New GM for SFGAdv

Friday, September 8, 2006 3:37 PM
Well I know for one thing, When I worked at PKI in 86. If I would have shown a CRAPPY attitude, I'da been out the door.

Thats top down, not the other way around my friend and training. Something many parks like disney and such are very good at.

If the top don't put up with it. It doesn't happen much.

Or why even have a top? Let em do what they want how they want and when they want to do it?

Chuck, who knows the indians run place, The Chiefs decide how it's run.

Friday, September 8, 2006 3:42 PM
Lord Gonchar's avatar 1. It's not as easy to just fire someone as it used to be. Sadly, it's rather difficult these days unless you like dealing with lawsuits.

2. There's not exactly a line of people waiting to take basic, suck-ass, minimum wage amusement park positions.

Sometimes you have to play what you're dealt. I'd guess that's the case more often than not.

It doesn't matter how you approach things - if you're in the wrong situation to begin with, you can't make people care.

I'll believe that to the end, because I see and hear it almost daily in practice.

Friday, September 8, 2006 3:48 PM
^ Good point. You're right, though. You can't make people care, and the pickins' sometimes aren't the best out there.

Heck, SFGAdv is already short on staff at times, and if they fire some of who they actually have, that just leaves them even worse off.

It's a shame, really. People these days just don't take pride in their jobs like some people did in the past. And people are so focused on themselves nowadays that they don't seem to care about others as much all the time.

coastin' since 1985

Friday, September 8, 2006 3:49 PM
Lord Gonchar's avatar Now that's a post I can agree with 100%, Rablat. :)
Friday, September 8, 2006 4:27 PM
rollergator's avatar

Lord Gonchar said:Crappy attitudes? I say bottom up. (in many cases)

Hmmmm, we *may* have to agree to disagree on this one, Gonch....not necessarily though... ;)

Employees that are treated like they're important, and are truly *heard*, even when paid what I call *ridiculously low wages*, TEND to care more about the jobs they do...those that are considered expendable, and are treated as such, TEND to think of their jobs as a time-clock/paycheck situation...

CERTAINLY this is not true everywhere in all cases, but hey, I'm an economist, I look at the margins... :)

Friday, September 8, 2006 4:33 PM
Thanks, Gonch :)

Gator, you do have a good point, though. It's true that you can't make people care, but the way workers are treated can have a bearing on their attitude as a response.

I get annoyed with upper management sometimes because they don't always seem to understand the ins and outs of what they're making decisions about. If upper management ask for and valued the opinions of those "in the trenches" more often, that can help increase the self-worth of the so-called peons.

coastin' since 1985

Friday, September 8, 2006 4:34 PM
Lord Gonchar's avatar Yes, those are tendencies, not absolutes.

I think the 'bottom up' thing explains many of the inconsistencies of the chain. If it were truly a 'top down' scenario, then would they all suck - and we know that most suck, but not all (Chicago, Texas, Atlanta)

Friday, September 8, 2006 4:44 PM
^ Good point, Gonch. But also, top down could have something to do with it, as well, because each of those parks have different GMs, and therefore, they could be doing a better job than certain other GMs at other parks.

But then again, SFGAm's GM jumped ship from SFGAdv this season, so maybe my theory isn't always applicable :)

From personal experience, SFGAdv and SFMM employees overall are not very impressive. We also know that these 2 parks definitely need some work. However, the SFGAm emplyees weren't very impressive, either. But we know that, overall, that park is run better. What exactly is the difference? (this isn't rhetorical; it's open for answers)

coastin' since 1985

Friday, September 8, 2006 4:51 PM
rollergator's avatar SFGAm's employees sure impressed me. Maybe not as friendly as say, the Mouse House, but hey, hitting intervals for dispatch, being efficient, as far as I'm concerned, that's something I like, alot....

If SFMM and SFGAdv could pull just that much off, it would be quite a feat indeed!

The only park in the entire chain I would describe as "downright FRIENDLY" - SFFT.
I wanna go back there...even though the rides were nothing spectacular save for S:KC and the flume, the place had an atmosphere you just don't find at SF parks...

*** Edited 9/8/2006 8:51:44 PM UTC by rollergator***

Friday, September 8, 2006 5:00 PM
Lord Gonchar's avatar Yes, Rablat, but GM's aren't the top. The suits in the main office are. So even if it is on the GM level it's running bottom up.

Not making people change or care applies from the 'titled' folks at HQ to the middle management GM's as well.

But that's where it probably does get more into corporate culture than enviroment. Burke & Co's crap definitely ran downhill and shaking up management is probably a decent idea.

