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Daved Thomson

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Everything posted by Daved Thomson

  1. It makes absolutely no sense that they would even bother to publish this report for 2020, with almost all of the various data points used as input completely unstable versus their 2019 report. And, the logic of keeping rankings frozen at 2019 levels while still reporting attendance levels for parks that had operating days and reported attendance, is just very bad statistical reporting and tracking. But, we have known for sometime now that these reports are no longer based on actual attendance figures obtained solely from the parks and reported to TEA. TEA uses some algorithm to, at best, guestimate actual attendance figures based on inputs such as figures reported by the parks, reputation for reporting accurate data, actual weather and economic conditions, etc. Like most trade associations, TEA has better information on some parks/companies than others and their confidence in park/company data, I have to believe, varies greatly for each company/park. I would think that their attendance figures most years, at best are based on a 90% confidence level versus actual attendance. Obviously, only management at all of the parks knows how close these reported figures are to actual final attendance counts. Just my personal opinion, but all of the attendance figures in this report are significantly more questionable than any of the data reported in prior TEA reports and I think everyone has been quick to notice it.
  2. Fantastic spotlight and one that I have been eagerly awaiting. Agree that the side facing trams were strange, but also ridiculously inefficient in terms of the rider capacity. In reality, this configuration allowed for, at most, 24 "normal" sized passengers per car. This side facing configuration and these tug-type of trams were common to each of the original three Six Flags parks. While I'm not 100% certain of this, I believe they did not appear at Great Adventure until the 1978 season. Despite being a big GA fan and employee for three seasons, as well as attending pretty regularly through at least the early 2000's, the Firestone trams were the last trams I ever recall seeing at the park. The variety of trams the park has utilized over the years, that are included in this spotlight, was a real shocker for me. As you have mentioned before, the single axle cars provided quite a seesaw ride themselves to the park entrance with the connection between cars often bottoming out in various uneven sections of the parking lot. Personally, the lack of trams at Great Adventure were a big reason my mother and father stopped going to the park. The walk from the parking lot to the main entrance became too much for my mother. In the park, there were plenty of places to sit and catch a breadth for her as she aged, but the walk from the farthest reaches of the parking lot to the main entrance was too much.
  3. What a fantastic picture of these bears! Can't believe they were never used in a brochure or pamphlet. Really great!
  4. Get a new governor. One that does NOT think it's his job to dictate to the businesses or citizens of the State what is a safe or unsafe environment in which to work. People are very capable of deciding for themselves where to work and when it's better to work than not work, and "safer" to work than not work. As long as you've relaxed requirements to collect unemployment and made it more advantageous to collect unemployment than to work (thereby making it safer to not work than to work for many people), you will have a very difficult time finding people to work.
  5. I've always been a big fan of Warner LeRoy and his "over the top" way of doing things. But, the Russian Tea Room, was another example of his inability to manage, budget and plan the opening of his projects accordingly. Like Great Adventure, he really has a history of opening his projects before they are completely ready to open and I think this really hurts when it comes to the guests he welcomes during that initial period. Positive word-of-mouth remains amongst the most powerful forms of advertising and he really seemed to overlook it in almost all of his projects. The ability to "wow" people is greatly diminished when people are first exposed to something that is unfinished.
  6. If I'm not mistaken, Come Together also only lasted for the 1981 and 1982 seasons as well.
  7. I remember those signs and the phrase vividly, but, I have to admit, I never thought of them as being obscene. This is the first I've heard of that interpretation. It is interesting to note that Roaring Rapids was introduced in 1981 and the phrase for its introduction that you noted on the sign was likely written by someone either in the marketing department or at the park's advertising agency. That would be the same department or agency that introduced the park's new tag line that year, "Come Together." Come Together's meaning was sometimes misinterpreted at the time by both park employees and guests because of it's sexual connotations. Come Together was intended to communicate that guests should come to the park together with their entire family, but was sometimes misinterpreted by those with wandering thoughts as encouraging mutual orgasm. A pre-testing of the advertising slogan at that time would have caught such an issue.
  8. I could be wrong, but I believe they simply refer to Six Flags as having introduced the first log flume ride, as opposed to Six Flags Great Adventure. Worthy of note, however, is the fact that Great Adventure's log flume was the largest log flume in the world when it opened in 1974. Quick correction to my comment. The SFGA park website (the official Six Flags website) does refer to the Saw Mill Log Flume as being the first. That is clearly not the case. I'm guessing it's probably the result of the same person writing the copy for all of the Six Flags parks and someone not editing that writing for the individual park.
  9. Remember them very well. They were a great burst of color as you approached the fountain. I'm actually surprised that they're no longer there. I'm sure the profit margins on those things were enormous.
  10. You're not kidding about squirrel's and wires. My father never puts his car in the garage and he lives in a fairly wooded area in Jersey. He has twice now had to have the wiring under the hood of his car replaced due to squirrels chewing them apart. Each time he brought the car to the dealer since the car was still under warranty, he was told that the wires had been chewed through by squirrels. Obviously, squirrel chewing isn't covered under any auto manufacturer's warranty and it's not cheap to have all of your engine wiring replaced.
  11. That's hilarious... Are the two photos actually of the Mullica River or are those downed trees over a waterway at GA? Personally, I would like to see a return to the Roaring Rapids name which, with your suggested theming, would certainly be more appropriate than Congo Rapids.
  12. I never knew they owned land abutting I-195, but if true, that would certainly be the most valuable land. My concern is $8 million dollars of undeveloped land in Jackson, NJ sounds like a very large number of acres, most of which GA owned south of Prospertown Lake, and most of which is shielded from development for environmental reasons. Thus, I'm not sure who would buy such a large number of acres of land that they knew had restrictions on the lands use. Update: So I checked the acreage owned by the park in the 2020 Annual Report. It turns out that in the report, the company claims that 2,111 acres are now owned by the park while last year's report says 2,200 acres were owned by the park. I guess I'm just baffled that 89 acres of undeveloped land in the area could possibly sell for $8 million dollars.
