.

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Monday, April 25, 2005 10:32 PM
That's an interesting analogy regarding Disney. I know the Disney folks have the same feelings when something is removed or replaced. I don't know enough about Knott's to have an opinion, but from reading Internet posts around the time it was purchase, it was certainly not on the upswing the way it was described.

Change and progress can be violent processes, but without them, stagnant businesses disappear. Think about that next time your favorite local park closes or a classic ride gets torn down.

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Tuesday, April 26, 2005 12:48 AM

coasterdude318 said: Aside from being obviously colorblind ()

Nope that honor went to Daniel Keller - did you see the color combination he picked out for Boomerang when he ran Worlds of Fun? http://www.midwestinfoguide.com/worlds/042005/4.jpg

-D

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Tuesday, April 26, 2005 8:26 AM
Remember, it was CF that literally ripped out Windjammer. I don't hear too many people complaining about that change :)
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Tuesday, April 26, 2005 1:44 PM
As far as planning and color schemes I think you guys place to puch on the guy running the park, and its not his department, that would fall under Rob Decker who is in charge of P&D for the whole entire of Cedar Fair
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Tuesday, April 26, 2005 2:15 PM
Whats' wrong with Boomerang's colors? Its in the Africa section, correct? IMHO earthy and sunnycolor tones are a perfect thematic match.
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Tuesday, April 26, 2005 2:34 PM
^The track and supports are okay, but then they added a pink train, and pink and green stripes on the station cover. There are too many colors that don't go together.
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Tuesday, April 26, 2005 2:57 PM

Mathew said:
Now, I can find better employees at your stereotypical Six Flags park.

I have to agree. I know a lot of people like Falfas, and I like the fact that he is a very visible GM and seems friendly. But operationally, Knott's is a mess. Ride dispatches/cycles are abysmal, and the employees are not very friendly. I realize there may be a separate operations manger, but the GM oversees that person, and ultimately the responsibility for a positive overall guest experience falls to the GM. I honestly don't think he has done a very good job as GM. I find it ironic that he used to be the VP of operations for CP when it was probably at its pinnacle of efficiency.

Fortunately I do think he will be good in this new position.

*** This post was edited by Jeffrey Seifert 4/26/2005 3:04:28 PM ***

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Tuesday, April 26, 2005 3:44 PM
Where are all these unfriendly Knotts employees some people are encountering? I go to the park almost monthly and I've never had the displeasure of interacting with them.

You want surly? Try SFMM!

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Tuesday, April 26, 2005 4:31 PM
On my most recent visit I didn't think the ride attendants on GhostRider were very friendly. I also encountered an employee at one of the gift shops who was obviously bothered by the fact that I wanted to buy something. One attendant at Revolucion stood in the middle of ride after we were all seated. He didn't appear to be looking for anything he just stood there--waiting. Finally we were able to pull down the lapbars (or maybe they came down automatically), and then he started checking them. But what was he standing there for? Why does it take ten minutes between ride cycles?

'Zooma wasn't a whole lot better. The employees spent most of their time chatting with each other or disappearing altogether. When they finally did check the lap bars it was like watching a herd of turtles. Dispatches were in the 8 to 9 minute range.

Perhaps they weren't necessarily unfriendly, but they were very indifferent.

I should add, this was one of the better visits I had in long time. Quite a few things seem to have improved since my previous visits.

*** This post was edited by Jeffrey Seifert 4/26/2005 5:49:43 PM ***

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Wednesday, April 27, 2005 10:17 AM
It is true. I haven't noticed anyone not being friendly, but the operations over the years have become inefficent. And it's not all due to seatbelts. On certain newer rides like Silver Bullet, they are very efficent. But on other rides they act like it's a sleepy little park in the middle of nowhere, even on a busy day. Wasn't always like that.
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