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Daved Thomson

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Daved Thomson last won the day on July 19

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About Daved Thomson

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    Runaway Mine Train
  • Birthday 02/15/1968

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    Los Angeles, CA
  • Interests
    Great Adventure AND Six Flags Great Adventure

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  1. WANTED: Six Flags Merchandise Bag from 1980s

    I have probably a half dozen of these bags at my parents home in Jersey in the three different size varieties in which they were produced. God only knows when I’ll be in Jersey again to get them for you. The bags I have do not have Great America on them, but include parks acquired up to Magic Mountain and the two wax museums.
  2. Wee Donuts Spotlight

    I have no idea on that one, but I’m unaware of any other Wee Donut shops in other theme parks or elsewhere. I certainly had never even heard the name before or again once they were no longer in the park.
  3. Wee Donuts Spotlight

    I found it very strange myself, but having worked in Food Service ‘80, ‘81 and ‘82 it was my understanding that each department was considered a profit center, meaning generating revenue of some sort in order to operate at a profit. The charging of a parking fee was the first example of a cost center becoming a profit center. Profit centers were all headed by a director and could include departments below them that were headed by managers. If a Department or area (I.e., Garden of Marvels) was strictly a cost center (meaning maintenance, upkeep, personnel costs exceeded any income actually generated), those areas/departments were being eliminated or combined with other departments to generate a profit. At the time, Merchandise was a separate department from Games/Attractions, but both departments reported to a single director. Food service all reported to a single director with separate managers for carts, stands, and the three major restaurants. Despite most merchandise having high markups, the turnover of merchandise was rather slow. Rotating or pool employees were common in food and merchandise even if you had been initially assigned to a given stand’s labor costs. When supervisors needed to cut labor in a given location, they would often give you the option to go to another food location that needed labor or you could go home. But, labor was never shared between departments and confection and novelty edibles somehow were considered merchandise. Park policy at that time largely dictated that food locations and merchandise locations remained open until labor exceeded revenue. And, when open to midnight or 2:00am, most locations were making that money. It was imperative that each stand generate a certain per capita revenue each hour with that per cap based on attendance levels in the park at that given hour. When your supervisor called you and asked for that hour’s per cap (which stand managers had to calculate and call into the office), it was up to the supervisor to close your location at that time. Keep in mind that at least the next hour and a half would result in labor costs lost in food service at that location as a result of closing, cleaning, inspection and setup to open the next day.
  4. Wee Donuts Spotlight

    Oddly enough, Wee Donuts was not a part of the park’s food service department and was, instead, considered part of the merchandise department. I’m not sure why, but at that time anything operated in the park related to consumable sweet items (fudge, confections, etc?) were considered merchandise locations rather than food locations and were filled with Merchandise employees versus Food Service employees.

    Just noticed the three utility sheds that were shown in this spotlight. These sheds were located behind the rollercoaster (parallel to it) in a small off-stage area that was also behind Big Wheel Burger, restrooms, Enterprise, Mad Hatter, Musik Express, Swabinchin, and later, Looping Starship. I know that two of the buildings were padlocked and not accessible and had high voltage signs on their front doors. The third building (farthest left in the photo) may also have had power related items in it, but it was definitely used by grounds crews as well for storage purposes and had benches and chairs outside it where grounds crews would often take smoking breaks. This area was also used as a central trash collection point for the area with literally trains of trash cars that would be pulled out at night by the tugs.
  6. GA Mystery Photos & Trivia

    The wording here is tricky. I’m going to say this is False. From what I’ve been able to discern is that the ride, while it was to have been called “The Loop” (prior to the Six Flags takeover) plans, drawings, and the scale model included interlocking loops from the outset. The plural Lightnin’ Loops name came with Six Flags despite drawings and references to interlocking loops and initial names like The Loop and The Double Header Loop.
  7. 1985 Dancin On Air.mp4

