The Great Escape fights up hill battle to add new, tall attractions

Posted Wednesday, June 6, 2001 4:58 AM | Contributed by Dawg Byte

In what looks like a hopeless cause, local planning authorities and management held a workshop to try and iron out differences so that The Great Escape may expand and add rides. The primary opposition involves noise and screams from high attractions. The park argues that not only will the impact of the rides be minimal, but nearly doubling their payroll in five years will boost the local economy.

Read more from The Times Union.

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Wednesday, June 6, 2001 5:53 AM
It is unbelievable what some communities make these parks go through. For example look at Talon at Dorney Park. And Steel Force was delayed a year because of community opposition. That park has existed for how long? It's just crazy. You should've read the requirements just to get Batwing approved at SFA. We're talking environmental studies, sound studies, etc. I think if things keep going like this we're going to see more late-opening coasters and delayed projects every year.
Wednesday, June 6, 2001 6:49 AM
Yeah I totally agree with you. Our town is just like that town and it really pisses me off. One time me and some other guy were trying to get a paintball field zone and it just didn't happen. They said it would cause to much noise. But the property we were going to put it on was so far away that you couldn't hear anything going on with sonic ears. Hopefully great escape wins the battle and is enabled to add more attractions with little opposition.
Wednesday, June 6, 2001 9:29 AM
But did you all catch the last line about "200-foot high rides"? Are we looking at a hyper for Lake George?
--Welcome to Life!....Sucks doesn't it?
Wednesday, June 6, 2001 10:20 AM
I hate it when a town opposes a local theme park's great of expanding and adding new rides so that it will boost the economy of the town. For example, there was big opposition in PGA when PGA wanted to Drop Zone. Do you know Drop Zone at PGA was supposed to be 275 ft and not 225 ft like it is today? People opposed the ride because it was too tall, it was near the airport, and that it would cause so much noise. That really pisses me off.
Wednesday, June 6, 2001 10:25 AM
it sounds like the sfa 200 ft height restriction battle all over again.
Wednesday, June 6, 2001 10:58 AM
Darn those new fangled bobled rides and their aeroplane sounding noise. They is scaring my cows milk sour, I tells ya. Amusement parks are the work of the Devil!

"Hanging from their T's rated PG insight, I'm not selling my soul if there's nothing to buy."
Wednesday, June 6, 2001 12:36 PM

hehe, this is funny! It reminds me of something...a new water park FINALLY opened here in canandaigua ny and it was submitted to city council about four years ago!!!! They beat the hell out of the project, but now, it's finally a reality and it has fifty eight acres to expand! wohoo!
"who needs drugs when you have coasters...they're like a natural high"
Wednesday, June 6, 2001 12:41 PM
Superman Ride Of Steel is a definate if this is approved!
Wednesday, June 6, 2001 1:08 PM
dude when ever i go to great escape it sucks they dont have any good rids except the comet which is an awsome woodie but they definetly need some new rides
Wednesday, June 6, 2001 3:45 PM
SFDL Fan: They will not definately get a Superman: Ride of Steel... in fact, that'd be the last ride they'd get for the sheer fact that The Great Escape is wedged inbetween Six Flags New England and Six Flags Darien Lake, both of which have a Superman: Ride of Steel... not to mention the fact that they do not have the open flat space to hold such a ride.

They have space... plenty of it, but it's not flat terrarian.

Speaking of which. A 200' ride doesn't necessarily mean a hyper coaster. What about a free-fall? That was in the talks originally. I'd much rather see a free-fall and coasters maxing out at around 140' instead (ie: Inverted, Standing, or Flying).

This is pathetic that it's been 2 years in the making. Some parks just get neglected (ie: no new rides) because the park officals think it's doing just fine. However, sometimes it's just the opposite. The park officials see lagging sales and lower attendance after a couple years of going dry, and want to add new attractions, but cannot because of the neighboring communities opposition!!!

BTW: The Great Escape doesn't suck, JB. You got to look at the park beyond their rides. The whole theme is a nice story-book theme and they have some great attractions that's very fun to walk through. The miniture houses, the fairy tales set throughout the park, Jungle Land, Alice in Wonderland walk-through... not to mention 2 unique train rides and a swan boat ride.