  13. Too funny... Angel is a Centerfold always reminds me of GA as well. It received a lot of air play during my first Summer working at GA in 1981.
  14. Totally a guess here, but using some previous building contents as the basis for my guess... Were there 28 SkeeBall Lanes in the building when it was renamed?
  15. If I'm not mistaken, this gem has appeared on the calendar before as something that should be removed. Personally, I'd like to see it removed and open-up Dream Street to it's original design. While I was never a fan of the flower beds that had been put there to divert traffic following Six Flags' purchase, it was, at least attractive. I also thought it was a good spot for Jumping Jack Flash when it operated in that spot. The building does nothing but draw attention to itself because it is boarded-up and not at all attractive from either side of the street.
  16. Just my opinion and I understand the need for a cohesive brand image. That being said, I have no problem when people or the park's marketing efforts refer to the park as Six Flags Great Adventure, SFGA, Great Adventure, or GA. But, when I see or hear the park referred to as simply Six Flags (especially in a ride spiel when visiting) or on the rides (like the front of the Log Flume's logs), as well as on most of the park's merchandise, I don't get the best feeling or image in my mind of the place. I realize this may sound a bit crazy and is probably a result of the image I had of the park in my youth, but it's just how I feel. And, it's not just Great Adventure that I see this way. I feel the same way about Magic Mountain as well as AstroWorld while it was around. Having never been to the Gurnee Great America, while I have visited the Santa Clara park, I think I'd feel the same about it simply being marketed and referred to as Six Flags.
  17. Interesting interior design, although it is somewhat different than the interior of Yum Yum Palace when I worked there 1980-1982. Back then, the kitchen and serving area was not confined to the area below the mirrored menus and back toward the rear of the restaurant. This design, just guessing, probably occurred when the exterior was repainted more like the original paint scheme along with these interior pillars. The terra-cotta like brown tile floor is obviously changed from the original. Back in the early eighties, three (possibly four) satellite order and serving areas extended out in front of the mirrored menus. Guests entered these three areas, each of which had two lines (right and left), from the front and the upper half of each area had glass viewing areas where you could watch your sandwich being made along with any ice cream cone, banana split, float, or shake, as well. There was no cooked (hot) food served at that time in Yum Yum, but the Turkey, Roast Beef, and other sandwich offerings were oversized and customers who might have came in for just an ice cream treat, often left with one of the sandwiches because of the sheer size of them. The only thing on the counters below the mirrored menus were the cast registers and condiments.
  18. A very young Larry B. Cochran. Larry was 37 years old when he took the reigns at Great Adventure in 1977. This picture of Larry was taken in 1976 while Vice President/General Manager of Six Flags over Mid-America. Larry eventually went on to lead the Six Flags Corporation as President.
  19. I knew several families that attended GA for the first time using this type of ticket. If you think about it, if you were bringing a family of five people, the economy at the time, and so many other things going on that affected people's pocket books, you could bring that family for close to half the price it would cost you had you bought a full-priced combination ticket to the park. And, on top of it, there really was a different magic to Great Adventure at night back then.
  20. Fantastic picture and the only view of the fountain that I have ever seen with Pretty Monster clearly visible to the right in the background.
  21. Three different gates on GA's property has always represented a real opportunity for this property to move toward a destination complex rather than simply the regional complex that it continues to be. Had it not been for the virus, I don't think you could have seriously conquered all three parks in just a day. The drive through Safari, I think, has been a saving grace for this particular property. I have always loved the contrast of Giraffes walking between the vehicles. From the pictures, it also seems that the Safari has managed to grow back a lot of the green stuff (grass) that had been depleted over the years. From what I can see, the Safari is looking great and still appears to be able to draw guests on its own, separate from those wanting to attend the other two parks. Although I've yet to visit Hurricane Harbor, I'll be in NJ starting Tuesday and have not booked a return flight to California at this point. So hopefully I'll be able to make some time to get there during my visit. Like the Safari, I think it's looking good as well. Again, based solely on these pictures, overall the theme park seems to be coming together, and I think this season represents a great opportunity to get things spruced up a bit. The rear side of the Fort, though, is a bit of an eyesore and I think the vines growing on its sides are likely to cause real issues down the road. At this point, I think they're masking some other issues as well. The huge opening where a cannon should be really deserves some attention. With part of its trow missing, is it safe to say that the Log Flume will not be opening this season?
  22. I had always regarded Hernando's Hideaway as being the games building at the exit to Rolling Thunder. I know when Rolling Thunder was built, Larry Cochran (park GM at the time) referred to that entirely new area as the Spanish section of the park and the first of the park's new themed areas. The Johny Rockets, just my opinion, in that area of the park would not be so bad had the building's exterior remained a bit more consistent with a spanish themed land rather than plopping down a building with an exterior making it look completely out of place. This, however, is something I think Six Flags has been notorious for doing for quite some time now. Likely a result of favoring brand name products in the park as revenue generators and/or allowing the brand name company to determine where in the park it's products would be sold in order to maximize traffic flow and revenue for the product.
  23. Thank you Harry... I looked at the NJ.com posting and didn't realize that "today" wasn't "today."
  24. I find the timing of this just a little bit suspect. Seems like it was planned just in time that the extra $600 a week in unemployment benefits (Federal Pandemic Unemployment Compensation) ends, motivating many people to return to work and lower the amount the State will be doling out in unemployment benefits.
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