    Absolutely loved this show when it was on and was actually "Dancin' on Air" at GA a few seasons earlier when it was recorded at the park (I want to say 1980 or 1981). Had not known that the show was at the park that day prior to arriving, but went absolutely nuts when we found out it was there. We did a lot of dancing, but I never saw the show actually air. This just brought me back big time.
  8. Personally, I'm putting my money on this being very short lived. Weather has never been and never will be a deterrent issue for this park. The issue, however, (as Great Adventure has done) is that there is very little balance and/or variety available in this park for every member of the family to enjoy. The overwhelming emphasis on roller-coasters at the expense of everything else results in a very limited target audience of teenagers and young adults. The issue of gang fights in this park have been well established over time. The local teenagers should be in school during the week leaving an even smaller prospective group of teens/young adults from out of state or out of country. The location of this park (a growing, but still desolate part of Los Angeles County) is completely the opposite direction for anyone traveling as a tourist in Southern California. Sure, it's on the way to central and Northern California if driving, but only if driving that particular route (as opposed to driving the scenic coast). Valencia is no tourist destination because of Magic Mountain or anything else. Nice place to visit, but wouldn't want to live or even spend a few days there. I certainly wish them luck with this attempt, but have to believe that they can really lose their shirt with this Venture and any profits from the more viable operating days they currently enjoy.
  9. Colonial Cafe

    I never had Wee Donuts, but I recall some friends of mine having them and saying they ripped off the Dunkin' Munchkins name. As an aside, just heard that Dunkin' Donuts is dropping Donuts from their name. Soon to be just Dunkin.
  10. Photo Trip Report: July 27th, 2017 - Summertime Fun!

    From what I can see from your photos, the park is certainly looking improved. The Metropolis area looks good. I like the new Music Hall Hall facade (although a regularly used facility would be nice) and I think the wide open area of cement could have benefited from some trees. The bridge to the area immediately brings images of the Great America parks to mind. I think the area around the lake is also looking very nice and appreciate the use of the themed photo booths in both Frontier Adventure and Lakeside near the Bucaneer. I think it going without saying that the Congo Rapids advertising is a bit overpowering, but at least it doesn't come off as totally cheesy. Landscaping that I could see looks nice, especially the area near El Toro that seems to really pop. Hopefully I'll be able to see it all sometime in late August.
  11. New (NJ) Theme Park Puts Six Flags At Risk

    On the topic of new competition for Great Adventure in its primary market plus new competition for the two Texas parks, and a possible decline in attendance, at least one of the big investment firms asking questions during the Six Flags conference call have now downgraded the outlook for Six Flags stock.
  12. New (NJ) Theme Park Puts Six Flags At Risk

    I find one sentence of Mr. Reid-Anderson's answers to be particularly nonsensical and disturbing. That sentence is "Because the truth is that other theme parks are not really our competitors." Why, then, do you include a number of theme parks (both in the same inner and outer markets) as competitors in your annual report together with the description of each Six Flags park property?
  13. New (NJ) Theme Park Puts Six Flags At Risk

    Not necessarily true. The writer clearly indicates they calculated Great Adventure's size using the credit card data. That does not mean that they calculated the other parks using only the credit card data. It is not at all surprising that the Midwest parks would have a smaller percentage of credit card revenue given lower penetration of credit card usage in that region and the point the writer makes about the higher price point of GAd and separately gated water parks. Thus, I don't believe they have contradicted anything by simply showing Great America's credit card data at less than half of Great Adventure's. We also know that Fiesta Texas' credit card data is comparable to Great America's, yet their attendance is significantly lower. What they are telling you here is just as important as what they are not telling you here (regardless of whether they don't have the information to show, have it and choose not to show it, or are bared from showing it for legal reasons). Lastly, they also indicate that only 80% of the credit card data is attributable to a specific park. I am simply suggesting that to dismiss this report as completely far fetched, in my opinion, would appear to be rather naive on the part of Six Flags management.
  14. New (NJ) Theme Park Puts Six Flags At Risk

    Regardless of what one thinks as to the likelihood of American Dream actually opening, the projected decline in attendance (and revenues overall for Six Flags) are significant even if they do not meet the low-end projections of a 20% decline. A sustained decline of 15% to Great Adventure the year American Dream opens could be devastating to both the park and the company if it continued for multiple seasons. Again, Great Adventure's decreased offerings and resulting diminished broad appeal to a larger customer base could really be a problem for the park and the company. I certainly HOPE that Reid-Anderson is not dismissing this potential competitor out of hand. Medusa42, I think you may be incorrect in your assertion that the article mistakenly referred to Great Adventure as Great America. While Great Adventure is easily the company's largest property and can generate the biggest revenues and profits from season to season, I believe Great America has been more consistent as a money maker. Consider profitability contributed on average for Great Adventure from 1977 to present to Great America from 1984 to present and I think Great America will appear more stable in that regard.
  15. GA Mystery Photos & Trivia

    Mel Blanc