SFGAdv 7/26/06 -- Holy hell.

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Thursday, July 27, 2006 4:54 PM
Like I said, it looks like two different companies. One that opened the season and one that's running things now.

A day at the park is what you make it!

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Thursday, July 27, 2006 5:03 PM
^^ I did write the park, but of course things are still going fairly crappy there from what I've read.

I just talked to my girlfriend, and we're probably gonna go to Hersheypark instead. We had a fun time last year there, and I anticipate HP putting on a usual good operation.

SFGAdv was and may still be one of my fav parks, but if they keep this stuff up, that may change.


coastin' since 1985

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Thursday, July 27, 2006 7:56 PM
Wow, that's pretty different from the trip I took for Coaster Celebration. Things weren't perfect that day, but they weren't horrible either. Sounds like good old Six Flags is back in action (or should I say inaction).

--Greg
"You seem healthy. So much for voodoo."

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Thursday, July 27, 2006 8:29 PM
Aye! I had a decent time when I went two weeks ago. I am not pleased that their service is inconsistent. Atleast with Magic Mountain you prepare for a disaster and hope to be pleasantly surprised. All I can say is thank God the land in Jackson is not as valuable.

Disheartening though, expecially for me who remember the days when Great Adventure was on top of it's game.


Fate is the path of least resistance.

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Thursday, July 27, 2006 11:33 PM
Sorry you didn't have a great time. I went right before Toro opened and had a very good visit. This was my third time at the park. Besides waiting forever to buy tickets, the day was great. I rode Batman: The Chiller five or six times, Batman the same because there was nobody on in the afternoon, and Nitro had a great crew. Medusa also had a decent crew for once and Kingda Ka's crew was extrememly professional. There were only two trains but I waited an hour. While I had my best visit, I can understand why you were pissed. Maybe I got lucky, but besides Superman, loading wasn't slow.
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Thursday, July 27, 2006 11:42 PM
The Mole's avatar I just went last weekish and had a great time despite 100+ temp (no lie) and those damn FlashPasses on Batman. Sorry to hear that Maddie.
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Saturday, July 29, 2006 11:08 AM
As Jeff mentioned, it's hard to believe that this park can be part of the same chain that has places like SFGAm.

It's not perfect either by any means but SFGAm can usually figure out how to staff most things, run multiple trains, make somewhat of an attempt to deal with line jumping (using boarding passes) and keep the place clean.

Didn't SFGAm's former manager (Sevart) go to SFGAdv? Does that mean that the people under the manager are the ones that really make things work? How could two parks be that different with the same manager? (If I was wrong about the manager, knock me in the head for being confused.)

Brad


"Heavily medicated for your safety!"

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Saturday, July 29, 2006 11:46 AM
mlnem4s's avatar

Brad G said:
As Jeff mentioned, it's hard to believe that this park can be part of the same chain that has places like SFGAm.

It's not perfect either by any means but SFGAm can usually figure out how to staff most things, run multiple trains, make somewhat of an attempt to deal with line jumping (using boarding passes) and keep the place clean.

Didn't SFGAm's former manager (Sevart) go to SFGAdv? Does that mean that the people under the manager are the ones that really make things work? How could two parks be that different with the same manager? (If I was wrong about the manager, knock me in the head for being confused.)

Brad


The reason you see such a difference between SFGAm and other Six Flags parks is because of the "ingrained culture" and the heritage that is Great America. Why? Because back in the 1970's when Great America came about the Marriott Corp. hired and staffed their management of the park almost exclusively with..you guessed it...Cedar Point employees! That Cedar Fair philosophy has been present from day one at the park as far as park operations, maintaining standards, integrity, etc. The park also had a stable management team for a very long time headed by Jim Wintrode who was GM for many years, a man I grately admire. It is rumored that prior to his retirement he would have serious battles with Gary Story, Keiran Burke and company to save the park from being slaughtered.

