Worst hour cuts in Six Flags history?

Tuesday, January 4, 2005 7:40 PM
Six Flags New Orleans recently had its 2005 operating hours posted on the official site. The extremity of the hour cuts instantly hit me and made me very angry (even though I had no plans to visit or purchase anything with the name Six Flags written anywhere near it) at these extreme budget cuts.

The park now:

  • opens on Sundays at 12 PM rather than 11 AM
  • opens at 11 AM rather than 10 AM and closes at 6 PM rather than 10 PM during the week of Memorial Day (excluding Memorial Day)
  • opens at 11 AM rather than 10 AM and closes at 8 PM rather than 9 PM during summer weekdays
  • closes at 9 PM rather than 10 PM on Saturdays
  • opens at 11 PM rather than 10 PM on Fridays in the summer
  • closes at 7 PM rather than 8 PM during the fall
  • and opens at 12 PM on Saturdays during Fright Fest in order to allow for the only 10 PM closing in the season.

When you add up the hours, I'm sure they've eliminated a few days worth of operating right there!

This was the last straw for me and Six Flags. I've most certainly had enough of them. Of course you add to this the one train operation, understaffing with several rides down, and other idiocy that goes on in Six Flags.

*** Edited 1/5/2005 1:20:19 AM UTC by Cameraman***

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Tuesday, January 4, 2005 7:50 PM
Doesn't surprise me at all. I read somewhere that Six Flags is trying as hard as it can to sell this park but no one is looking to buy. I guess CF can only turn around so many SF parks at a time.
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Tuesday, January 4, 2005 7:54 PM
After recently moving to New Orleans I still don't have any desire to go back to the place after my first visit. I'm not even going to buy a pass next year.

Megazeph was pretty sweet, and Batman always kicks ass, I'm just not going to put up with the crap to ride them.

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Tuesday, January 4, 2005 8:12 PM
Geez...and I thought the SFGAm hour cuts sucked awhile back! Just sounds like the usual less for more thing, (although I don't really know if they're charging more since I live in Illinois and have never been there). I'm rather getting used to Six Flags ways, maybe next they will only be open June, July and August...
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Tuesday, January 4, 2005 8:14 PM
If anything, you would think that a park down there would stay open later to help people deal with the brutal heat during the day. Then again, based on my visit last year, the park didn't seem too customer friendly anyway.
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Tuesday, January 4, 2005 8:24 PM
Yes, night was basically the only time I would go. Hence why I'm so mad (though I had no plans to renew my season pass).
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Tuesday, January 4, 2005 8:28 PM
That's definitely a sad situation when locals don't even want to go to their home park. It would be nice to see another company (that gives a damn) buy the park but I don't really see who.
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Tuesday, January 4, 2005 8:41 PM
The chain has to save money somehow. Cutting back on operating hours [and, thusly, the wages they would have paid] seems to be their method of choice.
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Tuesday, January 4, 2005 9:03 PM
It seems like a decent idea to me, not everyone gets there an hour before the place opens and is the last one to walk out.

I am not sure how many SF parks it would work at, but for that one I think it will. Unlike a lot of parks I have seen, people just don't flood into the gates at 10 AM there. The crowd seems to peak much later in the day.

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Tuesday, January 4, 2005 9:09 PM
I thought SFNO was one of the few parks in the chain actually doing reasonably well. Is the managment and park experience there as bad as it is across the chain?
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Tuesday, January 4, 2005 9:13 PM
Worse. It is the worst-run park I have seen in the chain. When some rides are run by 1/2 a ride op, you know it's getting bad.

Bosshawk, I don't disagree with you too much over the 10 AM opening, but the early closing hours are too much. It is extremely hot to the point where it is impossible to visit the park unless you marathon the water rides (which often get big lines even on slow days when it's hot). The night time hours are actually fairly busy and I see no reason why Six Flags should close earlier. If anything, Saturday's hours should have remained the same.

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Tuesday, January 4, 2005 9:37 PM
Bosshawk, the thing is people will now get there after opening just like they do now and miss out on time in the park. I cant stand short days in a new park in particular. My trip to BGT was so short we spent the entire day practically running from ride to ride so we could get on them all, yet we were still charged full price for a seven hour day. We arent going back anytime soon.
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Tuesday, January 4, 2005 9:50 PM
When I visited SFNO last season it was empty. I mean dead empty. Batman was a walk on all day empty, is what I'm saying. It's hard for me to begrudge them cutting back on operating hours having seen that. (In fairness, thunderstorms were predicted that day and arrived. However, I've been at other parks where storms were predicted that weren't this empty). Also, unlike a certain park in my backyard (*cough* Great Adventure), SFNO had everything operating despite it being empty.

So my vote is if cutting hours is what will keep Six Flags from selling the land, then so be it.

As for parks where limited hours pissed me off, that's easy - Islands of Adventure and Dollywood. When you close your park and it's PACKED (which both were, and I was tossed out of a packed IOA on 2 different days), then your closing time is too darn early on those days.

