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silvermom05

Rolling Thunder Removal Discussion

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That's easy to say, but the truth is Six Flags was BILLIONS of dollars in debt for many years and they had to make cuts to budgets for everything. Now current management has got things back on track and making money again and they have to make reasonable, rational decisions based on what they have now. If they could go back in time and find a way to budget properly for all the work that RT has needed and not had done (new braking and control systems/new or rebuilt trains/track structural work) it would be wonderful, but time travel still has not been perfected yet. Like the Super Teepee, it comes to the point of realizing it is beyond repair at any reasonable cost and a decision has to be made. It's not an easy decision or a popular one, but it may be the only practical/feasible decision.

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Please do not bring up the Super TeePee as an attraction that was "beyond repair at any reasonable cost." A teepee is one of the simplest structures to build, whether it's the world's largest or something the kids might use in the backyard as a tent! The Super TeePee needed the two things any teepee does... A canvas/tent cover (not very different than the Dream Street tents) and new faugh logs/supports that the cover would sit on to replace the original logs which had rotted after 35 years. So, to get a completely new Super TeePee (and its accompanying revenue generating retail operations), I really don't see it as having been beyond repair at a reasonable cost. A new cover and new logs (which could nowadays be fake/imitation logs made out of steel). Unreasonably expensive? Really? I'm with IGetAround, in that management has got to understand how to operate a theme park profitably long term. Guests WILL pay for quality, they will resent paying for management's mistakes, time and time again.

Edited by Daved Thomson

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The problem with the Super Teepee was two fold though. Yes, it could have been replaced (although getting logs like that would have been difficult, and it could have been done with faux logs), but more than anything the need for the shop that was in it is long gone. There are so many vacant shops at Great Adventure (and many parks) because people don't buy souvenirs like they used to. Yes, they could have restored/rebuilt Super Teepee but for what? They struggled to find a use for it the last few seasons it was there, using it to host birthday parties and finally just as storage.

 

Don't get me wrong, I feel the loss of Super Teepee and Conestoga Wagon are HUGE losses for the park. They were a major part of the theme and the feeling of the area and cannot be replaced. When it comes down to it though, Super Teepee had no other purpose in the end other than as decoration. Now the Conestoga actually was a functioning location and was a stupid removal for no real reason as far as I can tell.

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Even if just for a theme element, Super Tee Pee should have stayed. Many, MANY parks have large themeing elements that are there simply for themeing. I miss the Tee Pee more than the wagon. The Tee Pee literally would have cost them nothing to leave there simply as something to look at ; they probably spent more money removing it than it cost to fix it.

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It had been condemned because the rot in the logs was so bad it was in danger of collapsing. They would have had to remove it completely and then completely rebuild it. When you can't offer any return on that investment, you have to face facts and try to make the best of it.

 

Once again, I think it was a great loss, but it was a case of just having to deal with realities of business.

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Im sure at some point in the future we will see the Fort go as well. Ive posted before eventually we will see the whole area themed to KK and the new Off Road Adventure.

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Actually, the Fort was built of concrete and steel and has been receiving maintenance over time...most likely it will be there for a long time to come. And again, that was one of the problems was maintenance of the Fort cost a LOT of money that had to come from somewhere.

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The problem with the Super Teepee was two fold though. Yes, it could have been replaced (although getting logs like that would have been difficult, and it could have been done with faux logs), but more than anything the need for the shop that was in it is long gone. There are so many vacant shops at Great Adventure (and many parks) because people don't buy souvenirs like they used to. Yes, they could have restored/rebuilt Super Teepee but for what? They struggled to find a use for it the last few seasons it was there, using it to host birthday parties and finally just as storage.

 

Don't get me wrong, I feel the loss of Super Teepee and Conestoga Wagon are HUGE losses for the park. They were a major part of the theme and the feeling of the area and cannot be replaced. When it comes down to it though, Super Teepee had no other purpose in the end other than as decoration. Now the Conestoga actually was a functioning location and was a stupid removal for no real reason as far as I can tell.

I'm glad we agree about Conestoga Wagon, however, I viamently disagree about the TeePee in that it would not have been very expensive to replace and if not used for retail, perhaps a simple flat ride (scrambler) could have been put inside and with a little bit of creativity you'd have a new dark ride.

 

What is sad about all of this is that management doesn't seem to realize that the park's infrastructure (especially the iconic Warner LeRoy structures) ARE not simply replaceable by some new, generic or carnival-like (such as trailer mounted stands) ride or structure. Those things can easily be found at any of the boardwalks along the Jersey Shore and at much lower costs to access. Combine this with their never-ending quest to attract teenagers and you really have a recipe for failure (in the long-run).

 

As far as money for maintenance of the Fort being "a lot" and "having to come from somewhere," of course it had to come from somewhere. In reality, though, had it been properly maintained (via PREVENTIVE maintenance, obviously something the park does not practice) the costs would NOT have been a lot and something that should have been regularly planned. Again, I think the notion of any sort of planning is just not standard operating procedure with management.

Edited by Daved Thomson

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Sorry miss statement. I know its concrete. I was thinking along the lines of retheming the area. To give the area more of a tie in to the off road adventure.

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Got ask this. And dont know were to post.Does anyone from corprate read our thoughts? Or even value our input? Many of us have worked there at some point. Or have been there as a guest from the beginning. Do we count at all?

