New GM for SFGAdv

Friday, September 8, 2006 11:05 PM
matt.'s avatar

DWeaver said:
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.)

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Friday, September 8, 2006 11:27 PM
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.

Chuck

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Friday, September 8, 2006 11:29 PM
matt.'s avatar Agreed, Chuck. At the end of the day all parts of the park have to work together to make it run smoothly. Blame can't be placed on a single facet of the operation because it's all interdependant.
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Saturday, September 9, 2006 12:38 AM
Both of you are so right. And just to bring it all full circle, these so-called "maintenence budgets" are directly effected by profit margins, not just for the one park in question, but the entire chain.

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.

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Saturday, September 9, 2006 2:51 AM
rollergator's avatar ^ Is "expect the 'one train' thing to continue until the parks perform better..." in any way similar to "the beatings will continue until morale improves"?

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.

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Saturday, September 9, 2006 3:49 AM
Lord Gonchar's avatar I'd kinda agree with that...kinda.

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.


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Saturday, September 9, 2006 8:24 AM
Actually no the general public sees it more then you guys think.

Example.

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.

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Saturday, September 9, 2006 10:20 AM
Most of the employees in all jobs, not just at parks, that we might consider routine and lowpaying have two basic complaints:

1) Wages

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!

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Saturday, September 9, 2006 10:25 AM
The pay at disney is not better then six flags but they make it better to work there ebcause of morale.

All Six flags has to do is not increase salary but make it fun to work there.

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Saturday, September 9, 2006 10:51 AM
Ride of Steel's avatar Fun to work there? IT IS "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.

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Sunday, September 10, 2006 4:01 PM
Robocoaster's avatar Not to get too far off subject, but while were discussing employees, and since neither of us is likely to post a TR about it, 'Gator and I did encounter some very good employees at our recent visits to SFEG. For a park with a questionable future, the work ethic and attitude of several of the troops was commendable. A shoutout to the Sidewinder crew, who were mostly jovial, as were the costumed Dynamic Duo.

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.

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Sunday, September 10, 2006 5:21 PM
rollergator's avatar ^ Edward... and Labor Day. ;)

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... ;)

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Sunday, September 10, 2006 5:38 PM
So as much as I hate to say it...if the "maintenance budget" affects what rides needs to be run, fixed, closed etc...then maybe SF should sell off a few parks in order to save the money, and make their current parks better. Once SF is better financially, then maybe look to expand. I guess all of their park purchases earlier on in SF's lifetime is not paying off. So you'll lose a few markets, but they may get back there in due time if everything is popular enough.

Haha no I'm not giving Patrick the finger

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Wednesday, September 13, 2006 11:17 AM
I'm happy to hear some nice comments about SFEG for once. About the 3 ops and a sup that have to tell everyone the ride is closed, a sign can't operate the ride when it goes up. DC and Rainbow had signs because they were closed all day. 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.

Dave Dragon, go Dave Dragon, and the Star Force Five!

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Wednesday, September 13, 2006 11:22 AM
Offering incentives for meeting or exceeding cycles jeopardizes safety.

NO PARK SHOULD DO IT. PERIOD.

Chuck, the ride op who'd be overlooking something to get his bonus.

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Wednesday, September 13, 2006 11:53 AM
rollergator's avatar

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***

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Wednesday, September 13, 2006 12:00 PM
Chuck, I wouldn't totally agree with your blanket statement.

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

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Wednesday, September 13, 2006 12:17 PM
Friday was dead, if the park was busier it would've stayed open.

Intamin requires all of those operators at the half pipe.


Dave Dragon, go Dave Dragon, and the Star Force Five!

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