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The Six Flags Magic Mountain (SFMM) Discussion Thread

Page 2205 - Opening Day Photo TR!

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Here's the catch though, SFMM does a very good job at making sure Tier 1 employees stay Tier 1 employees. When SFMM went to 365 ops last year, there was not much of a bump in Tier 2 promotions, instead they had hiring fairs and took on more Tier 1 employees to dilute the workforce and they aren't laying off as many 'seasonal' team members like they used to. Also, for the busy summer months they do still rely on an international workers program as well as hiring surges.

 

That's important to know: at some point they can't turnover everyone forever of course, and the shortages will be more and more pronounced. Personally, I found it totally insane that the funnel cake place at SFMM had a line of at least 70-80 people at 1:45AM on a Saturday this past October. Even if half those people are season pass dining, the other half are paying $10+ for literally dough and sugar. However, keeping Tier 2 people is essential, and I'm sure that it's probably gone a long way to helping ensure they don't move to an actual restaurant or hotel to get paid a lot more.

 

My long winded, overall point is that while it may seem like a great thing on paper that SFMM went full time operations, the benefits of that full time schedule only partially trickled down to the base employees. It's (arguably) unfortunate that they can 'get away' with paying minimum wage, not paying employees a holiday rate even for Thanksgiving and Christmas, and cultivate a pretty toxic work culture. However until the bottom line starts to be affected and it makes financial sense to change their business practices, they won't.

 

It probably has been, frankly - I think almost every park has made a trade off there except those that did something about it (shout out Adventureland Iowa and Herschend). Have they adequately analyzed that the loss of revenue is less than the cost of the staffing? The assumption most make is "of course they have, these are professionals," but that was also the rationale used in shielding Schlitterbahn from blame when Verruckt ripped that kid's head off ("They're professionals, of course it's safe!"). Six Flags is a whole different company now than what it was in the 90s when it was run into the ground at the executive level, but the park management types are pretty much all still there and entrenched in their ways from those earlier eras. Again, it went bankrupt. You don't go Chapter 11 unless there's catastrophic f'ups at all levels, so you can't assume that analysis was or has ever been done.

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It probably has been, frankly - I think almost every park has made a trade off there except those that did something about it (shout out Adventureland Iowa and Herschend). Have they adequately analyzed that the loss of revenue is less than the cost of the staffing?

I cannot give a definitive answer to this, but I can give an anecdote: Fright Fest every year is staffed by temporary employees and the park has a very hard time retaining the "talent" for the entire run. The primary scheduler for the event, who also handles the cost centers, took a look into the financials of the run and concluded that it would be financially viable to pay the "talent" more a little money in order to retain their services for the entire run and not have to emergency hire more people towards the end of the run. HR was on board, Entertainment was on board, Ops was on board. The idea ran up to Finance, and it was quickly dismissed. Needless to say, the adverse effects of having a third of your employee base quit in the first few weeks of an event every year makes it very tough for a lot of people to do their jobs.

 

The assumption most make is "of course they have, these are professionals," but that was also the rationale used in shielding Schlitterbahn from blame when Verruckt ripped that kid's head off ("They're professionals, of course it's safe!"). Six Flags is a whole different company now than what it was in the 90s when it was run into the ground at the executive level, but the park management types are pretty much all still there and entrenched in their ways from those earlier eras. Again, it went bankrupt. You don't go Chapter 11 unless there's catastrophic f'ups at all levels, so you can't assume that analysis was or has ever been done.

You have pretty much nailed it. When they went bankrupt management was absolutely gutted, which made sense at the time. The thing is, a decade later and management is still a skeleton crew. There are more full time employees in sales and marketing than there are in park operations...

 

It's unfortunate because a lot of the full time managers and supervisors are holdovers from the bankruptcy who were forced to absorb the workload of all of the management teams that were let go. A lot of the managers are unsurprisingly overworked and stretched very thin. As a result of these circumstances, the effect of a bad full time employee is amplified, and the effect of a good one is hamstrung. Ironically, even though 'middle management' gets a bad rep in a lot of companies, Six Flags has virtually no middle management and would distinctly benefit from more managers and not having the same few people making literally every decision.

