Is discounting good or bad for SFGAM and the custo

Wednesday, August 20, 2003 7:43 PM
I went to the park on 8/19/03 and the park was jammed up with people big time, i have never seen a weekday this busy.
With the large crowds at the gate by 900am(cars were already backing up on grand ave. shortly after 910am) it made no sense not to run RB with 3 trains from the get go!!! This day they added the 3rd train at 12:15pm and the line was already over a hour!!!
As for ride operations there were way too many rides not operating, rides not working were the green lawn ornament,Ice Water Splash,Antique cars,hometown fun machine,carosuel by AE and the train. Also not running or down for extended periods were the Space Shuttle,Sky Tower.
This did lead to awful waits for most rides with alot of grumbling in the lines from customers who commented among themselves that with the park this busy it wasnt worth it even with the discounts offered.
With these observations firsthand and having read alot of trip reports from people who have also stated the park has been jammed is the discounts SFGAM offering going to be long term positive or negative.
Its good for the park to get increased attendance/revenue but in the long run will it benefit them if people come to the park as part of the ongoing promotions and have a negative experience so they wont want to come back or leave as a not very happy customer due to park operations??
What are your thoughts on this??
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Thursday, August 21, 2003 7:01 AM
Bob O - I posed the same question in one of the trip reports from this past weekend. I couldn't believe that traffic was backing up onto Grand Ave. at 9:30 am on a Sunday... it's even more unbelievable that it could be worse on a weekday.

I guess it all depends what SF's strategy is. Perhaps they're trying to boost attendance numbers late in the season to encourage investors, especially in light of their stock downgrading. Or maybe they're just trying to generate as much revenue as possible before the end of the year. In any case, I think the enormous crowds can definitely have a negative impact for the future.

Season pass holders (like me) are still going to visit the park, but they might only attend the park for very late hours, or restrict their visits to very early, or very late in the season. When I was there Sunday, the park was still packed to the gills at 6 pm.

Once-a-year visitors might be more affected, though. If the one time you make it out to the park during the year is so crowded that you barely manage to ride anything, as I did Sunday, you might not think it's worth the cost, however discounted it is.

I think people expect long lines and crowds at places like WDW, and not at their "backyard" regional amusement parks.

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Come on fhqwhgads!

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Thursday, August 21, 2003 10:58 AM
I think people expect long lines at their local six flags, but it's the times that those lines aren't around that make the guests want to come back. Heck, when I take friends early season or weekdays (or both) and there're 20 minute lines for Nitro (which is long to, having been there when it's a walk on many times) they all can't believe how short the lines are.

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Be polite and ignore the idiots. - rollergator
"It's not a Toomer" - Arnold Schwartzenkoph
"Those who know don't talk and those who talk don't know." -Jeff

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Thursday, August 21, 2003 11:16 AM
I think people expect big lines on weekends when everything is busy. I dont think people expect every coaster in the park top have at least a 1 hour wait on week days or for it to take 1/2 to a hour to park your car and then get thru a check point. I just know from my experience that i didnt expect the lines to be that long on a week day or for that many different rides to be down.
If the park is that busy or so many rides arent working they should consider staying open a hour or two longer as 800pm is early too close this time of the year IMHO.
My son stayed past closing by getting into the line for Superman shortly before 800 pm and it still took a hour too get out of the park due to traffic problems.
Its just seems to me that if you are getting alot of people into the park due to this promotion its not a postive if they leave with negative thoughts due to crowds/traffic control/ride operations etc. During a promo you shopuld put your best foot forward so people leave happy and wanting to come back again for more fun.
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Thursday, August 21, 2003 5:27 PM
I was also there on the 19th. You also have to remember besides the 2 for 1 tickets, the 19-21 were also bring a friend for free with a season pass. Like we've said before Six Flags is trying to boost attendance and SFGAm being one of top three, they are going to market them the most with discounted oppurtunites.

But I wouldn't say the people who were there on the 19th really had a bad experience besides the traffic. Also people coming on Grand Ave have to realize there is 2 lanes because everytime I've gone when its backed up everyone is sticking to the left lane and what do we do. Well we pass them by and get straight into Great America drive to park.

Lines on the 19th, eventhough it was crowded, weren't even that bad besides RB, S:UF, and V2. Seriously every other coaster was 30 mins or less.