As far as this lateral move by Mark Kane, who knows? What did SFNE seem like this year?

Friday, September 8, 2006 5:15 PM
Fiesta Texas is such a nice park, it almost shouldn't be a Six Flags park. It seems the original culture of this park may have hung on pretty well, considering it was under TW's umbrella, then the awful one of Burke & Co.

Gonch, let's see how long this guy lasts at SFGAdv, considering the former GM came from SFGAm--a so-called good big park--and then jumped ship mid-season or so :)

*** Edited 9/8/2006 9:16:27 PM UTC by rablat5***

coastin' since 1985

Friday, September 8, 2006 5:19 PM
matt.'s avatar

Lord Gonchar said:
As far as this lateral move by Mark Kane, who knows? What did SFNE seem like this year?

Pretty frickin' good. Rides have been running more or less at capacity and the layout changes in the north end of the park have been a VAST improvement over what was once there.

Those changes haven't been discussed here very much because changing the configurations of entrances and exits isn't very sexy but seriously, when was the last time a SF park dropped that kind of cash and time to simply *improve* the traffic flow in the park? The park obviously still has some issues but it's been moving in some of the right directions every single year since it was branded.

Not sure how much of that if any could be contributed to the GM's the park has had but it's only a matter of time before SFNE gets mentioned with parks like SFGAm all the time.

Friday, September 8, 2006 5:23 PM
^ Wish SFA would invest in park layout improvements. Nice that SFNE made these small but useful improvements.

coastin' since 1985

Friday, September 8, 2006 5:49 PM
How many of you have been the GM of a large park? I know Mark K quite well and he is just what that mess in NJ needs. SFNE is my home park and it is definitely the best run SF I have been too. This season every ride has been open except for maintenance issues and the only coaster that ran 1 train was Cyclone which doesn't get a long line anyway. I talked to him last week about going to Gradv and he said he can only do what Corp. will allow him to. Next season is going to tell how Committed SFI is to becoming successful and fullfill all the promices that were made when new management took over. He will be missed at SFNE but Gradv is getting a great GM
Friday, September 8, 2006 6:03 PM
Lord Gonchar's avatar Well, there we go. Two resounding positive reviews of this man's work.

Maybe Shaprio and friends aren't as dumb as some of us think. ;)

Gonch, let's see how long this guy lasts at SFGAdv, considering the former GM came from SFGAm--a so-called good big park--and then jumped ship mid-season or so

Further proof that it might just be more than who's running the show that's at play here.

All I know is that you couldn't pay me enough to walk into Jersey and try to fix things. :)

Friday, September 8, 2006 6:12 PM
matt.'s avatar

Lord Gonchar said:
Well, there we go. Two resounding positive reviews of this man's work.

Well, let's not get ahead of ourselves here. I have some good things to say about the park but like I said before - I really have no idea how much of those good things to attribute to one guy.

I honestly have no idea what the average day of a GM is like, and how much influence they really have on certain aspects of their park. I was actually going to make a thread asking questions about that - "What exactly do GM's do?" because honestly, I really don't know.

I suspect we as enthusiasts give these guy's (and gals? ever?) a little to much credit when it comes to their overall power over their facilities but then again, like I said before - I really don't know.

Friday, September 8, 2006 7:20 PM
You have to take into consideration that this New Manager has worked at great adventure before.
Friday, September 8, 2006 7:33 PM
Well if you can't get the quality people you want due to pay, then pay more!

PKI is far above minnimum wage in almost every dept for that reason alone.

Matter of fact, some fast food joints around here are in the 10-12 dollar range.

And they don't have to raise prices to cover it. Their profits are already a thousand percent to begin with.


Friday, September 8, 2006 10:48 PM
I sat down with Mark on Laborday to get some questions answered from and heres the link:

I can tell you he looks out after the park on a daily basis and works like 16hr days, but like any big business Corp heads have the final say on all projects or improvements to the park. When we were discussing Gradv. he said the major problem was employees. It takes 2500 to run SFNE and 5000 for gadv. If the Mcdonalds down the street is paying more than SF than its hard to get enough help to make it through the season.

Friday, September 8, 2006 11:02 PM
Just a side note. As unbelivable as this may sound, the GM has very little to NO say how many trains run on a particular coaster on a given day. Heck, SFMM's GM has made less visits to SFMM this year than Mark Shapiro.

I'd even go so far as to say that SF GMs have absolutely nothing to do with daily operations. There are *plenty* of people under him who handle (or mishandle) those things.

Gonch is right, it really is a *bottom up* issue.


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