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Everything posted by ajfelice

  1. There are no current plans for the old Inn at Presque Isle sign. It does not meet current zoning codes, so it can only be used as is with little modification. It's beginning to deteriorate quickly as some pieces of the trim around the sign face have fallen off, but who knows if that will sway any plans for its future. In my opinion it's an obtuse eyesore, and should be removed in favor of something that fits the landscape nicer. The current codes do not allow for a sign as tall as the current one, but anything on that mostly barren corner will stand out and look nicer than the current structure.
  2. Glad to hear you enjoyed your visit on that pretty miserable Sunday. Scrambler's no single rider policy is in line with an updated safety bulletin recommendation from Eli Bridge. Music Express is an electrical issue we are working with Bertazzon to get to the bottom of, and Vortex was having issues with the damp track affecting ride speed and whatnot. Things are coming together around the park, and staffing is dramatically improved so far. As for this..... The statement applies to over 95% of full-time and seasonal employees, so you are not alone feeling that way.
  3. $5 reduction in starting pay? Cedar Fair must be getting lean and efficient, primed for acquisition. That's a bit of a bummer for someone looking for a pretty awesome summer job seeing what they paid last year. I get not wanting to reduce an experienced employee's wage, but $5/hr is bit of a gap for most front-line positions who mostly perform similar tasks within their departments regardless of number of seasons employed.
  4. ^Nothing wrong with either train (aside from being PTCs), but there is not a chance there will be two trains in operation with the staff shortage. Running one train frees up one or two Team Members who can open one or two other rides. It really sad watching the ridership of RFII dip is it can't get any boost from 2-train operation.
  5. ^2.1 has been a rougher seat for as long as I can remember. The good news is a large stretch of track from the 90 degree bank into the valley and back up the hillside is being replaced this fall along with some touch ups in other areas. Hopefully someday the PTCs are replaced. Regarding the authorities, a dog has been left in a car TWICE by the same owner in the past week. The Gift House is low on merchandise due in part to very high in-park spending at rates never seen before coupled with combating supply chain issues that have plagued multiple industries this year.
  6. ^The crews may be there, but in this current situation they will always be there. All day, everyday, save for maybe one day off a week so CP isn't completely abusing anyone. A shift at CP also doesn't start just a moment before the park opens to a few minutes after closing time either. I'm sure the employees they do have working for them are being worked to the absolute maximum just to keep as many attractions open as possible. Open-close shifts are probably the norm for the summer when in the past they were only a thing in the bookends of the season when dealing with college schedules and international worker arrival/departure.
  7. ^Not going to spill any descriptive details, but both would have replaced existing flat rides. Speculate all you want.
  8. ^Safe move by Idlewild in my opinion. Easier to sort things out based on how much sh*t the fan will spit come opening day. I'm working in a similar situation where we are not selling single-day tickets or committing to a specific operating calendar until we see how the world is doing in a few months. None of the recent restrictions in Pennsylvania would prevent a park from operating by order of the state, but it is simply next to impossible to formally predict anything. If I were to personally attempt to predict anything for 2021, I see things getting a little better, but better only in comparison to an unmitigated disaster that was 2020.
  9. Smaller individually/family owned parks tend to communicate with each other frequently, and the general consensus is that things are very bad. Something along the lines of "If we knew it was going to be this bad, we would never have opened" has been said several times. Not going to speculate which parks could close forever, but I expect a ripple effect of slowed expansion for a few years.
  10. I must say, not sure anyone outside of Hersheypark (or maybe them included) would have guessed they would jump ahead to be the first park to open in Pennsylvania. What started as hot spots in Philadelphia/Eastern PA and somewhat in Pittsburgh, has now receded with the heavier restrictions closer to Philly and apparently Erie (I guess we have a new outbreak around here?).
  11. To potentially add fuel to the speculation fire because I'm bored, a couple Saturdays ago I passed a truck on I-90 west near Ashtabula, Ohio with six PTC 2-bench frames and coaster parts along with a couple antique cars strapped to its bed. Could only be coming from a limited number of places in that area/direction. I know for a fact it wasn't from one nearby park. Wonder where they could be headed?
  12. We had a fun lake effect snow squall come through Waldameer this morning.
  13. ^Correct. Showtime Theater and the ugly Water Wars game have been retired to make room for Whirlwind.
  14. First of all, us millennials are getting older so we are entitled to less finger pointing for the staffing woes of Cedar Point and other parks. All unfounded hate should be directed towards Generation Z who are making up more and more of the seasonal theme park workforce. Any google search concerning the summer/seasonal employment trends of teens and young college students points to a troubling statistic. Summer employment has been declining for several decades, and the main issue is not laziness but competition with other activities. Summer classes, fall athletics starting sooner and sooner, paid and unpaid internships being the "only" path to a successful career just to name a few reasons. Along with CP's location doing them no favors for keeping the massive park staffed, having greater trouble attracting enough staff in the summer means even less holdovers from the summer to get them through shoulder seasons. The worst part is the fall shoulder season is just killing them with insane attendance. CP is far from alone with staffing troubles, they just have a bigger magnifying glass on them and they are trying to keep together a much larger than average operation in a smaller job market.