 

 

All of this being said, I will reiterate that there are absolutely people that are there who genuinely care and are good at their jobs. The issue is that the systemic problems that persist will not change unless it would be glaringly obvious financially not to. But when everyone is stretched so thin and there's such a limited budget in the first place, stuff gets missed and things don't get done. The ultimate measure of success that counts for the Company is the stock price, which for the most part is doing fine. Six Flags is a business, and businesses aren't perfect. If they're doing well in the eyes of shareholders, the market validates a lot of their decisions and business practices... Until it doesn't.

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I saw on the news that low elevations got some snow today, including the Santa Clarita area. Was anyone out there by chance to see if it snowed at or near the park? It'd be really cool to see some pictures of Magic Mountain in the snow!

 

I work there in the parking lot and around 12:30 - 1pm all hell broke loose with wind, sleet, hail, and just glimpses of snow. Snow was non issue and melted with 20 seconds of hitting. It was colder than a witches tit and amazing thing was that people were still arriving at the park at the height of the storm. Park stayed open through advertised 6pm closing time and it was so-so cold. .... For other bean counters I'm a tier 1 worker and have been working in the parking lot since 2011. The park is very flexible with hours and bends over backwards to accommodate me with a very nice schedule by my choice. I have zero desire to go beyond tier 1, leave that for the kids

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Just saw this picture on Instagram. Looks like more supports are arriving at the park! I'm surprised they're not covered or in a shipping container or something!

 

why? it's not a secret a new coaster is being built.

 

This is California, people slow down to stare if someone is getting a speeding ticket. Imagine the amount of people who slow down to stare at a roller coaster being driven down the freeway.

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Just saw this picture on Instagram. Looks like more supports are arriving at the park! I'm surprised they're not covered or in a shipping container or something!

 

why? it's not a secret a new coaster is being built.

 

This is California, people slow down to stare if someone is getting a speeding ticket. Imagine the amount of people who slow down to stare at a roller coaster being driven down the freeway.

 

to 99.99999999% of the people on the freeway, that looks like some pipes on a truck.

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I think you overestimate how much non-enthusiasts care about coaster parts being hauled down the freeway.

 

So true, most people think a ride is brand new after a repaint and new name, they would never know this is for coaster parts. That being said I have never seen coaster parts being shipped on the freeway, one of my white whales!

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Just saw this picture on Instagram. Looks like more supports are arriving at the park! I'm surprised they're not covered or in a shipping container or something!

 

why? it's not a secret a new coaster is being built.

 

This is California, people slow down to stare if someone is getting a speeding ticket. Imagine the amount of people who slow down to stare at a roller coaster being driven down the freeway.

 

None.

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  • 2 weeks later...

I've been hearing from a few different sources that Green Lantern is scheduled to be removed sometime soon. Anyone have any more information?

 

Personally, I'm praying it does. It's been at the bottom of my ballot both years of the coaster poll.

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I've been hearing from a few different sources that Green Lantern is scheduled to be removed sometime soon. Anyone have any more information?

 

No, but at this point it seems like the most likely outcome. It's been closed for well over a year.

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I've been hearing from a few different sources that Green Lantern is scheduled to be removed sometime soon. Anyone have any more information?

 

Personally, I'm praying it does. It's been at the bottom of my ballot both years of the coaster poll.

Somebody asked this question at WCB last year, and the park president said Green Lantern would re-open this summer with West Coast Racers and Apocalypse.

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If they get green Lantern and WCR open at the same time wouldn't they be the first park to hit the magic 20?

They'll wait to hit 20 before removing it, make a big deal about the fact that they're the first park to hit 20, remove GL and continue claiming they're the first park to hit 20 despite having 19.

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I like Green Lantern more than most (I really love rides that are totally ridiculous and intense, even if painful), but I also wouldn't care too much if it is removed soon. I mean, I've survived just fine without it for almost two years.

 

A similar situation with the "coaster count" happened back in 2011. They add two coasters that year and surpassed Cedar Point's count, but proceeded to remove Deja Vu a few months later and ended up at a tie. Closed or open, as long as Green Lantern is standing there when WCR opens, I'm sure they can market their 20 coasters with the vast majority of people not really caring.

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As long as they don't put in a Larson Super Loop in GL spot, almost anything would be an improvement. Maybe it will reopen later this summer? I am glad to see the extensive work being done on Apocalypse too actually. With Superman's "issues", the park definitely is refurb / build kind of year.

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