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John Winkler Named New President of SFGA

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John Winkler Named New President of

Six Flags Great Adventure and Hurricane Harbor

 

JACKSON, N.J. ─ January 8, 2018 ─ John Winkler has been named park president of Six Flags Great Adventure and Hurricane Harbor. He succeeds Neal Thurman who has taken over as park president of Six Flags Magic Mountain and Hurricane Harbor outside Los Angeles, Calif. The announcement is a homecoming for Winkler as he spent seven years at Six Flags Great Adventure beginning in 2001 as director of in-park revenue and later co-general manager.

 

“John’s vision and leadership coupled with his in-depth knowledge of the property and its veteran management team make him perfectly suited to take Six Flags Great Adventure to the next level,” said Six Flags Senior Vice President of U.S. Park Operations Tom Iven.

 

Winkler most recently served as park president of Six Flags New England in Agawam, Mass. for six years. “I am thrilled to rejoin this world-class park, the largest in our portfolio, and the second largest in the world,” Winkler said. “Being at Great Adventure is a homecoming, and I am eager to work toward a bright future with this experienced and passionate team.”

 

Winkler’s career with Six Flags spans more than three decades. He began as a front-line team member at Six Flags Astroworld in 1983, and rose to the position of manager of games and retail. In 1998, Winkler joined Six Flags Great America outside Chicago, Ill. as games manager, and advanced to director and co-general manager during his seven years at Six Flags Great Adventure. From 2009 to 2011, Winker served as park president of Six Flags America outside Washington, D.C. prior to joining Six Flags New England.

 

Winkler studied aerospace engineering and biochemistry, and holds a degree in biochemistry and biophysical science from the University of Houston. Winker comes to Six Flags Great Adventure and Hurricane Harbor with a focus on team member development and a passion for incorporating technology into delivering outstanding guest service.

 

 

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Source:  Six Flags Great Adventure

 

Best of luck John in your new role at Great Adventure!  Welcome!

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Saw this in an article I found: 

"Jackson is the flagship park in the company," Winkler said in an interview. "It will always get heavy investment. Our five-year plan is loaded with investment and new technology and innovation."

 

I like how he sees our park as the top park and wants to incorporate new technology in the 5 year plan.

 
 

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Six Flags Great Adventure's new president turns attention to technology

Source:  Asbury Park Press Published 12:20 p.m. ET Jan. 8, 2018 | Updated 1:13 p.m. ET Jan. 8, 2018

 

John Winkler has been named president of Six Flags Great Adventure and Hurricane Harbor in Jackson, the company said Monday, and he quickly promised to keep up with technological changes at one of Six Flags' biggest theme parks....

 

Winkler takes over for Neal Thurman, who was named president of Six Flags Magic Mountain and Hurricane Harbor in Valencia, California, after spending a little more than a year at Great Adventure.

 

"Jackson is the flagship park in the company," Winkler said in an interview. "It will always get heavy investment. Our five-year plan is loaded with investment and new technology and innovation."

 

Six Flags Great Adventure is one of New Jersey's biggest tourist attractions with 6,000 employees and more than 3 million visitors a year. It is vying with Magic Mountain as the largest owned by Six Flags Entertainment Group, according to the Themed Entertainment Association, a trade group.

 

Winkler takes over as the park is set to unveil its newest ride, the Cyborg Cyber Spin, a gondola that it says simultaneously spins riders in every direction. The video gives a better description. Take a look above.

 

It also has proposed building a 21-megawatt solar facility that has drawn opposition from environmental groups.

 

Winkler, 51, comes to Great Adventure after spending the past the past six years as president of Six Flags New England in Agawam, Massachusetts. 

 

A native of Houston, Texas, he began his career as a front-line employee at Six Flags Astroworld in 1983. Since then, he has worked at several parks, including Great Adventure from 2001 to 2008, when he was director of in-park revenue and co-general manager.

 

The Jackson theme park has changed since then. It now includes rides like the Zumanjaro: Drop of Doom that lifts riders 415 feet and drops them at speeds up to 90 miles per hour. And its leaders have tried to turn it into a year-round attraction with events like Fright Fest around Halloween and Holiday in the Park around Christmas.

 

Winkler said it will continue to invest in technology, not only with new rides. Also on tap are self-ordering kiosks and upgrades to its smart phone app.

 

"Every day is different, and it's always challenging," he said. "As people's interests change and the things that attract them change, we always have to from a business perspective create new things to get them to come back."

 

 

 

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