the GM has very little to NO say how many trains run on a particular coaster on a given day.
I'll add to this that while I still don't really know much about what a GM actually does, the parks' mantinence crew makes an awful lot of the decisions about this sort of thing.
And truth be told as good as some of those guys are with fixing rides, they don't know anything about running parks, so it's quite a shame that in some cases so much decision power is left up to them (except you know...in the case of safety issues and whatnot.)
Truer words haven't been spoken.
But get this? The GM says this is your maintanence budget for the year. The head of maintanence has to make that money last all season and chooses to run less trains and defer some maintence. Heck if it went to shallow on the budget, It might even mean CLOSED RIDES.
IMO, the GM gets too much credit when their park succeeds, and far too much blame when things suck. Most daily parks problems never make to the GM's ears. They are handled by keys positions several rungs lower than the big guy. At least that's how the former regime dealt with things. One of the things Mr. Shapiro changed this year was to make GMs more responsible for their park's performance, which is why I suspect that several GMs will be out of a job by year's end.
Expect the "one train" thing to continue until the parks perform better and several under-performing parks are dumped.
Sure seems like parallel logic to me...sometimes I think the word "capacity" is thought of as a concept foreign to non-enthusiasts...the *word* might be, the idea, however, is NOT.
The concept is certainly there - it's called, "This park has long lines"
Whether or not it is totally understood that a coaster is not running to capacity...well, I'd bet it's missed more often that caught.
I'd bet just as many GP-type people think the park is 'always crowded' as enthusiasts who complain of SF's poor operations and reduced capacity.
One day I was waiting in the station for Nitro at Great Adventure. They had two trains running.As you know the storage shed for the trains is in plain view and you could see the third train sitting there.
THis day there were long lines on nitro. Every other person was making comments as to why that third train was not being used.
2) Working Conditions
Here's a relatively easy solution. For Wages. Instead of incresing them...offer incentives for crews who meet or exceed thier cycles. Those who work hard will contiue to, those who won't will either have motivation to do better or to leave. Since more money can be made it will (over time) attract a better quality of employee to the park.
Other parks (I don't know if 6 Flags does this) have off hours entertainment for the staff from time to time. (Private Riding Times, meet and greets with concert headliners that stop by to perform, picnics, bar-b-cues, etc) These things help morale.
The bottom line is that everyone wins:
1) The customers get better ops.
2) The management gets happier employees and less hassles at guest relations
3) Workers are paid what they are worth
You don't have to be a Harvard Grad to figure out that any employee will be valued if he or she makes his or her boss "look good."
Here's To Shorter Lines & Longer Trip Reports!
All Six flags has to do is not increase salary but make it fun to work there.
I can't think of many amusement park jobs where you are allowed to listen to your ipod or read a book as you check restraints.
The op on Hollywood and Vine Monday Memorial Day deserves a HUGE raise. Running by himself what really should be at least a 2-person operation (mostly because each car has a ridiculous amount of safety devices that need manually opening), he busted his ass to have his ride run at maximum capacity. Hats off to the guy. He really needs to be over at the Half-Pipe, where it takes no less than 3 employees and 1 supervisor to inform the public that the ride will not open that day, becuase, you know, a sign stating as much is not efficient. Talk about a waste of money!
They Live. We Sleep.
If I had a business in Denver, that guy wouldn't have been working for SF salary another day. Every year I run across some park employees that I remember forever - in the good way.
Gina from SFFT won some accolades.
Amber from Idlewild...oops, wait for the TR (I know that one's late, LOL).
And yes, Edward was a one-man-gang running a Huss Breakdance with *added* side-panels that serve no purpose and can ONLY be locked by the op. BOTH sides. Sixteen cars. Operating the ride, checking and locking, running the ride, and counting people onto the ride thru the turnstile. And smiling. Phenomenal.
TFC and Halfpipe were both *overstaffed*, and Edward, alone, was matching their capacity. Probably beating them, when taken as a percentage of max thoughput. THESE are the employees that should be Team Leads/Trainers/Supervisors. And paid like it...or they go to better-paying jobs... ;)
Haha no I'm not giving Patrick the finger
Dave Dragon, go Dave Dragon, and the Star Force Five!
NO PARK SHOULD DO IT. PERIOD.
Chuck, the ride op who'd be overlooking something to get his bonus.
J. said:And for those stupid doors on H&V, they totally suck. But they can't ONLY be locked by the operator unless the operator pulls the latch all the way up. If the latch is down then a lot of the doors can actually close when the rider tries to close them.
Interesting...I hadn't seen anyone in the preceding three cycles lock those dorrs themselves, kinda figured Edward had to do that...oh, and he had to unlock them when he unlocked the OTSR-style bars at the end of the cycle. Edward, you ROCKED dude...I hope you get a better job when SFEG goes away... :)
P.S. I didn't see what was going on at Half-pipe Friday (although it remained closed from what we heard). My flight got in too late to get to SFEG that day, park closed early when it started (gasp!) raining...LOL!
But inefficient staffing is a company-wide issue. Some rides *require* multiple ops...like H&V does. Too many ops crowding the platform on a ride like Half-Pipe (when it WAS open, Sunday night), makes for great discussions about what everyone is doing after work...but makes for horrendous dispatch times. Socialize AFTER the park closes... ;)
*** Edited 9/13/2006 3:57:25 PM UTC by rollergator***
Rides are designed to run at a certain capacity. It may only jeopardize safety if it isn't being run with the minimum amount of employees. Also, if you have more than one employee, one of them may notice something that the other one doesn't, and therefore, increases the safetly potential.
Now, with Six Flags staffing of some of their rides, yes, it could be less safe to have 1 person run a 2-person flat ride and still try to hit capacity. In his/her haste, something could be overlooked.
coastin' since 1985
Intamin requires all of those operators at the half pipe.
Dave Dragon, go Dave Dragon, and the Star Force Five!
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