I think it is an extremely difficult thing to do to go in and truly have to start with how people "think or feel" about their work experience and create a revolution which Six Flags basically has to do at several of their key parks. A company "culture" speaks volumes, if a company shows respect and values its employees than I think you will see on the front lines a major change in performance. Mark Shapiro is trying to do that, as well as save the company from going bankrupt all together. Miracles don't happen over night but foundations can be laid and only time will tell if it is working in 2 or 3 years. *** Edited 7/29/2006 3:49:30 PM UTC by mlnem4s***

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Saturday, July 29, 2006 4:29 PM
Great American Scream Machine reopened today :).

Yes, operations have gone to complete crap. You can blame that on many things but it mostly has to do with recent management shakeups going on. (Gadv specifically)

Kingda Ka - at least its working lol. Seriously though, it seems to be nothing more than wheel adjustments. Some days one train is perfect while another will thrash back and fourth. Go figure...

Finally, Chiller was FINALLY doing great this year with both sides operating. And then the Robin "incident" occurred. Hopefully it will actually be able to run again.

Thanks for sharing. I promise you they do care. Writing the park is important to ;).

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Saturday, July 29, 2006 5:05 PM
rollergator's avatar As far as Ka....wouldn't you think CP and GAdv would share info (hints, tips and tricks, warnings) on operating those things with minimal wear-and-tear...it's not like they're in competition, and they both stand more to gain than to lose by helping each other out on that...

Yet it seems like Ka is proving at least as tricky as TTD, even moreso, with nothing learned from *experience*....as far as I know, the "bad vibrations" are unique to Ka. Is that on Intamin, or the construction contractor, or on GAdv...?

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Saturday, July 29, 2006 5:19 PM
coasterqueenTRN's avatar ^I would not know about that. I just know that Ka feels quite a bit different than Dragster. Dragster has more of a punch to it's launch, while Ka feels like it is shifting gears, with a slight rattling.

Then again I have only rode Ka once and Dragster many times. I have heard from others about the rattling, though.

I just know they feel different.

-Tina

*** Edited 7/29/2006 9:20:13 PM UTC by coasterqueenTRN***

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Sunday, July 30, 2006 1:12 AM
rablat, think you and your girlfriend have room for Mr. Shapiro when you head out to Hershey? Maybe he'll learn a thing or two.

From what most people in this thread are saying, the problems are:
--closed rides, due to lack of staffing to either operate or maintain them properly
--inefficient operations on the rides that are open, which is again a staffing problem.

To me an amusement park with a large number of rides closed down gives the same impression as a city's downtown with a number of closed storefronts. Not very appealing or inviting.

This isn't something that should cost megabucks to fix, and can't be blamed on the previous management's budget distribution. It also shouldn't take several years. What's the yearly turnover in amusement park employees anyway? In a few more years, you'll only have a whole new crop of unmotivated, uncaring, mediocre employees.

Are the employees not being trained properly? Does current management see nothing wrong the poor operations the people here have cited? Are they unwilling or unable to enforce park rules (which Mr. Shapiro himself said was unacceptable and WOULD be changed)? Are they really (willingly) risking customer goodwill, repeat business, and word of mouth business just to collect several thousand bucks a day on Q-bot rentals?

Maybe they think the Q-bot revenue increases the per cap spending, which is true. But how much is that offset by frustrated guests cutting short their stays or not spending money elsewhere in the park? What good is a 13 percent increase in per cap spending when the number of "caps" doing the spending is down by more than 10 percent?

Which is more discouraging-- that they are totally oblivious to the fact that these problems exist? Or that they are so inept that they have no clue how to fix them? Somewhere between Shapiro's mouth and the GM's hands, something is getting lost in the translation or execution.