They may not be thrilling rides... but it does set that quaint little park (actual land size is quite large) apart from a lot of other parks whos traditional theme is just rides, rides, and more rides.
Wednesday, June 6, 2001 3:51 PM
How dumb are people if they buy a home near an amusement park and then don't think that it will grow and expand. If you don't want the noise or traffic, go live in the woods with the unabomber
Wednesday, June 6, 2001 7:17 PM
Great Escape has had problems with expanding for years. Because it is located in the Adirondack park, it has more stringent building rules than many other parks. The former owner, Charlie Woods,(who last I knew was still involved with Premier) knew that the park couldn't expand. He even threatened to shut it down if the planning board didn't give a little a few years back. (If I recall correctly the board allowed one of many expansion requests and the result was the Comet.) Woods had all sorts of plans for expansion but the APA and Queensbury planning boards shot it down. Premier knew (or at least has known for a few years) that any expansion to the park would be difficult. That is why they didn't add the "Six Flags" moniker to Great Escape. Before the Comet was added to the park, it was a nice local type park. It wasn't a destination (but tourists visiting the Lake George area would visit the park) for anyone other than Capital District locals. Many of the people who have houses in the area have been there for quite a while and bought when the park was a very small local park and the only thrill ride was the AstroWheel.
The traffic in that area is already a nightmare too but then again the planning board did allow for 7 zillion outlet stores to be built along a 2 lane road so what did they expect? If a new exit off of interstate 87 dumped cars right into the parking lots, I can't see how it would make traffic worse. (Especially if they added a foot bridge or tunnel. Crossing route 9-the road the park is on) can be hell!)It might even clear up some of the traffic on rt 9.

I can see the resident's and town's problems with a proposed expansion but if would be great if they could come to some sort of an agreement and let the park expand. (But not too much because then lines would be too long! :) )
Wednesday, June 6, 2001 8:10 PM
I was at Great Escape 2 years ago, this is a great park with a lot of charm. I semi understand the point of the neighbors that surround the park. But lets look at the over all picture. Great Escape is responsible for paying a considerable amount of money in town,county,school and state taxes. Now if the park expands and attracts more visitors a year, that's more money that the municipalities receive a year. That means less money the area residents are paying in taxes a year. Now if the park doesn't expand and attendance begins to fall, that's less people to the park, that's less money being spent in the park, and next thing you know the park is in financial trouble. Most countys and towns bend over backwards for theses parks, because they know they bring people to the area, and along with people comes money. Last time I knew that was good for the economy. SFDl is a good example, Genesee county has done every thing they can to cut through red tape, when it came to adding attractions to the park. I think these people need to look at the big picture. Ultimately it's all about money.
Thursday, June 7, 2001 3:25 AM
You are right Disneyfan it is all about money. Thats why some parks can expand all they want, because they support the local community. Other parks come against opposition like the Great Escape. Its all politics. Its all a bunch of sh*t especially when they(Six Flags) are willing to do what is necessary(ie improving roads) to make their expansion possible. Thats alot of money to be saving a township or county. I am sure that they'll be able to expand but I wonder how much money they'll have to spend(outside of the park) to make their expansion possible. Six Flags may get tired of dealing with the authorities altogether and decide to Get rid of that park.
Thursday, July 26, 2001 6:01 AM
A hypercoaster and/or and new wooden coaster would definitely help that park move to the next level. I personally like that it has two dark rides with Nightmare and Tornado, a great wooden coaster, and the alpine ride as well. Not to mention its flume and train rides are nice. Ghost town is a good themed idea also. If all that stays and a nice new coaster is added, that'd be wonderful.
Sunday, September 2, 2001 7:25 AM for the general publics view on the Great Escape, they need to learn that a great park doesnt need to have all the lastest and fastest rides.  I visited GE four times at the end of the season and did encounter the construction...BUT it is for the best.  I spoke to over 10 employees and they all have been informed that the park is working on plnas for a S:ROS coaster, and new land had been purchased for the construction of this.  This new 100+ acres etends the park to a nearby lake and this is where the coaster may be build.  The only thing at this point holding Six Flags back is that they need to add more parking across the road and the local municipalities require that they build a pedestrian bridge simmilar to the one at SFNE.  Other than that they are getting the ok on their projects...after all SkyCoaster went up in less than two weeks.

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