Six Flags Bonus Weekends?

Monday, November 4, 2002 7:14 AM

I know that at least two SF parks (SFGrAm and SFStL) were open an "extra" weekend this year (the first weekend of November). I was at SFStL and it was deserted. From the trip reports, SFGrAm was empty as well. Great for power-riding, but pretty lousy for profits.

My question is: what was SF's purpose for the extra weekend? In St. Louis, there was no advertisement that the park was open - all the TV ads said "...Fear Fest weekends in October..." with no mention of the November dates. The only notice I saw in the park was on the sign as you leave (and it was dark... if I wasn't looking for it, I would have missed it...).

So did someone in marketing drop the ball? Was this a reward weekend for the few people that were paying attention? I loved the extra days and the walk-on conditions, but with the poor turn out, I doubt they'll be back. :(

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Monday, November 4, 2002 7:20 AM
Yeah Sfwoa also had a "bounus weekend". Although the park never opened on friday I went saturday and sunday, there were less than 40 cars in the parking lot and the ride ops were cool. They let us stay on many times as we wished, I hope they return next year.
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Monday, November 4, 2002 9:19 AM

It was corporate SF decision to let the parks stay open the extra weekend. I don't know why a park like SFFT in a warmer climate was not open the extra weekend. Six Flags wanted to make some extra money(for the mistakes made earlier this year). It probably backfired this time in a lot of places because of weather and the lack of marketing. It was rumored at SFSL for a long time before it was actually announced. It was also kind of a appreciation weekend for the guests who were at the parks. In my opinion SFOG had a good idea of a season pass holder appreciation day as the final day of the season, other parks should see if that may work next year.

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Monday, November 4, 2002 10:15 AM
SFA was open this past weekend and had a decent turn out on Saturday and Sunday, I would say the equivalent of what they had opening weekend in April. SFA has tendency to open a day slow and get busier as the day goes on and this weekend didn't seem any different. The parking lot was half full and when I left yesterday a lot of people were still arriving.
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Monday, November 4, 2002 10:23 AM
The ends of October tend to get busy with fright fest as Halloween arrives, so opening the extra weekend to bring in good crowds again seems like a good idea.
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Monday, November 4, 2002 10:29 AM

SFStL had already taken down the majority of the Halloween decorations - so it wasn't Fright Fest... just a regular day. Besides... how many people would go to Fright Fest AFTER Halloween?

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Monday, November 4, 2002 11:14 AM
What's an off-season? ;)

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Is it a dream or a memory? It's both, it's X

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Monday, November 4, 2002 11:20 AM
My friend who works at SFWoA said his supervisor told him the reason the park was open the extra reason was because each park has a fixed budget. The money that isn't spent during the season is taken out of the next year's budget. Some of the parks that were doing poorly (SFWoA) stayed open the extra weekend to get rid of extra cash so that the park can have a "full" budget for the next year.
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Monday, November 4, 2002 12:09 PM

The SFMM Salvi said:
What's an off-season? ;)

Now we BOTH know how cruel that is, to tease and torment those who ride 6-8 months a year....good job...;)

bill, who was awfully happy that SFoG decided to open up for passholders on Sunday....awesome! The ACE get-together with John Odum was an expected plus....:)

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Monday, November 4, 2002 12:11 PM

rollergator said:

Now we BOTH know how cruel that is, to tease and torment those who ride 6-8 months a year....good job...



And where do Gwazi and the Dania Beach Hurricane fall on your top 10 list? ;)

That's what I thought...

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sonic life

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Monday, November 4, 2002 12:36 PM
SFA did a great job at getting the word out about the extra weekend. First of all, it was listed on the website and brochure, second of all they sent emails out to everyone who put the email addresses on the season pass form, third of all, there was a sign last weekend that you couldn't pass by on Main Street that announced free tickets for April 2003 for anyone who came Nov 2nd or 3rd. I know I've got my two free tickets. I couldn't believe how crowded it was Saturday night, in spite of the bitter cold. Yesterday wasn't nearly as crowded, but it was still bitterly cold once the sun dropped. Superman Ride of Brrr!
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Dude, you're getting an Intamin!

*** This post was edited by Intamin Fan on 11/4/2002. ***

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Monday, November 4, 2002 2:09 PM

After seeing on their website that they were supposed to be open from 1-9PM, a friend and I drove about an hour yesterday afternoon to SF Darien Lake only to find a sign out in front of the parking booth saying, "Park Closed Due to Inclement Weather." We were both going with low expectations to begin with, but what we got was actually worse than what even we (both with a few bad Six Flags experiences under our belts) could have expected.

