Premier Parks

Thursday, March 23, 2000 11:04 PM
I just want to know the overall feeling of Premier Parks in general. Lets see if this topic can be fullfilled without Cedar Point being involved at all. Jeff and myself have made this comment on other posts to not include CP on discussions not related to CP. *** This post was edited by Chitown on 3/24/2000. ***
Friday, March 24, 2000 4:48 AM
I basically like Premier Parks. They build some great rides. Unfortunately, their staffing isn't as friendly or interested in their jobs as I'd like, and their maintenance tends to be a bit lax. I don't know if this applies to ALL of their parks (and I certainly hope it doesn't happen at Six Flags Ohio), but that's the impression I've come away with...

Abandon all hope, all ye who...oops, too late. Bye!
Friday, March 24, 2000 6:01 AM
As I've said before, they build quality rides, but need to find a balance between development and operations. The focus is too much on building and the act of maintaining the parks and customer service levels is sorely lacking. They need to take a hard look at the way they operate rides and concessions.

I won't bring it up by name, but a certain other chain jumps all over the employees when capacity drops by 50 people per hour. That must be the case for Premier if they're to uphold the branding image they're after.

Webmaster/Admin -
Saturday, March 25, 2000 3:32 AM
I've been to like 5 of the SixFlags Parks, and I feel they have many things in common. I think that their coasters always seem shorter than in other parks (not to mention any names). I also feel their parks could be much cleaner, and the service is mediocre. I also think their prices for admission is way to high for what you receive. An example of that is SFGadv. it cost around 45$ to get in, but that price doesn't include the entrance to Hurrican Harbor!! To get into both of the parks it's over 60$!!! But I think SF would be a really good chain, if they just maintain their parks.
Saturday, March 25, 2000 12:36 PM
Hold your horses, gentleman, let's not beat up on Premier so harshly. As a devoted employee to Six Flags Ohio you have NO IDEA what the change was from Funtime Inc. to Premier around 4 years ago. The changes have been significant and the attendance and revenue shows. Premier has WAY more employees know who....and can't afford the luxuries other select chains do.

By the way, Six Flags Ohio is the contradiction to all your pecimistic Premier thoughts. Im not being partial, I can already tell that management is thinking things out much clearer.

Saturday, March 25, 2000 4:12 PM
I hope you're right given the improvements this year. The park formerly known as Geauga Lake even under the Premier reign has been less than stellar. I used to have a long review posted on Guide to The Point about the things I saw in one day at the park in '98, and it was not a good experience. Darien Lake was better on my two visits there this year, but the indifference to ride capacity still irritates me in a big way.

As far as "luxuries," I'm not sure what that's supposed to mean. Safety and efficiency are not a matter of expense, they're a matter of doing business and staying competitive in a market full of choices.

It has been awhile since I've been to other Premier properties outside of SFO and SFDL, but between the two I think they need to focus on these areas:

1) Ride capacity. This means banging people on and off the trains quickly, and checking the restraints for real. People being ejected from the train (see SFDL's Superman) shouldn't happen. Train stacking shouldn't happen either if the crews are on the ball.

2) Park cleanliness. They sure do know how to landscape, but midways and queues full of debris blowing around in the breeze is just nasty.

3) Better safety practices. Unrestricted access to platforms is a bad thing. People get pushed in the way of trains (see: Big Dipper) and there's more opportunity for vandalism and line jumping.

4) Better employee training. At the media event last Thursday one of my fellow enthusiasts was telling me about the Mind Eraser ride op who would check restraints then curl up in the corner for a 90 second nap. I witnessed the same thing the year before on Raging Wolf Kabobs. That's unprofessional and I don't trust my life with an idiot like that. That's even more true with the Serial Earkiller op who left the controls to chase out a line jumper and then flipped him off in front of a group of 11 year-old school kids. Nice.

