Whats it take to be a PArk Manager

Thursday, January 3, 2002 7:40 PM
What does it take to be a Park Manager. Like Manager of SFMM, like that held by Del. or what does it take to hold a spot in the Six Flags Chain thing. Like the guy who issues what parks get what?

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Hart High. Indian Pride.

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Thursday, January 3, 2002 7:49 PM
A lot of ambition, motivation, and perseverance.  Knowing people and networking helps, too.  I know that most, if not all, SF general managers at one point were lowly park hosts.  I once read that the g.m. of SFOG worked at the park in the 70s as a costumed character.  Parks want to hire from within, so it's impoartant that you work in a park even at a low level.  From there you work your way up. 

I know of no parks who hire managers of any kind without previously working in a park.  Get in somewhere, work hard, go to college of course, and you should be okay.  You may not make it to GM or be a corporate officer, but you can still play an important role.

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Thursday, January 3, 2002 7:59 PM
Ok what courses Should i take. I really Need Agent Jonhson on this one. Also i plan to work at SFMM this Summer. I want to be a Ride Op hopefully down the road.

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Hart High. Indian Pride.

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Thursday, January 3, 2002 8:10 PM
Some kind of management or business courses couldn't hurt. Working in a park is also an excellent suggestion.

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Until you get a parking space with your own name on it, you're still part of the GP.

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Thursday, January 3, 2002 9:05 PM
In college I guess I would get a business administration degreem at least 4 years, getting a Master's would be even better.  Maybe you could minor in hospitality or something.  Be sure to take business law and some accounting. 

What I have found, though, is that what you'll need to know can't be learned in school.  It's what you learn working hands on and working as a team leader (i.e. ride foreman/lead).  That is what parks look for:  leadership.

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Friday, January 4, 2002 4:52 AM
You need to remember, being the manager of a park is an extremely difficult position.

Though many companies have different levels of management (food, games, rides, security) , it all relays on you in the end.

You need business, finance and marketing knowledge, you need to be aware of where your employees are, what they are doing and if they are doing their jobs well. You need great customer service skills and be ready to tackle the media or customers when the situation calls for it.

If your park is underperforming, you may also find yourself at the unemployment line

Park managers hardly get to choose what ride they want to build, especially the corporate parks, though suggestions are brought forth, and distributed amongst financial anyalists and stock holders.

The budget of the chain and the yearly income is always a factor.

Richard Kinzel, CEO and President of Cedar Fair started at Cedar Point in food service in his younger years and eventually worked up from there becoming the genius behind the current Cedar Point and her sister parks. Now the man brings in $2.8 mill./yr

So, with that in mind, good luck.

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Friday, January 4, 2002 4:57 AM
Well, with a few exceptions, it helps to be a white man.  It is still the old white boys club in the industry.  I am aware of a couple of women in prominent roles such as GM but they are not the norm.

Most managers worked a lot of years in low paying jobs to get to the top.  Dick Nunis, of WDW fame, started as a Jungle Cruise skipper at Disneyland.  Dick Kinzel worked in food service for CP.  Come to think of it, it would help if your name was Dick too!

It also requires a great deal of sacrifice.  I would be willing to bet that, to a man, a majority of the GM's would say that they sacrificed quite a bit of time with their families to get where thy are today.

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Friday, January 4, 2002 5:00 AM
Are Dick Kinzel and Richard Kinzel the same people?
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Friday, January 4, 2002 5:29 AM
...yep!  Dick is a standard nickname for Richard....kinda like William is my given name, bur rollergator is the name I go by...(Bill, actually)..LOL.
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Friday, January 4, 2002 6:15 AM

wahoo skipper said:
"Well, with a few exceptions, it helps to be a white man.  It is still the old white boys club in the industry.  I am aware of a couple of women in prominent roles such as GM but they are not the norm.

Most managers worked a lot of years in low paying jobs to get to the top.  Dick Nunis, of WDW fame, started as a Jungle Cruise skipper at Disneyland.  Dick Kinzel worked in food service for CP.  Come to think of it, it would help if your name was Dick too!