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Tuesday, January 4, 2005 10:02 PM
Has anyone looked to see if all the other SF parks have cut their operating hours, or is this the only one?
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Tuesday, January 4, 2005 10:07 PM
Things have changed a lot since you visited I believe. Staffing has degraded badly (especially when the foreign workers aren't around). Lots of rides were closed during Fall-Fright Fest. Some rides were even THEMED(!) to being closed during Fright Fest (skeletons sitting in the seats for goodness sakes!). While I agree there are some slow days that could have hours trimmed (specifically during the week in the rainy season...), the hour cuts across the board and on weekends is ridiculous. Overall attendance wasn't bad for this park. I've seen closing times on some days that had attendance higher than in the middle of the day. I really wouldn't care if they cut morning hours, but the night hours are even worse since it's the only time to seek refuge from the sun.

I would imagine that they are bracing for the worst next season as their "new for 2005 plans" appear to be completely cancelled and they aren't supplying this waterpark that has been talked about on the news a lot this year. I think they are expecting a very big attendance decrease and by the way people aren't buying season passes now, I can see where they are coming from. If they would have provided better service this past season and not had a few mishaps in 2003, I believe they wouldn't be in the mess they are in right now.

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Tuesday, January 4, 2005 10:39 PM
Actually to answer John Peck, SFSL actually added not hours, but days to their calendar. We actually open in late March as opposed to Mid April, they have many Fridays open from 10-6 in the spring which it didnt even used to be open to the public on Fridays just private school events about 2 Fridays a month. The summer is just about the same as usual but the fall, Saturdays during Fright Fest we are open one hour later, close at 11 instead of 10; which is good because Saturdays during Fright Fest at night were always pretty crowded. This is just Six Flags way of saving money in the chain, if no one is going to go to SFNO, then why have it open when you dont need it to be.
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Tuesday, January 4, 2005 10:59 PM
So that's the deal with park right now? Basically Six Flags is looking to unload the park and this is just a money saving technique until it happens? Because it definitely isn't a money making technique. Especially as Camerman said, when a lot of the locals go in the evening. It's just a shame that the park has to be in money saving mode and not money making mode. Cutting back hours, wether it's because of an expected decrease in attendance or to save on paying employees, doesn't sound like a good idea to me. Especially if you are trying in some way to reconnect and improve things with your local base.
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Tuesday, January 4, 2005 11:08 PM
Does everyone forget they are running a buisness? If they don't feel there were enough people in the park at those times, why should they waste thier money keeping it open. I have never been to the park though so I don't know how crowded it is in the hours that were cut.

If they were smart, they would use the money saved in operating hours to hire more ride ops for better service.

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Tuesday, January 4, 2005 11:16 PM
Hmm, maybe that's the plan. I don't know. That's why I asked above if anyone was familiar with the situation as to wether or not Six Flags is looking at unloading the park. I understand that the park is trying to run a business and if this is purely a business move and not a indication of bad things to come for the park than so be it. I for one was looking at it from a point of view of a company treading water and just making things worse with the locals. It will be interesting to see if anything does happen with their supposed plans for 2005 and beyond.
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Tuesday, January 4, 2005 11:53 PM
A lot of you seem more upest then I think you should be. I for one am just a little confused from this. The majority complain about a lot of what Six Flags does. As some have stated they are trying to run a business and recently it hasnt gone too well. The chain however has relized this problem, they very well know that they are 2.1 billion in debt (2.7 a year ago) and they are doing what they can to stay operational. They have cut back on capital, but that just pissed a bunch of you off. They need to spend more in making the parks better you say, as they have started doing (too little too late, not the debate here).

You complain about rides being closed due to poor maintnence or low staffing. Any time they raise prices you raise voices. You get upset when they sell unused land, or when they sell parks. And now they cant even cut hours!? So baisicly I'm hearing that they need to spend a ton of money on new rides for even the least profitable park, increase in park spending to make extremly beautiful parks, increase maintnence and staffing, lower ticket prices, buy more land and expand, increase hours at each park.

This is where I'm lost all I hear is spend spend spend, theres no indication to where your going to get this money from or how to decrease the debt. I mean I know that less hours stinks, but they arent stupid (even though you will all say they are, give them some credit they do have operating brains) they arent going to cut hours that are necessary. They look through their numbers and this was what they thought to be a good choice for 2005 looking at the whole picture. Turning this company around is going to take time and budgeting. Its a compromise for keeping the park open but saving money.

You have to understand it isnt just about satisfying you (although you do want to satisfy the customer) its about keeping a business from distruction. Id love to shower my friends and family with really expensive gifts that they would absoltuly love, but I can only work with the budget I have so I have to give them the next best thing. Quit being so critical and start to think of the whole picture and reality instead of just spend spend spend, me me me.

As for the comment about CF having to buy SF parks to turn them around... why dont we save those comments untill CF has turned around a SF park? Adding a watter park over 2 years doesnt mean its magically better (after removing a large portion of the park, and even reusing rides from previous areas for the expansion). If you recall when SF took over that same park they pumped the money into capital too, how did that end up, give this one time as well. *** Edited 1/5/2005 4:56:29 AM UTC by googlewatt***

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