SFMM's General Manager, Del Holland retires.

As some of us knew would be coming, SFMM General Manager Del Holland, finally retired earlier this month. Named in his place is former GM of SFKK, Jay Thomas. Not big news to most, but to some of us this couldn't be better news for the park. Mr. Thomas has been credited with the recent turnaround of SFKK, and hopefully he can bring some of the magic back to the mountain.
Lord Gonchar's avatar
Ok, Gator. You have to be ecstatic. :)

This is definitely good news for SFMM. Jay Thomas is a very approachable, down to earth guy that genuinely seems to care about the business and SF in general. I got to meet him back in 2006 when he became GM of SFKK. He listens to everyones comments, concerns, etc. This is a guy who has posted on some coaster websites introducing himself and asking for feedback on SFKK and what can be done to improve it. First GM that I know of a park that has done that.

For the locals here that go to SFMM on a regular basis, once Jay is settled in, just go to Guest Relations and request to speak with him. He will gladly talk with you, walk around the park with you, and possibly get on a ride with you if he isn't busy.

He is that hands on with the customers. *** Edited 9/13/2007 8:17:57 AM UTC by Chitown***

My favorite MJ tune: "Billie Jean" which I have been listening to alot now. RIP MJ.

Sounds like the direct opposite of most Six Flags managers. I wonder why he's not putting his talents to work at a company that would be more encouraging of that kind of work ethic.

Anyway, pretty much any kind of change would be good news for SFMM, so I'm happy for the people that frequent- or would like to frequent- that park. Too bad for SFKK.

Acoustic Viscosity's avatar
This is awesome news for Magic Mountain. Like Chitown said, Jay is a wonderful person to meet and genuinely cares about what his customers, including enthusiasts (he made sure we knew that) think. I met him along with several others in May of last year. The funny thing is Nasai told Jay to get a hold of Magic Mountain and tell them to fix Revolution. Maybe that will actually happen now!

AV Matt
Long live the Big Bad Wolf

In that case I want Great Adventure to get Jay and fix Rolling Thunder. Hey, if it worked for Nasai, maybe it will work for me ;)
Mamoosh's avatar
Ok, Gator. You have to be ecstatic.

Add me to the "ecstatic" list too. So long Del "Clueless" Holland...don't let the door hit you on the way out.

Probably the best news to come out of the Mountain since Tatsu.
rollergator's avatar

Lord Gonchar said:Ok, Gator. You have to be ecstatic.

There's a party goin' on... ;)

Ten YEARS late, but *way* better late than never. SFMM, on this news alone, just went from "Six Flags is Hell on Earth"-bad to "Gee, I really need to start thinking about a Solace trip in '08". Del Holland may have been my personal whipping-boy for quite some time now, but he got there just like the guys at Smith-Barney. He EARNED it. ;)

edit: Because I feel the need, that's why! I had heard great things about Jay T. from people I trust after HWN1 in '06. I got to meet him in '07, and my faith in the people I trust was reaffirmed. Jay is the DEAL....and if he needs help with their computerized databases and whatnot, he can call me ANY time...(referencing "What do you do?" thread)... :)

edit 2: Ecstatic? Maybe...it certainly is a HUGE win for SFMM at least, and I'd be surprised if the park didn't start *skyrocketing* up the profitability charts in the next year.

P.S. Gonchism #102: it's NEVER personal....but what Moosh said comes into play..."Del, don't let the door hit you in your brain on your way out"...the park was lucky to survive that kind of ummm, "leadership" ;)
*** Edited 9/13/2007 3:07:45 PM UTC by rollergator***

Mamoosh's avatar
SFMM hasn't added a single adult flat ride since the Intamin Condor in the late 80s, and that ride lasted one season. Even if corporate was behind the decision to focus on coasters I blame Del for not having the cajones to say "NO, not another coaster. My park needs ______."