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Sunday, July 30, 2006 3:49 AM
Since I work at a Six Flags I could kinda give you a little insight. At least at SFKK I can say that the supevisors are on the money. But somehow they (either because they are short staffed or whatever) they will promote an operator to team leader. It goes to their heads and...well, they lead the team, right into the ground. Since it is virtually impossible to have two supervisors watch 3-5 rides with eagle eyes, things go unnoticed. I've had to tell my own teamleaders to tuck in their shirt tails, and stay off the phone. Some of these team leaders have been doing that since they were promoted and they have to be slowly pulled away from their habbits. Everything doesn't get fixed in one day. So it isn't that they aren't trying, it's basically like reprogramming people that have been used to doing things certain ways, although SFGAdv seem to be going the opposite...
Ride count on the Voyage: 40 Most consecutive rides on the Voyage: 36 Day after thigh bruises from airtime: Priceless
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Sunday, July 30, 2006 10:37 AM
In the end all the problems come from a GM that doesn't care. Any surprise to anyone that its the same man who ran SFWoA into the ground it's final year or two?
GL ride host 2001-2003, Rides Superviser 2004-05
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Sunday, July 30, 2006 11:52 AM
matt.'s avatar

RatherGoodBear said:
Are the employees not being trained properly?

That's a big part of it. When Six Flags ride ops go through training they may not even realize that dispatching the train quickly and effeciently is one of the goals they have. I chuckle when some people come back from SF parks with reports talking about "hitting interval" or "stacking trains" when your average SF employee probably hasn't heard anything like that in their life. You'd probably get a response like "Stacking trains? Like on top of eachother? What?"

That includes attendants, ride ops, team leads, and division supervisors, and is really just one example.

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Sunday, July 30, 2006 1:06 PM
Ok I went yesterday and I won't do a trip report. But I will say I did visit guest relations. I also will say that my season pass will not be being renewed unless I go to America and get one to go to other parks. I will not be returning to GAdv until I see mid summer reports that prove they have improved the line management in the parks and at the gates.

Line management can also include operations of the coasters. Because with better operations lines wouldn't be as long. *** Edited 7/30/2006 5:08:11 PM UTC by dragonoffrost***


Watch the tram car please....
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Sunday, July 30, 2006 2:45 PM

XFlight said:
In the end all the problems come from a GM that doesn't care. Any surprise to anyone that its the same man who ran SFWoA into the ground it's final year or two?

The park was doing outstanding under Ron. He was getting things done and had a sincere passion for the job and cared deeply about each and every person working there. Chuck Hendrix came on board in June for reasons that don't belong in a public forum.

Take note of when operations began slipping..........Although Chuck should still be given a chance. Its bascially like they are starting over again in July.

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Sunday, July 30, 2006 3:45 PM
rollergator's avatar There's certainly a strong component, and I've been one of the biggest proponents of the "GM makes the park" idea...

When there's long been a CULTURE at the park that is well, lax and perpetually-understaffed, where employees' AND guests' time is undervalued....that takes more than a couple months with a new GM.

Ron, from *everything* I've heard from WIDELY varied sources, was likely "the man for the job"...but he would have needed UNENDING support from Shapiro et al, and PATIENCE, and most of all, *sharply* increased budgets for staffing...IMO.


You still have Zoidberg.... You ALL have Zoidberg! (V) (;,,;) (V)

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Sunday, July 30, 2006 6:49 PM
The comment about hitting intervals is the furtherest thing from the truth--at least last year. When I went during Fright Fest, the control op was telling the ride ops when their interval was coming up on Kingda Ka--and they were doing an excellent job of making it everytime. It also helped that they were using both sides. I managed two rides in one night--even with a long breakdown when I first arrived. Once a problem was fixed at the top of the ride, it ran for the rest of the night without problems. The best thing was that a lot of people didn't know it had reopened because it was dark, and the horn was turned down.

The problems with this park are largely related to the clientele. A lot of these people are not the kind of people that I want to be around on a regular basis, and that includes the parents!

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Sunday, July 30, 2006 9:45 PM
Most TR's at the beginning of the season seemed to be positive, and customers were willing to overlook the small problems that did occur. It seemed like things were really turning around.

So what happened between then and now? Is it that they're overwhelmed by the crowds they get in July? It's not like that's a totally unexpected phenomenon-- happens in every park, every year. Shouldn't they have been planning for that? Or did they just get complacent with how well things were running in May/June?

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