The latest at SFNO

Monday, November 14, 2005 11:29 AM
Does anyone know what the current state of SFNO is right now? This may sound stupid, but I honestly don't know if the city is still flooded and if so, how much of it is.
Monday, November 14, 2005 2:56 PM
From everything I hear, the place is toast. News about it is quiet, though. Some people are still trying to find places to live, etc.
Monday, November 14, 2005 4:20 PM
Listen to the Six Flags quarterly report and the official word is there's no ETA for the park to reopen. Definitely not for next year. They're waiting on some insurance money to come in and I doubt will spend a dime until it does. Still, Six Flags only has about a $30m policy on the place so there's only so much that would cover. If they can find a way to weasel out of their contractual obligation to rebuild I'm sure they will.
Monday, November 14, 2005 4:36 PM
The city has been drained for weeks and power is starting to come back.
Monday, November 14, 2005 4:42 PM
Glad to hear that things are starting to get back to normal for those from New Orleans. It's a shame that anyone would ever have to go through something like that at all.
Monday, November 14, 2005 4:45 PM
Things are coming back like power,but "normal" is years away down here.... :(
Monday, November 14, 2005 5:14 PM
If the city is talking Mardi Gras, I can't see talk of SFNO reopening being too far away. The city has to be rebuilt and people need homes but there will eventually be the need to restore local pride and create jobs.
Monday, November 14, 2005 6:03 PM

Rob Ascough said:
If the city is talking Mardi Gras, I can't see talk of SFNO reopening being too far away. The city has to be rebuilt and people need homes but there will eventually be the need to restore local pride and create jobs.

Restore Local Pride,,Come on Get real you are talking about Six Flags..Look at what the Saints owner tried to pull..Do you actually think that SFI gives a crap about the City or its residents..Have you seen or heard of SF donating money or anything since the storm has passed..They are in a mad rush to remove rides from SFAW and are holding out in New Orleans for Money from Insurance claims..If they were in that much of a rush like the rest of N.O is to get up and running they would be cleaning and removing rides that are beyond repair and if at all possible gather some rides from the now closed SFAW park, and I doubt you will see any rides being shipped from Astroworld to SFNO..Typical stance for SF..If you can't beat'm than stop them from beating you to the quick first..I wouldn't doubt if another park gets asked by SF to take over the contract such as Cedar Fair but even that is far fetched now..

Monday, November 14, 2005 6:33 PM
Actually, I had not thought about it previously, but I would not be too surprised if quite a few of SFAWs rides show up there.

That is, of course, if the park is rebuilt.

Megazeph is steel structured, and definitely should be salvedgeable. There was track submerged, but i wouldnt believe it to be too much trouble to replace damaged pieces. I hope it hasnt been lost.

Most of the flats are probably inoperable, however, and may need replacing. SFAWs makes the most sense doesnt it?

Monday, November 14, 2005 6:55 PM
Have you (CrazyB) ever heard of actually writing a paragraph that is readable? Last I checked, the standard form for ending sentences in English was a period followed by a space.

There's a reason why Six Flags isn't rushing to relocate rides from Astroworld--they're not even sure if they're going to be able to reopen the park. Face it--Six Flags New Orleans was a 10' deep lake for weeks; they can't just dry it up and restart it like they can for Mardi Gras. This is an amusement park, not a parade. Even if they did manage to make the park operable again, there is no way it would be completely ready to go for the 2006 season, and therefore it makes more sense to relocate SFAW's rides to parks where they can guarantee immediate success. Even though Six Flags is contractually obligated to run the park for a specified period of time, there comes a point where it would be cheaper to break the contract than reopen the park, and as a result, Six Flags is waiting to see what insurance provides so that they can determine the feasibility of reopening Six Flags New Orleans.

While Six Flags is over its head in debt, it still has the resources to come up with millions of dollars to invest in its parks--just look at all the new roller coasters and rides coming to Six Flags parks for 2006. If Six Flags determined that it wouldn't be able to fund the recovery of the park, then chances are there aren't any other amusement park chains in the world that would have the capital to bring the New Orleans park back into a profitable enterprise. We've already determined that the people who run Six Flags are idiots, but their lack of action does make sense at this time. There's no point in spending millions of dollars to rush over and clean up/repair the park until they are able to comfortably state that they have the resources, funds, and confidence that they could bring it back as a money-maker for the chain again.

Monday, November 14, 2005 7:03 PM

Have you seen or heard of SF donating money or anything since the storm has passed..

Actually, a few Sixflags parks held fund raisers and gathered money to send to the employees of SFNO. Oh course this was all internal, but we do care about are counter parts that were hit by the hurricane.

Monday, November 14, 2005 7:47 PM
Apparently we have another literacy critic. But the Bottom line is you understood what I said if not you wouldn't have replied. Nuf said .......
Monday, November 14, 2005 7:52 PM
From what I've read, there are NO rides going to Six Flags New Orleans from Astroworld. I believe (most) if not all the flat rides are accounted for. Over Texas is getting three of the rides-Space Shuttle, Scrambler, and Troika, and New England gets SWAT and Diablo Falls (already sitting in the parking lot up north). St. Louis will get Dungeon Drop. I think the only ride not accounted for yet is the Chance Yo-Yo.
Monday, November 14, 2005 9:56 PM
My thought would be all the people that could be used to clean up and restore Six Flags are actually cleaning up and restoring New Orleans. If you look and listen to the news reports, there is such a shortage of workers to help rebuild (because of housing issues) that resturants are paying amost $15 per hour for dishwashers (like Six Flags is going to pay those kind of wages).