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They do listen to the input of the public from social media but mostly through the park's Guest Relations department. All comments submitted through the park, through the phone line and through the website are reviewed and rolled up to the park level management as well as to corporate management. What they do from that point I couldn't tell you, but I know that those comments are read and do make a difference some times.

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I was at the park yesterday and it did not appear demolition has started yet, so there's no pictures to be taken as of now. Hopefully they are reconsidering the move at this time! (Wishful thinking)

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They do listen to the input of the public from social media but mostly through the park's Guest Relations department. All comments submitted through the park, through the phone line and through the website are reviewed and rolled up to the park level management as well as to corporate management. What they do from that point I couldn't tell you, but I know that those comments are read and do make a difference some times.

If they're largely listening to only what is given to Guest Relations, this is yet another example that management is clueless about marketing and marketing research. If the only people you're listening to are you're current customers, the only perspective you're going to get is their perspective, their satisfaction/dissatisfaction, and their ideas. Great way to keep what you have, but a horrible way to expand and attract a broader customer base and, therefore, higher attendance. They need to not only consider their current guests, but if they really want to grow, try talking to those who've never been, those who are now "rejectors" of the park, and those who visit the competition AND have thought about GA, but ultimately went somewhere else. When you're only talking to teens, you're only going to get teens!

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Doubt they are reconsidering, but man would I be happy if they did.

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If you read the comments in the petition, there is still a strong bond to rolling thunder to folks outside of this forum. A lot of it is history, personal experience, a lot of it is also the fact the ride is irreplaceable in its category (aka starter thrill ride?), some of it is strong opinions about how good of a ride it is when riding smoothly. A lot of this has been rehashed here several times.

 

If I were a Six Flags executive, and I was paying attention to this, I would at minimum hold off on irreversable actions (such as demolition) until I I was sure that this is something that needed to be done. Of course, I am hoping wiser minds prevail at Six Flags and find a way to preserve rolling thunder while increasing the ride footprint in the park. Maybe review costs one more time, do another survey. Remains to be seen, rt is still there, so hoping...

Edited by sfgalocal

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I know that it has history and everything, I agree about it and it symbolizes the park and everything, i'm just saying that I think that their decision is final and it is going. I don't hope that, I just think that.

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Six Flags has never understood, and apparently still does not, the importance of maintenance and upkeep. They think this is a waste of money they could be spending on a new ride. They do not realize that the crumbling park is turning away business and a new ride does not create new business. Instead of adding a new ride every year, they need to hold off for a while and use the money to fix what they already have.

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I agree, the longer you put off maintenance and repairs, the harder and more expensive they will get. It is like with a disease, the sooner you treat it the better. Both Dorney and Hershey are kept much cleaner and in better shape than GADV. There have been times when all the major coasters were broken down at the same time at GADV, while this never happens at the other rival parks. With Dorney or Hershey at worst one ride may be broken down, not several at once.

 

GADV is just rotten, rowdy, and dirty compared to most of the other local parks which is a shame. While I agree they should fix up what they already have, we are outnumbered by other fan forums that demand new thrill rides every year.

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it all comes down to money. They want to add more attractions so they can bring in more people. What they are forgetting, with more people comes more wear and tear on the park's infrastructure. Before more rides are added that will attract huge crowds, the park needs to be able to deal with more people.

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Six Flags has never understood, and apparently still does not, the importance of maintenance and upkeep. They think this is a waste of money they could be spending on a new ride. They do not realize that the crumbling park is turning away business and a new ride does not create new business. Instead of adding a new ride every year, they need to hold off for a while and use the money to fix what they already have.

I couldn't agree more! We know their attendance has not been increasing consistently since at least 1996 and given parks with attendance of 3 million are stronger than GA, they really need to spend significant amounts on bringing the park's current infrastructure up to a high quality standard. That alone, I believe, would allow them to (at the very least) maintain current attendance levels or even see consistent modest gains for three seasons. The idea of spending millions on a single attraction that you HOPE will pay for itself in a single season really is crazy. All they have to do is look at their past attempts using this logic to see that it just doesn't work.

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I think the problem may be that none of the senior executives at Six Flags have any theme park experience. They try to run the parks the way they ran the businesses they worked for previousely, and it does not work. They need to find people with theme park experience to run the company.

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I think the problem may be that none of the senior executives at Six Flags have any theme park experience. They try to run the parks the way they ran the businesses they worked for previousely, and it does not work. They need to find people with theme park experience to run the company.

Again, I'm in full agreement with you. Their current CEO tries to sound like he's "way cool" himself, and just comes off as trying to appear he knows what he's doing, but really doesn't. Personally, I'd like to see Larry B. Cochran come out of retirement and returned to run the company. He actually came out of retirement several years ago and was running a small chain of castle park/mini-golf amusement parks.

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I think thats a problem in most businesses. These people may have master degrees and business or business experiance, but you need amusement experience. Owning a restaurant is completely different than running an amusement park. Corporate runs everything from an office and from ideas on paper. Have the ceo spend a day in the park, BY HIMSELF, dressed normally, and see how it is run. Most employees at the park probably wouldn't recognize him and will treat him accordingly. They also HAVE to listen to the people. Afterall, we make them money.

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