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Six Flags Great America (SFGAm) Discussion Thread


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I’m so ready for these totally arbitrary and nonsensical covid rules to be over.  So a waterpark with no masks was fine all summer but they can’t run a coaster Or a Scrambler with a bunch of empt

This is life in Illinois. We're everything that's wrong with California, without the view.

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At least there isn't a single dull moment on the coaster. They use every inch of track to their advantage. I suppose I would rather have a short coaster that kicks a$$ than a long, drawn-out snoozefest.

 

I completely agree with this. Besides Maxx Force is all about that launch and the two inversion records so it doesn’t need to be a long.

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The launch will probably be amazing (air launches rarely disappoint) but just like with Goliath Six Flags again forgot to purchase the back 2/3's of the ride. Given the expected wait times for a new coaster every single guest is going to think "wow, that was short" since we're not talking a Top Thrill Dragster or Kingda sized "trick" on this "one trick pony."

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I'm not trying to complain, but I was surprised at how short the ride was after watching the recent POV rendering. It's like Mr. Freeze short.

 

 

That really seems to be a trend with pretty much all of the coaster installations for SF parks the last several years with West Coast Racers and Twisted Colossus being the only two exceptions that come to mind.

 

I understand why. I just hope that in a couple of seasons they chain can get back to adding some longer and more detailed coasters to the parks.

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I'm not trying to complain, but I was surprised at how short the ride was after watching the recent POV rendering. It's like Mr. Freeze short.

 

 

That really seems to be a trend with pretty much all of the coaster installations for SF parks the last several years with West Coast Racers and Twisted Colossus being the only two exceptions that come to mind.

 

I understand why. I just hope that in a couple of seasons they chain can get back to adding some longer and more detailed coasters to the parks.

Wicked Cyclone and Joker at SFDK I'd say make that exception too. Otherwise, yeah, I can't see anything else that's longer than a minute.

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Sweet! Can't wait to see more of it get built.

 

The fact that Maxx Force is this far along (which isn't saying much) and there aren't even pieces on site for West Coast Racers really has me curious that there is something going with SFMM and Premier beyond the usual "Six Flags slowness."

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Sweet! Can't wait to see more of it get built.

 

The fact that Maxx Force is this far along (which isn't saying much) and there aren't even pieces on site for West Coast Racers really has me curious that there is something going with SFMM and Premier beyond the usual "Six Flags slowness."

They had to go back and redesign part of the supports to fit over the go-karts. Also with Steel Curtain and Maxx force premier had to have a company in Italy produce the track.

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Well to be fair, it should open really early. One benefit to only buying 1/4 of the layout is that you can be Opening Day ready!

I mean, I guess they could be opening day ready if they wanted too, but... it's Six Flags...

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Have I missed something or does SFGAm not have any major coaster ERT events? This has to be the largest park in the US that I don't recall or see a trace on the forum threads of even so much as a coaster club ERT at.

 

I've just noticed that for all the years I lived in Chicago, I've went to some sort of event at every park in the Midwest for Ohio, Michigan, Indiana, and Iowa, but besides a mini-ERT hour for passholders or a new ride events every few years, I haven't seen anything (not even a mini-A C E event at SFGAm). Are they just more difficult to work with for setting up ERTs?

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Have I missed something or does SFGAm not have any major coaster ERT events? This has to be the largest park in the US that I don't recall or see a trace on the forum threads of even so much as a coaster club ERT at.

 

I've just noticed that for all the years I lived in Chicago, I've went to some sort of event at every park in the Midwest for Ohio, Michigan, Indiana, and Iowa, but besides a mini-ERT hour for passholders or a new ride events every few years, I haven't seen anything (not even a mini-A C E event at SFGAm). Are they just more difficult to work with for setting up ERTs?

 

I know that TPR has had a few events there in the past,and I seem to recall a few others in the past as well.

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^ SFGAm wouldn't allow ACE there after 2016 for some reason - I know as a former member, they were trying really hard to work something out but I don't know 100% what's up.

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TPR didn't have the best of experiences at SFGAm during one of their recent visits to the park, including inconsistently-enforced height bracelets and less-than-desirable customer service. Not sure about what happened with ACE, though.

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I'm not sure if this has been said before but does anyone know where the ride entrance will be, such as where Pictorium's old entrance was or in the little plaza by Sky Trek Tower (or what's left of it)?

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I'm not sure if this has been said before but does anyone know where the ride entrance will be, such as where Pictorium's old entrance was or in the little plaza by Sky Trek Tower (or what's left of it)?

Yes, the former Pictorium entrance is being used as the entrance/sign to the ride, the former site of Pictorium used as queue line (and the last couple inversions of the coaster if I'm not mistaken) then the Flags shop right there is going to be used as the Maxx Force shop where you can buy shirts, on-ride photos, other merch, etc.

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I feel like Holiday in the Park probably exceeded their expectations. Obviously I have no way of knowing what their expectations were but of all the cold weather parks it seems like the wait times and crowd levels at Great America were WELL above the other parks the vast majority of the time and I don't know how it would have been possible for them to project that (because it's insane).

 

I mean, the place looked like this on a 19 degree night and I lost count of how many times Raging Bull posted wait times in excess of an hour on hilariously frigid nights.

 

In my non-professional opinion, that event isn't going anywhere ever.

 

Following up on this, I skimmed the Q4 transcript of yesterday's call to see if they addressed the performance of the event at this park specifically but unfortunately that did not happen. That said, they're in love with the event and want to continue to grow it chain-wide. They gushed about it's success multiple times. A few highlights:

 

Investments in our Fright Fest and Holiday in the Park events have driven an incremental $60 million of fourth quarter EBITDA over the past five years, equating to an annual growth rate of 22%. Modified and adjusted EBITDA for the quarter were a record $95 million and $8 million or 9% increase over the prior year quarter.

 

And this entire exchange (emphasis mine)...

 

James W. P. Reid-Anderson -- Chairman, President & Chief Executive Officer

 

I can assure you that there was no weakness that at the park, at any parks. We had a very strong growth pretty much consistently across all the parks. Go ahead.

 

Yeah. I think if you look -- I mean, we grew the fourth quarter attendance, if you just look at the core parks, we grew revenue both for the quarter and full year, we also grew adjusted EBITDA in the quarter and in the full year. So -- and we're really driven -- what we're looking for is revenue and profitability. We like attendance and we think attendance certainly in the third quarter when we had weather it would have -- could have been better. But, ultimately, we grew revenue, we delivered 7% of EBITDA for the full year. But even if you strip out all the new parks, we grew the business. So the core business is strong. It's growing, and I'd say, that 2019 we will continue to do that and continue to grow the business.

 

James W. P. Reid-Anderson -- Chairman, President & Chief Executive Officer

 

And Sean, I would just add to this, it's really important everybody understands this. The Fright Fest and Holiday in the Park franchises are booming, and they will continue to boom. And so smart moves by us to add days or target incremental revenue, it's the right thing to do. It's part of our organic business to do that. So whether you included or not, we had a very strong fourth quarter across all categories, across all parks.

 

While not specific to Great America they're full-steam ahead with this event and they likely wouldn't be if they weren't happy with the results at their new event. The chain had a mediocre year but they had a solid Q4. Between the anecdotal information from first hand reports and wait times and now this, it's pretty clear that Holiday in the Park performed really well.

 

Link to the transcript

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