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Friday, August 22, 2003 10:16 AM
Being a season pass holder i wasnt upset about the crowds because i come to the park often so i can just go with the flow and come back on a slower day and get more rides in. But every coaster that i saw, even Demon had at least a 45 minute wait and even alot of flats had half hour waits and since i did little riding after 100pm i could take the time to listen to peole and heard many say that the park was way too busy and not worth coming back too if all they are going to do is stand in line.
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Friday, August 22, 2003 12:57 PM
You also have to remember that for once this year, the weather actually co-operated. Even if they weren't doing discounts up the wazoo, the park would probably been more crowded than normal with this stretch of nice weather we ran into.
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Friday, August 22, 2003 8:43 PM
I went to the park for the first time ever on wensday and thrsday, and I was dissapointed at a few things.

1) The amount of rides that were closed and /or only open on weekends.

2)thrsday had to be near 100 degrees out, and they never did open the one water ride.

3)the slow ride ops(on most rides, not all)

4)the high prices in the park....I spent $7 on two cokes

5)the gift shops at the front gate of the park closing at 8:05 when the park was nearly full still.

6)the lack of communication(stood in line for imax for 45 min, and no one came and told us it was down.

7)as full as the park was, they dident stay open later than 8pm

A couple of other things I did notice....they REALLY need air in the stairwell for batman, and why did they open up with only two trains on raging bull when its the second most popular ride in the park? They finally decided to add the 3rd train at about 12:30-1:00 after the q was full.

All in all I had a good time on all the coasters(except deja vue) but left with a sour taste in my mouth about a few things.

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Friday, August 22, 2003 9:38 PM

crazy horse said:
I went to the park for the first time ever on wensday and thrsday, and I was dissapointed at a few things.

1) The amount of rides that were closed and /or only open on weekends.

Its a staffing issue. Alot of employees have left to return to college.

2)thrsday had to be near 100 degrees out, and they never did open the one water ride.

Once again, a staffing issue.

3)the slow ride ops(on most rides, not all)

Maybe the heat was getting to some of them. Usually the ride-ops are pretty efficient at this park.

4)the high prices in the park....I spent $7 on two cokes

Its a corporate run park. What did you expect?

5)the gift shops at the front gate of the park closing at 8:05 when the park was nearly full still.

Can't explain this one. The park closed at 8 but usually they keep the front gate shops open until the guests have left.

6)the lack of communication(stood in line for imax for 45 min, and no one came and told us it was down.

Imax went down? Never seen that before.

7)as full as the park was, they dident stay open later than 8pm

It was the set time to close and people in the park should have known that. They dont operate past the scheduled closing.

A couple of other things I did notice....they REALLY need air in the stairwell for batman, and why did they open up with only two trains on raging bull when its the second most popular ride in the park? They finally decided to add the 3rd train at about 12:30-1:00 after the q was full.

For some reason , the air hasn't been working in the batcave. In the past , it has worked and actually blows pretty cold. RB is usually always like this with 2 trains from the start and later deciding to add a 3rd based on attendance. Can't explain it but that is their procedure.

All in all I had a good time on all the coasters(except deja vue) but left with a sour taste in my mouth about a few things.

I have yet to find a park that was perfect. This is no exception.


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Arena football has arrived in the Windy City. Go "Chicago Rush"

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Saturday, August 23, 2003 10:18 AM
Chi-town- I know you have been to SFGAM often during frightfest as i know i have and i found more rides down the last time i visited than during frightfest and have read alot of reports where rides have been down so i think it may be more than just a shortage of employee's, which also can be dealt with by paying overtime as the park will now only be operating on weekends(which in of itself is hard to believe).( I dont understand the park not being open everyday till Labor day, escpecially when they have been as busy as they were this week from all reports i have seen/heard of)
As for operating hours, that can be changed by the park if they chose to do so and i have been to parks where they did extend their hours and added extra parades due to attendance.
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Saturday, August 23, 2003 11:10 AM

crazy horse said:


...and why did they open up with only two trains on raging bull when its the second most popular ride in the park? They finally decided to add the 3rd train at about 12:30-1:00 after the q was full.


This has been discussed on here a bunch, I believe it is also a staffing issue. They need more people to shuffle the trains out faster for 3 opperation rather than the standard 2.

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