I'm sure when the priority is right, there will be time to "fix" Six Flags. It's not like Six Flags or Jazzland has been a New Orleans tradition by any means. You will see Six Flags become a priority for the City, and Six Flags, only after they get the real city attractions fixed like Mardi Gras, Jass Fest, French Quarter, Garden District, etc.

Monday, November 14, 2005 10:16 PM
I doubt much of anything is going on there. Why would they be in any hurry to open a park where there aren't any people with disposable income to go there?
Monday, November 14, 2005 10:32 PM
You'd have to wonder who would even do the work. The majority of the "service level" workers disappeared and haven't come back. They can't even find enough bodies to staff restaurants and hotels at this point.

Jeff has a great point too...There's no one to even visit the park if it was open.

Monday, November 14, 2005 10:43 PM
Have alot of people actually moved back to New Orleans, or did they just up and leave, now willing to risk that happeneing ever again. New Orleans was an amazing city and I had the chance to visit in 2003. I Really hope the city does eventually recover.
Monday, November 14, 2005 11:03 PM
At this point around 70% of Jefferson Parish's residents have returned (the Parish next to Orleans). There was flooding in a lot of places in this Parish, but none as substantial as near the levee breaks in New Orleans. This is where a lot of the metropolitan area's citizens with "disposable income" live. Lakeview in New Orleans is an affluent area and was hit very hard by the levee breaks. Signs of work there have been beginning to pop up and I believe a very significant amount of people living in that area plan on rebuilding and returning as soon as possible.

What was hit the hardest is where a lot the blue collared working class live. I fear it will take a lot longer to get these places up and going again as people don't have as much money to get in, clean up, and rebuild (with price gouging going on, all the worse). I'm sure people who rent in these areas plan on moving on and possibly not returning as there's nothing really to return to. Landlords are throwing people out to make repairs and once they can reopen they will charge extremely high rents.

Needless to say, it's going to take quite a bit of time before anything even nears "normal." The only bit of normalcy that is beginning to return to New Orleans East (where Six Flags is located) is that power is being turned back on in some areas. Originally Entergy officials were saying it could take as long as 2006 to get power back on there. As cash strapped as the state and city are, they could sure use businesses returning (or pledging to return) and reopening as soon as possible. While Six Flags New Orleans may not seem an important player as there's much bigger markets and parks out there, it helped New Orleans generate some money.

*** Edited 11/15/2005 4:08:14 AM UTC by Cameraman***

Tuesday, November 15, 2005 12:13 AM
You also have to remember that New Orleans did not have that large of a population BEFORE the hurricane (slightly less than half a million people). Now, the population is even smaller than before. Six Flags New Orleans needs to attract more than three or four times the current population to make it even possibly worth the effort on the part of Six Flags. Six Flags needs to clean up the park's image and turn it into one of the better Six Flags parks (ie. Six Flags Over Texas) incorporating New Orleans pride into the entire park (ie. again, SFOT with its Texas pride). The park needs to be more of a tourist destination in conjunction with vacations to New Orleans. I think that is the only way there is a chance of SFNO to survive.

People come to New Orleans for the history not the park. Six Flags needs to make SFNO a sidetrip destination similar to Busch Gardens Williamsburg in association with historical Williamsburg.

Tuesday, November 15, 2005 12:32 AM
Yes, the city of New Orleans itself has/had about a half a million but the population of the metropolitan area from which SFNO draws was approximately 1.6 million (within 50 miles). The entire region (within 100 miles) has/had a population of around 3.1 million. When they say New Orleans in that sense they are talking about Orleans Parish, the city. The park has been too reliant on marketing itself to locals and in my opinion has in fact failed. Their marketing to locals has been weak and they have offered little reason for them to come back.

Take a look at Dixie Landin/Blue Bayou down the interstate in Baton Rouge and you'll see an extremely successful park that has marketed to locals. It would not surprise me at all if that park actually had greater attendance than Six Flags New Orleans. They don't just draw out of Baton Rouge but have relied heavily on New Orleans for years.

All feasibility studies done for Jazzland and Six Flags have relied heavily on a tourism market which has summed up to nothing at all really. They have not marketed themselves well at all to tourists and are too far from the downtown tourism area. They needed more of a draw for tourism such as a little tourist "city," if you will, of restaurants, entertainment, and hotels/resorts(?). Add to this, ample transportation to the tourist destinations of downtown New Orleans and I think this would have worked.

This is what Jazzland's developer, Tom Winningder, wanted. He had immediate plans for Jazzland's large amphitheater (for concerts and other functions), a state-of-the-art multiplex theater with seating for thousands, separate gate waterpark, and resort hotel. Naturally all of these things fell through since he was unable to find interested investors when Jazzland proved to be a flop due to negative publicity and its general unreadiness.


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