  15. Scored some deeply discounted tickets, so I was also at the supposed to be slower Friday of September 20. For one, at the resort entrance under Magnum, they gave no effs about who was early entry and who wasn't, so that was a great bonus considering we were running a bit early. Steel Vengeance posted at an hour with an actual wait of an hour and 15 minutes was our longest wait. Not a huge deal considering its newness and the person I was with had never rode before. After that, we never waited more than 30 minutes. Not what was originally anticipated, but considering the warmth and the supposed inflated attendance with the Gold Passes, it was fine. Gave a few extra chances to enjoy October beers in the queues. My only head-scratching observation is this Steel Vengeance loose article policy. I get it there was an incident, I get it the phone ban in the queue fired people up, and I get it that the nature of the ride will eat more pocket items than the average coaster. However, there are four ride hosts dedicated between two metal detectors and stamping. I wonder if the desired results of this procedure are enough to justify this investment of labor and resources. Of course, this is slightly better than the phone ban in the queue, but even that didn't require the resources the current procedure needs. But hey, if CP thinks this is their best solution, have at it I guess. CP and Universal can bond over their metal detectors.
  16. For anyone worried about some potholes, the big one between the two tunnels on that straightaway after the bridge will be fixed this fall. Perhaps as we speak, because the trucks from Texas were arriving as the park was winding down Monday night. Several other areas that have not received major improvements since opening will also be addressed. As a reference to the scale of this fall refurbishment, we had to rearrange some employee parking to accommodate the massive lumber delivery.
  17. Yes, we are installing a SBF spinning coaster. The location will be made known after Labor Day, and it is not behind Spider. We will not be removing any rides to accommodate it, but we will be doing some re-configuring of an area.
  18. There is a exemption from minimum wage for recreational and seasonal businesses. Whether someone is for it or against it, it is the current law on the books. However, just a couple hours up the road we operate in the same way, and the lowest paying jobs for 14-15 year olds have by far the most applicants. Go figure.
  19. So much speculation, l love it. Expansion plans stretching out 5-10 years are ambitious, but also flexible. Nothing is for certain until pen meets paper on a contract for a new attraction which isn't always far in advance as one may think. What I can say is that Chaos will not be an outlier in thrilling attractions to come for the water park and dry park. The word "roller coaster" is discussed in terms of future larger and smaller possibilities. We definitely want another thrilling coaster, but most importantly we are looking to best serve our families with young children. I wouldn't put too much speculation into the lakeshore at this time. Recent projects in that area were for drainage expansion to accommodate a giant wave pool. On a positive note, there are some innovative plans to more efficiently use our developed land. Feel free to guess away for that. As for this... Great question. For now, Ravine Flyer II will run PTCs. Looking back to 2006-2008, Timberliners were still in development, Millennium Flyers were not being fitted onto non-GCI rides yet, and the single-bench PTC would have been a prototype and the risk after a decade of waiting wasn't worth taking. Why don't we just make the switch now? Our current trains have not reached the end of their service life by any means, and the cost of switching would take away greatly from other expansions and improvements. Lastly, a death blow to a season would be extended downtime for Ravine Flyer II if there were teething issues with new trains.
  20. The Golden Ticket Awards as an event and production overall are great! So much great food, adult beverages, and some coasters around. The award winners and rankings are cute and self-gratifying for those slower to accept there is a larger world outside of nice little collection of parks/attractions always getting the same recognition each year.
  21. When facing staffing issues, almost every park will first pick a low-ridership attraction to close first since obviously there would be less people annoyed it's closed in the first place. The placement of Twister has a lot to do with low ridership, but I'm not sure where you are coming up with your assertion "The park complains about Twister having low ridership." The more drastic short-staffing measure is picking a larger, more popular attraction where minimum staffing requirements are so high that keeping that ride open means shutting down several others. Usually these are water rides with sprawling layouts. Lastly, this time of year every seasonal park is hurting for staff. Darien Lake does not need to be overly scrutinized, but then again this is the Darien Lake Discussion Thread where logic is left at the door and dead horses are beaten to a pulp. Why did I even waste my time writing this.
  22. Spider has a mechanical issue at the center of the ride. The only way to figure out the exact nature of the issue is to disassemble the ride. Removing parts from the center may require more heavy equipment than a forklift, so that will be very tricky given the ride's location and the limited staff resources. As of now, there is no time frame on the ride re-opening this season.
  23. Just as I thought PTC trains couldn't get more ugly..... Very interesting design with the two-bench car followed by single bench cars. The combined weight restriction of 265 pounds will also be interesting. I know they cater to families with small children, but based on the size of some adults and children these days, that might get surpassed when the red light comes on. But hey, good to see the coaster will be up and running again.
  24. For clarification on the location, Chaos will be located behind the train station as seen in blue and green in the photo below. Without sharing too much information on what we have in store for the future, the Chaos location could be the start of a multi-attraction expansion southward several years down the road contingent on some other things. What may seem off the beaten path for 2019 will eventually come full circle. Fall operations are not completely off the table, but staffing is a major consideration. If/when the season is extended, the schedule will be similar to Seabreeze or Kentucky Kingdom with the season ending mid to late September. Speaking of staffing, the decline in population in the region is huge red flag going forward as each expansion puts on the extra stress of boosting recruitment efforts. Lastly, if you haven't ridden Ravine Flyer II in awhile, 2018 is the year to do it. Major re-tracking on both sides of the bridge, bottom of the second drop, and tight turn going into the 90 degree bank has dramatically improved three notorious trouble spots.
  25. You will not need a strategy for June 2. That is notoriously the slowest Saturday between Memorial Day and Labor Day. We are talking less than 10-15min at peak for Ravine Flyer II with one train. As for ride opening times, we took a page out of Seabreeze's book and stagger rides for some to open at noon with the remainder by 1:00pm. I am actually in the lobbying stage to get Ravine Flyer II bumped up to noon, but right now it is a 1:00pm opening any day the park is scheduled to close at 10:00pm. Unique non-coasters are the two dark rides, XScream for its great view, and Music Express for its intense program.
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