Like I said, I hope they do get it t最攀琀栀攀爀Ⰰ 戀攀挀愀甀猀攀 琀栀攀爀攀 愀爀攀 琀眀漀 漀琀栀攀爀 搀攀猀琀椀渀愀琀椀漀渀猀 爀椀最栀琀 栀攀爀攀 椀渀 伀栀椀漀 琀栀愀琀 愀氀猀漀 栀愀瘀攀 眀漀爀氀搀ⴀ挀氀愀猀猀 爀椀搀攀猀⸀㰀戀爀㸀਀㰀戀爀㸀਀ⴀⴀⴀⴀⴀⴀⴀⴀⴀⴀⴀⴀⴀ㰀戀爀㸀਀䨀攀昀昀㰀戀爀㸀਀圀攀戀洀愀猀琀攀爀⼀䄀搀洀椀渀 ⴀ 䌀漀愀猀琀攀爀䈀甀稀稀⸀挀漀洀
Saturday, March 25, 2000 4:56 PM
Wait, why do some people feel that SFO will be so much different than GL? It's still owned and operated by Premier!! The only difference is that Premier is adding some coasters, some new buildings, and a new main entrance. I am certain that the park will be better as in rides, but will STILL lack the quality, and maintenance as the other SF's I've been too.
Saturday, March 25, 2000 9:13 PM
Jeff, as far as moving the people on and off the trains quicker to get the lines moving, what does (the other chain) do to effectively keep the que lines moving quick and also keep it safe at the same time? I mean if someone finishes a ride and takes there sweet time getting out of the train would an employee yell at them to hurry up? What is the correct formula to do this? Checking harnesses and lap bars effectively would also eat up more time.
Saturday, March 25, 2000 9:17 PM
Andy , I am just curious, in your track record you dont show any coasters from Premier parks. Are you sure you have been to some of them in order to judge this?
Sunday, March 26, 2000 3:14 AM
Chitown, Yes I have been to 5 Premier Parks and I've just simply stopped adding the coasters to by list. I just don't see the need to do so.

Andy/just a coaster enthusiast
MF opens in 47 days!!!!
Sunday, March 26, 2000 5:56 AM
The formula for moving trains is simple: hustle! Most coasters seem to have a dispatch interval between 50 and 75 seconds, which is plenty of time. People generally can't wait to get it in, and are often on the heals of the people getting out. Restraint checks are fastest when you have two or more people on each side, and all they have to do is move quickly.

What not to do is stand around, flirt, curl up in the corner for naps and generally be indifferent to doing your job. On closing day at SFDL, they were running one train on Superman and would take as long as two minutes to dispatch the train. I watched as the whole train was ready to go while the ride ops stood around and flirted with people in line. You shouldn't have to wait nearly an hour on a slow day for a ride.

Webmaster/Admin -
Sunday, March 26, 2000 9:07 PM
I too am a GLP (now SFO) employee. FIve years now. It was my second year (i think) that the park was bought by Premier. THe change was impressive for sure, but in economic times like these a park cannot expect to pay "team members" what the park pays them and expect to get older (more responsible) kids. Part of the reason i stuck around was because i just loved being in an amusement park every summer. Also the people who stick around summer after summer are great to work with.

But as far as the expansions over the past years. I think the need of the non-ride atractions and stands have been grossly overlooked. Many of the food stands just need to be torn down. The old arcade was just about to fall down around the games. And don't even ask the average guest about the bathrooms in Aug. (although that is a problem in many places, even "the other place").

And even Premier rides aren't as good as others in my opinion. Like at SFO. THe first full year they put in the Boomerang (Mind Eraser) and the white water rafting ride. Personally i think clones and off-the-shelf rides are not worth the money. and the themeing of the rafting ride could have been done much better. Finally the park is getting something new and its own, but how long until another SF gets a Batman clone???

All in all Premier does an exceptable job; but the problems that Jeff lists could be fixed by the company. And it's not because of its size as shown by other big chains (like Disney).
Monday, March 27, 2000 4:06 AM
Agreed, the problems can be fixed, and I think it's largely a training issue for the employees and far better middle management of people.