It also requires a great deal of sacrifice.  I would be willing to bet that, to a man, a majority of the GM's would say that they sacrificed quite a bit of time with their families to get where thy are today."



Looks like i am not gonna make it then cuase i am the farest thing from white. And my name isnt dick.

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Hart High. Indian Pride.

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Friday, January 4, 2002 6:54 AM
You can accomplish anything if you put your heart and mind to it.
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Friday, January 4, 2002 7:19 AM
It doesnt matter if your white or not.  It just matters that you have the skills.  And not to sound racist or anything (because I have alot of black friends) but most blacks arent even interested in amusement parks. 

EDIT-Sorry I had a spelling error

*** This post was edited by ChickenMan on 1/4/2002. ***

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Friday, January 4, 2002 8:19 AM
Aside from skills and ambition, I also would think it takes a heck of a lot of luck and "who you know."   Look at how many parks and park "management" positions there are in the US compared to the general population.  It is not a large industry when compared to most. 

You can have all of the ambiton and skill in the world, but with so very few "positions" available, you gotta be in the "right place at the right time".

 

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"I wasn't always this cynical, but then I started kindergarden..."

*** This post was edited by SLFAKE on 1/4/2002. ***

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Friday, January 4, 2002 8:29 AM
Please don't take my remarks as racist.  On the contrary, I was being critical of the industry for not promoting more women and minorities.  I know many capable women at several theme parks who should be in higher positions than they are.
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Friday, January 4, 2002 10:06 AM

ChickenMan said:
"And not to sound racist or anything (because I have alot of black friends) but most blacks arent even interested in amusement parks."

I wouldn't say you sound racist, just stupid! Next time you're in the DC area, pop into SFA or PKD or if you're in C-Land, SFWoA or Chi-town and SFGAm. After you do even a cursory amount of research, get back to me.

You sir, are apparently completely ignorant on the subject!
lata,
moi
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"Nobody writes about the planes that land." Steve Salerno Washington Times 7-10-01

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Friday, January 4, 2002 11:33 AM
So I guess all of the black people I've seen at amusement parks were just white people with really dark tans. I guess it also means that white people don't like ribs, Chinese people eat cats, Latin women all look like J-Lo, Jews are cheap and mid-eastern people are all terrorists.

I agree, that's not racist, just stupid. I hate stupid people. Does that make me "stupidist?" ;)

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Jeff - Webmaster/Admin - CoasterBuzz.com, Sillynonsense.com
"As far as I can tell it doesn't matter who you are. If you can believe, there's something worth fighting for..." - Garbage, "Parade"

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Friday, January 4, 2002 11:39 AM
I won't even go there... ;)
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"I'll bet that thing hits 5 Gs going through that loop.....faaar ooouut!"
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Friday, January 4, 2002 11:43 AM
To boil on a low heat...

Opposite of up...

Not later but ...

Simmer down now!

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Friday, January 4, 2002 2:11 PM

Jeff said:
"So I guess all of the black people I've seen at amusement parks were just white people with really dark tans. I guess it also means that white people don't like ribs, Chinese people eat cats, Latin women all look like J-Lo, Jews are cheap and mid-eastern people are all terrorists.

I agree, that's not racist, just stupid. I hate stupid people. Does that make me "stupidist?" ;)

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Jeff - Webmaster/Admin - CoasterBuzz.com, Sillynonsense.com
"As far as I can tell it doesn't matter who you are. If you can believe, there's something worth fighting for..." - Garbage, "Parade"
"



What are you talking about Jeff? Where did this Rant Come from?

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Hart High. Indian Pride.

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Friday, January 4, 2002 5:48 PM
Read carefully... try again.

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Jeff - Webmaster/Admin - CoasterBuzz.com, Sillynonsense.com
"As far as I can tell it doesn't matter who you are. If you can believe, there's something worth fighting for..." - Garbage, "Parade"

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Closed topic.

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