By the way, the temperature was 39 degrees yesterday with no precipitation whatsoever. Yes, I'll admit it was chilly, but by Buffalo standards, 39 degrees is downright warm! :) It was probably about this same temperature last year when I drove 5 hours to CP for closing weekend. The crowds there were sparse even on Saturday, but damn near every ride was open.

Rather than make a big deal about it here, I'm just going to write them a letter and see what comes of it. Just thought everyone should know what went down here in NY yesterday.

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-Matt
2001 Magnum Crew

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Monday, November 4, 2002 3:03 PM
I visited SFNE on Friday evening (Nov. 1) and the attendance was minimal. This was not a 'bonus weekend' though, as it was on the operating schedule since the season began. The crowds were enough to make it fun, but every coaster was a walk-on except for S:ROS which had a one or two train wait. Fright Fest was still going in full swing, The haunted houses were a blast, the shows were fun, and the themeing throughout the park, with its music, props, lighting, fog, and live 'actors', was very impressive. The extensive Fright Fest activities made up for the fact that all but a few flat rides were closed. At least all the coasters were operating (and with walk-on conditions!). By the way, this was my first trip to SF during Fright Fest, and I was quite surprised at the lengths they went to to transform the park for this event. I will return. I'm glad SFNE was open for this final weekend. Riding coasters in the cold New England night air was a fun change of pace.
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Monday, November 4, 2002 3:15 PM
Astroworld was open the extra weekend, but we've been having lots of rain this month and that Saturday was a drenched mess, so it didn't help the park much. I visited on that Friday and the park was as empty as I've ever seen it. Fun for me, though.
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Monday, November 4, 2002 3:15 PM
Which flats were closed @ SFNE?

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Im the #1 Canobie Lake Park Fan!!!These are my top 3 coasters:
1. S:RoS @ SFNE 2. Yankee Cannonball 3. Cyclone/B:TDK

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Monday, November 4, 2002 4:17 PM

MikeMir87 said:
Which flats were closed @ SFNE?


Open flat rides were Scream, Tomahawk, Houdini, Scrambler, Twister, Buzz Saw, Balloons, Carousel, and most kiddie rides. The coasters were all running, but everything else was closed as far as I could tell. Were they running more rides during previous weekends of Fright Fest?

Has the Colossus Ferris Wheel been operating at all this season? Does anyone know what it's story is?

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Monday, November 4, 2002 5:13 PM

Lousy for profits? Not at all. They were only running one train on most rides at gam and it was deserted. People were repeatedly playing the games. And all the arcades were packed. They made the quota to get an over-inflated budget for next year. They didn't have to pay most employees that regularly work there during the reg. season either. So they may have broken even.

*** This post was edited by Colonel Sanders on 11/4/2002. ***

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Monday, November 4, 2002 7:28 PM

chris said:
And where do Gwazi and the Dania Beach Hurricane fall on your top 10 list?

DBH ranks right up there, shame of it is that it's a 5-hour drive from here. Just keeps getting better...Gwazi, OTOH, has deteriorated "some" in ride quality...I'm not discussing ops........now it seems that they only run one side per day at most....only getting worse.

Back to topic...finally...I think SF viewed it as a good PR move, and it seems to have worked...:) In addition, it gives them a lot less "stuff" to warehouse over the winter, reducing inventories and waste. Getting to talk with the GM certainly didn't hurt things....SFoG, still the best in the chain for employees...:)

*** This post was edited by rollergator on 11/5/2002. ***

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Monday, November 4, 2002 7:35 PM
my first time here nice to meet other coaster fans i also went to sfga sunday it was nice. and what was the mistake the ga had?
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Tuesday, November 5, 2002 4:25 AM
I braved the cold this past Sunday and made a trip to SFGAdv for one last day of coaster-riding before the long winter. Attendance at the park was pretty good. We had very little wait for anything.

Strangely, more rides were open on Sunday than were in the middle of June when I last went. B&R:TC was open as was Skull Mountain.

The only thing I'd complain about is the fact that the park doesn't have a reduced admission for the late season weekends. Dorney Park drops their admission from $35 to $20 for the October Halloweekends. Sure would be nice to see Six Flags do something similar.

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Men are like parking spaces... the good ones are all taken and the rest are handicapped or too far away.
www.TiggerMan.com

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