I'm not sure what you mean by "economic times like these." The economy is the strongest it has been in decades and the amusement business in particular has been one of the greatest beneficiaries. I think the key is managed growth, not blitzed capital improvement. Look at history: Kentucky Kingdom, Great Adventure, now SFO. When will these parks get new attractions again? It'll be a long time, and I wouldn't be surprised if places like food stands and restrooms get neglected in the mean time.

Webmaster/Admin -
Monday, March 27, 2000 8:00 AM
Minor correction: SFKK hasn't received a major new attraction since the name change, that is if you don't count a rapids ride as a major attraction. Most of the reliable rumors I've heard about always involve rides that end up at other parks (SFA, SFO, etc). If PKI and SOB really deal them a blow, I can see 2001 being the big year for SFKK.

Scott W. Short
Monday, March 27, 2000 8:51 AM
Fist, iagree that PKI is going to put the hurt on SFKK this season as far as the average amusement park goer is concerened. If i was in the tri-state region (Kentucky, Ohio, Indiana) and only going to one park, it would be the one that has the best expansion.

Second, i'm sorry i should have expanded on what i meant about "economic times". What i was alluding to was that older high school kids and college kids (traditionally the staple of amusement park employees) can find better, more paying jobs in the field that interests them. Companies need so many hands nowadays that they are willing to hire less experienced kids to help out.(Especially in computer industries) Many of the people i've worked with have left GLP before they were done with school because of this. This coupled witht the the fact htat Premier is unwilling to pay competitive wages is killing the employee base at SFO, and i would wager other parks by the ad blitzes that PKI and CP are putting on to get employees.

Back to SFO, i'm not sure what you mean by middle management. As far as full time managers i think they are doing the best they can with the situation at hand; which is a dramatic shortage of staff. Many times i have seen them on the midway filling to help out when things are really rough. As far as seasonal management, we have had a lot of turnover in recent years and have had to turn to younger kids to manage units. The older managers have left for reasons mentioned as well as just going out into the work force for "real" full time jobs elsewhere. Right now it is hoped that this group of kids who are becoming managers can be enticed to stay for a while because once you are a manager the job becomes more interesting and better paying.

It all boils down to that SFO doesn't have enough hands to keep the boat from sinking. Anyone 16 or older often work over 40 hours a week by July, and that will burn out the most hardy of "team members".

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Wednesday, March 29, 2000 5:02 AM
Is that the restaurant that was supposed to have the old Rocket Ships (which the tower for is still lying under the Rotting Wolf Bobs)? If I recall that was supposed to be part of the 50's area in 1997. It's a shame that the only remaining Circle Swing in North America (that I know of) is just rusting away.

ray p.
Wednesday, March 29, 2000 6:12 AM
I'm inclined to say that I agree with what mostly has been said, but looking past the operational issues, I think that the Six Flags parks lacks originality.

The way I see it, it seems that almost all of the SF parks seem to have a "Batman," "Superman," etc... Though each park does have rides & coasters that set it apart from the competition, I think that in general, "commercializing" the parks seem to forgo the uniqueness and individuality of the park.

Parks like Kennywood mostly bank on tradition, and others create their own non-commercial theme (like a certain one on the shores of Lake Erie)
Though lately, commercial themeing seem to be invading almost all parks (i.e., Garfield coming to Kennywood, Camp Snoopy in the "other" parks)

By popular vote, the official start
of the Millennium has been moved to
May 13, 2000
Wednesday, March 29, 2000 6:21 AM
Villain, you got it right. It was going in where the "central park" is now. And the rockets were going on top. Though i'm not sure where it is at the moment. Most rides are "stored" in the employee lot until they are used, but that one isn't there.
Wednesday, March 29, 2000 6:35 AM
The tower for the circle swing was laying on it's side next to the Bobs in the back of the park- you can see it from the back road. As for the rockets themseleves, they've been MIA since 1995.

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