The SF corporate board/members aren't going to run around at all the six flags parks to figure out which employees arent doing their jobs - its just not going to happen. That is up to the park managers. Hell, even the people in charge of developement of the individual parks probably dont go through the park often to know exactly what needs to be done.
I did a brief search, but I couldnt find out exactly how much the park starts off (in hourly wages) for their employees. I know that if SFA (my local SF park) is starting these employees off at/around minimum wage, then they wont be too excited about running around in the hot sun (not a heck of alot of shade there) to sweep up trash.
The first thing in any of these SF parks that needs done is to hire some good managers. With good managers, and a reason for these employees to value their jobs (the benefits are decent, how much are they being paid?), then quality will improve. The last time I visited SFA, I saw more employees doing nothing than something, and there weren't any managers around to tell them to get to work.
No doubt, these parks can turn themselves around. But it needs to start with better leadership, which the parks clearly dont have.
I am sure they did not run the parks into the ground on purpose. They had a business tactic as said before. "Built it and they will come". Well that tactic failed.
They made a bad business decision and underestimated the customers desires for a clean, well run and staffed, happy to go to place. That bit them hard. I know so many people that says S Flags, no way that place is so dirty. These are not coaster people. They are my co workers and friends.
Now SF's has realized their error, but it's too late. They are pretty much broke. They have no choice but to do 2 things, which I think we will see this winter.
1. File Bankruptcy
2. Sell more parks to relieve their debt.
Thats the only way they can make it at this point.
I wonder what Bill Gates thinks?
Maybe we should call him and let him know what is wrong with the parks. *** Edited 8/24/2004 3:33:32 PM UTC by Markieb***
A teenager living with his parents and working at a park has it made. The problem is that they usually don't realize it until a few years later.
That's not to knock the folks who actually support themselves by working at a park...but again, I think there are much worse ways to make money.
If people are nasty to you, you smile and be nice to them. Sometimes you have to treat them like little kids, "I'm sorry that you missed the sign out front mister [smile], how can I help you turn that frown upside down?"
Granted, I think that folks who work full time should be able to support themselves. It is called a living wage. I think that Six Flags probably could improve service by paying more, which means higher ticket
Let's see (roughly):
3000 employees x 12 hours x 150 days x $2 raise = $10.8 million or so (every year)
Does anyone know how much a park typically nets?
Unfortunately, Six Flags is a couple billion in the hole so we probably won't be seeing that in the near future.
Holy cow, I'm rambling! Sorry folks. ;)
Of course, I've been *stumping* for a $10/hour minimum EVERYWHERE for all full-time employees for about 5 years now, LOL...;)
The only reason I say that the parks need good managers is because I deal with management issues everyday I work. It doesnt take long before all the 'teenagers' that I work with to start slacking off. It also doesnt take much to get them back to work either. Another thing to note is that which manager is on our shift makes a huge difference in how much work gets done throughout the night. That is exactly why I say the SF park's just need better management. Sure, dealing with customers can be a pain, and I do my best when I'm at work to help all the customers out the best I can.
Although I have never worked at a park, I can imagine all the reasons (or should I say excuses?) why the employees wouldn't be working. But there is an ass for every seat, and if someone at the park isnt willing to do their job, there is bound to be someone else out there who will.
I realize it would take alot more than just better management, but it's also been poor management that has turned a good experience into a bad one. Most of the SF parks already have good rides, they just need to improve how the park is run. Nobody wants to come back to a park and wait through a terribly slow line in the hot sun while the employees sit instead of do their job. That, I know for a fact, certainly wont bring back customers.
Six Flags seems to have the motto "build it and they will come, regardless of how we treat them" instead of "treat them well and they will come, new ride or not, and continue to come."
At least that's how I see it.
As for the interest in Six Flags...does the related field you speak of involve parks and rollercoasters? If so, does the company/field have Six Flags-scale problems?
Selling off more parks will not relieve debt.
Sure it will. The minute they sell, their debt is reduced. It is typical for any business to dump low performers when restructuring. Why? Because it relieves debt immediately! *** Edited 8/24/2004 6:40:27 PM UTC by Markieb***
For me it is because there is such potential to have GREAT theme parks all over the country. They have a lot of nice properties, that at one time were great. I think people want those properties restored back to their glory days. Six Flags is to parks, what K Mart is to retail.
I'm curious as to why there's so much interest in Six Flags.
It seems they were so close at the beginning of the summer, The parks were cleaned, the staff was increased, and a new attitude had been visible at a lot of the parks. Then as quick as it changed, it reverted back. *** *** *** Edited 8/24/2004 6:43:38 PM UTC by Markieb***
I'm going to side with Jeff and say that Six Flags needs the parks they have to generate income to pay off their debts.
They don't need the small producers that would do better at quickly relieving debt. At one time I would agree, but I think they are too far gone now to pull out with the current number of parks.
I think they agree. All of the euro parks were sold, plus Cleveland... Correct.
Just an FYI, that sort of behavior IS illegal...but white collar criminals who do this sort of thing are RARELY, if ever, prosecuted...
Mine was Geauga Lake. Premier came in and made some sweeping changes but from the first moment I wondered how it was going to be successful. Building 3 coasters in a year (or was it 4?), buying Sea World, etc. I know a lot about the business although I don't consider myself an expert. But I never thought for a minute that things were going to be all rosy. Someone did.
As much as people boo-hoo about it, that park didn't have a prayer as a combined one gate attraction. They tried to become Disneyworld when they weren't even Busch Gardens. As said earlier, they banked on the "Six Flags" name and that was a major blunder.
The people who should really be criticized are the bankes/investors who kept throwing money into a hole. It comes down to greed. The bankers thought they'd make a quick buck. Premier thought they could exploit the "Six Flags" brand. At the first sign of problems each season Premier started cutting budgets so the operators didn't have a prayer (staffing hours reduced, maintenance reduced, etc).
This will go down as a case study in what NOT to do.
My point is that if they're going to sell more parks, they'll sell them at a loss. You can't pay off debt that way. That's like me selling my house for less than I paid for it a year after I bought it and still being stuck with the debt.
They need those parks to generate meaningful revenue. Geauga Lake, and apparently the European parks, did not generate that revenue, but they paid dearly in selling them.
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