Pagoda Gift Shop's avatar
Heh, maybe he was saying the opposite:

"YES, another coaster. My park needs teenagers."

eightdotthree's avatar
Is his replacement any better though? Its not like Kentucky Kingdom is a gem of a park...

rollergator's avatar
^You haven't been recently? SFKK isn't a *big* park by any stretch, but the improvements I saw firsthand under Jay T's leadership (no quotes this time) have been on-target, rapid, and noticeable.
Perhaps the sleeping giant may yet awaken, eh?

john peck's avatar
Kentucky Kingdom has come a very long way in the past 2 years.

This does sound like great news, and I seriously hope things can be evaluated quickly in terms of which areas he'd like to fix first. Hopefully that Monorail!

I think the best thing to do next for that park is to give it the 10-ride treatment that SFoT got. Great Adventure has a few rides in their boneyard that need fixin'

eightdotthree's avatar
I was there three years ago...we showed up starving and wanting to spend money on food, we ended up leaving early because none of the vendors were open on a Saturday in July. The park didn't strike me as well managed. I guess things have changed since then.

I hope what is being said about SFKK is true. If that's the case, maybe there is hope after all.
It's the people above the GM that don't want to give money to the park. It's not the GM. Corporate says you only get this much money for the park.

The manager says, "Thus, we don't have funds for staffing, and thus we can only run so many trains on the coasters. Also, considering that we are open all year, we still may need to run only one train on some of our coasters because SF has only given us 2 trains for Batman, and Deja Vu only has one train.

We have three trains for X, but there is always some sort of problem with one or two of them. Scream! is never that packed to run more than one train in the off-season, so let's save the money. Obviously, Superman can't run both sides." Now for the workers, is the supervisors, and the fact that rides are running not more than one train.

The employees get bored, and thus they have a cell phone, and talk on it. There is nothing to do all the time when you are running a one train operation of a ride. Yes, the supervisors should watch for that, but can you always watch for that. They know the supervisors are coming, and put whatever thing they are playing with away.

I have heard bad things about SFKK this year. The two wooden coasters are getting rougher, and rougher. I guess you blame that on SF. I also heard Greezed Lighting being down a day, but yet that could be rain or something. The Superman tragedy was at that park also. Were the cables almost torn that it's the mechanics fault, or what, and thus who do you blame?

I've heard GREAT things about SFMM recently though about how it's run. Again, this could have been because Shapiro has actually given this park more money in staffing, and operations instead of just roller coaster plopping.

There is nothing to do all the time when you are running a one train operation of a ride...

Are you kidding? From what I've witnessed, there is PLENTY for a coaster crew to do when running one train for whatever reason that may be.

Things like grouping to fill empty rows, looking for loose articles, estimating height, and of course, some always are nice and hold a conversation with the guests around them.

And if the coaster itself is visible from the station...watch the train in case it becomes necessary to stop the ride, or view the video monitors

Magic Mountain has officially entered its winter operating season -- only open on Fridays, Saturdays, Sundays and school holiday...but here's an update at what's coming up for the park during the 2007 off-season heading into the 2008 season.

Flashback is still currently standing and is not expected to be removed until sometime after Fright Fest concludes.

Freefall is not expected to return to operation in 2008, which is rumored to be dismantled anytime between after Fright Fest and Spring 2008.

X's brand new trains (each 30% lighter in total weight) will be delivered sometime before next year. The transition to new vehicles is in addition to a complete and major overhaul of the ride's loading and unloading setup to increase capacity. X is expected to be closed for a good while as it goes under the knife.

Though Shapiro made numerous statements in conference calls over the course of the past year that the long-idle Metro monorail would return before December, it looks like it won't be happening. Turns out that after looking into the amount of repairs and modifications required to bring it back to operation was quite substantial and expensive, the Metro won't be up and running until mid or late 2008. Keep in mind it's still to-do-list -- on a very long one for this park.

A Thomas Town is rumored to be Magic Mountain's new for 2008 attraction -- replacing the Granny Gran Prix car-ride and Petting Zoo area that's adjacent to Bugs Bunny World.

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