Father's Day @ SFKK....what is up with this place?

Sunday, June 16, 2002 6:25 PM
Well the day started out great with walk ons for Thunder Run and Twisted Twins. Then about 1/2 hour for T2. At that point we noticed that Chang was stopped in the middle of the ride on the brakes with no one in it. I was hoping they were just adding a train, and they were. But it took forever, then they added another one on T2. We did Blizzard River and Thunder Run again and waited in line for Chang. It was back to one train!!! What's up with that??? An hour and a half later the train was stopped on the final brake into the station and they closed the ride down and walked the people off. It didn't open for the remainder of the day. T2 at that time was also closed and running empty trains. We went back up to the front of the park and Hellavator was only running 2 seats after being shut down. What's up with this place?? I don't know anything about running these rides but wouldn't it just be easier to run 2 trains all season?? Why do all the switching and slowing things down and have to test them and all that?? Just wondering if anybody can tell me the answer to that ??
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Sunday, June 16, 2002 7:03 PM
l. The park has a history of poor management. 2. Their primary means of showing a profit is to cut expenses rather than increase attendance, so pleasing their public is not a concern. 3. They are part of a conglomerate which is paranoid about liability so reducing risk takes precedence over efficiency. 4. They have about half the resident engineers as other parks, so when something even remotely curious happens, the ride ops shut down and wait for an engineer to either wander over or drive across town. 5. The coasters you mention are unreliable anyway. SF doesn't spend the money to build a good one to begin with or go back and retrofit one after its problems are uncovered.

6. None of this is sour grapes. These are just facts. SFKK has some decent rides and is worth a day a year. Just go expecting some aggravation. Kind of like a two week beach vacation --- you have to expect a few rainy days. At SFKK, you have to expect a few administrative miscues.
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Sunday, June 16, 2002 8:34 PM

I thought it was difficult to switch trains on Vekoma SLCs. At SFMW the park one in the station and one on the lift. I have never seen them take one off.

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www.EverythingRollerCoaster.com

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Sunday, June 16, 2002 10:46 PM

Removing the trains on the SLC isn't too complicated. The train being removed is parked in the station and the other is parked in the second trim. Then they turn the transfer track, so the train in the station will go on the side. Then the motors in the station push the train backward onto the side track. Then they turn the transfer track back over and one train is ready to run.

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Monday, June 17, 2002 5:36 AM
Hey, at least there were some coasters open there. I went to SFEG yesterday and not a single coasters was open when the park opened. I had to leave after a hour and half(I have a season pass) and still no coasters were open. The weird part is they were doing "maintnance" on every single one. They had plenty of staffing so something was up.
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Monday, June 17, 2002 8:59 AM
Six Flags is exactly like that. They won't try to increase attendance by getting a new ride they'll just stop rides, but then again if they ran all 8 seats on Hellevator it wouldn't really bother it. Sorry you had a bad day man.

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Can we change the name of Top Gun to your mom so no one wants to ride your mom?

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Monday, June 17, 2002 10:06 AM

OK, but back to the question....shouldn't they have 2 trains all the time ready to go..??? It is June the busy time of year. What do other parks do?

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Monday, June 17, 2002 10:41 AM

Trekker Park said:
"l. The park has a history of poor management. 2. Their primary means of showing a profit is to cut expenses rather than increase attendance, so pleasing their public is not a concern. 3. They are part of a conglomerate which is paranoid about liability so reducing risk takes precedence over efficiency. 4. They have about half the resident engineers as other parks, so when something even remotely curious happens, the ride ops shut down and wait for an engineer to either wander over or drive across town. 5. The coasters you mention are unreliable anyway. SF doesn't spend the money to build a good one to begin with or go back and retrofit one after its problems are uncovered.

6. None of this is sour grapes. These are just facts. SFKK has some decent rides and is worth a day a year. Just go expecting some aggravation. Kind of like a two week beach vacation --- you have to expect a few rainy days. At SFKK, you have to expect a few administrative miscues."


Some of that might be facts, but a lot of it is also opinion in the guise as facts.
1. Poor management is an opinion- it happens to be one that I share with you, but it's still an opinion regardless.

2. Unless you work with the park management, you have no way of knowing this for sure. Unless you are intimately familiar with it's parks ops from the inside, you have no way of knowing this for sure. Being part of the fairgrounds, there are a lot of other limitations in place as to what they can and can not do at this facility in a huge variety of areas. And to say that pleasing the public isn't a concern is so blatantly wrong at any park it's just silly.

3. Any corporation is going to put safety first- "conglomeration" or not. To do otherwise is to invite lawsuits, injuries, and to put yourself out of business. I personally would never visit a place that didn't put safety above everything else. It's not paranoid about litigation, it's doing the right thing.

4. I can't comment on how many engineers they have, but if there is a problem with the ride than the ops should have to wait til it's checked out. Again, it's that safety thing.

5. Again, to say that the coasters are unreliable is a bit on the absurd side. May as well chalk up every coaster manufacturer while you're at it. They may have some problems, but that may be due just as much to staffing, maintance, or crowd issues as to anything else. Again, til you have experience running your own park, seems to me that you're overstepping a bit here.

Again, I won't say that SFKK is a great park. Of all the SF parks I've been to (7 by my count) it was far and away the worst of them. But then so was the crowds coming in the gate (dis here be one of dem roller coaster thingies). Not to put down the local populace, but when you look who they have to hire from, and with other large parks nearby and competing for the same employee pool, that can say a lot.

Additionally, you don't run 2 trains just because you can, or you "always should". A lot of it is based on staffing (do you have enough, and are they experienced enough, to run it safely), crowds (are the lines long enough to justify it), technical (are the computers and blocking working right, etc) and a lot more that play into that decision. Without knowing why they were shutting down rides, or what they were doing, you really have little room to complain there.

Oh, and to go off on the entire six flags chain for this, as some are doing, is also just as bad. All the chains and parks do this, and that's a fact. Please people get off the fascination of one chain is better than another and realize that so much of it is park to park issues.


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Sometimes it's up. Sometimes it's down.
But with God, life is one thrill ride that you'll never regret being on.

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Monday, June 17, 2002 3:34 PM

What does having enough staff have anything to do with running two trains? It isn't like they need double the staff, in fact, they probably don't need any more staff than it takes to run one train.

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Monday, June 17, 2002 4:24 PM
In many, I would dare say most, parks it requires an extra 1-2 people for each additional train that they operate. This is to help them load, check and dispatch trains even quicker to help avoid stacking and to have staff to monitor each train in case of an incident. It also frees up one person to be stationed at the op panel to monitor the multi-train operation, where with 1 train that isn't necessary.

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Sometimes it's up. Sometimes it's down.
But with God, life is one thrill ride that you'll never regret being on.

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